To therapy or not to therapy — The Bump
Late Term and Child Loss

To therapy or not to therapy

That is the question... I am struggling with my grief but not sure if therapy would be helpful since it seems that there is nothing anyone can say to help. Any good or bad experiences to share? Should I give it a try?
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Re: To therapy or not to therapy

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    My experience with therapy has been a good one.  I had already been going, but after our loss going to see my therapist was one of the first things I wanted to do.  He does not specialize in grief counseling but he was a friendly face to talk to.  Someone who wouldn't say crappy things like it was God's plan, and someone who wouldn't complain that I was talking about the same thing for the millionth time.

    I say give it a shot, you may like it, or you may find that it is not for you.  But I will say, if you don't like it at first, don't be afraid to try another therapist until you find one you click with.  After my mom died I saw a grief counseler and we didn't click at all.  Despite being crushed by my mom's death, I was also dealing with breaking up with my sort of/sort of not boyfriend and wanted to talk about that as well, and anytime I talked about anything other than my mom she would steer me back there. 

    If therapy doesn't work for you, or even if it does you might also try blogging if you don't already.  It's very therapeutic for me and I love to blog.  Good luck and ((hugs))

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  • BgirmaBgirma
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    @kderoy- I'm so sorry that you're struggling right now and I can definitely relate. I lost my son in December and started going to therapy about 3 weeks later. I went every week for 3 months and then abruptly stopped because I got busy with work and life and felt like I was able to function better. I hit a major low around 6 months and started with a new therapist every week. A few thoughts based on my experience:
    1. I get incredibly anxious before each appointment because I'm not a huge fan of discussing my feelings but I always feel better when I leave. There is nothing my therapist can say to make things better but she's a sounding board for my thoughts and feelings and gives me ideas for coping skills for when I'm overwhelmed or anxious.
    2. Think about what you want out of therapy and make sure your counselor can provide it. Again, I'm getting a place where I can say anything without judgement or fear of upsetting the other person (my husband is truly wonderful but I worry about putting so much on him when he's dealing with his own grief). I also get ideas for coping strategies and insight about how this is affecting my life and relationships.

    3. Don't settle for the first person you go to! I changed to a different therapist and I'm much happier- I didn't click with my first one but didn't realize that I could "shop around" and find someone else.

    Overall, I suggest trying it out for a least a few sessions. It's not for everyone but I think it's worth looking into. Good luck!
    LyndseyTS
  • @kderoy I have been going to therapy since the loss of our son and I have found it to be helpful. I would recommend a grief counselor, but so long as you click with your therapist they don't necessarily have to be a grief counselor. You can find one by calling a hospice in your local area and asking for recommendations. I say give it a try - you have nothing to loose.  Also I recommend a perinatal bereavement group. Call your local hospitals to see if any are in your area. It's great to meet people who have been through a loss and you can really support one another. There are people in our group that have had recent losses and others that are more than a decade out from their loss - everyone is at different stages, but it all helps. The counselor and our group are a huge support for my husband and I. Good luck! ((Hugs))
  • erinelerinel
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    .....siggy.....

    DH and I have been going to therapy since our son passed away in February.  We started out going every week, and now go every two or three weeks.  We find it helpful, not only because we can talk about our son, but we also talk about things going on with us, our marriage, and our work. 

    I think we will probably start going monthly or so soon because it is pretty expensive, but I think it has been well worth it so far.

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  • MH and I went to a grief counselor for 6 months or so. We found it really helpful. She had experienced the loss of her husband a number of years ago, so while she couldn't relate exactly to our loss, she could relate to much of what we were going through. MH and I both really liked having a space to intentionally talk about how we were both feeling, especially because MH has been processing his grief very different than me, and also having someone to facilitate questions and difficult subjects. We are no longer seeing her regularly, but I like knowing that if something comes up, I can call her and she will be familiar with our story. I don't think giving it a try is a bad idea, especially if you find someone who specializes in infant or child loss.
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  • I am a therapist as well and would recommend it. I have been in therapy since our loss. I go about every three weeks. I've found it really helpful, and I found a therapist who focuses on grief and womens health

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  • We attend a monthly support group meeting together and monthly therapy sessions individually. I agree with pp who said not to be afraid to shop around. We have been to two support groups and I just found a therapist to replace the one I was seeing previously.
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  • ***SIGGY***




    I tried a month or so after my loss, and it didn't go well. Didn't click with the therapist, and I wasn't ready. I did a second round with someone who had worked with loss mothers before, and it went so much better. I went for six weeks and was finally able to move forward. I was so apprehensive before every appointment, but I felt so much better - and started feeling lighter - as each session went on. I'm considering seeing that same therapist again as I get closer to my son's second angelversary.

    I would recommend therapy, but only if you think you're ready. I wasn't open to talking the first time, so I stopped. I do hope that if you decide to go, it will help you like it has helped others on this board. *hugs*








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  • Therapy has been so helpful for me on so many levels. That said, you have to think it might help for it to be able to. More than anything, my counsellor listens and I can talk about whatever I want (regardless of how crazy it seems to me or the outside world) without judgement. He has also suggested some other exercises (like writing a letter to my daughter) that have been helpful. It gives me an opportunity to talk for awhile just about Serenity or about life in general (he's not a grief counsellor). If you're thinking about it, I'd say give it a shot. If you end up with a not-so-great therapist/counsellor at first, try someone different, but most of all if you do try it, be open to the experience. Good luck!
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  • edited July 2014
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    Hi @kderoy‌. I've wondered how you were doing. I've had a terrible experience with a therapist, and a fantastic one. The first therapist I saw was awful, and questioned why we weren't considering adoption rather than TTC in the first 15min. But my current therapist has been wonderful. Particularly though TTC/IF and all my PgAL fears and guilt.  
    No, know one can say anything that makes it better. But it can be a safe place to say all the things you feel. Any guilt, hopelessness, etc. I also have joined a local loss support group. And they are great, but I find therapy hugely helpful. DH has also come with me a few times so we can talk about our grief together. Thinking of you.
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  • ManadaManada
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    @kderoy‌
    Finding a therapist was one of the first things we did following the birth of our girls. Our midwife contacted someone she knew who recommended a queer friendly therapist who also had done a lot of grief work, and the person who was recommended is wonderful. For us it was important that the therapist understood a bit of what we experienced as a same-sex couple who were pregnant, but also that she had worked with grief before. This was way more important to us than anything else, so we prioritized it in our initial email to her as well as our first appointment.

    We see our therapist weekly individually, and every week or two as a couple, and have found this really helpful in the short-term. We also attend the support groups but find therapy a good place to give space to our feelings around grief and anxiety.
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