February 15, 2012

Counseling started…the good, the bad, and the ugly

Filed under: Uncategorized — by jeannette4175 @ 8:11 pm

Monday I started counseling.  I don’t think I will stick with this counselor in the long-term but it is helping me get over the hump.  My husband’s company has a contract with certain therapists to have 3 free (to me) sessions per incident.  My life in adoption counts as one incident.

I do not want a counselor that I have to teach about adoption.  I do not want her speaking for the industry.  If I wanted that I would go to LDSFS, after all I have free lifetime counseling through them.   I have lived years in the adoption fog, I can’t go back to that place.  I can’t unlearn what I know about adoption and how it has affected all of my children, my husband,my parents, my siblings, my nieces, and my nephews.  I can not deny the pain that it has brought to all of us.

One of the things that this new therapist said to me was well you did a beautiful thing by having this child and not aborting it.  WTH??? Seriously she compared placing a child with abortion.  Of course I explained to her that one had nothing to do with the other.   She went on and talked about how adoption could be a blessing because it helped me mature before I had my raised children.  I then explained there was not a lot of maturing since Allysa and Alex are only 2 years and 2 months apart.  I was in the exact same situation when I got  pregnant with Alex as when I was pregnant with Allysa.  I did end up marrying Alex’s dad but I was in the same position, the same skills, the same amount of income.  She brought up that for Allysa’s parents the adoption was a blessing.  I told her when you say that to me it is the same as saying to someone who was molested/raped, well at least the other person had sex and enjoyed them self.   For me in my situation I was taken advantage of for my child.  An agency literally sold my daughter for thousands of dollars.  I was not built up by a counselor and shown the way to be the best parent possible, I was torn down and told repeatedly how I couldn’t parent and how loving adoption would be.

We did talk about how I have to let go of things I have no control over.  I do understand how I have to be available to all 4 of my kids. I have to be both physically and emotionally available.

I do need to find a better counselor, one that understands about adoption, grief, and the aftermath.  I do not want to spend my time educating someone else about my reality of adoption.  Eventually I might need to get some of my kids in to counseling.  I do not want their feelings marginalized by a counselor that does not understand their pain and grief.  If anyone knows of a good counselor in the SF Bay Area please let me know.





  1. SF Bay Area? It’s not therapy, but how about “radical self-compassion”?
    I don’t know if it’s your type of thing or not, but I thought I’d mention it as NVC played an important part in my healing journey.
    Anyway, I agree with you that it is important to find a therapist who understands adoption issues, and that can be difficult to do.
    I’ve had good luck in the past using Psychology Today’s “Find a Therapist” feature. It allowed me to look at profiles and, more importantly, send the therapists emails. I picked my last therapist based on how she answered my email question.
    Here’s the url for the feature:
    I must admit I find it amusing that adoption counts as a single 3-session-worthy event.
    On another note, I was sorry to read about your daughter’s departure. I’m sure you must miss her tons! Hugs to you!

    Comment by Rebecca Hawkes — February 16, 2012 @ 2:53 pm |Reply

  2. What an incredible cheap, underqualified, nasty, no-good, posing, exploiting counselor you got, lots of hugs!!!

    Comment by Teddy — February 16, 2012 @ 11:03 pm |Reply

  3. Teddy,
    I honestly don’t think she was trying to be mean or uncaring she just did not have a clue about my side of adoption. Our (U.S.) sees adoption as a miracle and blessing that my side is a shock to the general public.

    Comment by jeannette4175 — February 17, 2012 @ 5:51 pm |Reply

  4. OK, but she is a therapist, not a member of the general public. “Loss of child hurts a lot” is not that hard to understand. Just think about a more simple model, if a monkey’s baby is stolen don’t you think the mother will hurt?

    No, I trust you, she was not trying to be mean or uncaring, it must have been a natural talent. I met those, they get a patient out of their league and make his or her problem worse. I mean a total lack of understanding of adoption issues in general, OK, but failing to make sure that she got your story all the way to your grandson’s adoption, before she used no-good stereotypical patches is unprofessional and unforgivable.

    Love and healing!

    Comment by teddy1975 — February 19, 2012 @ 9:25 pm |Reply

  5. Oh yuk, I am so sorry you had this experience. Finding a person who can counsel us effectively without their own emotions becoming involved and remaining professional is difficult. I had an experience scarily similar to this – almost word for word!! She also refeused to hear any truth about the reality of adoption – some just think they know it all.

    Professionally, this counsellor you had failed because she did not listen and remain impartial. It certainly is not preofessional to compare adoption and abortion and if she was any decent counsellor she would not have gone there.

    I hope you can find someone who will listen and be open minded enough to learn, listen and give you the words to help you.

    Comment by myst1998 — February 19, 2012 @ 11:26 pm |Reply

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