ISSTD Therapist - Searchable Database|
Search the database for a therapist in your area and the field that you are interested in.
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Before you begin your search for a therapist I recommend contacting your insurance company while you are alone at home and can think clearly and at you own pace. I had to deal with everything all at once in the doctor's office and the insurance personnel, that I was speaking with, became angry because I could not focus on her questions. So, it's better to do it at home.
Ask for a list of therapists in your area that is covered by your insurance policy. If the insurance company does not have the information about the particular field the therapist specializes in call the therapist office and simply ask.
Find out what your co-payment will be for each session so you will be aware of exactly how much of the bill that you will be responsible for. There is no need for hidden surprises and this will allow you to schedule your appointments so that they are spaced out enough for you to be able to handle the payments.
Then, you might think about making a list. I suggest that you make four lists. Remember these are only my suggestions of issues that I think are most important so feel free to make your list as long or short as you like.
The first list should be the symptoms that you are experiencing. Don't leave out anything, the smallest details can be extremely important. The second list is for the qualities that you prefer in a therapist. Remember that you are the employer and it is up to you to make sure that you get what you are looking for and need.
The third list is the issues that you should focus on during your initial interview with the chosen therapist and questions that you may need to ask. And the fourth list is for you to evaluate your interview. Don't forget that not only is the therapist interviewing you, but, you are also interviewing him or her as well.
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Did you feel safe and comfortable with the therapist? The therapist should be more than willing to make you as comfortable as possible and should expect to be interviewed by you, just as you are by them.
By all means if he or she displayed any negative vibrations, quickly mark them off the list and move on.
Did this therapist handle the switching of you and your alters in a positive way? A good qualified therapist, who has dealt with other survivors with this disorder, will totally understand that he or she must repeat a lot (if not all) of what is said in the beginning stages of therapy.
Did you feel that the therapist was maybe "too" eager to diagnose you with D.I.D.? You must, must, must, be very cautious of any therapist, psychiatrist, medical doctor or anyone else in the field that tries to convince you that you are multiple. That is not their job!
The therapist should gently offer their support of what ever you are experiencing and may even offer different scenarios to help you in your healing. Of course at some point the therapist will divulge to you your diagnosis if you ask, but this should never be the main focus of your therapy, except when you are ready to deal with it, and even then the therapist should be very careful so that he or she does not try to confuse you any further or plant any false accusations in your head.
Lastly, when you walk out of the office from the initial interview trust your instincts.
Did you feel comfortable in the presence of the therapist?
Did the therapist seem comfortable with you?
Do you feel that you can tell that person every single detail of your life, even though you may not know what those details are at the time?
Did you feel supported? Did you feel safe, well as safe as you can possibly feel under such circumstances?
Do you feel that if you were to make an emergency phone call after hours to this therapist that your call would be received in a pleasant and supportive manner?
Of course you must limit such calls so that during extreme emergencies your call will be accepted as a true emergency, rather than just another after-hour call. Remember that your therapist does have a life outside of the office and simply must be allowed their space so that he or she can stay mentally and emotionally healthy in order to help you and the other clients that they have.
The therapist should always be in control and stay consistent. This is very helpful because there is so much inconsistency within the D.I.D. system.
The therapist should never make any suggestions of abuse and should never imply how an alter might be feeling about a memory, event, a person or any situation. They should never rush a memory and should always let you or your alter parts make the conclusion of a certain thought or memory.
In general the therapist's position should be to listen and help you to validate your feelings and emotions and to encourage you to verbalize every possible objective. After an obvious switch has been made he or she should make sure that the new alter that has just appeared knows and understands what the last alter was experiencing.
By doing so he or she has introduced the two alters to each other, thereby beginning to break down the barriers that keep your mind fragmented. They should ask questions to help you think, but not too much as to confuse you. I'm sure you're already confused enough as it is!
I wish you well in your search and if I can help please don't hesitate to write me. I'll help as much as I can from the survivors point of view.
By: Candy Little