Send Your Replies to Susan


Hi Susan,

Sometimes you have to shop around. On your first visit tell the therapist about yourself and what you hope to achieve. I went to 3 therapists before I found the right one. On my first visit to her I just knew she was the one. Don't settle for anything less than you need.

Good Luck,
Mary G.


Hi Susan

Each time I've called to find a different therapist, I first find out if they take Medicaid, since that's what I'm on for disability. If they say yes, then I move onto, do they work with people who have been abused. That usually eliminates some people from my list. If they're still with me on that question, I'd ask if they worked with people with MPD/DID. Some people have told me no. ( I am now fully integrated.) If they tell me they work with that, I've learned they all haven't really worked with multiples, but they want to. I had a couple therapists that had never worked with a multiple before, and I felt I was guiding them through the process. I had a psychiatrist for a brief time who didn't believe in MPD/DID, so I quit going there.
Another thing I check out with therapists, is if I am compatible with them. I had a therapist once who reminded me of one of my abusers, so that didn't work out. I have asked therapists if they could recommend another therapist. I have called local hospitals to see who they recommend. The biggest thing for me in sticking with a therapist, is mainly how we get along and how comfortable I am with them. I figure if I'm not comfortable there, I'm not going to make alot of progress.

Good Luck.
Debbie E.


Dear Susan,

MV's friend Patches has listed an excellent resource below. But you may also want to add your own specific questions to the list, such as familiarity with RA (if that is an issue for you), religion or spirituality issues (pro or con), whether sessions might include supportive partners or children living with you, etc. Also, if this particular therapist is overbooked, ask if he/she knows other therapists in your area who might be right for you. I've found that a well-qualified therapist is generally a good judge of other therapists.



Susan, this may be helpful:

The following is taken from the book "Amongst Ourselves: A self-help guide to living with Dissociative Identity Disorder', by Tracey Alderman and Karen Marshall. You can find the book here:
----(brief excerpt)--
Activity 8.2: Interviewing A Therapist

List the questions you will ask a potential therapist.  Below each question, indicate the therapist's response, as well as any notes which might help you in your decision(tone of voice, feelings their responses gave you, etc).  When you are interviewing prospective therapists, keep in mind that you are the consumer, and you are essentially trying to determine if you want to purchase a particular product.

Therapist's Name______________________________________________
Therapist's Telephone Number________________________________
Therapist's Address___________________________________________________________
Date Interviewed___________________________________
In Person?  Over Telephone?__________________________
1.  How much experience do you have with DID?
2.  What is the normal course of treatment for DID?
3.  What are your views on integration?
4.  What do you know about areas related to DID (child abuse, trauma, dissociation, eating disorders, addictions, SI)?
5.  How well do you work with children?  How would you go about treating child alters?
6.  How long do your think i'll need therapy?
7.  What is you availability?
8.  How much do you charge?
9.  Is there anything else you think I should know about you and how you do therapy?
Overall impressions:



I think for many of us who have been in therapy a long time... we each develop different things we need at different times from a therapist. Yet the most important question I want to know when I have to change therapists is, does this person believe in what I believe to be the truth in my life? I am Dissociative; I still call myself a Multiple after all these years and will most likely do so forever.  I want my therapist to understand who I have become...not to believe as I do, just to be open enough to allow me to believe in myself.   

Finding new therapist is hard and you usually don't get a whole lot to pick from, but you do have the right to be comfortable and safe. 

Lady J


Dear Susan,

The first thing that I'd look for is a sense that your new therapist 'feels right' . Without a sense of confidence and trust, it's almost impossible to get anywhere in therapy (IMO). But I'm not sure how to describe that quality or figure out, before several therapy sessions, whether you can work best with Therapist A or Therapist B.. Maybe someone else has more specific suggestions for how to decide which therapist is 'best'.

This is a great question!