Adoption Therapy: Perspectives from Clients and Clinicians on Processing and Healing Post-Adoption (2014)
It was my distinct honor to be asked to contribute to Adoption Therapy, particularly as the only non-adoptee author/contributor. Not only has it been an honor for me, but it has given me the opportunity to create amazing, supportive relationships with my co-authors who are adoptees, therapists, and adoptee therapists. My chapter, "Red Flags that a Therapist Could Do More Harm Than Good" is a pet topic for me. One of the reasons I chose to specialize in adoption therapy is because I kept hearing over and over from adoptive parents "we went to a therapist and they made it worse" or from adoptees "the therapists I saw just didn't get it". While not all concerns relate back to adoption, it is important to work with someone who understands the impact that adoption can have on an individual and a family.
A must-read for adoptees, adoptive parents, first families, and vitally, mental health professionals. With writing by adoptees, adoptive parents, and clinicians, Adoption Therapy is a first-of-its-kind and wholly unique reference book, providing insight, advice, and personal stories which highlight the specific nature of the adoptee experience. Topics Include:
- The psychological dangers in leaving trauma and grief buried and unaddressed
- The importance of community in healing the wounds of separation
- Understanding the physical and psychological effects of transracial adoption
- Attachment—including the inability to attach, inappropriate attachment, and the myth of Reactive Attachment Disorder
- Conception by rape: an adoptee speaks out
- Co-dependency, intimacy, and creating closeness
- The life-long effects of pre- and perinatal trauma
- Processing complex trauma, complex grief, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Specific concerns for Late Discovery Adoptees
- The relationship among trauma, anger and rage, and substance abuse
- For adoptive parents and adoptees: red flags when working with a therapist
- “Untherapied” Adoption Wounds—by Karen Belanger
- Red Flags that a Therapist Could Do More Harm Than Good—by Brooke Randolph, LMHC
- Approaches for Repairing the Wounds of Separation—by Rebecca Hawkes and Suzanne Schecker, Ed.D, LMHC
- The Myth of Reactive Attachment Disorder—by Jodi Haywood
- Heeding the Body’s Messages: Physiological Implications of Prenatal Trauma—by Marcy Axness, Ph.D.
- Creating Closeness and Creating Distance: What Therapists Need to Know To Help Adoptees Increase Their Capacity for Emotional Connection—by Karen Caffrey, LPC, JD
- Perspective of an Adoptee Conceived by Rape—by Kristi Lado
- The Transracial Adoptee and Body Dysmorphia—by Lucy Sheen
- Late Discovery Adoptees: The Original Victims of Identity Theft—by Lesli Maul, LCSW
- Adoptees and Intimacy:Of Fear, Yearning, and Restoring the Capacity for Connection—by Jodi Haywood and Karen Caffrey, LPC, JD
- Beauty, Control, and Adoption—by Mila C. Konomos
- Co-Dependency in Adoptees—by Lisa Floyd and Corie Skolnick
Read bios for each contributor here
So often adoptees come to see me after having been in therapy for years with other therapists who dismiss or overlook how adoption has shaped their experience. Unfortunately very few graduate programs and clinical sites offer training or information on working with the adoption community. "Adoption Therapy" is an essential read for therapists and those in the mental health field. It's written by adoptees and clinicians specializing in adoption and attachment related issues. Adoptive parents, adoptees, and anyone who is part of the adoption or foster care community will absolutely benefit from this book.
I've just finished reading this book and -- wow! This is a much-needed resource for all members of the adoption community, but possibly most helpful for the adopted adult. For those of us who continue to struggle with adoption-related issues, this book is especially important, as it offers practical suggestions for overcoming them.
I applaud the contributors, many of whom share very personal experiences, and I hope readers will keep an open mind as they're reading the essays. The real-life stories don't necessarily reflect the commonly-held belief that adoption is always good and always best for the child. With the help of resources such as this, however, hurting adoptees (and those who love them) can start to learn how to heal.
This was a very informative and comprehensive book with varying perspectives and experiences within the adoption community. As an adoptive mother and therapist who works with adoptive families, I found this book a valuable resource. I plan on buying many copies to encourage all that work in the adoptive field to read it. The adoption experience is different for all as the book illustrates from the many contributors that share their life journeys. I applaud their honesty and candor as they help all involved in adoption progress towards healing.
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