ADOPTION COUNSELLING

What is Adoption Counselling?

 

Adoption counselling supports adoptive parents, adopted children and youth, adopted adults, birth parents, members of the adoptive family, teachers and related professionals. Adoption counselling addresses experiences with the recovery of complex or unresolved loss, expanding one's identity beyond an adoption role, and the development of secure and satisfying relationships.

 

Since 1988 I have evolved a counselling approach that supports broadening our understanding of adoption trends and practices and how to facilitate healing in adoption.

 

Adoption presents unique challenges that need to be validated and acknowledged. Support, guidance, information and skills create a platform for understanding and adjusting to the lifelong impact of adoption. Ultimately, my professional goal is to generate experiences of self-empowerment and the discovery of new choices about how to live one’s life with the experience of adoption.

 

HOW I SUPPORT YOU IN YOUR ADOPTION EXPERIENCE:

 

  • Psycho-education: Identifying and normalizing core issues that are unique to adoption.

     

  • Adoption contexts: Adoption policies, practices and laws that influence psycho-social issues in healing adoption.

     

  • Attachment Therapy: Forming healthy relationship patterns between parents and children, family members and in adult relationships.

     

  • Talk therapy: validating your adoption story and experiences.

     

  • Communication skills that support talking with others about your adoption role and experiences.

     

  • Trauma Therapy to heal separation, multiple caregivers, and abusive or neglectful relationships.

     

  • Skills for managing anxiety, social anxiety, and depression

     

  • Information and skills to cope with complex loss and ambigious loss and grief

 

  • Family and Couple therapy

     

  • Child and youth counselling

     

  • Art Therapy to encourage expression in images when words can’t be found

     

  • Group therapy for adopted adults, birth parents and adoptive parents Search and Reunion support group
 
 

 

ADOPTION ISSUES THAT I WORK WITH:

 

Adopted Adult Issues:

 

  • Sharing your adoption story to broaden your understanding.

  • Experiences of abandonment, separation and loss, belonging and acceptance.

  • Patterns of connection, attachment, mattering and developing relationships

  • Multiple foster placements or challenging adoptive family experiences

  • Identity concerns; feeling different living with a dual-identity, cultural identity

  • Feeling worthy, self-acceptance, self-esteem and feeling good enough.

  • Living with the ebb and flow of loss and feeling  unsettled.

  • Managing feelings of shame, anxiety, depression, control or anger.

  • Deciding to step into search and reunion relationships with the birth family.

  • Navigating reunion relationships.

  • Legal issues, personal rights and social policy in adoption.

  • Making peace with adoption and cultivating self compassion

 

 

Birth Mothers, Birth Fathers, Birth Grandparents:

 

  • Living with the decision of relinquishing a birth child.

  • Experiences with family and medical system during your pregnancy.

  • Living with feelings of separation and loss

  • Deciding to keep your birth mother role or your reunion a secret from family and friends.

  • Feelings of confusion, guilt or shame

  • Deciding to search or reunite with your birth child( now adult).

  • Experiencing the stages of reunion and developing relationships

  • Experiences that stall or abruptly end reunion contact.

  • Legal issues, personal rights and social policy in adoption

  • Making peace with adoption and cultivating self-compassion

 

Adoptive Parents:

 

  • Living with the experience of infertility, reproductive technologies.

  • Explaining egg or sperm donor (person donor) to a child

  • Deciding to adopt a child from Canada or another country.

  • Becoming a foster parent and later adopting your child.

  • Talking about adoption with your adopted child and or adult.

  • Open adoption and the challenges and benefits for adopted children and youth

  • Psychological and social developmental stages specific to adopted children, teens and adults.

  • Supporting your adopted adult through a search and reunion experience.

  • Marital separation and divorce and family loss and the impact for an adopted child.

  • Legal issues, personal rights and social policy in adoption.

  • Making peace with adoption and cultivating self-compassion.