Adoption-Competent Therapy

Given an awareness that separation of a child from the mother inflicts deep, often unconscious, wounds – what is a method to achieve some kind of healing regarding an event that won’t change ?

I find it interesting that my mom, an adoptee, believed she had been stolen til the day she died.  There was some basis in her belief, as she did know that she was a Georgia Tann baby and that many of the children that Tann placed were not legitimately available for adoption.

I also believe that it may have been a very deep seated memory at a pre-verbal time in her infant life from having just seen her mom (she had been placed in an orphanage ONLY for temporary care while her mom tried to get on her feet) and then given to a complete stranger who took her by train from Memphis TN to Nogales AZ.  One can see how without words to explain her experience, the feeling of having been STOLEN dominated her belief about the “inappropriate” (my mom’s word for it to the state of TN when she tried to get her adoption file released to her) way she had been separated from a mother who never intended to give her up.  Such a sad story.

For today’s adoptees that wish to find some relief from their own wounds there is the possibility of therapeutic intervention.  If choosing to go that route, it is important to locate a practitioner competent in adoption related trauma.

All adopted children — of all ages — are at risk for changes in their brain’s chemistry and structure. These alterations don’t just go away with time and, if not effectively treated, can become increasingly problematic as a child grows older.

An adopted child knows they are different and some of their behaviors are not acceptable. This can shatter any self-esteem they may be trying to hang on to.  Deep down in this child’s very core is a deep black pit of shame and grief.

Adoptees are over-represented nationally in the mental/behavioral health field. That means that the percentage of adoptees seeking mental/behavioral health services is much higher than the percentage in the general population.  If you are going to seek therapy, educate yourself on what makes a therapist adoption competent.  You don’t want to go down the general diagnosis pathway that leads to a medication intervention and never acknowledges the core problem.

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