Treating Families Formed by Adoption

CE Hours: 6.0

Thursday, 12/6/18, WellSpan Philhaven, Mount Gretna, PA
Thursday, 12/13/18, PA Counseling Services, Lebanon, PA
Thursday, 12/20/18, Merakey, Colmar, PA

As more families formed by adoption receive intensive in-home services for help with their children presenting with SED, it is imperative that clinicians become “adoption competent.” Sometimes a difficulty that a child is experiencing can be easily linked to adoption, while in other situations, issues that seem to be related to adoption turn out to not be related at all.  It is important to understand that whether or not the adoptive family is the original source of the child’s problems, it is within the context of the new family relationships that the child will begin to heal and recover from problems.  Therapists can be more effective when informed by an understanding of the challenges that are unique to adopted children and their adoptive families. This workshop describes these unique challenges of adoptive families and explains what it means to be an adoption competent therapist.  Adoption informed strategies are described and demonstrated through video for approaching the therapeutic alliance, understanding the negative interactional cycle and presenting problems, and treatment.  Specialized interventions are presented that target traumatic loss and separation, attachment, and identity.

Learning Objectives:

At the completion of the workshop, participants should be able to:

  1. Describe two family life cycle issues unique to families formed by adoption.
  2. Explain how complex developmental trauma affects attachment in adopted youth.
  3. Describe how adoption issues play into presenting problems and resultant symptoms.
  4. Practice adoption communication to address the barriers that may inhibit greater openness and honesty.
  5. Name two therapeutic interventions that strengthen the caregivers in families formed by adoption.
  6. Distinguish interventions targeting adoption loss and identity

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