Adoption Sensitive Psychotherapy and Play Therapy

How it feels to be adopted ... I am Sam

Published on Dec 20, 2012, by samfuterman

A long time ago...my parents made the best INTERNATIONAL purchase ever! ME!!!!!!!! ...insert woody allen joke here...i dare you...

Adopted young people have two sets of parents which at different stages of development gives rise to numerous delicate and complex challenges and questions.
 
Inter-country adopted young people not only have two sets of parents but also come from a different ethnic background which adds to the complexity of developing a coherent sense of self for the child, adolescent and indeed adult. 
The adopted ADOLESCENT asks 'Who am I?'
In their videos the two young people, SAM - 'How it feels to be adopted...I am Sam' - and musician DANakaDAN - 'I am about to meet my biological parents and twin brother...WHAT?!' - describe this challenge in a vibrant and moving way.
 
Some adolescents find this challenge confusing and emotionally overwhelming. Adoption sensitive therapy is helping young young people to make sense of how they feel and who they are. 

How does Therapy Work? 

I always meet with the parent/s or guardians for an initial intake session before seeing the young person. The initial intake session is vital for the therapist in order to gather information about the child. Moreover, it allows you to speak about your concerns in detail. It also provides you with the opportunity to ask as many questions as you wish about the specific therapy modality, my professional background and other treatment options. 

After the intake meeting with the parent/s I meet with the child or adolescent for 4 initial intake sessions to get to know him/her and to gain a preliminary understanding of the presenting problem. Following this initial intake period I will meet with the parent/s again to give feedback and to discuss my recommendations.

Parents you will be offered regular meetings with myself to discuss the progress your child is making. Those review meetings also can be used to discuss ongoing concerns and worries you may have while your child is in treatment.

 

A therapy session is 50 minutes long. The fee is 90 Euros (incl. VAT)

Video Call therapy sessions are 80 Euros (inlcl. Vat).

Payment is made via the SumUp invoice system.

For more information on Online Counselling please click here.

Counselling & Psychotherapy is governed by a strict professional Code of Ethics click here and is respectful of all cultures, sexual orientations and beliefs. 

I'm About to Meet my Biological Parents and Twin Brother...WHAT?!

Published on Aug 10, 2013, DANakaDAN

One month ago I was told they found my biological family, which included a twin brother. My mind was blown. I'm about to embark on a journey back to Korea to explore this story against the backdrop of the International Korean Adoption Association summit in Seoul. 

Adoption Sensitive Play Therapy for Children

Psychodynamic play therapy helps children who are experiencing difficulties with their emotions or behaviour. The aim of the therapy is to try to understand those difficulties and to bring about positive change. 

Therapy is helping children with: 

​​

  • Developmental Trauma 

  • Attachment 

  • Nightmares

  • General anxieties, lots of worries 

  • Separation-anxiety

  • Behavioural difficulties

  • Bed wetting

  • Low self-esteem

  • Feeling unhappy, sad moods

  • Struggling in making friends

  • Difficulties in school

  • Bullying

  • Hyper activity

  • Struggling with concentration

  • Bereavement

  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

  • A new sibling, change in family structure & dynamics

  • Moving to a new place or attending a new school / transitions

  • Parental separation

Adoption

                   

Adoption is sad and happy at the same time. You get a new family but you lose one too.

Sometimes you get adopted because your birth family doesn’t have enough money or they are too young. I dream about them sometimes. I wonder how they are and if they want to see me. I know I want to see them.

I like the family I have. I was born in Monaghan. I can’t really remember what it was like when I was a baby but I know my first family loved me as much as my second family loves me.

I like the school I’m in. I have all my friends there; they are really nice to me.

I have one horse and one pony, two donkeys and a cat. I like animals and they like me.

When I am older I would like to see my birth mother and go shopping with her

 

Muireann (age 10)                                                                                 

Murieann was born in Ireland. She was fostered with the view to adoption at five months. (Harris, 2008, p.80). 

How does Therapy Work? 

I always meet with the parent/s or guardian/s for an initial intake session before seeing the young person. The initial intake session is vital for the therapist in order to gather information about the child. Moreover, it allows you (parents) to speak about your concerns in detail. It also provides you with the opportunity to ask as many questions as you wish about the specific therapy modality, my professional background and other treatment options. 

After the intake session with the parent/s I meet with the child or young person for 4 preliminary sessions to get to know him/her and to gain a preliminary understanding of the presenting problem. Following this initial intake period I again meet with the parents to provide feedback and to discuss my recommendations. 

In the therapy session the child will have toys to play with (suitable for their age) as well as some writing/drawing material and stationery. This is to help your child to communicate what is on his or her mind. 

Parents, you will be offered regular meetings with myself to discuss the progress your child is making, as well as all the ongoing concerns and worries you may have while your child is attending.

A therapy session is 50 minutes long. The fee is 85 Euros (incl. VAT)

Counselling & Psychotherapy is governed by a strict professional Code of Ethics click here and is respectful of all cultures, sexual orientations and beliefs.

Developmental Trauma / Bottom Up Approach

Some children had very difficult and distressing experiences in infancy before being adopted which can have a significant impact on further development post adoption. Listen to Dr. Bruce Perry who is an expert in this field.. 

Dr. Bruce Perry, Neuroscientist & Child Trauma Expert

Francesca Marguerite Maximé, Published on Dec 7, 2018

Dr. Bruce Perry, MD, PhD, child psychiatrist, is author of the extraordinary book, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook—What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing, has been instrumental in changing the way mental health practitioners understand and treat the most wounded and vulnerable children in our society. He’s founder and senior fellow at  the Child Trauma Academy in Houston, TX, he’s a professor of medicine and international consultant on children’s mental health. He will be in Santa Fe in September, at an early childhood symposium at Santa Fe Community College.

Ines' experience working with adopted young people and their families

​Ines worked as a child psychotherapist in Dublin based Schools for over 12 years. Her work includes engaging with both, adoptive and foster families around school and family issues. She also worked as a volunteer counsellor for Barnardos Post Adoption Service seeing adopted adults for brief therapy. 

 

In 2013 Ines wanted to deepen her understanding of adoption and wrote her MSc dissertation on adoption: Developing a sense of self as an adopted person: A psychoanalytic approach (Muller, 2013). Further specific training was completed in the UK, Northern Ireland and in the Repubic of Ireland. For more details please click here.

To read the Abstract of my MSc Dissertation on Adoption please click on the PDF: 

Overall, Ines has extensive experience in working with fostered and adopted children & adolescents, both domestic adopted/fostered young people and inter-country or inter-racially adopted/fostered young people.  

Booklist / References

 

Dennis, L. (2014). Adoption Therapy: Perspectives from Clients and Clinicians on Processing and Healing Post-Adoption Issues by Laura Dennis, Canada: Entourage Pubishing

Nancy Verrier (2004). Coming Home to Self: The Adopted Child Grows Up. 

Brodzinsky, D.M., Schecter, M.D., Henig, R. (1993). Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self 

Betty Jean Lifton PhD. (1994). Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest For Wholeness

Purvis, K., Cross, D.R., Sunshine, W. L. (2007). The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family

Nancy Verrier (1993). The Primal Wound: understanding the adopted child. London: BAAF Adoption & Fostering

Harris, P. (2006). In search of belonging: Reflections by transracially adopted people. London: BAAF Adoption & Fostering.

Harris, P. (2008). The colours in me: Writing and poetry by adopted children and young people. London: BAAF 

Melina, L (1990). The seven core issues of adoption. Journal of the Adoption Council of Ontario

Silverstein,D & Kaplan, S (1982). Lifelong issues in Adoption. American Adoption Congress

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Contact

Ines Muller, MSc, MA, MIFCAPP, MICP

Child & Adolescent Therapy Dublin

Professional Online Counselling Support

          087 924 19 36

          info@child-psychotherapy.com