Every adopted child is unique and has the potential to flourish in a loving home. However, because of the nature of adoption, there are several potential challenges that many adoptive parents will need to be prepared to confront. These include the aftereffects of trauma or neglect, feelings of abandonment, questions of identity, and social and emotional challenges related to race.
Some of the issues adopted children may struggle with include: a sense of abandonment, behavioral challenges, or attachment disorders. Children who experienced trauma or neglect may distrust the adults in their life and have difficulty cording with caregivers. It is important to understand your child’s issues and how they may relate to trauma versus just acting out. Seeking help for traumatized children can help parents put their child on a path to improved psychological health.
Therapeutic Practice for Adopted Kids
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CBT can be used for children who have a history of trauma. The cognitive piece works to change negative behaviors by addressing a person’s thoughts or perceptions that can lead to a distorted view. The behavioral piece focuses on modifying habitual responses to triggers or stimuli. CBT pulls together many techniques currently used by practitioners, such as behavior and anger management, affect regulation, problem-solving, social skills training, cognitive restructuring, and communication. The advantage of this program is that all of these techniques, relevant handouts, training examples, and outcome measures are integrated in a structured approach that practitioners and supervisors can easily access and use.
Group Therapy: In group therapy, a small number of participants meet together under the guidance of a professionally trained therapist. During this time, group members are able to increase their social development skills and also help others develop their skills as well. Group therapy can help children gain a feeling of acceptance from their peers, improve self-esteem, teach self-regulation skills, and provide an opportunity for them to “role play” the lessons they learn in the group with their peers.
Family Therapy: Family therapy is a type of psychological counseling (psychotherapy) that can help family members improve communication and resolve conflicts. Family therapy is often short term and can include all family members or just those who are willing and able to participate. Family members who participate should be open to discussing difficult family issues and be willing to openly and respectfully communicate with other family members. Family therapy can teach both parents and children skills needed to deepen family connections, even through stressful times.
However you choose to work through your child’s issues, it is important to see your child as a whole. Not every issue is tied to their adoption. Making sure that your child’s emotional and physical needs are being met is a good first step towards their overall mental health.
Solstice RTC Can Help
Family therapy interventions are at the heart of our clinical program. We firmly believe in the strong nature and immense importance of family relationships. Research studies on the effectiveness of residential treatment indicate that the most significant factor in creating positive long-term outcomes for the child is parental involvement in the treatment process. Parental involvement is defined not only by the parents being actively involved in the child’s treatment, but being actively involved in their own treatment and growth process.
The core of our programming is based on healing damaged relationships and restoring healthy connections within the family system. In addition to weekly family therapy sessions by phone or video-conference, we also invite families to come to participate in face-to-face family therapy sessions. For more information please call (801) 919-8858.