What Therapists Don’t Know About Adoption Can Hurt Their Clients: Therapy Chat Podcast Interview

by | Feb 11, 2024 | Adoption, Therapy

It was a privilege to be invited back to Therapy Chat Podcast to talk more about the complexities of adoption. I have been haunted for years by the stories of harm caused by therapists when working with adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents and families. The data suggests that all therapists are working with the adoption constellation whether or not they realize it. Unfortunately members of the adoption constellation are likely to make an excuse and “quiet quit” working with a therapist rather than to tell them that they said something offensive or their own bias and assumptions have gotten in the way of the therapeutic relationship. I have specialized in adoption therapy for twenty years, but I will never stop listening, learning, and growing in critical consciousness. The adoption constellation deserves access to more therapists with more knowledge and understanding, and I am passionate about sharing information and training therapists so we can all do better.

Therapy Chat podcast host Laura Reagan wrote, “This conversation explores the complex and often overlooked aspects of adoption, focusing on the experiences of adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents. I talk about my journey of learning about adoption as a therapist, and we talk about the need for a deeper understanding of the subject. The conversation delves into the challenges faced by adoptees and the impact of adoption on identity and mental health. It also highlights the role of colonization, patriarchy, classism, and racism in the Western adoption system. The episode emphasizes the importance for therapists to educate themselves about adoption to better support their clients. Resources and related episodes are provided for further exploration. Here’s some of what we covered:

  • Adoption is a complex topic that requires a deeper understanding and exploration of its various aspects.
  • Adoptees often face unique challenges, including higher rates of suicide and the conflicting feelings about searching for their birth parents.
  • The experiences and perspectives of adoptive parents and birth parents can differ significantly, leading to confusion and distress for adoptees.
  • Colonization, patriarchy, classism, and racism play a role in the Western adoption system and should be considered when discussing adoption.

You can listen to the podcast here or watch the video here

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