Post Adoption Counseling and Support

FamilyWorks Together provides counseling for families formed through adoption and guardianship as well as for families involved in foster care or who are caring for kin. We work with individuals and families who came together through domestic, international or child welfare adoption. We welcome birth parents, blended families and those who achieved pregnancy through reproductive technologies. Our attachment focused, trauma responsive, adoption/permanency competent therapy assists families with a variety of challenges to support the whole family. These challenges may include:
  • Parenting, Partner/Marital, Sibling, Identity, Behavioral Challenges
  • Post adoption and postpartum depression
  • Grief and Loss
  • Simple and Complex Trauma
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) or neurodevelopmental differences (due to prenatal injury)
  • Emotional and Behavioral Regulation
  • Attachment Disorders
  • General Mental health concerns
  • Birthparent issues
  • Search and reunion

Parent Coaching and Post-Adoption Counseling

Another post adoption counseling option available through FamilyWorks Together is access to parent coaching, where staff can provide you with a wealth of information, guidance, support, and advice in person or over the phone. Coaching can help parents cope with common stressors that can arise, including:
  • Learning how to set effective limits with your child
  • Discovering how to practice teamwork with your partner
  • Learning how to best manage parenting as a single parent
  • Understanding your child’s behavior (and the message he or she is sending)
  • Effectively managing stress
Download the Parent Coaching Factsheet

Our approaches include:

Attachment Focused Therapy

Attachment focused therapy builds a secure emotional attachment between the child and their parents that can allow the child and family to heal and move towards healthy family functioning. Some children who were adopted at birth and had prenatal trauma, medical trauma, as well as those who had multiple caregivers after birth may have not developed a secure or organized attachment style. Children raised by the parents they were born to and experienced medical trauma, post-partum depression or trauma within the family system are challenged in their attachment style. Our work focuses on building parent child connection through attunement with their child, increasing sensitivity, developing a reflective function, and teaching attachment-facilitating parent approaches. Attachment focused therapy is relational and builds connection.

Adoption and Permanency Competent Therapy

Adoption-competent therapists understand that the losses associated with adoption may cause a spectrum of challenges for a child. Embracing a child’s history from the time of pregnancy (prenatal exposures) to post birth separation and understanding the impact of abuse or neglect experienced before the child was adopted is critical to a holistic approach to healing. We believe that children thrive within the context of healthy family relationships and with parents who have the skills to support children whose behavior may be hard to understand. We have a working understanding of loss, attachment, trauma, and brain development, as well as knowledge of issues associated with adoption. We understand the critical importance of historical information for a child to embrace all parts of him or herself. We embrace whatever relationship the adoptee and family have with the birth family and provide support to keep that relationship healthy.

Trauma Informed-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Trauma Informed-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is a therapeutic intervention designed to help children, adolescents, and their parents overcome the impact of traumatic events. The focus of treatment is to assist the child or adolescent to develop coping strategies for traumatic stress reactions, and reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, or acting out behavior which are common in children exposed to trauma. These sessions include individual sessions for child or adolescent, individual sessions for parents, and conjoint sessions between parent and child or adolescent.

Sand Tray Therapy

Sand Tray Therapy is a technique we use to help children express their thoughts and feelings when words are not enough. This type of therapy allows your child to use a sandbox, toy figures, and sometimes water, to create scenes of miniature worlds that reflect their inner thoughts, struggles, and concerns. During a session, a FamilyWorks Together clinician will observe the scene your child has created without interruption. After they have finished creating a scene, the clinician will discuss your child’s choices, their arrangement pattern in the sand, and the potential meanings. After talking through their choices, the child may choose to make changes to the world they have created in sand.

Child Centered Play Therapy

Child Centered Play Therapy is for children ages 3 to 10 who are facing social, emotional, behavioral and relational challenges. The primary goal of CCPT is to unleash your child’s potential, decrease their symptomatic behaviors, and improve their overall mental wellbeing. Children who participate in CCPT will experience full acceptance, empathy, and understanding from a FamilyWorks Together clinician and learn to process their feelings through play and symbols.

Strength Based Therapy

Strength-based therapy is a type of positive psychotherapy and counseling that focuses more on your internal strengths and resourcefulness, and less on weaknesses, failures, and shortcomings. This focus sets up a positive mindset that helps you build on you best qualities, find your strengths, improve resilience and change worldview to one that is more positive. A positive attitude, in turn, can help your expectations of yourself and others become more reasonable.

Melanie Geddings-Hayes, LCSW-C
Director of Clinical Services