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Announcing a New Writing Project: Adoption and Therapy

by Laura on March 6th, 2014

Forthcoming in early Summer 2014:

“Adoption Therapy, Perspectives from Clients and Clinicians on Processing and Healing Post-Adoption Issues”

 

Image from “Book On Green Field” by hyena reality, freedigitalphotos.net

Wait, wait! Before you get your panties in a bunch, I know … I KNOW how fraught such a project is …

You may be thinking … But Laura!

Adoptees are not damaged!

Not all adoptees need therapy!

By constantly self-victimizing, we perpetuate our “adopted child-ness,” and keep others from giving us the rights we deserve!

You’re setting back the cause! How will politicians take us seriously if we’re constantly pathologizing our experience?

How can you need therapy for experiencing an injustice? Do the Occupy Wall Street protesters need therapy because they are highlighting and injustice? No! They are justified in their anger!

True, true. **

However. Let me address things in order:

Just because we examine the inherent loss and trauma (that affects adoptees to various degrees) of adoption (because adoptees literally lost a family before they gained one) … doesn’t mean that we are damaged.

Just because we write about how various mental health diagnoses relate to the adoption experience, doesn’t mean all adoptees should be in therapy.

Just because we desire to discuss and unpack our Issues (or even potential issues—before they become issues with a capital I), doesn’t mean we are navel-gazing self-victimizers.

Processing our emotions and advocating for equal access to Original Birth Records are not mutually exclusive activities.

It’s possible some activists do in fact need therapy. Just sayin’.

 

Call for Contributors


The idea is two-fold:

1. Pair up a mental health provider (MHP) with an adoptee, first or adoptive parent—and have them discuss a specific issue.

2. Write on your own. Adoptees are uniquely qualified to talk about how adopted-ness played out in their lives.

Adoptees (and those who love/resent/hide from them) go into therapy because they feel *something* unpleasant, but they can’t get to the root of it. Many therapists are woefully bad at helping with unaddressed post-adoption issues.

“Therapeutic conversations” could be a great resource for people heading into therapy, or finding and vetting a therapist. It’s like, show a MHP a chapter and say, “Read THIS. Can you help me?”

Sometimes adoptees need therapy to figure that out, but the reality is that our basic adoptee-ness does not mean we are damaged or crazy. We may need therapy to realize and understand and process how adoption affected (affects!) us. We may need someone capable to help us process and move through maladaptive, self-destructive behaviors.

SO MANY therapists are at a complete loss as to how to address the underlying cause— which can be intertwined with adoption experiences. (NOT ALL, I know!) But the moment we look at something through our adoption glasses, we can decide whether it applies or not.

The expanding topic list:

Complex trauma
Depression
Anxiety
Perfection, over-working ourselves, avoidance of deep emotion
Creating closeness/Creating distance
Understanding an emotional trigger and overcoming it
Adoptee abuse
Maternal narcissism
Bi-polar, borderline personality disorders–how much of that are unaddressed post-adoption issues?

What are your ideas?

Email me laura @ adoptedrealitymemoir.com (without the spaces) an abstract of 100-300 words, detailing your project idea.

If accepted, 3000-5000 word articles will be due May 31, 2014.

** If you’re still skeptical as to how awesome these anthologies turn out, OR if you haven’t read it yet, head over to Amazon to purchase Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age, An Anthology. Based on the reviews, you won’t be disappointed. (If you buy the paperback, you can get the ebook for 99 cents!)

 

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From → Adoption

11 Comments
  1. Laura… Just adoptees? Of the rest of us too? Just want to make sure before I share! Thanks C~

    • Laura Dennis permalink

      Sorry I wasn't clear! No — all are welcome. We need more first moms!!!!

  2. carlysullens permalink

    Hmm, I am interested in contributing. Just need to sit on it awhile and come up with an idea.

  3. 4gottenadoptee permalink

    I'm based in the UK and very interested in submitting – is that ok?

    • Laura Dennis permalink

      Yes! That would be amazing — it's international!

  4. eagoodlife permalink

    Great idea! I'll try and knock something out but health not working well for me at the moment.x

  5. Linda Babashoff born 7-11-66 as Birth Speeth Davis permalink

    I’m hoping someone knows who my birth mother could have been because all I got was her name S. Davis, originally from North CarolinA but had moved out here to Los Angeles Calif and was a dancer and singer she met my birth father J Speeth got pregnant at 20 and had me July 11, 1966 at Cedars of Lebanon, which is now Cedar Sinai Hospital.

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  7. Adaption therapy has been the most effective thing if you are willing to see some good changes in your life. I really am always interested to so such mid relieving things.

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