When it comes to the world of adoption, finding the right therapist / psychiatry team is essential to developing consistency and future breakthroughs with the healing process. Often when social workers recommend services, they may not look at the best therapy services for the children you are parenting.
We immediately went with a generalized therapy clinic that didn’t really specialize in any specifics and dealt with everything from mental health and mental illness issues from children through adults. If you have any form of insurance, they’ll be happy to take you without much of an in-take or waiting list. We discovered within the first two sessions that this wasn’t a good fit- as my daughter being savvy to the ways of clinicians knew the key words and phrases to say and engaged in ‘play’ therapy to avoid delving deeper into her trust and abandonment issues.
Luckily we sought out a clinic that works specifically with adoptive and foster children, and we were willing to travel to get these services. Ever since establishing a relationship with them, our children have grown immeasurably. The clinician-child relationship took a good 6 months to establish- but they know our children so well that they can tell the truth meter from when both children are trying to feed the therapists a bunch of lies. The psychiatrist also believes in the practice of medication used for functioning- but not to medicate the children so heavily that they are walking zombies. He talks with the family about the latest findings and gives us additional information about natural remedies to consider as an enhancement to their current medication plan.
How do you go about finding the best services? You have to be willing to pound the pavement to advocate for your family. As you meet other adoptive parents, don’t be afraid to ask them for who they use for a clinic. Be prepared to track down clinics in your area through the internet. Be willing to change clinics if you feel that they aren’t a good match up for your child. My wife and I switched therapists for our youngest at the same clinic we currently love- the match up just wasn’t right and we knew that we needed a consistent therapist who wouldn’t change her schedule every 2 weeks.
I believe when it comes to adoption, yes the therapy aspect is mostly for the child but I really believe permanent change occurs when the family involves themselves completely with the process. As you work out problems, the new patterns of behavior will manifest themselves in your day to day life- so from week to week you need to be honest and accurate with what’s going on.
I’d be interested in hearing some of your therapy stories through the years. I’m sure I’ll be telling some of mine from time to time- similar to the one I spoke of in my last post. I don’t own the previous trauma, abuse and neglect that my children experienced previous to living with us- but I am aware of the fact that wherever they’ve been, they bring their past with them like luggage. When they wish to escape their problems, you are the one that needs the training and assistance to help them feel safe and secure.
I just know we are all in this together, and the right therapy has moved mountains away from both of my daughters. They are happier and healthier, as a result leading as much of a comfortable childhood as they can. I’m impressed with their resilence and bounce back ability.
Always remember that even in the darkest days when they seem to be throwing all of the negatives at you- it’s just a protective mechanism, you can give yourself a mental break and they will survive.