Working with Adoptive Parents: Research, Theory, and Therapeutic Interventions

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9781118109120: Working with Adoptive Parents: Research, Theory, and Therapeutic Interventions
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Practical techniques for guiding parents through the stages of adoption and beyond

"This book makes a significant contribution to both a greater understanding of adoption and its complex dynamic constellations as well as to serving those who are or come across adoption families, many of whom count on us adoption-informed mental health professionals to clarify and facilitate the challenges they face."
—From the Foreword by Henri Parens, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Thomas Jefferson University, Training and Supervising Analyst, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia

"What most people don't know about adoption could fill a book—and this is the book. Finally sorting myth from science, Working with Adoptive Parents will give therapists, and quite a few nonprofessionals considering adoption, the real story of what it means to make this momentous choice. Better yet, it does so without letting the data speak in place of the parents themselves, in all their fear, doubt, and joy."
—Jesse Green, author of The Velveteen Father: An Unexpected Journey to Parenthood

Editors Virginia Brabender and April Fallon are clinical psychologists and also adoptive parents whose families are acquainted with both the uncertainty and joy of adoption. In Working with Adoptive Parents, they offer an in-depth treatment of the distinctive needs, feelings, impulses, expectations, and conflicts that adoptive parents experience through the stages of adoption and beyond. This volume offers a comprehensive picture of adoption through an exploration of the experiences and developmental processes of the adoptive parent.

Featuring contributions from mental health professionals whose careers have focused on work with families through the adoption process, this unique book:

  • Covers the theory, research, and practice of adoptive parenting throughout the life cycle
  • Explores the issues unique to the adoptive mother and adoptive father as they traverse the stages of parenting
  • Offers a close look at families with special needs children
  • Acknowledges and explores the great diversity among adoptive families and the kinship networks in which they are embedded
  • Examines attachment issues between adoptive parent and child

Providing a framework for therapists to conceptualize their work with adoptive parents, Working with Adoptive Parents clarifies and facilitates the journey that many of these families face.

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About the Author:

VIRGINIA M. BRABENDER, PhD, diplomate in clinical psychology (ABPP) and APA Fellow, is a professor at the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology at Widener University. She is the past president of the Society for Personality Assessment.

APRIL E. FALLON, PhD, is a member of the psychology faculty at Fielding Graduate University and an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Drexel University College of Medicine. She has received numerous awards for her teaching of psychiatric medical residents and was awarded the 2012 Psychiatric Educator Award by the Philadelphia Psychiatric Society.

Review:

"This book makes a significant contribution to both a greater understanding of adoption and its complex dynamic constellations as well as to serving those who are or come across adoption families, many of whom count on us adoption-informed mental health professionals to clarify and facilitate the challenges they face."
From the Foreword by Henri Parens, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Thomas Jefferson University, Training & Supervising Analyst, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia

"What most people don't know about adoption could fill a book – and this is the book. Finally sorting myth from science, Working with Adoptive Parents will give therapists, and quite a few nonprofessionals considering adoption, the real story of what it means to make this momentous choice. Better yet, it does so without letting the data speak in place of the parents themselves, in all their fear, doubt, and joy."
Jesse Green, author of The Velveteen Father: An Unexpected Journey to Parenthood

"With adoption, including those that across international boundaries, on the rise, the salutary impact of human kindness as well the tragic potential for developmental complications has greatly increased. Brabender and Fallon, the editors of this well-organized volume, are keenly aware of this. They have cast their net wide and brought together the perspectives of attachment theory, empirical research, and clinical experiences to deepen our understanding of the challenges faced by adoptive parents. Conceptually rich and yet unabashedly pragmatic, their book addresses the issues of parent-child bonding, the subjective dilemmas of adoptive mothers, the role of adoptive fathers, and parenting children with special health care needs. Attention is also given to the specific tasks involving the adoption of very young children as well as to the resurgence of difficulties during adopted children's adolescence. This wide-ranging discourse consistently maintains a tone of respect, concern, and shared humanity of all of us. A most impressive contribution to the adoption literature indeed!"
Salman Akhtar, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Jefferson Medical College, Training and Supervising Analyst, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia

"This book is a tour de force, a must read for all involved in the world of adoption.  A comprehensive history of adoption, including current controversies, sets the stage. Every chapter is a gem, but contributions on research to inform best practices, the role of the adoptive father, diversity, and adoption of children with special health care needs, help fill significant gaps in the adoption literature. Rich clinical material and the practical points summarized throughout, demonstrate the wisdom of seasoned practitioners."
Jennifer Bonovitz, PhD, Supervising and Training Analyst, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia

"This volume is a major contribution to our understanding of adoptive parenting. The book is thorough, full of helpful insights, case studies, and perspectives on the complicated dance involved for adoptive parents and their children. The portrait of adoptive parenting is both hopeful and realistic, and is framed with thoughtful attention to what we actually know from careful research. This book should be a helpful guide and resource for both mental health professionals and adoptive parents."
Sam Osherson, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Fielding Graduate University, Cambridge, MA

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