Reducing Family Stress

By Dr. Jan Hittelman

We live in a stressful world. Research has shown a link between stress and a wide variety of serious health problems including: hypertension, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, ulcers, neck or low back pain, and even cancer. That’s why it’s important for us to have effective stress management skills. We can start by developing an inventory of our sources of stress or stressors. After close examination, consider stressors that can be eliminated. For example, if over-scheduling is a big source of stress, reducing the number of activities may help to solve the problem. There are, however, many stressors that we cannot eliminate. For those, effective stress management skills are required. Practicing and strengthening these skills can dramatically reduce the level of our subjective stress. Regular exercise, for example, not only helps us physically, but also reduces symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other negative emotional states. Another key stress management technique involves our thinking. We tend to place a lot of stress on ourselves based on our perfectionist, pessimistic, and generally negative thoughts. By trying to be more aware of our thinking and shifting to more rational, logical, positive thoughts (and keeping things in perspective), we can significantly reduce our subjective experience of stress. Finally, practicing relaxation techniques is also beneficial. From simple breathing techniques to visualizing yourself in a peaceful place, relaxation techniques can significantly reduce your stress level.

Family life can also be fraught with stressors. Strategies to reduce family stress include:
• Model and teach effective stress reduction techniques to other family members
• Choose your battles, particularly with your adolescent child
• Make time for fun family activities
• Minimize your involvement in your child’s homework, helping only when asked
• Provide opportunities to share and vent feeling in a supportive environment
• Be more aware of your own level of stress and the impact it has on the family

As we educate ourselves about stress, it is important for us to educate our children. Create opportunities for family discussions, sharing the highs and lows of your day, the stresses experienced and ways to address them. Provide positive feedback for effective stress reduction efforts.

Taking the time to assess your level of stress as well as that of your loved ones, will go a long way to improving everyone’s physical and emotional well-being. Reducing stress will positively impact your family’s relationships and quality of life.

Counseling for Teen Adoption Issues

Counseling for Teen Adoption Issues

Is Your Adopted Teen Isolating, Angry Or Struggling To Connect?

Are you suddenly struggling to connect with your teenager? Has he or she started testing boundaries, acting with anger or aggression or isolating from you? Has your child recently started asking questions about his or her biological parents or become preoccupied with his or her appearance or cultural origin? Are you struggling to maintain boundaries, worried that any conflict may create more distance between you and your teen? Do you feel like you’re walking on eggshells, unsure of what to say or how to communicate to your child how much he or she is loved? Are you constantly trying to help your child feel accepted, but feel that your attempts fail and create more distance and unease?   Do you wonder why now – all of a sudden – your teen is questioning who he or she is, where he or she came from, and pushing away your attempts to demonstrate genuine love and support?

The teenage years are, by definition, a struggle. It’s a time when teens question the world, their place in it and figure out how they are separate individuals from their parents. While all teens struggle with issues of personal and social identity, these issues are almost always more difficult for adopted teens. It’s a natural time for them to ask questions about their biological parents and wonder about the circumstances that led to them being given up. And, it doesn’t matter if your teen was adopted at birth or last week. Regardless of how much you love and support your child, it’s not uncommon for your teenager to feel abandoned, rejected, flawed and unworthy. Your teen may even feel like the adoption was his or her fault. These feelings compound the already challenging social, personal identity, and independence-seeking issues that define the teenage experience. Your teen may be experiencing increased conflicts at school, within peer relationships, struggling with concentration, creating fantasies about his or her biological parents or experiencing depression-like symptoms.

Internal Struggles and Attachment Issues Are Extremely Common For Adopted Teens

The connection and identity issues that your teen is experiencing are very common – in fact, they’re pretty much the norm. Most adopted teens – at some point – question and try to make sense of the circumstances of their adoption. It’s normal for teens to wonder about biological parents and become interested in their cultural heritage – especially if it is different than yours.  It’s also common to experience a disconnection between you and your teen during this time, regardless of how strong and secure your relationship has been in the past. Pushing for space between parent and child is a normal part of teenage development, but it tends to be intensified for adopted teens. It’s likely that your teen’s new thoughts and feelings about his or her adoption may necessitate an examination and reworking of your parent/child relationship. Rather than feeling scary or uncertain, therapy can help you both learn how to navigate new facets of your relationship, which can bring you closer.

Therapy Can Be Extremely Effective For Adopted Teens

Your BPS therapist is highly trained and experienced in counseling for teen adoption issues, and will help your teen identify and address the issues that are causing him or her pain and triggering him or her to withdraw, push boundaries or act out with anger. As your therapist and teen develop a trusting relationship, your teenager will have a safe space in which to explore who he or she is, how he or she fits into family, school and the larger community and what his or her strengths and supports are. Your therapist can help your teenager see choices and opportunities to connect, which they may not have seen before. For adopted teenagers, therapy can be an opening and empowering experience.

In therapy, your teen can work on the self-esteem, abandonment and relationship issues that often come with being adopted. As your teen explores these issues, he or she can learn how to appreciate and celebrate his or her own uniqueness, as well as  both the similarities and the differences between him or herself and his or her family.  These realizations can minimize conflict, begin to break down emotional walls and create stronger connections within your family.

Therapy can be extremely valuable during the teenage years – especially for adopted teens. Learning how to create, navigate and maintain healthy relationship is a skill that your teen can carry throughout life. Your teen can also develop a strong sense of self, healthy coping skills and the ability to connect with others in healthy and meaningful ways. Addressing adoption issues now – which were bound to surface in time anyway – can help lay the groundwork for the emotional and social skills that your child needs to navigate relationships, work, school, and family now and in the future.

But, you still may have questions or concerns…

We think that therapy could help, but are concerned about costs. Adoption is expensive, and we’ve already spent a lot of money.

This is your child’s life and wellbeing. Addressing your teen’s adoption issues now may prevent a host of life-long problems and patterns from occurring as he or she leaves your home and enters adulthood. The investment in your teen’s emotional health may not only address the related identity, relationship and self-esteem issues, but also alleviate future struggles. Almost all adopted teens struggle with feelings of abandonment, and many experience difficulty forming long-term, intimate relationships. Addressing these issues in therapy now can help your teen feel better about his or herself and strengthen the ability to develop lasting, healthy relationships now and throughout his or her life.

Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to work specifically with adolescent adoption issues or who they or their teen couldn’t relate with – which is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct a referral assessment and match your teen with a therapist who is trained and experienced to work with teens and adoption and whose personality is a good match for your child’s. Once you find that good match, making a commitment to your child, yourself and your family may be one of the most valuable investments there is. Imagine everyone in your home feeling and functioning better on a regular basis and ask yourself what that’s worth.

If money still is an issue, you can talk with your BPS therapist to see if they work on a sliding scale. They may also be able to help you find a community resource to help offset cost.

I’m afraid that therapy will shine a light on all the problems and make my child feel even worse.

You may be right. Oftentimes dealing with difficult emotions – in therapy or otherwise – can make teens feel worse before they can feel better. But, your teen can feel better.

The feelings that your child is experiencing now are unlikely to go away on their own and could even worsen if they are not addressed. There are underlying reasons for your child’s emotions and behaviors. Addressing these issues and related feelings in therapy now can help your teen feel better sooner. It can also prevent negative emotional and behavioral patterns from becoming entrenched. The right therapist can help your teenager with the self-awareness and self-esteem issues that most teenagers grapple with, but can be particularly hard for adopted teens. Your BPS therapist can also help your teen develop skills to better understand and navigate close relationships – including your parent/child relationship. Therapy can help your teen learn ways to develop closer and more comfortable relationships and not have to struggle so much now and in the future.

We’ve already tried therapy and it doesn’t seem to have quite worked.

A lot of issues surface for adopted children during the teenage years. Therapy may not have worked in the past because these issues had not been raised yet for your teen. You may have also been working with a therapist who wasn’t a good match for you and your teen.

Regardless, don’t give up. The time to get your child extra support is now. Identity and social issues make the adolescent years very complex, and these complexities can be exaggerated for adopted teens. Having a therapist who understands your teen, is an advocate for your teen, and who your teen trusts can make a big difference is how your teen feels about him or herself and interacts with the world now and in the long-term.

We encourage you to schedule a referral assessment with a BPS therapist, trained by BPS Director Dr. Jan Hittelman. We will work with you to determine what your teen’s specific issues are and to ensure a good match between you, your teenager and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.

You can also check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you and your child with a therapist who has expertise working with teenagers and adoption issues.

BPS therapist Jennifer Key, LCSW helped create the content for this page. Jenny has been working with adolescents, parents and families on adoption issues since 1999. She practices traditional therapy methods, such as psychoanalysis and cognitive behavioral techniques, but has also found that many teenagers experience significant, positive change while interacting with animals. Jenny’s practice includes equine and animal therapies.

Counseling for Adoption Issues

Does Your Family Need More Balance And Common Ground?

Are you trying to figure out how to keep your family feeling connected, engaged and functioning well as a whole? Do family conflicts often make you wonder if you are doing enough to ensure that everyone – both your adopted and biological children – feel equally supported and loved? Has there been added stress or anxiety around your child’s adoption – especially if you recently adopted, just told your adopted child about his or her adoption, have an adopted teenager, or are contemplating how to explain the adoption? Are there personality, communication or behavioral conflicts within your home? Has your marriage or partnership been affected by these stressors – adding another layer of unease to family interactions? Have you noticed behavioral changes, social anxieties, school issues, isolation, or acting out in any or all of your children? Do you wish that you had better tools and more confidence to create some common ground for connection and understanding between everyone in your family?

It can be frustrating and sad to watch your children, partner and family as a whole struggle to connect and function in ways that feel good to everyone. Every family comes with its own set of strengths and challenges. However, families who have adopted can have unique challenges to overcome, which may require a little extra thought and care. It’s normal for adopted children to struggle with abandonment and attachment issues, which can affect everyone within the primary family system.

Imbalance Within Adopted Families Is Very Common

At some point, every adopted family will be presented with an opportunity to get closer and stronger through some type of imbalance occurring within their family system. This imbalance can look as minor as grades slipping or as major as total withdrawal or intense conflict. Most families experience something in the middle – boundaries are pushed, children become more resistant, and a change in the family dynamic occurs. Oftentimes, the adopted child creates the opportunity for increased family closeness when he or she begins trying to understand who he or she is, where he or she came from and why he or she was given up.  While this personal self-exploration can create a bumpy path for the whole family, with help, it can also present a wonderful opportunity to connect, understand personal and family needs, and strengthen the family bond.

Therapy Can Help Better Communication and Strengthen Bonds Within Adopted Families

There are many tools and resources available to help adopted families, and therapy is a very useful and effective place to learn, communicate and connect. Sometimes, even minor adjustments in communication and more education around the adoption and self-discovery processes can yield dramatic improvements.

Therapy can provide a valuable opportunity to grow together as a family. It also offers support for each individual during the growing process. Experience shows us that therapy can help both adopted and biological children – and their parents – feel more supported, empowered and secure as individuals and within their family system.

A BPS therapist  highly trained and experienced in counseling for adoption issues can help you identify and address the problems that are occurring within your home. Your therapist can help you and your family develop concrete strategies to improve the problematic family dynamics and address issues that may be occurring for your children individually. In addition to working on present issues, your therapist can help your family have better communication, improve accountability, strengthen attachment and connection, and find new avenues to connect as a whole family. Relationships within the family can also be strengthened as family members discover new ways to connect.

Adoption can add stress to marriages and partnerships as well as to the family dynamic. If your marriage or partnership is strained, your therapist may suggest that you work on that primary relationship first. Adopted children often struggle with stability, safety and normalcy. When mom and dad’s relationship is not strong, it can translate into feeling a lack of safety. With help, you and your partner can look at your individual roles, level of family involvement, and parenting styles. Together, you can develop a family structure, household rules and a system of consequences and awards that is appropriate for your unique family. When mom and dad are united, the whole family can feel stronger.

Adoptions can be one of the greatest ways for families to grow closer. Adoption is often what brings families to therapy, and early intervention can lead to more mindful, cohesive and close relationships. Developing effective communication and empathy skills can improve your family dynamic. It can also give you and your children the tools to make healthier choices, develop and maintain better relationships and lead to improved self-esteem, self-awareness and long-term happiness in all aspects of life.

But, you still may have questions and concerns…

I think that my family could really benefit from therapy, but I’m concerned about costs.

This is your family’s lives and wellbeing. Addressing everyone’s mental and emotional health and ability to connect now can lead to both immediate and long-term results. It can also prevent difficulties within the family from getting worse and behaviors from becoming entrenched as your children get older.

Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to work specifically with adoption issues or who they or their family couldn’t relate with – which is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct a referral assessment and match your family with a therapist who is trained and experienced to treat adoption issues and whose personality is a good match for your family. Once you find that good match, making a commitment to your partner, children and yourself may be one of the most valuable investments there is. Imagine everyone in your home feeling and functioning better now and in the long-term on a regular basis and ask yourself what that’s worth.

If money still is an issue, you can talk with your BPS therapist to see if they work on a sliding scale. They may also be able to help you find other lower cost resources in the community.

I’ve taken classes, done ample research and have a lot of information about the whole adoption process. I’m not sure if therapy can provide us with any new tools, skills or information.

The education and information you’ve received is a great starting point, but therapy can be a resource for the rest of your family. Your family and its strengths and challenges are unique and ever changing. Therapy can help translate all the wonderful knowledge you’ve acquired to the rest of your family. And, you can learn which tools and strategies are appropriate for your unique situation, and how the different approaches can be used to help you all work well as a whole.

Everyday is an opportunity to make new discoveries about your family – how you connect, what’s working and what needs help. Our children teach us more than any class or textbook. Therapy provides the opportunity for all family members to have the space and time to talk openly about personal needs and feelings. This can lead to better communication and an increased closeness that cannot be found in a book or classroom.

I think that therapy could be helpful, but I think my family will refuse to go.

It’s really hard to know what to do when your loved ones refuse help. Involving your family in the process – giving them the power to help choose the therapist – can be an effective approach to introducing the idea of therapy. You can tell your partner and children that they are going to try family therapy – not negotiable – but offer them the opportunity to interview and select a therapist.

If your family’s refusal continues, you may want to seek advice from a BPS family therapist. Family therapists are trained to offer parental guidance and support. They can help you navigate difficult barriers and strategize different and more effective ways for you to communicate with your family.

We encourage you to schedule a referral assessment with a BPS therapist, trained by BPS Director, Dr. Jan Hittelman. We will work with you to determine what your family’s specific issues are and to ensure a good match between you, your family and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.

You can also check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you and your child with a therapist who has expertise working with families and adoption issues.

JK Photo3BPS therapist Jennifer Key, LCSW helped create the content for this page. Jenny has been working with family adoption issues since 1999, and adoption is a primary focus within her practice. She practices traditional therapy methods, such as psychoanalysis and cognitive behavioral techniques, but has also found that many children and adolescents experience significant, positive change while interacting with animals. Jenny’s practice includes equine and animal therapies.

Counseling for Parenting Issues

Are You Struggling To Parent In Ways That Feel Good?

Are you questioning yourself as a parent – wondering if you’re making good decisions or if there are other, better ways to parent your child or children? Are you feeling exhausted or overwhelmed – especially if you are a first-time or single parent? Is your family struggling to adjust to a significant life transition or event, such as a new baby or family member, a move or change of school, a loss, trauma or illness? Are your children acting out, withdrawing or adopting other, uncharacteristic behaviors? If you’re new to parenting, are you fearful that you’re making mistakes that will have lasting repercussions? If your children are older, are nonstop schedules, rebellious behaviors, school issues or sibling conflicts leading to more tension and less connection and harmony within your home? Do you wish you knew how to create more balance and ease within your family, and ensure that everyone’s needs are being met – including your own?

Parenting can be hard work. It may be the most challenging “job” you ever have. Children and family systems are ever changing, and it can feel frustrating, stressful and painful when your family is in frequent conflict or if you’re questioning your every decision. And, today’s culture can compound challenges. We live in increasingly isolated family systems where many parents do not have a partner or extended family nearby to offer support and guidance. People are busy, schedules are full, and the go-go-go of daily life can lead to disconnection, exhaustion and self-doubt.

Feeling Overwhelmed As A Parent Is Very Common

At some point, on some level, all parents experience difficulties and overwhelming feelings and doubts. It’s common to feel exhausted and want a break. You may be feeling overwhelmed all day, everyday or a recent event or situation may have caused your home and family to feel more unbalanced or chaotic. Regardless of your situation, if you’re struggling to parent, therapy can offer you guidance, help and support.

Therapy Can Help Alleviate Parenting Stresses, Concerns and Fears

Experience shows us that therapy can be very effective for parents and caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, confused or stressed. Oftentimes, just having someone to listen, understand and validate your experience can provide immense and immediate relief. Parenting can be extremely challenging at times, and your BPS family therapist can offer you support and strategies as you learn to navigate unfamiliar and difficult challenges.

Every family along with their unique needs, strengths, and challenges, are very different. Your BPS therapist will meet you where you are and individualize your therapy experience based on your family’s specific needs. Your therapist can offer you concrete, age-appropriate strategies to try at home and provide support and ideas as you develop a parenting style and structure that works well for your family. In addition to working on the presenting issues that brought you into therapy – such as sleep, sibling or behavioral issues – you can also learn better ways to communicate and connect as a family. Your therapist can help you identify your strengths and build upon those, as well as offer new ways of doing things that may help your family feel and function better.

Regardless of how bad you feel right now, it’s important to note that what you’re experiencing will not last forever. Counseling for parenting issues can help you navigate through confusing times. Therapy can help you break stresses down and learn how to take your experience moment by moment. With help, it is possible to figure out a parenting style and family structure that works well for everyone in your home. You can figure out what your children need and how to ensure that they feel loved, worthy, trusted and safe. You can feel more confident about how you’re parenting. You can build on your strengths and enjoy happier, easier moments. While parenting is an ongoing challenge, it is possible to feel more joy and less stress now and in the long-term.

But, you still may have questions or concerns…

I think therapy could be helpful, but I’m concerned about costs.

This is your family’s lives and wellbeing. Addressing parenting issues now can lead to both immediate and long-term results. It can also prevent difficulties within your family from getting worse. Therapy is an investment in building confidence, creating balance and developing a workable structure for your family. It can help you create a parenting style and family life that feels and functions well. Therapy is also an investment that can lead to more security, consistency and wellbeing for your children.

Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to work specifically with parenting issues or who they or their partner couldn’t relate with – which is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct a referral assessment and match your family with a therapist who is not only trained and experienced in helping with parenting issues, but whose personality and style is also a good fit. Once you find that good match, making a commitment to yourself and your family may be one of the most valuable investments there is. Imagine everyone in your family feeling and functioning better on a regular basis, now and in the long-term, and ask yourself what that’s worth.

If money still is an issue, you can talk with your BPS therapist to see if they work on a sliding scale. They may also be able to help you find other lower cost resources in the community.

I’m feeling completely overwhelmed. At this point I’m not sure that anything – even therapy – can help.

The hopelessness and helplessness you are feeling is not uncommon and very valid. Although your family and your ability to manage it may feel chaotic and out of control right now, with patience, time and the right therapist, it can get better.

Your BPS therapist is highly experienced and trained to work with families on parenting issues, as well as the communication, conflict and connecting issues you may be experiencing. Your therapist will get your family’s full story – your struggles, trials and errors, details about who your family is and how you’ve been operating – and use that information to help create a strategy that can work for your particular situation. Your therapist can also help relieve some of the pressures that you’ve been carrying. You can experience validation, support and guidance. Oftentimes, just having someone who understands what you’re experiencing to talk to can provide immediate relief. And, remember, what you’re experiencing right now will not last forever. Change is constant, and with help, positive improvement is very possible.

My partner and I have very different parenting styles and perspectives. Is it possible for us to come together and parent as a team?

Your BPS therapist can help you and your partner explore and understand each other’s parenting styles and perspectives. You can identify common goals, such as both wanting what is best for your children. You can find compromises and balance and learn how to meet the needs of your partner and family as well as your own. Your BPS therapist can also serve as a mediator – providing space and opportunity for both you and your partner to be heard and understood. In time, you may realize that you and your partner want many of the same things for your children and that you can work together. You can learn how to blend your values and perspectives, as well as appreciate each other’s strengths.

Doing this work now is so important. It can help prevent negative patterns and behaviors from becoming entrenched. It can alleviate tensions before stressors lead to increased and more volatile fights. And, ultimately, it can help your children feel more secure and at ease. When mom and dad are okay, the whole family system functions better.

We encourage you to schedule a referral assessment with a BPS therapist, trained by BPS Director, Dr. Jan Hittelman. We will work with you to determine what your specific issues are and ensure a good match between you and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.

You can also check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you with a family therapist who has expertise working with parenting issues.

debbie-mayerDebbie Mayer, LCSW helped create the content for this page. Debbie is a licensed clinical social worker who has been helping families with parenting issues since 2002. Debbie has specialized training to work with very young children, including infants, and their families.

Counseling for Children’s Adoption Issues

Are You Struggling To Break Down Your Adopted Child’s Emotional Walls?

Are your struggling to understand your child? Is it clear that your child is suffering, but you don’t know about what or how to help? Does your heart ache to connect with your child and have him or her accept you as their parent? Has your child acted-out aggressively or, alternatively, completely withdrawn? Do you wish that everyone could relax a little and spend connected, quality time together as a family?

Children who have been adopted tend to have significant abandonment issues, struggle with relationships and have a challenging time connecting with others. As a parent of an adopted child, it can be heartbreaking to have your child refuse to open him or herself up to you. It can be a frustrating experience, too. Adopted children can make themselves difficult to love by perpetually pushing boundaries and testing your commitment to them.

Experiencing Struggles and Connecting Issues With an Adopted Child is Extremely Common

Almost all adopted children and their families experience some level of difficulty. Transitions of any kind can be especially challenging. Change triggers feelings of abandonment and loss. Whether it’s real or imagined, these children desperately need to know that they are loveable and that their lives are not going to be significantly uprooted again – which is what they both fear and expect.

Therapy Can Be Extremely Effective

The first goal of therapy is to decrease the level of fear and intense emotions that your child carries. Once some fear is alleviated, your therapist will help you learn ways to handle life situations and connect as a family.

Your  BPS therapist is highly trained and experienced in counseling for children’s adoption issues, and will help your child identify and address the issues that are causing him or her pain and causing them to withdraw or act out. As your therapist and child develop a trusting relationship, your child will have a safe space in which to explore who they are, how they fit into their family, school and larger community and what their strengths and supports are. Your therapist can help your child see choices and opportunities to connect, which they may not have seen before. For adopted children, therapy can be an opening and empowering experience.

As a family, your therapist can help you access the strategies you’ve been using to connect and dissolve conflict and offer new approaches that may be yield better results. Your therapist can also help you develop a new view of your situation – one that is less frustrating and more optimistic. With help, the right tools, strategies, and an effective therapist, connecting with your child and building a solid foundation for your family is very possible.

But you still may have questions or concerns…

I’m beginning to feel hopeless. Nothing helps. I’m starting to believe that my relationship with my child is always going to be hard.

What you’re experiencing with your child is not uncommon, nor are your feelings of frustration and hopelessness. The good news, however, is that there are always ways to improve these relationships. Therapy can be a very effective way for families to develop bonds. Together and individually, you and your child can learn how to create and maintain healthy boundaries, which are very important for adopted children. You’ll learn better communication skills, ways to calm stress and get clear on what everyone in your family needs and expects. With the right therapist, developing your relationship with your child can become a joyful journey.

And, finding that right therapist – one who both you and your child relate well with in terms of style, personality and expertise – is of critical importance. BPS is committed to helping you find that good match.

I think that my child and I could really benefit from therapy, but I’m concerned about costs.

This is your child’s and your life and wellbeing. Addressing your child’s adoption issues now may prevent a host of problems from occurring as he or she enters new developmental stages, such as adolescence. Investing in their mental and emotional health and ability to connect now can lead to both immediate and long-term results. It can also prevent their difficulties to form meaningful relationships from getting worse and interfering with all aspects of their development as they get older.

Many people come to BPS having worked with other therapists who were not trained to work specifically with children’s adoption issues or who they or their child couldn’t relate with – which is a waste of time and money. At BPS, we’ll conduct a referral assessment and match you with a therapist who is trained and experienced to treat adoption issues and whose personality is a good match for you and your child. Once you find that good match, making a commitment to your child, yourself and your family may be one of the most valuable investments there is. Imagine everyone in your home feeling and functioning better now and in the long-term on a regular basis and ask yourself what that’s worth.

If money still is an issue, you can talk with your BPS therapist to see if they work on a sliding scale. They may also be able to help you find other lower cost resources in the community.

My child has completely withdrawn. I don’t think that he or she will open up to anyone – even a therapist.

Your BPS therapist is highly trained and experienced and has the skills to help your child open up. Your therapist will work diligently to find a way in to relate with your child. As your therapist and child develop a relationship, your child will see – firsthand – that he or she can create a close bond. They’ll learn that relationships can be vulnerable and open, without necessarily being scary. Once this relationship is developed and your therapist has a better understanding of your child, ideas about how you can connect better with your child can be developed. Be prepared for a journey, however, as breaking down walls and building relationships take time. But, in the end, it can be well worth your time, energy and patience.

We encourage you to schedule a referral assessment with a BPS therapist, trained by BPS Director, Dr. Jan Hittelman. We will work with you to determine what your child’s specific issues are and ensure a good match between you, your child and a BPS therapist in terms of personality, style and expertise.

You can also check out our free, online therapist directory, which will match you and your child with a therapist who has expertise working with children and adoption issues.

karen-wildingBPS therapist Karen Wilding, LCSW helped create the content for this page. Karen, an adopted child herself, has been working with children and families on adoption issues since 1986. Karen also has extensive experience working with adolescents, adults, and families.