Some adoptive families will seek additional support from a therapist or counselor to help with adoption concerns for their children, themselves, or the family. Find resources in this section to help determine when to seek therapy and how to choose a therapist experienced in adoption.
All About Therapy for Older Adopted Children
Explains the importance of finding a skilled and compatible therapist for your adopted child.
Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT)
Describes the characteristics and benefits of AF-CBT, an evidence-supported intervention that targets (1) diverse individual child and caregiver characteristics related to conflict and intimidation in the home and (2) the family context in which aggression or abuse may occur. It was written primarily to help child welfare caseworkers and other professionals who work with at-risk families make more informed decisions about when to refer children and their parents and caregivers to AF-CBT programs. This information also may help parents, foster parents, and other caregivers understand what they and their children can gain from AF-CBT and what to expect during treatment.
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy With At-Risk Families
Describes the characteristics and benefits of parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT), a family-centered treatment approach proven effective for abused and at-risk children ages 2 to 8 and their caregivers—birth parents, adoptive parents, or foster or kin caregivers. It was written primarily to help child welfare caseworkers and other professionals who work with at-risk families make more informed decisions about when to refer parents and caregivers, along with their children, to PCIT programs. This information may also help parents, foster parents, and other caregivers understand what they and their children can gain from PCIT and what to expect during treatment.
Selecting and Working With a Therapist Skilled in Adoption
||Factsheets for Families
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 251KB)
Provides members of adoptive families with information on the varieties of therapeutic approaches and professional therapists, recommendations for choosing and working with a therapist, and online resources for postadoption support and national organizations.
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Children Affected by Sexual Abuse or Trauma
Explores research and practice on trauma focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), which is an evidence-based treatment approach shown to help children, adolescents, and their caregivers overcome trauma-related difficulties. It is designed to reduce negative emotional and behavioral responses following child sexual abuse, domestic violence, traumatic loss, and other traumatic events. The treatment—based on learning and cognitive theories—addresses distorted beliefs and attributions related to the abuse and provides a supportive environment in which children are encouraged to talk about their traumatic experience. TF-CBT also helps parents who were not abusive to cope effectively with their own emotional distress and develop skills that support their children.
Treatment Outcome Research
Evergreen Psychotherapy Center
Provides results of a study that combined emotional, cognitive, and family systems therapy and discusses parenting-skills training.