Complex Trauma, Dissociation and Adoption - Supporting Families and Avoiding Disruption
Dissociation in children and adolescents has been largely denied, minimized, and ignored. Trauma and its’ impact on young children have similarly been denied, minimized, and ignored. The belief that children are not affected by very early events combined with a narrow, adult-lens definition of the word “trauma” and a poor understanding of early attachment dynamics has created a kind of “adoption trauma blindness”. In clinical practice I’ve encountered many knowledgeable, experienced and committed adoptive parents who were blindsided by the difficulties they experienced with their adoptive children. I’ve encountered an equal number of young people who have had their adoptions break down, leading to further trauma and loss. Between 5-20% of adoptions in the United States experience disruptions ranging from foster placement to permanent breakdown. Canada doesn’t track adoption failures or disruptions, but experts estimate the numbers are similar. Even when adoptions don’t break down, adoptive families can experience challenges ranging from the disruptive to the devastating. Adoptees are four times more likely to commit suicide than non-adoptees; they are twice as likely to experience addiction. Parenting an adoptee with unrecognized trauma, unacknowledged attachment difficulties or an undiagnosed dissociative disorder can range from the confusing to the terrifying. Parents experience a range of reactions from others, from dismissal to outright blame. This workshop will begin by examining the mechanisms by which pre-adoption complex trauma and loss can impact family integration. Different post-adoption outcomes will be discussed. Using both didactic and interactive methods, the assessment of pre-adoption traumatic impact, treatment planning and specific treatment tools and techniques will be explored. Be increasing transparency about the potential challenges in adoption, providing meaningful pre-adoption training and post-adoption support, we can greatly improve the outcome for many adopted children.
At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to:
- Identify factors that contribute to adoption breakdown
- Discuss the impacts of adoption challenges, disruptions and breakdowns on adoptees and adoptive families
- Assess the specific impacts of pre and post adoption challenges for specific children and families
- Identify the impact of dissociation on the adaptation of adopted children
- Apply new techniques and interventions in supporting adopted children’s integration into their families
- 1.50 APAThe International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
- 1.50 ASWB ACEThe International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), #1744, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ISSTD maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 08/20/2021 – 08/20/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 1.50 continuing education credits.
- 1.50 ISSTD Certificate ProgramThis program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
"Your Price" above reflects your final price based on your membership status and career level.
- ISSTD defines a student as those enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree or certification in the mental health field and who have an interest in trauma and dissociation.
- ISSTD defines an emerging professional as mental health professionals who have completed an advanced degree and are in the first three years of their career (or first three years after graduation for researchers).
- If you do not fall into one of the above categories please register as Professional/Retired.
These prices are for Tier I countries. For a list of countries by Tier click here. If you are located in a country that falls into Tier II-VI please contact ISSTD at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the appropriate discount code.
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