Adoption Trauma Therapists You Need to Know

    Adoption trauma is a topic that we need to take start taking seriously. Adoptees are four times more like to attempt suicide than non-adoptees, yet adoptees rarely receive the mental health therapy they need. Many adoptees are suffering in silence unable to break away from depression and anxiety because the trauma was never validated nor was therapy made available.

    With the passing of three adoptees by suicide in just three weeks, I decided this list is much needed for adoptees and adoptive parents. Adoption trauma is a topic that we need to start taking seriously. Adoptees are four times more like to attempt suicide than non-adoptees, yet adoptees rarely receive the mental health therapy they need. Many adoptees are suffering in silence unable to break away from depression and anxiety because the trauma was never validated nor was therapy made available.

    I believe all adoptees and adoptive parents should have a relationship with a therapist that specializes in adoption trauma and attachment. Trauma is tricky; it can show up in early childhood years to adult years. It is important adoptees have the support of a therapist, family, and friends to talk with to work through thoughts of suicide, depression, and anxiety. No adoptee should suffer in silence.

    If you are unable to see a therapist or would like to better understand adoption trauma personally or for your child, I have compiled a list of adoption trauma books for you to gain a thorough understanding of adoption trauma.

    Below I selected a list of therapists that are active in the adoptee community and specialize in adoption trauma. Those labeled with an asterisk * are adoptees.

    For a list of mental health professionals who identify as adoptees please visit the adoptee-therapist directory created by Beyond Words Psychological Services.

    If you would like to be added to I Am Adopted’s directory of adoption trauma therapist, please leave a comment with your contact information and link to your services page.

    United States

    Alabama – 


    Arizona – 

    Arkansas – 


    Lesli Ann Johnson, MFT Collaborative Therapy with You in Mind* 

    EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an integrative therapy that is effective in helping people get “un-stuck.” EMDR therapy is proven to be the most rapid and effective psychological treatment for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and is fast becoming the treatment of choice for anxiety, depression and many other symptoms.

    “While my experience as an adoptee informs my work it doesn’t define it. Each person has a unique adoption story and our work will be collaborative in nature. My work with clients reveals that many adopted children have similar anxieties and many adults who were adopted share common themes in their relationships. I strive to provide education and awareness and tailored interventions so that this generation of adoptees can connect the dots of their story and have an integrated and well-balanced life.

    I work with adoptees, adoptive families, foster youth, first/birth parents and prospective adoptive parents. I offer coaching specifically for Adoptive Parents who have questions and concerns related to parenting adopted children.”

    Lesli Johnson is train and certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). EMDR is an integrative therapy that is effective in helping people get “un-stuck.” EMDR therapy is proven to be the most rapid and effective psychological treatment for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and is fast becoming the treatment of choice for anxiety, depression and many other symptoms.

    EMDR therapy is useful for: adoption/attachment, grief/loss, separation trauma, depression, PTSD to name a few often related to adoption.

    Lesli Johnson is located in Pasadena and Beverly Hills, CA. Teleconferencing is available.


    Pamela Cordano, MFT*

    “I specialize in illness and grief because as an adoptee I know loss in my bones. The best way I’ve found to heal from loss is through meaning.

    Pamela Cordano is a psychotherapist who specializes in illness and grief. For twenty years she has worked with individuals, couples, families and groups using a relational and somatic approach. Inspired by Viktor Frankl, she is passionate about the power of identifying and embodying what is meaningful, which allows for increased vitality and new possibilities. She leads a weekly Meaning Group in her private practice and teaches MeaningWork workshops locally and abroad.

    Pamela Cordano is located in Davis, California.

    Jeanette Yoffe, M.A MFT – Yoffe Therapy*

    “Jeanette’s desire to become a child therapist with a special focus on adopted and foster care issues derived from her own experience of being adopted and moving through the foster care system. Her personal experience has informed her education and provided insight into the unique stresses involved with these issues.

    Because of Jeanette’s life experience she can more easily connect and relate to the children and teens she works with. She is an exceptional child-care worker who is dedicated to helping each of her clients reach their full potential through mental health therapy and make the difficult journey from despair towards resiliency and hope.

    Jeanette Yoffe is located in Los Angeles, California.


    Maureen Donley, M.A., M.F.T. – Yoffe Therapy

    As the parent of two teens and a tween, both by birth and adoption – adoption-related issues are a special area of focus.  Maureen holds an M.A. from Antioch University. She also completed the Family Training Program at the Southern California Counseling Center and co-facilitates the monthly Adopt Salon Pacific Palisades Family Support Group.

    She works with parents, adolescents and kids offering an opportunity to resolve conflict, alleviate distress and lay the groundwork for successfully negotiating life’s inevitable challenges and the ever-shifting dynamic of parent/child relationships.

    Maureen Donley’s is located in Los Angeles, California.


    Ledette Gambini, M.A., M.F.T. – Yoffe Therapy 

    As the mother of two young children adopted through foster care, she understands first hand the complex issues involved for all in the process. Her focus in family and individual therapy is on healing early life trauma and helping to build healthy, loving relationships. She also helps guide those who are currently considering adoption as a way to build their family. Ledette grew up in Colombia, and in addition to being able to conduct therapy in fluent Spanish, she understands the cultural differences around foster care and adoption in the Hispanic community.

    Ledette Gambini’s is located in Los Angeles, California.


    Casey Jones, M.A., M.F.T. – Yoffe Therapy

    Casey provides child, family, and adult psychotherapy for adoption, foster care, parenting, trauma, depression, ADHD, anger, anxiety, and attachment issues. She creates a safe and supportive environment to nurture all families. Drawing from a lifetime of personal experience, Casey offers compassionate understanding and specialized support to all members of the adoption constellation.

    Casey Jones is located in Los Angeles, California.



    Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker*

    You deserve to work with a professional who understands the complexities of adoption. I have a literal lifetime of experience with adoption – as an international and transracial adoptee from India, adoptive parent to a son from Ethiopia, and professional specializing in foster and adoption work with families.

    I work with child, teen, and adult adoptees from international, domestic, and foster care adoptions who are struggling with areas such as trauma, grief, loss, racial/ethnic/cultural identity, life transitions, and relationships. I offer a combination of individual counseling, trauma counseling (EMDR), family therapy, parent coaching/education, and play therapy to meet your unique needs

    Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker is located in Denver, CO and offers a complimentary consultation.



    Karen Caffrey, LPC, JD – Psychotherapy and Counseling

    “I am an adoptee with over two decades of experience counseling adoptees. I believe that having questions or concerns about being adopted is normal. While not every issue experienced by an adoptee is connected to being adopted, many are. What’s important is letting yourself explore what’s about being adopted and what isn’t. I will never dismiss or silence you about your adoption experience.”

    Karen Caffrey uses Somatic Experiences for Trauma. Somatic Experiencing® is a system of healing techniques designed to help you calm down after a stressful event(s), as well as relieve the symptoms of ongoing and chronic stress. Nature has beautifully designed your nervous systems to be able to do this. Your ability to respond to stressful events and then calm down is called “resilience”.

    Karen Caffrey is located in Hartford, CT.

    Visit her website to receive a  free 15-minute phone consultation.


    Delaware – 



    Melissa Richards, LMHC – Restoration Counseling Center

    “My specializations within the field of mental health have been developed through a combination of formal education, clinical experience, personal life experiences, and the experiences of those I love.  I enjoy treating a wide range of issues and have a great deal of patience with the slow and sometimes uncertain process of healing deep wounds.  My approach to counseling addresses the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual factors that contribute to a person’s overall functioning.  I find that a comprehensive approach that acknowledges the multidimensional nature of people and relationships typically yields equally comprehensive results. ”

    Melissa Richards specializes in Adoption, trauma, depression, grief, anxiety, anger, adolescents (ages 14+), bipolar disorders, coping skills, compulsive behaviors, eating disorders, divorce, relationship issues, self-image, self-harming.

    Melissa Richards is located in Miami, FL. Teleconferencing is available.



    Suzanne M.Clark MA, LPC*

    I specialize in working with adoptive families, adopted persons and birth families. My ideal client would be any family, adolescent or adult person dealing with issues surrounding their adoption, or the loss of their child through adoption.
    Additionally, I am EMDR certified and enjoy working with individuals who are struggling to overcome challenges from their past that seem to reoccur as their life evolves. EMDR is an extremely effective treatment modality to address a wide range of behaviors stemming from the big and little traumas of life.
    I am an EMDR therapist with 20 years of experience in all aspects of the field of adoption and trauma. I specialize in this area and understand issues facing adoptees, birth parents, adoptive families, and siblings separated through adoption.
    My years of personal and professional experiences are key to the connections I maintain with my clients. I empathize with all members of the adoption triad and understand that there is grief associated with each role. Additionally, my EMDR training allows me to help identify and resolve the root of many types of traumatic challenges.

    Suzanne M. Clark is located in Atlanta, GA



    Krista Woods, M.S.W LCSW – Integrity Clinical Consulting*

    Krista Woods, M.S.W, LCSW, (formerly McCoy) is the primary therapist and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She is well-known and respected in the field of foster care, adoption and mental health. She continues to publish articles on issues relating to adoption and foster care; and provides training across the US and abroad to prospective adoptive parents and adoption professionals and birth parents. She is often called up as a subject matter expert on adoption-related issues.

    She also has a personal connection with adoption. She is a biracial (African-American/Caucasian), transracial adoptee. She was briefly placed in foster care at birth and then adopted through the Illinois Dept. of Children and Family Services (DCFS). She has met several members of her birth family and continues to make new connections. She also has several other family members who joined their family by adoption.

    Specialty topics of training and therapy include a variety of adoption issues: transracial adoption, foster care/foster to adoption, openness in adoption, search and reunions, adoption through the lifespan, kinship care as well as the affects grief and loss on all members of the adoption triad.

    Krista Wood’s is located in Homewood, Illinois.


    Kay Holler, MSW

    Kay provides therapy for individuals, couples, and families.  She is passionate about building connections between people.  Kay has extensive experience with attachment issues.  She specializes in working with adopted children and their families.  Kay uses a combination of approaches, including: Theraplay, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Trust-Based Relational Therapy, Brain Gym,  EMDR, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  Kay also does public speaking about adoption and parenting issues.

    Kay has been married for 31 years.  She has 4 teenage and young adult children, 2 by birth and 2 by adoption.


    Kay Holler is located in Chicago, IL


    Mandy Jones, LCSW, JD

    Mandy Jones is a LCSW in Evanston, IL (just north of Chicago). I have provided both home- and office-based services for adoptive families. I’m a Certified Theraplay Therapist and Trainer. Theraplay is great for adoptive families, as it provides a framework for creating secure attachment.

    I make it my goal to help families celebrate their successes and work through their struggles. Adoptive families experience some unique struggles that require special care and attention. Whether struggles arise when your child is 2 weeks, 2 years, 12 years, or 25 years old, I’m here to help. I believe in creating a collaborative relationship with parents to improve relationships and help children overcome their obstacles.

    Mandy Jones is located in Evanston, IL



    Brook Randolph LMHC

    Throughout my career, I have worked with several adult adoptees, children that have been adopted, expectant mothers, birth mothers, and parents of adopted children. I adopted my son as a single woman and count several adoptees and adoptive parents among my friends, mentors, and clients. While not all concerns relate back to adoption, it is important to work with someone who understands the impact that adoption can have on an individual and a family. It is especially important for children to work with a therapist that will work with the entire family and not allow him or herself to become an attachment figure for the child.

    Whether your concerns are directly related to adoption or not, a professional that fully understands all that is involved with adoption and the emotional triggers that can impact an individual even years later will best serve those in the adoption community. Most counselors and social workers are never provided specific adoption training and many families find that a therapist who is not trained in adoption competency can do more harm than good.

    Brook Randolph is located in Indianapolis, IN. Teleconferencing is available.



    Carol Lozier LCSW

    “Specializing in trauma; and adoptive and foster kids, teens, and adults. In my private practice, I offer individual, family, and group therapy. Nearly all of the time, I see children and teens with attachment issues (RAD) in a family therapy setting. I also offer Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills groups with kids and teens.

    Over the years, I have studied numerous treatment modalities (types of therapy) including:
    Karyn Purvis’ Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI)
    Play Therapy
    Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Model (NMT)
    Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
    Internal Family Systems (IFS)

    Several of the modalities are for specializing in trauma, and the others are to provide a child, teen, or adult with skills for daily life . . . managing emotions, social skills, and tolerating life’s frustrating moments.”

    Carol Lozier is located in Louisville, KY.



    Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao Ed.D., LCSW, LMFT*

    Dr. Pavao has done extensive training, both nationally and internationally.  She is a lecturer in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and she has consulted with various public and private child welfare agencies, adoption agencies, schools, and community groups, as well as probate and family court judges, lawyers, and clergy.  Additionally, she has worked closely with individuals and families touched by adoption, foster care, and other complex blended family constructions.

    She has developed models for treatment and for training using her systemic, intergenerational, and developmental framework, The Normative Crises in the Development of the Adoptive Family, and her book, The Family of Adoption(Beacon Press), has received high acclaim.

    Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao has worked for forty years in the fields of adoption and complex families, child welfare, family therapy, organizational development, and family systems, through consulting, training, and designing programs and interventions for schools, businesses, corporations, and non-profit agencies.

    Dr. Pavao can help you to identify alternative sources of wisdom, such as spiritual traditions and the self-help and human potential theories, and to bring a range of specialized approaches, from narrative and cognitive-behavioral coaching to cognitive coaching for executives, parents, athletes, artists, musicians, young adults, and teens who are in need of identity focus and framing.

    Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao is located in Cambridge, MA


    Katie Naftzger LICSW*

    The experience of being adopted can hit adoptees like a ton of bricks.  When it does surface, it is often linked with other life stresses and transitions with those who matter.

    For more than 15 years, I’ve been passionate about helping individuals and families change their lives. My life as a Korean-Adoptee enriches and informs my work, but it doesn’t dominate it.  Along with overarching themes, it’s the nuances of the details that make each family unique.

    Extensive experience leading groups for therapeutic, psycho-ed and support groups for adoptive parents, Asian adoptees, clinicians, and adolescent girls.

    Katie Naftzger’s is located in Newton, Massachusettes.



    Melissa K Nicholson

    I received specialized knowledge and training providing psychotherapy to children and adolescents using Play Therapy, Art Therapy, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). Most of my experience has been helping foster and adopted children and adolescents that have experienced complex trauma and loss. I specialize in treating adolescents and adults who display high-risk behaviors by utilizing evidenced-based, empathic, and individualized treatment.

     Prior to working in my own private practice, I was employed in a community mental health setting where I received specialized training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Family Psychoeducation, Trauma-Focused interventions. I help people recover from anxiety and depression, problems in their relationships, emotional, physical and sexual abuse, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), trauma, addictions, and women’s issues.

    Melissa K Nicolson is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

    Michelle Newman, LLMSW

    I have significant training in childhood trauma and attachment. I completed the trauma certificate program from MSU which provided me specialized training in trauma. In addition, I have training in Theraplay, an attachment-based play therapy modality.
    I am also an adoptive mother to three internationally, transracially adopted children. I have completed extensive research on attachment, adoption, and identity development of transracial adoptees and children who have experienced trauma.

    Michelle Newman is located in Traverse City, MI. She accepts Medicaid insurances as well.


    New Jersey

    Linda Wachtel, MSW, LMSW, ACSW – Therapy for Individuals, Couples, & Families

    Using collaboration and transparency I support and empower clients through a wide range of challenges. Empowering clients, identifying their own resources, creating new narratives and understanding to shift cycles of interaction all work to help people seeking help to shift from places of being stuck to getting unstuck. I offer a highly personalized and integrated contemporary approach tailored to each of my clients’ individual needs. Together, we will identify solution-oriented paths to strengthen relationships, face the challenges of life today while personal growth and goals they’re striving for.

    Treatment specialization includes:

    • Collaborative Therapy for Individuals, Couples, Families
    • All Areas of Family Life Including Life Cycle Events, Special Needs Parenting, Coaching, Advocacy & Support
    • Adoption- Post Adoption Family Life/ Child Development
    • Chronic and Serious Health Care Challenges in the Family

    Linda Wachtel is located in Tenafly, NJ


    New York 

    Amanda Baden, Ph.D* – Transracial 

    She was adopted from Hong Kong and raised in a transracially adoptive family. Her experiences both personally and professionally have lead her to focus her research and clinical practice on adoption triad members, transracial/international adoption issues, racial and cultural identity, and multicultural counseling competence. Dr. Baden has written extensively on adoption issues including having created a model of identity for transracial and international adoptees called the Cultural-Racial Identity Model.

    Dr. Baden’s clinical specializations include counseling adoption triad members, transracial adoptees, and individuals having multiracial backgrounds. She lives in New York City and is a licensed psychologist with a clinical practice in Manhattan.

    Some of my clients have been:

    • adult adoptees
    • children and adolescents who were adopted domestically, internationally, or transracially
    • adoptive parents
    • multiracial adults
    • individuals coping with loss, depression, identity concerns, anxiety, and other adjustment issues

    Dr. Amanda Baden is located in Manhattan, NY


    Jennifer Griesbach LCSW

    Jennifer Griesbach is a psychotherapist providing therapy for adopted adults in New York City. She is trained as a gestalt therapist and in EMDR and works with the body and our pre- and non-verbal experience of trauma as a way to get to the heart of the person’s adoption experience while being sensitive to the effects of trauma and issues in adoptee development.

    If you feel like you have been going in circles around issues that might be related to you having joined your family through adoption, or you are not functioning as well as you actually could if you could sort through it all, Jennifer Griesbach would like to speak with you.

    As a specialist in this area Jennifer Griesbach has found that her adopted adult clients have been able to sort through these questions and many others in the supportive environment of therapy and have been able to move forward with their lives.

    Jennider Griesback is located in New York City, NY



    Susan Branco PhD, LPC, LCPC, NCC, ACS – Adoption Therapist.Org 

    Licensed Professional Counselor in Virginia and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Maryland with more than 15 years experience providing mental health counseling services for diverse populations with treatment needs ranging from severe mental illness to mild adjustment issues. Regardless of the populations she serves, Susan strongly believes every person possesses innate strengths and resiliency. She does not adhere to a pathological model of treatment. Rather, she works diligently with her clients to build a trusting relationship, to identify their core strengths, and to collaboratively develop a plan to address where they feel challenged.

    Dr. Susan Branco office is located in Falls Church, VA


    Elizabeth Taylor, LCSW, CSAC, CETP

    I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor who provides therapy to children through adults. I work with adopted and foster care children as well as the adoption / foster parents. I have specialized training in substance abuse, trauma, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), play therapy, and Mindfulness. I also have training in Theraplay and Circle of Security which are attachment-based approaches to increase attachment and awareness.

    Compassionate Counseling, LLC is a Christian and Veteran-owned small business.  As a Christian, I also offer spiritual guidance based on Biblical principles to anyone who desires to enhance the therapeutic process with spiritual growth.

    I am also an adoptive mother of 2 whom has learned a lot through the parenting of her children which I consider as a strength in combination with my professional training as I help others heal and grow.

    Elizabeth Taylor is located in Fredericksburg, VA



    Jaclyn Skalnik, MSW, APSW, LCSW*

    Jaclyn Skalnik, LCSW, is the founder of Adoption Wellness and is also a transracial, internationally adopted person.

    She has assisted adoptive families throughout their adoption process for nearly two decades. She has presented at global conferences on matters concerning adoption and is passionate about counseling adopted persons and adoptive families seeking support. Other professional experiences include international adoption-related travel throughout Asia and Latin America, homeland travel with adoptive families, and advocating on behalf of children who deserve permanency in a loving, healthy family.

    Jaclyn is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a trained Hague Accreditation reviewer for the Council on Accreditation, a member of the National Association of Social Workers, a World of Diversity trainer, adoptive family homeland journey social worker and has facilitated international birth-family searches and reunions.

    Adoption Wellness provides one-on-one, child-focused play therapy for adopted youth as well as one-on-one counseling for adult adoptees and others connected to adoption (adoptive parents, siblings, grandparents, significant others, spouses). Topics of specialty include:

    • adjustment/transition challenges of the newly adopted child
    • attachment parenting
    • identity-formation from a racial/ethnic perspective
    • internationally institutionalized children with developmental delays
    • adult-adoptee interpersonal relationship complexities
    • searching/reuniting with birth-family
    • trauma-informed, adoption narrative therapy for adopted youth

    Jaclyn Skalnik office is located in Pewaukee, WI


    Samantha L. Wilson, PhD, IMH-E®IV

    Dr. Wilson is an associate professor of Pediatrics in the division of Child Development at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is the staff psychologist within the International Adoption Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. In this role, she provides support to families at all stages of their adoption journeys, including pre-adoption education, initial consultation following a child’s immigration, school-age assessment, and child/family therapy. She is an adjunct staff to the Wisconsin-based TIES program, a heritage travel experience for children and families.

    Though her clinical specialty is in the unique psychosocial development of children adopted internationally, she also has clinical expertise in the mental health needs within domestic adoption and foster care.

    Dr. Wilson’s offices are located in Brookfield, WI, and Milwaukee, WI


    Outside of the U.S


    Leanne Chapman Psychologist*

    I use a holistic framework for addressing emotional difficulties, approaching them from the idea that emotions are often stored in the body. This mind-body approach allows us to complete unfinished business and facilitate deep long-lasting healing.

    I draw on my qualifications as a registered psychologist, an initiatic art therapist, a life coach, and a certified Soul Art® Guide, along with my personal experience as one who has walked through the shadows many times.

    Issues you might choose to address include anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, recovery from abuse and adverse childhood experiences (including adoption), improving communication, body image issues and life transitions.

    I work with those who are recovering from trauma, struggling with transitions, and remembering who they are.

    Healing involves honouring all our feelings, even the so-called ‘bad’ ones. When we do this, our outer circumstances start to align with who we are inside.

    Leanne Chapman is located in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia or via Skype (or similar program)


    Do you have a therapist recommendation that you would like to add? Or are you a therapist that specializes in adoption trauma? Please post your recommendations in the comment section.


















    Adoptees are four times more likely to attempt suicide than non-adoptees. There is hope. Adoption Trauma Counseling





    Adoptees are four times more likely to attempt suicide. Adoption is trauma.



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    Jessenia Parmer
    Jessenia Parmer
    I'm Jessenia. I am an adult adoptee with 10 years of experience advocating and fostering relationships with adoptees, and over five years of experience teaching adoptive parents how to have a successful and genuine relationship with their adopted child.


    1. Linda Wachtel says:

      I am also a couples and family therapist with a specialty in adoption , trained under Joyce Maguire Pavao. Also, have been a cofacioitator of an adoptive parent group for over 20 years and I am an adoptive parent and have parented my own daughter through reunion and beyond. In my private practice in Bergen County NJ I am available to support members of the adoption triad at all life stages using a systemic and relational approach.

    2. Great list Jess! Will share and continue to push the awareness.

      AFFCNY also maintains a directory of Therapists in NY state:
      There is also The Attachment and Trauma Network (ATN):
      And the Adoption/Foster Care Therapist Network ( AFCTN)

      • Hi, Claudia! Thank you so much, and thank you for your support. I will search the list and incorporate it to this blog post. Thank you for always helping me fill in the gap with resources. You rock!

    3. Jeanne Olson says:

      Kay Holler in Chicago is awesome.

    4. Rebecca Wheeler says:

      Would love to see resources for the Bay Area (specifically SF, Peninsula – California)

      • Hi Rebecca; thank you for the feedback. This is a building list. I will be adding more therapist as I connect with them. I will reach out to my peers and see if they have any Bay Area recommendations. Please check back shortly. Have a great day.

    5. Lesli Maul says:

      I am a therapist in Southern California and I work with all members of the adoption constellation to build connection and support healing. I have a special interest in Late Discovery Adoptees. I am in private practice in Orange County and am myself an adult adoptee.

      • Hi Lesli! Awesome. The adoptee community can definitely use a therapist that has a special interest in Late Discovery Adoptees and is adopted as well. I will edit the list and add you to it. Thank you!

    6. Leanne says:

      Hi I’m a psychologist in Queensland Australia. I’m an adoptee and have completed the Australian Psychological Society’s training in working with people affected by forced adoption. I primarily use art therapy, somatic psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy. I would love to be added to the list, thank you.

    7. Michelle Newman says:

      I’m a therapist in Northern Michigan. I have a specialized trauma certificate in trauma from Michigan State University. I’m trained in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. I’m also trained in Theraplay, a special attachment focused play therapy. I’ve worked with many adopted kids, adolescents, and adults. And, I’m the mother of three tranracial international adoptees. I accept Medicaid insurances as well.

      Michelle Newman, LLMSW
      Clinical Social Worker/Therapist
      [email protected]

    8. Thanks for building this much-needed resource! Two more suggestions:

      Susan Branco, PhD, LPC, LCPC, NCC, ACS

      Amanda Baden, Phd

    9. I am a LCSW who provides therapy to children through adults. I work with adopted and foster care children as well as the adoption / foster parents. I have specialized training in substance abuse, trauma, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), play therapy, and Mindfulness. I also have training in Theraplay and Circle of Security which are attachment based approaches to increase attachment and awareness. I am also an adoptive mother of 2 whom has learned a lot through the parenting of her children which I consider as a strength in combination to my professional training as I help others heal and grow. I would like to be added to your resource list. Thank you for your consideration!!

    10. Hi there – thanks for helping to gather this list of resources. It’s sad that it’s taken a travesty for there to be a spotlight on mental health in the adoption community, but am hopeful that light will bring these conversations and support to those who need it. I’m an adoption-competent, trauma informed therapist in Wisconsin.

      Jaclyn Skalnik, MSW, APSW, LCSW

      • Hi Jaclyn, great to connect with you. Thank you for sharing your credentials with me so that I may add you to the list. I am also saddened that it has taken this huge loss in the adoptee community to raise awareness about a very serious issue in our community. I pray that with this list it will remove the overwhelming search to find an adoptee/adoption competent therapist for adoptees and adoptive parents. Thank you for do what you do and for joining this list.

    11. Beth G says:

      Thanks for this invaluable guide! I’ve been trying to find a good therapist that has background with adoption/adopted children. My daughter experienced significant trauma and has just now (6th grade) been diagnosed with dyslexia. Her self esteem and ability to trust and show affection is very low. We only want her to be healthy, happy and have a strong sense of self, but have had a very difficult time finding someone that is able to help her in New Hampshire. Anyone have any recommendations?

      • Hi, Beth. Thank you for reaching out and your kind comment. I am sorry to hear that your daughter is struggling. I know it must difficult for the both of you, and I know it must hurt you to see your daughter struggling. At this time I do not know of any therapist in NH. I will post to my social media accounts and ask my peers if they know of anyone. If you are interested in Skype therapy in the mean time I can recommend you a couple therapist that can help you and your daughter. I have done therapy on Skype because I live overseas and have found it to be beneficial. Sometimes it is easier to open up in the comfort of our homes. I have also just posted a new blog on adoption trauma books that you may want to take a look at to help you better understand your daughter’s trauma and behavior. please let me know if you have any more questions. Sending you and your family love and peace.

        • patti huber says:

          Hello Jessenia

          Thank you for putting this valuable resource together.

          I thought I posted a comment before, but do not see it. My apologies if I am a repeat.

          I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Seal Beach, California. I also specialize in attachment, trauma, and adoption. As an adoptive mom, I was thrust into a world I thought I would be prepared for. Little did I know. Since then, I have completed adoption training and work closely with Sharon Roszia. I work with anyone on the constellation from adolescence on up. I am also certified in EMDR.

          Thank you again.

    12. Sarah Burns says:

      Hello – here are four more in California!
      Nancy Verrier – in Northern California (Adoptive mom)
      Marlou Russell, PhD. in Santa Monica CA, (Adoptee/Adoption/Addicitions)
      Gere Brown, Los Angeles , CA (Birth/first mother)
      Tracy Carlis, Encino, CA (Adoptee and specialist in trauma and loss)

    13. Machelle Harmon says:

      I am an adoptee from West Texas and would like to know if there are therapists in this area. I am also working on my Masrees in Mental Health Counseling and would be interested in further training in adoption counseling.

    14. Thanks for including me. There are some great people on this list!

      • Hi Brooke, you are welcome! I’ve heard great things about your practice. I’m happy to include you to this list. Thank you for being a part of the healing of adoptees.

    15. Monica says:

      I highly recommend Rhonda Robinson. She works with Heather Forbes of Beyond Consequences. We have done phone sessions with her for several years now. She has been instrumental in helping our family.

    16. Kathleen Aghajanian says:

      Thanks for a terrific resource list.
      Kathleen Aghajanian
      Concerned United Birthparents
      Boston Branch
      Director Region 1

    17. Mandy Jones says:

      Good Morning Jessenia,

      Thank you so much for compiling this list and including a wide array of resources for adoptive families! I am also an adoption-competent therapist. I am an LCSW in Evanston, IL (just north of Chicago). I have provided both home- and office-based services for adoptive families. I’m a Certified Theraplay Therapist and Trainer. Theraplay is great for adoptive families, as it provides a framework for creating secure attachment and healing trauma. I’m also trained in TBRI and ARC. If you’re still accepting therapists, it would be an honor to be added to your list.

      Mandy Jones, LCSW, JD

    18. Hi there 🙂 I am a TAC-trained, dyadically-focused clinician with infant mental health credentials. I would love to be included in your emerging list of resources 🙂

      My bio is listed below:
      Samantha Wilson, PhD, IMH-E® IV, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the division of Child Development at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is the staff psychologist within the International Adoption Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin ( has been licensed as a Clinical Psychologist in Wisconsin since 2008. She provides support to families at all stages of their adoption journeys, including pre-adoption education, initial consultation following a child’s entrance into the family, school-age assessment, and trauma-informed, adoption-competent child/family therapy. She has published numerous scholarly articles on adoption, institutional care, attachment, and early child development and is a contributing author to a book on the post-adoption development of children adopted internationally (Supporting Development in Internationally Adopted Children). She is adjunct travel staff to the Wisconsin-based TIES program, a heritage travel experience for children and families. Dr. Wilson completed specialized clinical training/education to support the unique social-emotional development of infants/toddlers and is currently credentialed within Wisconsin as an Infant Mental Health Mentor (Level IV – Clinical).

    19. Patti Huber says:

      Wonderful resource. Thank you for this.

      You may want to include Sharon Roszia, MS. While she does not offer therapy, she provides consultation to any adult member of the constellation. Her website is: sharon

    20. Hi Jessenia – you may want to check out Forrest Lien at his team in the Denver area at Thanks for this great resource – it’s MUCH needed for parents!

    21. Brook says:

      You might want to add Lebekah Shin in Kansas City. She has been a godsend to our family.

    22. Joan Robertson says:

      Any therapists in the Minneapolis, Mn area?

    23. Rachel says:

      Hi Jessenia do you have any therapists from the UK? I can ask via the networks I have if that helps develop the list?. I’m an adoptee Twitter @onbeing_adopted

      • Hiiiii Rachel! I love your tweets! Thank you for reaching out and willing to help me build this list. That’s so sweet of you. At this time I do not have any recommendations for the UK. I would be incredibly thankful if you could ask your followers for recommendations and get back to me. Thank you so so much!

        • Mandy Jones says:

          If you’re still looking for therapists in the UK, there is a large cohort of Theraplay trained (and certified!) therapists there. Much of Theraplay includes adoption-competency and puts an emphasis on trauma. I’d recommend checking out the Theraplay website, clicking on the “find a therapist” tab. Then you can find who would be geographically closest.

    24. Hi,

      A collegue passed this on to me as I also specialize in attachment, adoption and complex/developmental trauma. I would love to be on your list. I’m in springfield, NJ.

    25. Carol Lozier says:

      Thank you for including me! I am so honored!

    26. Jen Brumfield says:

      I am not only a therapist but an adoptee myself and an adoptive mother of 6! I would love to. be added to the list. I am in Medina Ohio.

    27. Adler Purple-Green.jpg. I’d love to be included. I am a first/birth mother and a therapist in Atlanta, Ga. who is moving to Asheville, N.C. next year. I would also invite any therapists on your listing to join a Closed FB Group that I’ve developed with Lesli Johnson, MFT. OurFB group is called “From The Inside Out, A Network of Therapists.” you can find it on FB (it has a photo of a winding road) and request to become a member. We post all kinds of adoption related info, can offer case consultation, and help others find therapists across the U.S., and maybe abroad.
      With your permission I will share this post on our FB page and perhaps more therapists will contact you. You can also contact us when you are looking for someone in a particular location.

    28. Paula Spears says:

      I would like to recommend Cathy Schweitzer at the Attacment and Trauma Center of Nebraska in Omaha, NE. You can read about her here:
      There are several wonderful therapists specializing in adoption at ATCNE.

    29. Great list of resources! I am a therapist in Austin, TX (& do video counseling if the person above in West Texas is interested in linking up). I am an adoptive mom of two & specialize in both the trauma side of adoption & in helping people build better relationships in open adoptions & reunions. My website is

      Additionally, you should know about Adoption Knowledge Affiliates AKA, which is a non-profit here in Austin that holds monthly educational/support group meetings for the triad & an annual conference that is just around the corner. There will be therapists and other adoption gurus from all over, continuing education for professionals, & a ton of adoption knowledge for anyone in the triad. Here’s the link for the conference if anyone is interested:

    30. Hi Jessenia, I would like to be on your list if possible! I’m a therapist in New York City providing therapy for adopted adults. I help adopted persons know themselves better in order to be able to connect better with others. I’m trained as a gestalt therapist and in EMDR and work a lot of with the body and our pre- and non-verbal experience of trauma as a way to get to the heart of the person’s adoption experience while being sensitive to the effects of trauma and of issues in adoptee development. My website is and I’d be happy to provide whatever information you need. Thanks for this wonderful list and for all your work including this site.

    31. ann says:

      I am not sure if this is the right place to leave this but I am in need of assistance. My daughter was adopted from China at 1 years old. She is 13 now and is struggling with depression, anxiety and most recently states she doesn’t feel “right” in her body. She is incredibly bright, does very well academically but has always struggled socially. We have seen a therapist on/off for 2 years. She was diagnosed with depressive symptoms but didn’t meet the criteria for depression. I am in the Chicago area and need help. Any advice or recommendations?

    32. Terry Ohler says:

      Hi. I hope you can help us. We are looking for someone like yourself but live in Lake Co., Ohio and cannot find a specialist. Just found your website. We adopted a 21/2 yr. old after fostering her since 9 mo. old. She is now 14. Has adoption/trauma and attachment disorder. She was in counseling for about 8 years and she hates me for that. She’s been out of counseling now for a little over a year. My husband and I need help to try and help her and I am feeling scared for her. She has such a sweet and kind heart. I have reached out to several counselors/agencies and there seems to be no one that specializes close to us. We’re in Ohio. Can you help at all with finding someone?? Feeling kind of desperate… Thank you!!

      • Terry Ohler says:

        Hi! I left a comment the beginning of December this past year. There is a comment stating that my comment is awaiting moderation. I am looking forward to you emailing me to see if you can help. The area we are looking for in Ohio is Mentor or Cleveland. Thank you so much. I am thankful for your website!

    33. Nicole says:

      How do I convince my therapist to adopt me? (young adult)

    34. Kim Van Pelt says:

      Any recommendations for a therapist for a 10 year old boy in the Raleigh, NC area?

    35. Hi Jessenia. Our organization doesn’t specifically work with children who are adopted, however, the majority of the kids in our program have been adopted. Due to early trauma between the ages of 0-3, and often multiple placements in foster care, etc., they’ve developed reactive attachment disorder. Please check us out if you’re interested in offering such a resource. Thank you so much!

    36. Nicole says:

      So glad I can be ignored.

    37. Olivia says:

      Is there anyone in DFW, TX area that can help me? I just need some help. I really need a therapist. I am the total poster child of adoptees. I was numb til about 5 yrs ago on the disaster of a life I survive in and decided to bring a child in. That was so stupid. I don’t know who I am and this loveless life I lead fills like a curse. Or just hell!!!! I’m just completely confused

    38. Susan Loving says:

      Hello! What great resources. I’m looking for resources for Transracial adoption counseling for my son. Anyone? Thanks!

    39. Alicia says:

      I just found you, Jessenia, through the latest Adoptees ON podcast. I am in Memphis TN and am an adoptee. I am looking for a competent Adoptee trauma therapist. I have contacted several therapists, but none have ever read The Primal Wound and don’t feel like they can assist me. I am on my 3rd marriage and it is crumbling. I have no friends and have a very strained relationship with my adoptive parents who are aging and need more of my help than I can currently give. I would be willing to drive or Skype. Thank you so much for your resources and for just being.

    40. Jonathan S Cathey says:

      Hi Jjessenia, We are looking for help in Portland Oregon. We are a family of 5 with 2 of our 3 children being adopted. Our 18 year adopted old son
      is struggling and there is a lot of verbal fighting and blame and we need help soon.
      Thanks Jonathan

    41. KazMom says:

      any recommendations for a 10 yo girl on Long Island, NY (preferably Nassau or Suffolk Counties rather than NYC.)

    42. Petrina says:

      Thank you so much for creating this list. Do you know anymore therapists in Australia, Brisbane? I am also an adoptee

    43. Eve Lyons says:

      Hey! This is a super helpful and important list. Would it be possible to organize this list by state for people’s easy reference? Also, to include whether they take insurance, specifically Medicaid, and/or have a sliding scale.

    44. Stacy Feaster says:

      Hi, do you have any recommendations in Pennsylvania? I have been looking for therapy like this for my daughter. We adopted her at 11 months and she is now 16. Depression, aniexty and lack of self esteem have been devastating for her and for us as parents to watch. We have tried traditional counseling for her and it has not helped her.
      Thank you, Stacy

      • Hi, Stacy. I’m sorry to hear your daughter has been struggling. I know that has to be difficult for you, too.

        From my own experience and from hearing the experiences of other adoptees that have been in therapy, there’s a huge difference in traditional therapy vs. a therapist that is adoption trauma informed and trained.

        Let me reach out to my contacts and see if I can find you someone.

        Please hang in there. There is hope.

        I’ll touch base with you soon.



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