Fostering healthy attachment with adopted children

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Fostering healthy attachment with adopted children

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Some things that adoptive parents can do from the very beginning to foster attachment with their child are to play. Play is essential, and there is a very specific aspect of play that you need to keep in the forefront of your mind, which revolves around touch. So hugs, kisses, cuddling, snuggling, carrying, anything that gives you the opportunity for skin to skin contact, for eye to eye contact, all of those moments are really, really important. It is one brick after another building the house that contains the two of you. And it also offers your child a felt sense of give and take, reciprocity in a relationship that they may never have experienced before. So you really are teaching them about relationship.

Watch Maureen Donley, MA, MFT's video on Fostering healthy attachment with adopted children...

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Maureen Donley, MA, MFT

Adoptive Mom & Therapist

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Maureen's practice spans all ages and holds a focus in creative professionals, adoption and trauma work.  She earned her MA in Clinical Psychology with a Child Studies specialization from Antioch University in Los Angeles. She has also worked as a Counselor in both K-8 and high school settings and is finishing her third year as a Counselor at the Southern California Counseling Center working with individuals, families and couples. She completed the Family Training Program Certification there, and will hold both TRM and EMDR trauma certifications in July 2013. In addition, she is working with Jeanette Yoffe in a monthly adoption support group on the Westside, as part of her new non-profit, The Celia Foundation, dedicated to all members of the adoption constellation. Maureen also facilitates both parenting and adolescent groups at Dr. Bonnie Goldstein’s Center for Psychological Services on the Westside. 

Before joining the psychology field, Maureen's first love was the arts.  As a producer and studio exec, she was part of the Feature Animation team at Disney during the Renaissance years of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Toy Story. Maureen subsequently had a production deal at Fox under which the animated feature Anastasia was released. Prior to moving to Los Angeles to join the Mermaid team, she was based in New York City.  While there, she was on the faculty at The Juilliard School (Drama Division), and was a visiting professional for the Yale School of Drama. Maureen worked on many theatrical productions as a stage manager including the Broadway production of The Glass Menagerie with Jessica Tandy, the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Pump Boys and Dinettes and the 1st and 2nd National Tours of Cats in Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles. She says, "being part of telling timeless tales was great preparation for helping people discover the true stories of their own lives."

 

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