Processing loss in an adoption

Learn about: Processing loss in an adoption from Maureen Donley, MA, MFT,...
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Processing loss in an adoption

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The best way for adoptive parents to help children to understand and process their loss is by creating a safe space where their story can be told. Not only told, but received. Sometimes adoptive parents say that, "I'm perfectly happy and willing to talk about adoption and to talk about my child's story, but they are not interested in it. They've never asked. As soon as they ask, we are ready." The truth is that your child is taking their cues from you. If you are not talking about it, they are sensing a discomfort with the topic and they won't bring it up. It's really, as the parent, it is your responsibility to take the initiative and to tell that story a million times, until it is just second nature and a completely accepted part of your family.

Learn about: Processing loss in an adoption from Maureen Donley, MA, MFT,...

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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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