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5300 Northland Dr NE, Ste F

Grand Rapids, MI 49525

melissa@mkntherapy.com

Licensed Psychotherapist

Trauma-Informed Yoga Educator

Tel: 616-795-0181

Fax: 888-972-8639

email: melissa@mkntherapy.com

© 2017 by Melissa K. Nicholson, LMSW. | Licensed Psychotherapist in Grand Rapids, MI | Kent County, Michigan

 

Adoption Counseling

Adult Adoptees:
  • Do you ever feel like you don't belong?

  • Have you ever felt there was something wrong with you?

  • Are you afraid of hurting your family's feelings by searching for your birth family?

  • Do you feel confused or ambivalent when you think about adoption decisions or life goals? 

  • Do you feel extra sensitive to rejection, loss, acceptance, trust, connection, and belonging issues?

Birth Families:
  • Do you suffer from grief and loss since the relinquishment?

  • Are you told you made the right choice, yet still feel empty inside?

  • Have you felt you lived with the lifelong decision and experience of being separated from your birth son or daughter, and feel confused about search and reunion?

  • Do you question how you will heal and make peace with your adoption story so that you can move on with your life?

It can be difficult to find a therapist who personally understands your struggles and special needs. As an adult adoptee, I started my private practice as a calling to provide compassionate counseling to individuals and families whose lives have been affected by adoption.

Adoption is a lifelong process and can result in the experiencing of different thoughts and emotions at different points in life. Therapy can be a useful way to reflect on your life experiences and to understand how those experiences impact the way you view the past, present, and future. 

Adoption issues I work with:
  • Experiences of abandonment, separation and loss

  • Multiple foster care placements

  • Challenging adoptive family experiences

  • Feelings of unworthiness, self-esteem, shame

  • Identity issues

  • Search & reunion issues

I support adult adoptees in their adoption story by:

  • Sharing your adoption story to start healing and grow your understanding.

  • Developing the skills to manage feelings of shame, anxiety, anger, or sadness.

  • Navigating the search and reunion processes

  • Developing mindful self-compassion

 
 

Adoption is a complex journey for both adoptive parents and adoptees. Parenting an adoptee comes with particular lifelong challenges. Counseling can help you by providing psychoeducation (knowledge) regarding the differences between adoption-related issues from general parenting concerns, appropriate developmental states, and personality styles.

Adoption issues I work with:
  • Adjustment to becoming parents

  • Post-adoption blues, or depression

  • Dealing with a child's difficult behaviors or emotions

  • How to address child's questions about adoption

  • Open adoption issues

  • Dealing with questions from friends or family

I support adoptive families in their adoption story by:

  • Attachment-based and family systems approach

  • Psychoeducation on adoption-related issues

  • Navigating the search and reunion processes

  • Developing mindful self-compassion

 

Each birth parent has faced a particular experience dealing with surrendering their birth son or daughter to adoption. Like each individual member in the adoption triad, every birth parent holds a unique story. Many birth parents describe feelings of grief, thinking about the child, guilt and shame, and report difficulties in their relationships with others. 

Therapy, especially with another therapist who is also a triad member (i.e., adoptee, birth parent, adoptive parent), can be an empowering experience. Individual counseling can be a way to integrate the past into the present while moving into the future with a sense of clarity, purpose, and balance.

Adoption issues I work with:
  • Feelings of grief and loss

  • Feelings of guilt and/or shame

  • Dissatisfaction with open adoption experience

  • Secrecy as a birth parent from relatives/friends

  • Feeling pressured into adoption against will; feelings of regret 

  • Search and reunion issues

I support birth families in their adoption story by:

  • Sharing your adoption story to start healing and grow your understanding.

  • Developing the skills to manage feelings of shame, anxiety, anger, or sadness.

  • Navigating the search and reunion processes

  • Developing mindful self-compassion