Adoption is a journey with several paths, and many adoptive parents use therapy to help them navigate the multiple twists and turns. At Deaconess Pregnancy & Adoption (DPA), we are committed to providing adoption/foster-competent therapy to individuals, couples, families and children through our Connect Counseling Center. Now, we’re happy to announce a new counseling initiative available to adoptive and foster families – HOPE Groups.
What Are HOPE Groups?
HOPE Groups is our newest counseling and therapy program for foster and adoptive families and their children. Through HOPE Groups, families will be able to come together and share the triumphs and difficulties of foster care and adoption, and they will be given an opportunity to grow and learn together.
In the HOPE Groups program, five families can start a therapeutic plan at the same time and proceed through it in in parallel. Therapists from Connect will work with participants to develop family-specific treatment plans geared toward meeting each family’s unique needs and challenges, and the families will also have the option to come together in group sessions to discuss what is working and what challenges they have.
The group therapy model provides specific benefits beyond meeting with only a therapist. In group sessions, families gain a safe space to share thoughts with other foster and adoptive families, talk about triumphs and problems, and ask questions to the therapist and each other. These groups provide a great way for families to form relationships and support each other under the guidance of a licensed, adoption/foster-competent Connect therapist.
Should We Consider Counseling?
Seeking therapy can help foster and adopted children deal with the stresses and difficulties of growing. However, not all adoptive or foster parents take advantage of counseling. How do you know whether counseling is right for you? Here are a few common issues where counseling may be helpful:
- Struggles with the relationship between the child’s birth family and adoptive family.
- Problems with bullying or with relationships at school or with friends.
- Emotional outbursts or instability.
- Problems with trust or emotional attachment.
- Handling past mistreatment, abuse, or neglect.
- Problems with anxiety or depression.
- Difficulty with social interaction.
One thing to keep in mind about therapy is that every child and every family is different. One style of counseling may work well for one family but not another. However, that doesn’t mean therapy won’t work for you – just that you need to find the right therapist and program.
Group Counseling Benefits
Along with helping to handle issues in children and families, group counseling and therapy such as that offered by HOPE Groups has other benefits to adoptive parents as well:
Counseling provides an opportunity for parents to learn from each other and from their counselor. Regardless of how many children they have, no parent knows everything, and counseling can be a great way to fill in gaps in your knowledge and learn how to be a better parent.
Support from Other Parents
Sometimes being an adoptive for foster parent can feel isolating, especially if you don’t know anyone else who is going through something similar. Group counseling offers adoptive and foster parents the opportunity to connect with families in a similar situation, making it easier to find support and guidance.
Learn About Yourselves
Along with getting support from other group members, group therapy allows adoptive families to learn about themselves and grow their own relationships at home. By participating in group sessions, families can get advice, feedback, and help from other group members. This, in turn, can help them learn what works well in their own lives – and what doesn’t.
Join a HOPE Group Today
If you’re interested in learning more about HOPE Groups and how you can participate, contact us today at Deaconess Pregnancy & Adoption. Our Connect counseling center employs licensed and experienced therapists who are ready to help you. Call 405-949-4200 today to learn more or visit our Facebook page to read more helpful advice and ideas.