Therapists for Adoption Issues
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Therapists for Adoption Issues
Therapist for adopted daughter coming home from RTC
We are looking for a therapist for our daughter who will be returning from 2 years at a
Residential Theraputic boarding school. It is imperative that this individual have a
specialty in working with adopted youth. Our daughter will be attending college away, so
hope to find someone who will consider phone therapy as well. Please respond if you have had
personal experience with such a therapist. Would prefer east of the tunnel if possible.
You might want to check with Leslie Foge in Lafayette. She specializes in adoption
issues and has worked with several kids who have gone to wilderness or residential
treatment. Also consider talking to your adoption agency to see if they have a
I am a huge fan of both Laura Soble (http://www.laurasoble.net) and Stacy Ouetten
(http://www.attachmentadoption.net/clinicalstaff_stacy.html). They both have extensive
experience with adoption issues. They are, however, in Oakland. If that's too far for
you, they might be able to refer you to some one good on your side of the hills. I would
completely trust their recommendation.
OK, as I did for the depressed/anxious teen above, I'm going to recommend Coyote Coast -
they're east of the tunnel, in Orinda. The therapists there specialize in facilitating the
transition home from a structured therapeutic environment. And I know they have plenty of
experience with adopted youth. As you look for therapists for your daughter, I encourage
you to consider doing family therapy as well. Family therapy helped us navigate the
difficult transition, and we continue to learn how to accept and support each other and to
change relational patterns that no longer serve us. Stay hopeful....
I have a recommendation for the woman looking for an adoption therapist to help her
daughter returning two years in RTC I recommend Leslie Foge MFT. I interview Leslie on my
Dear Hopeful Mom,
I am a Bay Area psychologist and your post caught my eye. I strongly recommend my
colleague Dr. Melissa Holub for your daughter. Although she's not East of the tunnel (her
office is in North Oakland/Berkeley) she is a solid clinician--seasoned, smart, and
well-respected in the adoption community. I also know her to be flexible in working with
distance. She is online at: www.drmelissaholub.com
Troubled 14 year old struggles with adoption loss issues
I am looking for a therapist or mentor or other professional who is experienced
working with troubled teenage girls like my daughter. My daughter is 14 and just
started high school. She is adopted from birth and struggles deeply with the loss
associated with her adoption. She is a pathological liar -- all the time, all events
-- trivial or important. She is creative and a gifted story teller so people
generally believe her lies. She craves drama and wants to pull everyone into her
drama. She engages in self destructive behavior. She is and has been close to
failing school because she does not do the work but lies about doing it. She has
some learning disabilities but won't let anyone help her. She has been in therapy
for years. Sometimes helps for awhile but then she tanks again. It is a roller
That's the challenge. Now for the wonderful part: my daughter is beautiful, kind,
loving, smart, funny, and the light of my life. It is so painful to watch her
Do you know anyone who is experienced in working with teenage girls with this
profile and these kind of issues? Someone who has developed a process/plan to
address these issues and has experienced some success. Alternative therapy? EMDR?
Out of Ideas But Hopeful Mom
My daughter joined our family at the age of 7 after spending 18 months in CA
foster care. I highly recommend two therapists we have used Virginia
Cunningham in San Leandro and Joan Lovett in Berkeley. Gini is a gifted MFT
and continues to work wonders with our daughter who is now 13. Gini initially
saw our daughter weekly until 2 years ago, now it's twice monthly. While Joan,
a superb behavioral therapist, performs her miracles with through EMDR for our
daughter's PTSD whom she saw weekly for a year (8-9 y.o.) then monthly, and now
as needed. Joan, in fact, has authored a few books about PTSD and adoption and
are exellent reading for any parent who adopts a child. As concerned and
loving parents, we provide the opportunities and our kids do the necessary
work. Good therapy changes the child and his/her family. Good luck!
My daughter is also 14 and has some of the same issues. I have spoken to her
repeatedly about lying and she is beginning to get the point. Whenever her
friends lie to her, I make a point of asking how she feels about that friend
and what she would prefer they do. As for school, there is a program in high
schools called AVID. It has different names in different schools. But it is
aimed at teaching kids to be responsible about their grades, to learn good
study skills, and to think positively about oneself and ones potential (i.e
college). You and your daughter need to sign papers that commit to the program
and its methods. I know that this program is starting to make a big difference
in my daughter's life. It's also a relief to me as a single mom.
Another Mom of an Adopted 14 year old
I too have an adopted daughter. So many of us have been in your shoes, same
issues, the lying, risky behaviors,school issues...
Our daughter is now 17. She is currently in a therapeutic residential placement
after 12 weeks in a wilderness program. We have all learned a lot along this
journey. Her therapist is preparing her to start EMDR which we have heard great
things about. She also is at a school that uses equine therapy.
I am more than happy to share what we have found helpful. I do have the names
of 2 wonderful therapists that specialize in adoption. Also, the support group
Willows in the Wind (advertised in BPN) is a great resource. Depending on
private or County adoption, you may have funding available to you.
A note about school issues that we have learned...these children are terrified
about being told they are not good enough (because that would validate what
they feel about themselves), so by not doing the work they are in control of
their own failure and no one can say their work (they) are not good enough. I
think this is so interesting and has been acknowledged by our daughter as true.
If I can help you or others reading this, please contact me.
Hi - Your daughter sounds a lot like my son. He is being seen at Coyote Coast
in Lafayette, a youth counseling program. They have therapists and mentors who
specialize in ''troubled teens.'' Adoption issues are not their focus, but at
least some of the counselors have worked with adopted kids. Our kids do have a
lot of grief/loss/shame/identity issues that surface during the teen years.
I would also very highly recommend Leslie Foge in Lafayette. She specializes
in working with adopted kids, especially teens and is extremely knowledgeable
about adoption issues and is a very kind and skilled therapist. My son has not
worked directly with her, but we have seen her for parent consultations because
of her special expertise in adoption. She seems to see mostly female adopted
teens. We found Leslie by asking our adoption agency for advice. Your agency
may be able to give you additional resources as well. Best of luck,
Here are a few therapy resources to check out. Virginia and Stacy are about to
start (on Sept 5) a support/therapy group for adoptive teens (girls).
Virginia Keeler-Wolf, MA, MFT
Stacy L Outten.
Sandy also offers therapy services for adoptive teens.
Sandy McQuillan, 510-230-7119
Adoptive Teen Support Group: Please spread the word to adoptive teens and their
families about this wonderful support group for adoptive teenagers! Are you a
teen who has wondered: * Why am I terrified of rejection even though I have
such loving parents? * Why do I think so much about my birthmother when my
parents have provided such a wonderful home? Maybe you have been secretly
wishing for a place to talk freely with other adoptees about all these adoption
experiences. A place where you will find compassion and understanding.
Tuesdays, 4-5:30pm Berkeley My name is Sandy McQuillan, licensed Marriage &
Family Therapist. I have been leading psychotherapy groups for over
twenty-seven years. In addition, I have been in a successful open adoption for
the last 25 years. My group will be perfect for adoptee teens who are between
13 to 16 years old and may be wondering and questioning their identity. Call:
Sandy McQuillan, MFT 510-230-7119 for an appointment and to register 2718
Telegraph Avenue, Suite 210, Berkeley, CA 94705 Maybe you have been secretly
wishing for a place to talk freely with other adoptees about all these adoption
experiences. A place where you will find compassion and understanding.Adoptive
Teen Support GroupTuesdays, 4-5:30pmBerkeleyMy name is Sandy McQuillan,
licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. I have been leading psychotherapy groups
for over twenty-seven years. In addition, I have been in a successful open
adoption for the last 25 years. My group will be perfect for adoptee teens who
are between 13 to 16 years old and may be wondering and questioning their
identity.Call: Sandy McQuillan, MFT510-230-7119for an appointment and to
register2718 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 210, Berkeley, CA 94705
Can anyone recommend a good therapist for a 14 year old girl who is
having anxiety and anger issues? She is highly intelligent and functions
well at school, but is still falling apart sometimes at night and
completely loses control.She was in group therapy for two 8-month
sessions for adopted girls with Virginia Keeler-Wolf in Oakland, but
doesn't want to try that again. (In fact, she says she doesn't want any
kind of therapy at all, but admits to feeling helpless and defeated by
her emotions.) Even if she won't talk to a therapist, I'd love a
professional who could talk to me and coach me how to help my wonderful
daughter through this pain. Someone in the Berkeley/ Oakland area would
be best. Thanks,
Overwhelmed single mom
I don't have a name for you but just some support. My daughter also
did the Virginia keeled wolf support group and hated it. (I have
nothing but good to say about Virginia, I loved her. My daughter
just isn't a support group type kid.).
I just wanted to say that it took some time, but my daughter now
loves therapy. Once I stopped trying to talk her into it, she began
to see the benefit. She decided that she needed to be more open to
new situations and decided to talk to a therapist. She sees Ellin
Sadur, but she is in San Ramon. She has been a great mediator for
us and has really helped me to modify my behavior to make things
easier for both of us. (Ellin does also have a walnut creek
So, don't give up on therapy but wait for her to see the benefit. I
garauntee that you will start to miss the days you didn't have to
pay for it! (Ellin does take Anthem Blue Cross but you have to
file it yourself.)
My daughter is now 13 and was adopted at 16 months. She is very
bright but has issues with lying. She has ADD and like many ADD kids,
is very poorly organized. Her lies are causing me to distrust her and
is interfering with her school work. I have been out of work for
awhile and do not have health insurance, so I'm looking for someone
who works on a sliding scale. Any suggestions would be much
appreciated since I am extraordinarily frustrated.
I highly recommend Shira Gallagher, LCSW. 510-594-4008. She has a great
deal of experience working with adopted and foster teenagers as well as
parents of adopted youth and adopted adults. She is a also just a simply
wonderful therapist. She is very bright, compassionate, experienced and
does very well with teens.
Our adopted daughter, who we adopted at birth, just turned 15. She has
learning differences and, it turns out based on a neuro-psych test, ADD
as well. I imagine you are having some of the same issues that we have
had since the age of 13 with our daughter. I saw that you had a
response from someone familiar with adoption issues, and I would
definitely recommend that you see if you can find someone who knows
those issues if you can. I just started reading the book "Twenty
Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew," and it really
seems right on, although there is a lot of discussion about the effect
of closed adoptions which is not our situation. I just wish I had read
this book long ago. There is also a newer book by the same author, but
I have yet to get it.
I did want to recommend a therapist that my daughter saw, although
I'm not sure how specifically familiar with adoption issues she is.
We found her after another therapist and a psychiatrist weren't helping the way we really needed. Her name is Georgia Maslowski
(510-420-8838). She does use a sliding scale. She was able to quickly
gain my daughter's trust, and started to really sort out the truth
of what was going on in my daughter's life, and where she was
emotionally. She was able to bring my side in without alienating my
daughter when I had a different account of events. I think it would
have been successful, since she also recommended someone for family
counseling, but unfortunately my daughter had become very depressed and
started to do pretty scary things. When she started to get more in
touch with her feelings, and have some hope for relieving her
depression, she became so angry she needed to go away for a while to get
more therapy than once weekly. I hope that is not your future, but now
that we know about this, we have discovered that therapeutic facilities
away from home have many adopted kids attending. I've sent a
recommendation to be put below in the announcements section for an
who helped us find a great place for a reasonable
We are looking to see if anyone has any experience with any of the
following therapists who specialize in adoption/adolescence in our
area. Unfortunately the person recommended to us, Leslie Foge, is not
covered by our insurance. The following people are covered by our
Ilene Nemetz, Walnut Creek
Candace Hendra, Walnut Creek
Beverly Scott, Concord
Janet Long, Walnut Creek
Rhiannon Shires, Walnut Creek
Our 7th grade daughter is having identity issues related to being
adopted (we adopted her when she was 2 days old) and we are seeking a
female therapist who specializes in this type of issue.
Therapist for adopted child. I cannot recommend maria
viella highly enough. she works at west coast children's
clinic but is also in private practice in piedmont
Maria has a teenager who is adopted and she herself is also
adopted. She does family therapy but from my perspective
many of these difficulties for the child who is adopted
become family issues.
Maria is wonderful with teenagers... she really enjoys them
and gets them and her clinical experience is impressive.
most important to us she really helped create an environment
where we could work on the issues in a safe respectful
way... this is really hard stuff for kids and we all meet
work on it and support them. She gets that. most important
to my daughter who 17 she is willing to occasionally meet
her for lunch... buy my kid thai food and she's your friend
Hi. I am looking for a therapist in the bay area who specializes in
adopted children and the issues they may have. My daughter has frequent
rages and tantrums among other problems. Thanks for any help.
I'd recommend Heather Genschmer, LCSW-she spent many years
specifically working with adoptive families with children
with special needs at an agency and now works ou of her own
office on College Ave in Rockridge.
MFT in the community
Virginia Keeler-Wolf in Oakland specializes in adoption. Here is
Of all the people with whom we conferred, she offered the most
coherent diagnosis and targeted support. The primary focus is to
address what is now called Reactive Attachment Disorder. Her
skills and knowledge are deep and wide. I only wish we had located
her sooner since late diagnosis of this fairly common problem with
adopted children hampers the best outcome.
I recommend Nancy Verrier, MFT, who practices in Lafayette.
She has written several books on adoption and speaks on
adoption internationally. She has worked for decades with
adopted kids and adoptive parents, and is an adoptive parent
herself. I know her as a colleague - we went to graduate
school together and I've followed her work for many years. Her
office is at 925-284-5813.
I'm looking for recommendations for a therapist for my almost 19-year-old
adopted daughter. She has some adoption issues--the intellectual
understanding of why her birth mother could not care for her but the emotional
distress of feeling rejected--and she suffers from low self esteem. Thanks.
Dear Supportive Mom looking for therapist for 19 y/o
daughter, my husband and I highly recommend Dr. Thomas Cohen
on Piedmont Ave. 510-653-0110. He treated our son from age
16 to 18 and was amazing. In the course of our son's
therapy, Dr. Cohen also saw our teenage daughter
periodically. She is two years younger than her brother. Dr.
Cohen was well prepared to talk with teens who really didn't
want his help and didn't want to face their issues (by the
way, they were dealing with feelings of rejection,
abandonment, and low self esteem). Call him and see what you
think. He saved our kids and the sanity of our family. Good
I know a psychologist who specializes in adoption who would be a great
person for your daughter. Her name is Melissa Holub, and she's in
Berkeley on Shattuck near Ashby. Her number is: 510-658-7119. She's
smart, warm and very experienced.
An excellent psychologist who could help your daughter work through her
adoption feelings is Susanne Stolcke. Ms. Stolcke specializes in young adults
and has a great deal of experience with young adults. Her number is 510-375-
4575. She's located at 2006 Dwight Way, Berkeley. She has a website:
www.poweroftherapy.com Good Luck.
Ashley Henderson is a very talented and empathic therapist. She has extensive
experience with teens/young adults and the adoption experience. 510-435-
We built our family through adoption and have benefitted greatly from the
guidance of Leslie Foge. www.lesliefoge.com She's in Lafayette. You should also
check out PACER's web site for a listing of adoption literate therapists, as well as
local support group meetings: http://www.pacer-adoption.org/therapists.htm
fellow adoptive mom
Our daughter is having some issues that we (my husband and
I) and our couples' counselor feel would be helped by having
her go to therapy. Our daughter is not interested in therapy
(she feels it means there is something wrong with you, in
spite of our trying to disabuse her of that notion). In any
case, one of her comments recently made me think that she
would benefit from a therapist who specializes in working
with adopted kids. (Our daughter said that she feels that
she hasn't ''bonded'' with me and she doesn't know if she
even wants to. We have no idea where she even came upon the
word, frankly.) Generally speaking, our daughter gets along
fantastically with my husband, and poorly with me. Our
daughter was adopted at birth, just as an fyi, and it was a
Any recommendations in the Walnut Creek/Lamorinda area? I
have checked the website and the latest recommendations seem
to be 2 years old.
Thanks in advance.
want to help our daughter
Please consider Virginia Keeler-Wolf at Family Attachment
and Adoption Center (FAACE). I have students who work with
Virginia and they (and parents) are very happy with her.
Virginia is excellent! FAACES website is
I wish your daughter the best.
I highly recommend Cindy Hill-Ford, MFT. She is located in
Lafayette and specializes in adoption issues. She is very
skilled with adolescents and would probably be a good match for
your daughter. She is warm and compassionate as well as very
knowledgable about these kinds of issues. Her # is 925.210.9964.
You can email her at email@example.com anonymous
My daughter is adopted from China and is now 8 years old. Though we have
tried so many approaches and numerous processes and tons of love, she
seems to have a constant ache and rage in her heart around having been
deserted by her original family. I have concluded that she needs
grief/mourning help since, in reality, she feels a constant sense of loss
without resolution (ie no information available to Chinese adoptees on
who their parents are). This pain confuses and upsets her and our whole
family has now developed many patterns around it. I want to desperately
find help for her and ultimately for our whole family around her
Looking for a practitioner who know and understand the unique deep and
ongoing mourning of children whose parents don't ''exist'' for them to
interact with, yet who are not actually ''deceased''. It's a terrible
vague sadness and rage in her daily life. We have already read a lot of
books, now are open to any processes that have been materially shown to
help with this issue. Could be therapy, could be art, could be...?
Thank you! We live in San Leandro, but will take referrals to anyone in
the Bay Area.
Please give Casi Kushel (Walnut Creek, 925-683-7111) a call and see if she
can help. She has done special work with children of immigrant families
and has been involved with orphans in Afghanistan, helping them to heal
from the loss and traumas they've faced.
Leslie, I HIGHLY recommend Virginia Keeler-Wolf, MA, MFT and Laura
Soble, MA, MFT, REAT of the Bay Area Attachment Center, 510-339-9363.
Both are excellent and specialize in adoption issues. Please see their
I wish you, your daughter, and family the best.
I know of a wonderful group in Oakland that deals with adoption issues;
their website is http://www.attachmentadoption.net/index.html. My kids
see Laura Soble and Stacy Ouetten, who are both terrific (fyi, my kids
are not adopted, but many kids in their practice are).
I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's grief. I imagine it's very
disconcerting and frustrating to feel you are never getting anywhere.
I'm a psychologist in private practice on the border of Berkeley &
Oakland. I've worked with many foster families and adoptive families and
their kids, including children adopted from China. I understand the
sadness and abandonment these children feel as they transition to a new
family. They will often dump their grief on the adoptive family for lack
of an appropriate container. The right kind of therapy can provide this
container for your daughter. I hope you find ease and resolution soon.
My heart goes out to your daughter and your family. I'm also the mother
of a daughter adopted from China. Although she is younger then your
daughter, we've also dealt with issues of grief and loss. I highly
reommend a child therapist named Anne Brodzinsky (510-985-1773). She's
based in Oakland and has years of experience with adoptive families (and
is an adoptive mom herself). Her husband, David Brodzinsky is also
supposed to be wonderful, but we have not seen him.
Good luck and take care!
another adoptive mom
Hi, I had recently read this article and wanted to share it with you:
http://www.heartsent.org/page17.html - I believe the writer runs
Heartsent Adoptions in Orinda
and maybe she could help you. I don't know if it's pertinent to your
situation, but apparently Reactive Attachment Disorder is not uncommon
in children with early trauma.
hope this helps.
I am wondering if anyone has worked with a therapist dealing
with possible post adoption depression? My husband and I
brought our son home a few months ago and I am feeling very
down and overwhelmed. It has gotten to the point where I
would like to talk with a therpist to figure out what is
really going on (ie new mama stuff or more serious
depression). I would love to use a therapist who is familiar
with adoption issues but I didn't see any previous recs for
this type of therapist.
Thanks for any help!
New Mama in Oakland
Any one of the clinicians at the Family Attachment & Adoption
Center of the East Bay (FAACE) would be qualified to work with
you. You can obtain more specific information and contact
details at www.attachmentadoption.net
Offices are located off Park Blvd. in Oakland.
I am a therapist who specializes in adoption as well as special
needs. Post adoption depression is a common, usually temporary,
issue that affects many new adoptive parents. The guilt and the
incorrect assumption of not being entitled to having these
feelings can exaserbate the condition. Sometimes it just takes
time for a new adoptive parent to become comfortable in his/her
new role as a parent. Rest assured that you are not alone. Barbara
I highly recommend a most compassionate and experienced
therapist with offices
in Albany and S.F.
She is often a guest speaker on the topic of adoption.
I know her as a friend but I do not hesitate to recommend her
as a therapist.
Lynn Watkins: (415) 648-8065
I too had post-adoption depression and I didn't know that it was
possible to have that so you are a step ahead. I recommend
Melissa Holub as an adoption aware psychologist. Her number is
I know that Laine Demetria is familiar with the world of
adoption. It might be worth giving her a call. Here's her
Good luck to you and good for you for seeking help.
I understand the following therapist works with families who have
Keeler-Wolf, Virginia, MFT
1425 Leimert Blvd Ste 302
Oakland, CA 94602
I'm looking for an adoption literate therapist in Sonoma County,
preferable Santa Rosa. Any recommendations?
Leslie Hansen MFCC did my homestudy when I adopted my daughter
5 years ago. She also has a private therapy practice and is
very adoption-literate. She's based in Petaluma/Santa Rosa.
You can reach her at 707-776-4810.
Lizbeth Hamlin-Haims 707-575-8189 Santa Rosa
Very experienced therapist; Jungian-oriented, yet practical;
Jonathan Pannor might be a great fit for you. He practices
through Kaiser in San Rafael - a bit south of you, but if you
can't travel there he might know of someone closer to you.
Here are a couple of links to learn more about him. (He's a
friend of mine. I have not been in counseling with him.)
Try these folks
Rich Addison 707 576 9813 Works with adults and kids
John Alolovitch 707 537 6832 Works with kids
Both are in Santa Rosa and have adopted kids.
Cathy Valdez has been recommended to me as a therapist for
my teenage daughter to work on ADD issues, oppositional
defiance issues, and adoption issues. Does anyone have any
experience in dealing with Cathy Valdez as a therapist? Any
info would be appreciated.
I highly recommend Kirsten Beuthin to see your teenager
alone or with you in family therapy. She appears to be
young (though I'm not sure about her age), but is quite wise
and seems to really get teens. Mine felt very comfortable
with her, and therefore able to work through some very tough
times and get back on track. Kirsten's number is
Can anyone recommend a good family therapist, perferably in
Oakland, who can help with parenting issues. Some experience
with adoption preferred. Thank you in advance!!
stressed out mom
MFT directs the Family Adoption and Attachment Center of the East Bay
(FAACE), located in the Glenview area of Oakland, is a family therapist specializing in
adoption and attachment issues. Her number is 510-339-9363.
I'm another adoptive parent of a newly teenage girl, doing the
search for an appropriate therapist and other resources. I can
give a couple of reccomendations. For racially mixed families,
try PACT, An Adption Alliance.
4179 Piedmont Avenue, Suite 330
Oakland, CA 94611
(510) 243-9460 (voice)
There are two therapists who have been mentioned before on this
website -- Virginia Keeler-Wolf -- 339-9363 -- and Susan Love --
287-8981. They're in Oakland near Park Ave. Both excellent,
specialists. I believe both were themselves adopted.
Finally, you might want to speak with Beth Miller, a social
worker who specializes in adoption. I found her to be extremely
helpful in pointing me in an appropriate direction for my
daughter and our family, she's a lovely person, very ethical,
knowledgeable and experienced, and her office is on Santa Clara
Ave. near Ladyfingers Bakery. (510) 654-4445
Adoption issues can be very complex. I'd encourage you to take
the time to find someone experienced and capable.
Another Adoptive Mom
My family can recommend Virginia Keeler-Wolf.
We've gotten very constructive feedback and
strategies for our children who were adopted. Her contact info: 1425 Leimert Blvd. Suite
#302, Oakland, 510-339-9363. Not all therapists are able or qualified to handle adoption
related issues so I'll be checking the other responses with interest.
Taxed to the max Mom
I'd like to recommend Lynn Watkins, MFT. She's in Albany, not Oakland,
but well worth the trip. She's well versed in adoption issues and an
excellent, very experienced therapist. Lynn often works with clients in
reference to parenting issues, and has provided therapy to people in all
the areas of the adoption triad. She works with Resolve, and has spoken
at conferences on the topics of adoption and infertility. She's a warm
and lovely person, too! Lynn's voice mail number is 415-
Someone asked for a recommendation for a therapist with
experience with adoption issues. I just found out that my
therapist is expanding her practice and will have some openings
for new clients. I wholeheartedly recommend her: Laine Demetria,
MS MFT (licensed). She has offices in Albany and also in San
Francisco (at Church and Market). She would be an ideal therapist
for adoption issues. Give her a call. 415-705-0776.
My 17 year old daughter needs a therapist in Berkeley area
to help her with believing she is interesting enough,
attractive enough etc. that any desirable boy she is
involved with will not instantly leave her at the first
opportunity. This is probably partially an adoption
(abandonment) issue, probably other things too. She just
broke up (again) with a very sweet young man because she
didn't ''trust'' that he wouldn't leave her for someone
else, just as they were getting into a pattern of going
places, having fun, spending time with each others' family
occasions, etc. She insists he did absolutely nothing to
make her suspicious--just can't stop thinking that ''if
someone else wants him, they'll just get him, she doesn't
stand a chance.'' She acknowledges this is her problem and
she needs help. She has a history of problems with self-
confidence--probably mostly because of learning disability
and body image issues, as well as the adoption component.
Most recommendations on the website are years old or for
other types of problems, so I'd appreciate your
I highly recommend Patricia Contaxis for your 17 yr old
daughter. she works primarily with adolescents and can
really relate to them. my daughter has been seeing her for
over a year and has been very beneficial for her. Great
with self confidence issues. She's on Solano. her # is
I would recommend that you seek a therapist with experience
in adoption issues as this often affects self-esteem
(confidence and trust in relationships with others). I
would highly recommend Kirsten Beuthin who specializes in
teens and their families as well as adoption issues. She is
in Oakland and SF. 510-652-0990 or 415-401-7180
Looking for a therapist experienced in anxiety, adoption,
loss issues for a young teen girl. An Asian woman would be
Lili Suzuki, MFT might be a good fit for your daughter. She specializes in
work with adoption issues. She is also trained as an art therapist.
510-233-7555, ext. 18
Laura Soble, MFT, REAT, Oakland
I highly recommend Alexandra Howells. She specializes in
working with Teens and she is a very compassionate and warm
person who is very skilled and has a great connection with young
people. Her number is 510-869-4394. Her email is
Related page: Attachment Disorder
Can anyone recommend a good therapist who works with
children/adoptees who have mild RAD (reactive attachment disorder)?
I have a daughter with RAD and we both have been seeing Debra
Bartenstein (633-1563) who has been very helpful. I can
recommend her highly.
Additionally, I found the ''only'' two therapists in the Bay Area
who are truly specialized in RAD. I would recommend calling
them too. They are Virginia Keeler Wolf at 510-339-9363 and
Susan Love who's number I cannot find but she should be in the
phone book and Virginia Keeler-Wolf has her number too.
Just another note: I found RAD workshops extremely helpful.
Unfortunately very little is offered in the Bay Area, but CATTE
in the Sacramento Area puts on workshops regularly and they are
excellent (and affordable). Also, PACT is putting on a workshop on
attachment soon so you might want to give them a call. If you'd
like to talk some more or maybe even have playdates with a
comfortable RAD mom, call me. Best wishes.
Martina,a few weeks away from finalization.
I suggest you check out Virginia Keeler-Wolf in Berkeley.
Although we have just begun working with her, she was highly
recommended. She says her practice is about 75% adoption-related,
and she is active in PACER, and is presenting at an upcoming PACT
this page was last updated: Nov 11, 2013
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