First Steps for Strengthening Adoptive Families DVD

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Building on the foundation of attachment theory, this DVD program presents information, tools and techniques to help strengthen adoptive families.

In the first section, Melissa Nichols, MA, LMFT (view sample 1*: broadband, dial-up), explains the importance of attachment, attunement and regulation. Children whose early life included maltreatment such as trauma or neglect may view the world differently from other children. This perspective can produce behavior problems. Understanding a child's perspective is key to helping him or her, and Ms. Nichols includes questions to help parents and professionals accomplish this task. Ms. Nichols also provides tools parents can use, including play techniques, school interaction essentials and ideas to organize the home and family activities to help children manage anxiety.

Next, Joanne May, PhD, LP, LMFT, founder of the Family Attachment and Counseling Center of Minnesota, describes the development of Family Attachment Narrative Therapy, a methodology that uses narratives (stories) told by parents to promote healing and improve attachment.

In the final section, Denise Lacher, MA, LP (view sample 2*: broadband, dial-up), describes in detail how four types of narratives — claiming, developmental, successful child and trauma — can help children recover from past wounds, teach new behaviors and strengthen bonds within a family.

The DVD features video clips of families sharing their experiences with their adopted children. Ron and Christine describe the joys and challenges of parenting their son Aaron. Born in Slovakia, Aaron was adopted from an orphanage at age 2½. Walt and Cary detail life with their four adopted children, all born in the US. Their first adopted child, Sean, suffered a previous adoption disruption and was considered unadoptable by the state. Noah was born into a meth home and was adopted along with his biological sister Danielle. Shawna was adopted recently as a teenager.

The DVD also includes more than 2 hours of video clips from actual therapy sessions of families using Family Attachment Narrative Therapy and telling stories to their child. There are a total of eight video examples, including two for each narrative type (claiming, developmental, successful child and trauma). These clips will illustrate the narrative concept and provide rich learning material for parents and professionals alike.

Over 5 hours long, this video can be used by adoption agencies, parents, mental health professionals and child welfare workers.

Whether a child was adopted abroad or domestically, early in life or as an older child, recently or several years ago, the material on this DVD can help parents strengthen connections with their adopted child.

Table of Contents: DISC 1

  • Understanding Attachment and Your Child's Perspective
  • How to Attune to Your Child (view sample 1*: broadband, dial-up)
  • Helping Your Child Regulate
  • Tools and Techniques: Play
  • Tools and Techniques: Stories
  • How Narratives Work
  • Creating a Story (view sample 2*: broadband, dial-up)

Table of Contents: DISC 2

  • Claiming Narratives
  • Developmental Narratives
  • Successful Child Narratives
  • Trauma Narratives
  • Final Thoughts
  • References/Additional Resources

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* The video clips are QuickTime movie (.mov) files. Download the free QuickTime Player.