No-one Else Will?

I have reblogged this post ( Carrie makes many points about ‘the church’ and about ‘the adoption community’. I expect that there will be some of you who will agree and some who disagree with the points she makes. Some of you I know well enough to know your views and I know you’ll express them if you wish to here, on Twitter or on Facebook. Sadly it seems many are in polarised positions and there can be no meeting point. That is possibly because there is so little, if any, common ground and so few places in which to discuss rationally and respectfully. Carrie writes – What I want the adoption community to know about the Church community is that we are the only people on the planet that you are going to find that honestly, do genuinely care and can offer hope, and can offer healing, and offer a reason for the pain, and offer the possibility of fully recoverying from the pain. No one else can. And no one else will. This is clearly not true for many adoptees, who have found people on the planet who are not Christians who do offer hope, healing, an understanding of pain and possibilities for dealing with it. Many others can and many do and will! Such sweeping statements bring in no converts, do nothing to demonstrate the honesty or ‘genuine care’, don’t establish credibility and can antagonise those who are dismissed and ignored by not being among ‘the only people on the planet’. While it is unusual to see such self-confidence and faith in what can be offered and what will work, there is always the possibility of giving false hope, disappointment and injury by being promised healing and full recovery which does not deliver. Clearly this solution only works for ‘believers’ and those who can become ‘believers’. What is there for non-believers, those of other faiths and beliefs?
“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.” – Carl Jung
Apparently Christian counsellors “want to see you moving into wholeness and becoming whole and that’s their goal. Christian counselors believe that peace is available and that it can be reached and attained for any situation and circumstance because of the promises that Christ makes in his word to do that for you.
Christian counselors and therapists aren’t in it for the money or in it to make good off of your pain and suffering. Christian counselors are in it to be extensions of God’s healing hands.
That’s the difference that Christian counseling and Christ centered therapy make.” –
It only takes the quickest of searches to discover many, many places and practitioners who offer professional help with healing. Always check with your local registering body, look at references and if possible talk to others who have received counselling, therapy and support. Feel free to interview the practitioner, ask questions and seek to discover if you think you can work productively with them. Some offer free first sessions, many are well-known in their community and have good reputations, often being referred by one family to another. Any practitioner who labels themselves ‘an expert’ or ‘a guru’, who pushes their personal beliefs and views or has an agenda – ‘curing you of homosexuality’, ‘bringing you to god’ for instance, should be avoided like the plague! You do not need to come away more damaged and traumatised, stigmatised, judged or made to feel you are lacking, inferior, without worth or needing to spend a great deal of money for a long time to be ‘cured’. An old friend hoping to deal with her parenting by strict, religious parents ended up seeing a christian counsellor a number of times a week and paying $100 a session for quite a few years. Proficient counsellors and therapists will sometimes tell you that if they’re not getting results in six sessions you’re either not doing the work or you need to see someone else. A good practitioner doesn’t tell you what to do, predict outcomes or write the script for you. Remember that good therapists and counsellors should have benefitted from many years of training and preparation and that this is their job, for which you pay money to receive the benefits of their expertise, skills, knowledge, intuition, time, preparation and experience. The assertion that Christian counsellors aren’t in it for the money or ‘to make good off your pain and suffering’ implies that non-christian counsellors are! You have only to check around to find there aren’t too many rich counsellors or therapists! The very, very few who become well-known, usually do so because they publish books and give lectures, run courses, train and supervise others and have ventured into new areas of expertise from their backgrounds in psychology, psychiatry or social work – Betty Jean Lifton (with her poodle and cat), Virginia Satir, 300h Carl Rogers, (, Fritz Perls, David Boadella, R.D.Laing to mention a few of the ground breakers.640px-Michael_White_photo (
Some timely advice on selecting a therapist on Facebook today from Psychotherapist Jeff Brown –
I am a strong advocate for quality psychotherapy as part of the transformational journey. Not only is it necessary for those of us who cannot access our unresolved material alone, but it is also essential to our spiritual maturation. Repressed emotions are unactualized spiritual lessons- if we cannot excavate and work through our feelings, we will be limited in our expansion. At the same time, we have to be careful who we choose as our therapist, particularly if we have very deep early issues. If we are going to go back into regressed, primal states, we have to be sure that our practitioner has the capacity to hold us safe. We want to be sure they have developed the tools to see us through to the other side integrated and intact. I have known too many people who went deep with an ill-equipped therapist and ended up stumbling through life without an intact adult consciousness. Yes they touched into the wounds, but they also drowned in them. There is a significant difference between therapists who can swim in the deep end, and those that cannot. Spend a lot of time interviewing therapists before you dive in, and, if at any point in the process your instincts tell you that your therapist cannot facilitate your healing, sever the cord. Healing is no game. If we jump into the pool of pain, we want to work with someone who can keep us afloat until we get to the other side.
Currently you may have difficulty in finding a proficient practitioner who understands adoption and is able to help you with the particular work you may need to do. Hopefully in time there will be more and more specialists in adoption work and adoption will begin to appear in training courses and be written about as an area requiring special knowledge and skills. More and more adoptees are writing their memoirs and writing on how to heal and become an adoption survivor.51PPcSOdwAL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_ You’ll find many of them on Amazon, in amongst the books on ‘orphanology’, the thinly disguised histories of real life adoptees written by those who should know better, the books with titles which are so cringe-worthy you wonder how the subjects will feel when they read them as adults, the 2o things books and the books by people with bought qualifications who sell themselves as experts.51-9lAhNanL__AA160_
To conclude, in my own adopted life I have been many things, done many things and gradually acquired a perspective on adoption I would not have recognised twenty or thirty years ago when I counselled adoptees and mothers beginning reunion, trained as a Family Therapist and later as my health deteriorated, encouraged the development of the family counselling practice which continues to develop and has some exciting new stages to go through in the future. My interest remains firm and I am as enthusiastic and passionate about the changes people of courage make and am often in awe of the challenges people face in order to become survivors and eventually to thrive. While I no longer do face-to-face work, I find I can still try to be useful with the help of the social media and am honoured when I receive a comment like this one from Cathy.
She writes; – I LOVE the connections you make between Jeff Brown’s teachings and the work that needs to be done to heal from and lovingly shift the collective thinking about adoption practices!
So I want to thank you. For being one of those important daily resources for me as I quietly and safely worked to grow and heal. I want to thank you for being brave and vocal about a subject that still has so much myth and misunderstanding tied to it! And I want to thank you for being a role model who helped me hone my own, unique vision of how I plan to help.

This is what keeps me writing, researching, thinking about adoption, continuing to do my own work and striving in my own way towards change. We can all take a part in changing something we collectively know so much about. We are the consumers, the objects of adoption, the only ones who know what it means to be adopted, to live life as an adoptee and to keep facing the challenges as they come at us – what is it they say -the light at the end of the tunnel is the oncoming train? Sometimes adoption feels that way, ‘the gift that keeps on giving’ as each new challenge unrolls, each new stage of the adopted life begins and we find new areas that need addressing. We can live good lives, be happy, fulfilled and productive. We can heal, but we will always carry the scars. If we’re lucky we learn to wear them with pride, not to hide them and pretend we have not been wounded. We are wholly us; courageous survivors, sometimes living ‘ordinary lives’ with back stories that sometimes amaze, anger, fascinate, surprise, mystify and dumbfound non-adoptees. We seem to have become ‘fashionable’, although we’ve never gone away as subjects for fiction, movies etc…think Agatha Christie who manages to get adoptees in all her stories, one contains six or seven! Think Anne of Green Gables; the wonderful stories of Gene Stratton Porter including “Freckles” and the most recent of popular movies “Annie”. We have become vocal and although a few non-adoptees and one or two adoptees complain about such exciting developments as #flipthescript our voices are being heard, are beginning to be listened to and hopefully heeded. Thank you Cathy for the timely reminder that I am still making a contribution and I hope to be able to go on doing so for a time to come yet. I’m still proud to be part of some collective writing and there will be an announcement soon! Take care and as my T’ai Chi teacher always said at the end of his lessons, “Be kind to each other”.


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