Counselling Adoptees; A Needed Change
No one is beyond the embrace of love. But for some, its embrace is uncomfortable and even painful. Such is the case for most adoptees.
There is an increasing amount data that speaks to a ‘primal wound’ sustained by a child separated from his/her birth mother; a wound that jettisons the child into a journey marked by an endless struggle with separation and loss, trust, rejection, guilt and shame. These issues play out dramatically when an adopted child attempts a loving connection to someone else, or someone attempts a loving connection to the adoptee. This can include the adopting parents.
The struggles for adoptees have often been diagnosed as a pathology unconnected to the wounds inherent in the adoption process. Awareness of these realities is vital to the child in any attempt to move through the often painful task of creating loving bonds.Most certainly counselling practises would benefit from greater insight.
Since the start of adoption practices, the subtle expectation of the adoptive parents and the adoption agencies is if the adopted child is raised with love and affection, he/she will be a happy, thankful, well adjusted contributor to society. Despite all good intentions, these assumptions can severely limit the adoptee’s potential. These assumptions may create resentment and feelings of failure in both the adoptee and his or her adopted family.
It takes more than just love to overcome the primal wound. It takes a whole lot of understanding as well.