The experience of adoption will impact your life in many ways. One of my specialties is working with adoptive parents, adoptive families, birth families and adopted persons. Often, there is no way to anticipate the frustration or confusion that may arise during or after the adoption process, but getting professional guidance at the right time can help reduce these problems.
While there is no roadmap for parenting in general, adoptive parents often feel particularly challenged as children pass through developmental stages where adoption issues typically surface. Counseling will help you understand your child and feel more prepared and competent.
Research documents that adoptions supported by counseling are by far the most successful in establishing new relationships and developing healthy attachments. Adoption counseling involves helping you decide the best type of adoption for your family. Or it may include facilitation and positive support for both you and your birth family. Counseling will provide the helping hand you will need through the tumultuous process of adoption.
Preparing for the relinquishment process through counseling can make a significant difference in your recovery. It can enhance your experience and help you feel empowered. Grief counseling after an adoption facilitates healing. Feelings of loss may resurface as you pass through certain life experiences, like getting married, having other children or contemplating a search. Counseling will help you explore and work through your emotions and options.
Being adopted can be as descriptive as being left handed or brown eyed. But it also can mean having feelings or questions that others cannot understand or answer. Different life stages can prompt different reactions and emotions, and some adopted persons may explore the idea of searching. Counseling can help you sort out how being adopted has impacted you.
I currently have two Associates working in my psychotherapy practice, Judy and Mik --
Judy Bensinger-Haynes, AMFT--
My first Masters Degree was earned cum laude from the Erikson Institute, Loyola University Chicago, Il. The focus was family systems, human development, attachment and development with a clinical focus on major milestone loss and the hospitalized child, Child Life Programs, Lincoln Park Children's Hospital.
My background includes working within the mental health community and educational community supporting family systems; parents, children and individuals who are seeking to build healthy relationships.
I have been employed by the Early Child Mental health Program, the Virginia Frank Program, and the San Leandro Teen Parent Program. Most recently I retired from the SRVUSD Early Start Early Intervention Program. While working for the Early Start Program, I assessed birth through three year olds and providing support to families and toddlers together.
In 2014, I graduated from St. Mary's College receiving a Masters Degree, cum laude, with a focus on Marriage and Family Therapy. For the past three years I have had the good fortune to be supervised by Leslie Foge, MFT, who was one of my professors/mentors at SMC. More information can be found at www.jbensingerhaynestherapy.com.
Mik Fuller, AMFT --
I graduated from Saint Mary's College in 2017 with a Master of Arts in Counseling, with honors. In my studies, I concentrated on marriage and family therapy, gaining training in working with a diverse population and an emphasis on social justice and multicultural issues. My master's project examined the struggles of and ways to support fathers of prematurely born children. My undergraduate studies took place at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR where I earned a Bachelor of Arts in History (‘08).
My training has included working in a number of settings. First, in the Walnut Creek School District, I worked for two years as the on-site counselor in an elementary school, providing counseling and crisis interventions for students and families, as well as consultation with teachers and staff. Next, in the Piedmont Unified School District, I worked as a Mental Health Counselor in the Wellness Center seeing a variety of clients in both the middle and high schools and providing consultation to parents and staff.
Currently, my practice involves supporting children, teens, young adults, and their families, across a wide range of issues, including depression, grief, anxiety, identity, interpersonal relationship stress, or communication issues. I find great fulfillment in supporting clients through developmental transition periods. Additionally, I run a group for adopted teens, which meets weekly and assists in supporting members’ personal growth, insight, interpersonal relationships, and identity.
More information can be found on my website at www.mikfullertherapy.com
Please note, I am not a member of any insurance groups or panels. However, I will furnish you with an insurance form or receipt of services (superbill), upon request. Some insurance companies (usually PPO plans) or products do reimburse for out-of-network providers. I encourage you to contact your insurance provider for details prior to our appointment.
I have expertise and competence in treating the following problems or concerns: