June Newsletter

(Pre/Post Adoption Consulting and Training)

Quick Links!

Mary Gauthier, folk singer-songwriter and adopted person, performing at Johnny D's in Somerville on June 11

"Keep in mind that no matter how nonsensical and frustrating your child's feelings may seem to you, they are real and important to your child."
- Dr. Dan Seigel, The Whole Brain Child

2014-2015 Adoption Competency Program

Clinical Consultation Program

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Hello Friends and Families:

We are gearing up for ARC and it is really shaping into a fabulous time!!!


If your life has anything to do with adoption, this is where you should be in July - having fun on the beach and at galleries and restaurants and filling your mind with more questions than answers.






Please help us to spread the word by sharing widely the above link. We are hoping to increase attendance from last year's numbers (we had to skip 2012, and it lowered our attendance in 2013 - let's get back up to speed this year).



PACT & ARC Invite You to Join Us at the 28th Annual ARCeology Summer Intensives


28th ARC Summer Intensives:
Adoption on the Edge
July 7-8, 2014


The ARC Summer Intensives Conference is a two-day event for professionals, parents (birth, adoptive, foster, etc), adult adopted people, and extended family.  This year, we will look at the aspects of adoption conversation that have built a "story" over time for the individuals and for the entire system of adoption through some certain heroism and hard work.  


As ever, we will use narrative therapy, digital stories, performance, and movies to discuss the many emotional and psychological elements that can make adoption a challenge and a joy for all involved.


Click Here for Full Brochure 

Visit the conference webpage for complete details


For more information,

email [email protected] or call (617) 547-0909



Register by completing the Registration panel of the brochure 
by completing the online registration form

What we've been up to at PACT:


I just returned from the Adoption Initiative Conference at St. John's University. The subject matter was powerful as were the speakers.  It was a wonderful opportunity to address the issues that are continually making adoption and adopted people the center of discourse and of questioning the ethics and legality of adoption both international and domestic in this day and age.  It is not just about "adoption" - it is more about the adopted people who live in that world and often suffer the injustices that have been done to them over time.  Excellent conference as always.  I've been to all of them since the first in 2000, and I think the conversation goes deeper and deeper each time.  Nice job to Dr. Raphael Javier, Dr. Amanda Baden, and the committee.

I completed the two-sided knowledge sheets for DMH, which will be used by their case managers and supervisors to make them more aware of things that are important in cases surrounding adoption.


I presented at a great launching of the Child Behavioral Health Knowledge Center at DMH: a wonderful day of "conversations" about serious issues that face professionals working with children.


I have been doing consultations for DMH and for Riverside through Riverside AACT.

I have been working very hard with the wonderful Adoption Rhode Island and CEO Darlene Allen, along with Family Service of Rhode Island and a host of other partners, sponsors, and advisors to write a federal grant that would provide adoption competency training for a myriad of mental health and child welfare workers across the country.  This is a much needed process and we feel strongly that, with all of our experience in training and in writing training programs, we would be an excellent choice to do this imperative work.


Nice news about outcomes of recent cases where I was expert witness.  I feel it was an opportunity to educate the court and the messages were heard.


I continue to work with Dr. Valerie O'Brien on our research into international adoptions in Ireland and America and how we are both sending and receiving countries with a lot learn from the past so that we take better care of the future.  Click Here to read more.



The book, Adoption Medicine: Caring for Children and Families, has come out.  I wrote a small chapter and am very proud of my colleagues, Dr. Lisa Albers Prock, Dr. Dana Johnson, and Dr. Patrick Mason. Much needed for PCP's, pediatricians, child psychiatrists etc.




This month we have been strengthening families and individuals around issues such as:


  • Older child adoptions from Russia and increases in behavioral issues at school and at home
  • Older child adoptions from child welfare and the increase in behavioral issues and mental health issues that present because of early abuse and neglect
  • Young adult adopted people and their parents: issues around support to be independent when one is "of an age" but not yet emotionally stable.
  • Families with children, youth, and young adults who are in residential treatment, and how to trust that the parents will be able to keep the child and themselves safe in the transition and return to home
  • Eating disorders and addictions in adopted youth and young adults
  • Search and reunion issues in children as young as six, and adults as old as 82
  • Divorce and adoption: especially in toxic divorce situations where the child is once again torn in two
  • Adult adoptees who become parents, and the grandparents must take some temporary or permanent custody of their grandchildren
  • Support for birthparents in order to have reunions and relationships be in the best interest of the child and all parents
  • A young wife encouraging her husband to search for his birth family as they grow their own family
  • Support for a family who had a disruption of adoption placement because the child had safety issues and the agency (private) did not do any preparation of the child, the birth family, or the pre-adoptive family. The result was another disaster for the child.


In addition, I am providing supervision of three professionals who want expert consultation on their adoption-related cases.


I will use the Bay and Paul Foundation grant to write for several weeks from mid-June to mid-July.  I am hoping to get much done on the several articles and the two books that are in limbo!


I will be doing phone consultations and coaching during that time.   Preparations and hosting of the Summer Intensives will be a part of that, as well.


After the conference on the Cape wraps up, we will look forward to the fall and to both the trainings in Cambridge and NYC and the Advanced Consultation Groups in Cambridge and NYC.



Some other items of interest:


Mary Gauthier is an American folk singer-songwriter and an adopted person, who incorporates her life into her storytelling as she makes music and writes songs.  She will be performing on Wednesday, June 11 at Johnny D's in Somerville.  Details and Tickets




Research Study Seeking Participants:


Hi Friends,

My research team is doing a study on Adoption Microaggressions and we are currently seeking male adult adoptees and birth parents to interview for the project. If you are interested in participating, go to this link (http://tinyurl.com/MSUAdoptionResearch) and submit your info to us. Here is a link for more info on the study. Please share this with friends who might be interested in participating. Thanks so much!




Montclair State University Adoption Research Team

Dr. Amanda Baden


Doctoral Project Seeking Participants:


Focus of Research:

Identity Development of Adoptees who become Adoptive Mothers


Description: I am currently a doctoral student at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, located in Newton, Massachusetts. In the process of working toward a degree in clinical psychology, I am now working on my doctoral project. The focus of my doctoral project is "Identity Development of Adoptees who Have Become Adoptive Mothers".



I look forward to possibly hearing from you!

Janet M. Price, MEd, MA

[email protected]




From Suzanne Gilbert:

LIST OF GREAT THINKER/PHILOSOPHER "ORPHANS": Who better than an adoptee to contemplate how we create and sever human connections? Who better than an orphan to contemplate the brevity of our time on earth and its meaning


1. Alexander Hamilton (Federalism)

2. Aristotle

3. Bertrand Russell

4. Boethius

5. George Washington Carver

6. John Amos Comenius

7. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

8. Johannes Kepler (Law of Planetary Motion, precursor of Newton's universal gravity, during the scientific revolution)

9. Joseph F. Smith (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

10. Malcolm X

11. Moses

12. Muhammed

13. Nelson H. Mandela (ward)

14. S.T. Coleridge

15. Sir Thomas More


2014-2015 Training Programs




Certificate Program in Adoption Competency

For clinicians and other adoption-related professionals

Using lecture, videos, classroom discussion, and consultations, this seven-month program is designed to help therapists develop the clinical sensitivity, and more important, competency needed to treat the mental health problems of children who come from a background of abuse and neglect and who are being raised in a family other than the birth family. The course emphasizes the development of a framework of understanding about the complexity of being a child or adult in a family by adoption and the therapeutic skills that will enable practitioners to work at the individual, couples, group, and family levels of clinical practice. Woven into each class is the impact that trauma, separation and loss - as well as multiple moves - can have on children's development and wellbeing.


Cambridge Location: Class meets 9am-1pm one Friday per month, October 2014 - April 2015 

Click Here for full course outline


New York City Location: Class meets 9am-1pm one Saturday per month, October 2014 - April 2015

Click Here for full course outline




Advanced Clinical Consultation/Supervision Program

For Therapists and other professionals working with complex blended families

This program offers consultation, supervision and training for mental health professionals in specialized theories and practices for working with all members of the adoptive triad, including birthparents, adoptive parents, and the adopted persons.  The primary objective of this consultation/supervision program is to allow therapists who have taken the courses in adoption therapy and have a clear understanding of the many dimensions of systemic view one must have to work with the entire constellation of adoption to apply, develop, and explore their clinical knowledge. 


Cambridge Location: Class meets 2pm-4pm one Friday per month, October 2014 - April 2015

Click Here for full program outline


New York City Location: Class meets 2pm-4pm one Saturday per month, October 2014 - April 2015

Click Here for full program outline

"I believe the only true way to guarantee that children are where they are supposed to be is by doing open adoptions both internationally and domestically. Mediation and education should be done, and clear understanding by sending and receiving parents and countries/states so that ALL adoptions are ethical, legal and in the very best interest of each and every child."

 - Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao


Pre/Post Adoption Consulting and Training
Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao
220 Concord Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 547-0909