October Newsletter

(Pre/Post Adoption Consulting and Training)

Quick Links!

2014-2015 Adoption Competency Program

Virtual Consultation Program

We love all things Dan Siegel:

A really awesome guy got tired of being bullied, so he made this video (a great resource for talking with kids, teachers, and other professionals)

Our very own Darryl DMC McDaniels shares about his life experience, The Felix Organization, and Camp Felix

Greetings and Salutations:


How did that happen!?! 


It is baffling and it's hard to put away the sandals and take out the boots!  September is always a difficult month for families and even more so for families with children who have suffered loss, transitions, and trauma.  Back to school, back to routine, is always challenging to say the least.  And guess what?  It is as hard for the grownups as for the kids.  


Change is in the air as we transition into new seasons, new things to learn.  Change for us at PACT means looking for new opportunities to do keynote addresses, consulting, and training.  Our funding has been reduced for our Riverside work, and we have to make up a loss of almost $20k.  So keep us in mind if you are looking for a speaker or if you are seeking supervision, consulting, or training. 


Update on key issues for the past month and what we have been doing:

  • An abundance of families who met the birthmother or parents at the time of infant adoption, but did not keep in touch.  Children are now between ten and twenty and want to begin contact.  Parents realize that kids can find anyone online, and they prefer to do it in a methodical and caring way - so they come to us.  We have had many successful reunions this month, and many are slowly meandering toward a connection depending on the pacing of the child and of the birth and adoptive parents.
  • Parents with children who have pretty extreme behavioral issues that get in the way of camps and school performance and that impact the other siblings in the family.
  • Parents who want assessments done to figure out what course of action is best to build skills and strategies for helping their children to self regulate and to interact in a more functional way.
  • Parents and adult children trying to figure out how to deal with the need for some continued support while wanting independence and feeling angry (both sides).
  • Expert witness cases to determine permanency planning for kids who have had too many moves.  One eight-year-old has been moved thirteen times - the judge (luckily) says that this time we have to do something that is permanent.
  • Parents and kids preparing for trips to their homeland - some to Guatemala and Cambodia, and some to China and Ethiopia.  We have a whole protocol to help children pack their "emotional suitcase" for such an auspicious journey.
  • Parents seeking assessment and help deciding on the best kind of school and programs for children who joined this permanent family at an older age and have gaps in their education.
  • Monthly consults with agencies: discussing concerns with two or three professionals and the family and the recommending directions to go in.
  • School visits to educate the middle school to do the best thing for a child and family.
  • Gary Mallon is joining me in writing my book of How To's for professionals and parents in adoption and complex blended families.  I love having Gary join me to make this project richer and to move it along as I am doing too many books at once!
  • Working on marketing of our New York and Boston Course and of our new online Consult/Supervision project!  See the info below.
  • I am planning a "Little Day About Adoption" with Phyllis Lowinger and Penny Callan Partridge in the Berkshires.  The workshop will be held on Saturday, November 22, and all will be welcome (parents, professionals, adult adopted people, and others)!  Look for details later this month, and you can email [email protected] for more information.



Register now and spread the word about the upcoming PACT training programs!  Share this link, and see details below:



2014-2015 Training Programs




Certificate Program in Adoption Competency

For therapists and other professionals working with complex blended families

Using lecture, videos, classroom discussion, and consultations, this six-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,

November 2014 - April 2015 

Click Here for full course outline.    Register online


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

Click Here for full course outline.    Register online




Advanced Clinical Consultation/Supervision Program

Virtual/Distance Attendance via Google Hangouts

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. 


Class meets via Google Hangouts (video conference) 2pm-4pm one Friday per month, November 2014 - April 2015

Click Here for full program outline.  Register Online Here



Consultation Appointments in New York City

Dr. Pavao will be available in-person for professional or personal consultation in New York City on Thursday, October 30 and Friday, October 31.  Contact Emily at [email protected] or 617-547-0909 to schedule.

PACT Client Satisfaction Survey


If you have used PACT services as a professional or as a parent or other individual involved in complex blended families, please complete this brief survey.  We are working to ensure that our services are tailored to your and your family's needs.  Thank you for your time and your feedback!




Volunteer Opportunity with a Great Organization!

I got to train some of the volunteers at Sibling Connections Camp To Belong in August.  It is an amazing organization and Kelley Flynn Lane is a great advocate:


Volunteer Opportunity Description

Would you like to impact a child who is experiencing foster care? Is becoming a foster parent not an option for you at this moment? Consider becoming a Sibling Sunday Volunteer and joining a team of 70+ outstanding volunteers that have dedicated their lives to ensuring that kids maintain contact with their siblings!


Sibling Connections is seeking volunteers to help support the relationships of brothers and sisters who have been separated by foster care. We are seeking volunteers who are able to help transport siblings to and from our monthly events (Boston, Springfield, Lowell, and Southeast areas). Volunteers are expected to serve as an outstanding role model to siblings, support siblings during events, and to have a fun and outgoing attitude when working with our participants. Experience working with children who have faced difficult life transitions is a plus. You must have patience and flexibility!  Volunteers must be 21 years or older and pass a SORI/CORI check.


Applications are available online at www.siblingconnections.org. Volunteers must attend one 2-hour training, complete volunteer application form, and sign a volunteer contract agreement form.


How to apply


If interested please contact our volunteer coordinator Sheila Kane, at [email protected]



We like to help out young researchers.  If this interests you please contact Anna


The Trauma Center of the Justice Resource Institute, located in Brookline, is currently recruiting children ages 6-12 for research study investigating neurofeedback and biofeedback for trauma symptoms in kids. We will be offering FREE treatment for children who have experienced trauma and are currently in therapy. This is a great opportunity for children and families to receive treatment that would otherwise cost as much as $3,000! Here is some more information about this study and the noninvasive treatments we are offering:



If you know any children or families who could benefit from participating in this research study, please let them know about this opportunity or contact me directly for more information. Here is a copy of our flyer:



Please feel free to contact me with any questions or to refer a participant at 617.232.1303 x240 or [email protected]


Thanks for spreading the word about this great opportunity.


Anna Kharaz, M.A.

Staff Clinician, Research Coordinator, and Yoga Instructor


The Trauma Center

Justice Resource Institute

1269 Beacon Street

Brookline, MA 02446

(617) 232-1303, x335

(617) 232-1280 (fax)



Professionals who provide adoption-related services:

Massachusetts has access to birth certificates before 1972 and after 2009 - what about the middle?  Help us to get lots of signatures to fill in the blank years.


Please print and sign this petition, and mail to:


Etta Lapin Davis

43 Pinewood Rd.

Bolton, MA 01740


Join the Facebook Page: OBC for MA - Access Massachusetts 




Earlier in spring, loss came knocking at my door.
Within weeks, loss came knocking again.
A few days later, grief checked in. Brought a lot of baggage, took the biggest room, the Edwardian, the one with the private bath, looking like he was going to stay awhile.
Little did we know.
A month or so ago, loss came knocking two more times.

Didn't see her coming either time, but she came anyway, knocking me right down.

Soon, sadness came to visit. Took the Blue Room right at the top of the stairs.

The next day, right next door, weary checked into the Purple Room.

What next?

Within a week, loss came knocking at my door once more.

This time we scattered our dearest friend's ashes right out back, behind the pond, beneath the giant weeping willow, atop the grave of our beloved dog and cat - exactly as she wanted.

By then, grief unpacked all his bags, put away all his belongings, shoved all his baggage under the bed. Safe to say, he's moved in - indefinitely.

Sometimes, when despair stops by to spend the night with sadness, when fatigue settles in with weary - if only for one night - you better believe it gets hard to believe morning will ever come.

Several days ago, loss came knocking at my door again.

And yet again.

At the end of the hall, down from sadness and weary, exhaustion showed up in the middle of the night, pulled the covers over her head and locked the door.


There's no more room in the inn.





-Craig Hickman

Craig is a fellow adopted, a legislator in Maine, and an organic farmer.





Cambridge Therapy Office Space for Rent

For Adoption-Competent Therapist or for use as a Writer's Room


220 Concord Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138

On the bus line, and a brisk walk from Porter or Harvard Squares


The space has a shared bathroom, a full kitchen for employees only (available when not in use for groups), and a small waiting area. 

The office is fully furnished. No phone and no other supplies/materials provided.  We do not provide any administrative, billing, or other services.


To be rented one day per week (Monday is available)

Available July 15, 2014

$375.00 per month, utilities included


Call or email to set up a visit and interview.

Executive Assistant, Emily Adcox: [email protected]


Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao: [email protected]


New York City Therapy Office for Rent
Our colleague, Phyllis Lowinger, is renting out her fabulous office space some days.  If on UWS and in need of a great space, call Phyllis!


Upper West Side Office is available on Mondays & Thursday (until 5 PM) and  on Tuesday/Fridays and weekends all day and evening.


The space is comfortable for individuals and couples, as well as groups of up to 8.


It is located on 86 Street, between Columbus and Central Park West, near the 7 Ave subway (#1, 2, 3 lines) as well as 8th Ave subway of B&C as well as crosstown bus.


For further details, contact Phyllis Lowinger

(212) 666-3400

[email protected]


"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