Dr. Kristin Schaefer-Schiumo| Manhasset NY


Attachment Disorder & Adoption Counselor in Manhasset

Are You...

  • Experiencing excessive worrying about certain aspects of your life or struggling to concentrate?
  • Experiencing shortness of breath, increased heart rate, trembling or dizziness?
  • Finding yourself with persistent unwanted feelings, thoughts, or fears of situations or objects?
  • Constantly feeling irritable and on edge?
  • Partaking in routines or rituals as an attempt to prevent these thoughts?

If you answer yes to ANY ONE of the above questions, you may wish to consider speaking with me. I can help you improve your life! Adopting a child is a wonderful experience. It represents the start, or expansion, of your family. It is the opportunity to love and be loved in return. It also can be a time of great stress and uncertainty. Children given up by their biological parents often experience feelings of abandonment. These feelings often exist on a preverbal level and can affect your child's ability to attach, both to you as parents and to other people in their lives. Adopted children often experience interrupted attachments. This may cause them to be detached from others, perhaps afraid of getting hurt or left again, or dependently attached, wanting to be around others and feel connected to and loved by others at all times. In either case, this can leave you, as the parent, feeling exhausted, stressed and alone. Before coming to be a part of your family, your child's history may include some forms of trauma, similar to those causing PTSD. This can cause inconsistent behaviors, whether academically, socially, or behaviorally, that are difficult to respond to lovingly and effectively.

Adopted children, regardless of the age at which the adoption was finalized or the culture of origin of the children, often receive assistance through therapy. More often than not, this help comes many years after the children are formally integrated into the family. I work with adopted children, adolescents and their families to increase understanding of the processes that impact family life. Together we work to improve trust, stabilize bonding and attachments, and foster open communication. This in turn allows parents and children to work together to achieve success in all aspects of life.

Treatment for Adoption Related Struggles Attachment-Focused Therapy

The focus of any attachment-focused therapy should be to build a secure emotional attachment between you and your child, which can serve as a template for future positive relationships in all aspects of your child's life. Because the primary focus is on the attachment relationship, not solely on your child's symptoms, one or both parents should be active participants in the therapy. The basis of attachment therapy is that the development of a trusting attachment relationship will provide the security essential to healing the psychological, emotional, and behavioral problems that may have developed as a result of earlier disruptions and trauma, such as posttraumatic stress disorder, grief and loss, depression, and anxiety.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

The focus of this form of therapy is the idea that the way your child perceive things affects how he/she feels. This approach is very present focused and addresses problem solving and learning specific skills, such as identifying distorted thinking, modifying beliefs, relating to others in a different way, and changing behaviors. Behavioral interventions focus on the specific behaviors that are of concern to you and your family. The source or cause of the behaviors is seen as less relevant than the stimuli that maintain the behavior-that is, the rewards and punishments that keep the behaviors occurring in the present. I will work with you to avoid inadvertently rewarding undesirable behavior and to reward appropriate behavior. Effective methods of discipline also are taught. If your child is experiencing extreme emotional reactions, I will provide training in emotional regulation to both you and your child. I will also work to educate you about the events that may have lead up these reactions so that you and your child can understand his/her reactions and realize that he or she can positively change and control them.