Helping an adopted child work through feelings of shame

Learn about: Helping an adopted child work through feelings of shame from Jeanette Yoffe, MA, MFT,...
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Helping an adopted child work through feelings of shame

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The steps that an adoptive or foster parent can take to work through a child´s shame is this. First, understand the research. The research is showing that children who are rated high in measures of shame are rated low in measures of empathy for others. They are in that bubble. So it is important to help the child differentiate themselves for their behavior. These kids need a lot of I call stroking. They need a lot of love. They need to know unconditionally you love me first and you don´t love my behavior. So I am loved and accepted completely but you don´t love my behavior. So they are able to separate that piece out. Also, focusing on a child´s strengths and vulernabilities is crucial because it is like this. Shame is like this internal filter and there is a little whole in that filter. So you are feeding that child their strength, their vulnerability but there is always a depletion of it. They cannot get enough. They need to know over and over that they are loved, that they are important and that they matter. And because there will always be that piece, the core self, that they do not believe that and they need to hear it over and over. And I will say you will not be creating a narcissisitic personality disorder. They need to hear it. They need to know it exists and that they matter.

Learn about: Helping an adopted child work through feelings of shame from Jeanette Yoffe, MA, MFT,...

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Jeanette Yoffe, MA, MFT

Adoption & Family Therapist

Jeanette Yoffe earned her master's degree in Clinical Psychology, specializing in children, from Antioch University. She treats children with serious psychological problems secondary to histories of abuse, neglect, and or multiple placements. Jeanette's desire to become a child therapist with a special focus on adopted and foster care issues derived from her own experience of being adopted and moving through the foster care system. She runs a monthly support group called Adopt Salon for all members of the adoption triad in Los Angeles.

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