1.5 CEU’s

Adoption stories are known to include histories fraught with trauma, grief and loss. Reactive Attachment issues are often noted particularly for youth who have spent their early years in foster care without the reliable support of a consistent parental figure.  Youth in foster care who reach the teenage years without achieving permanency have been generally viewed as “unadoptable”. This presentation aims to give you insight into the clinical needs of a 12-year-old girl’s desire for family and her unrelenting effort to reject the pre-adoptive mother. Therapeutic techniques, such as following the contact, joining and mirroring that were used in the mother-daughter dyad will be reviewed and discussed to understand the working through process that allowed the formation of a secure attachment to develop.

Learning Objectives:
1. Define Modern Psychoanalytic concepts used to both engage clients and protect them from overstimulation.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the underlying dynamics and unconscious motivations for clients with a history of abuse, neglect, and abandonment.
3. Discuss the relational qualities that are helpful in fostering the movement from a reactive attachment to a secure attachment.

Lorette Dussault, LICSW, Psya.D is a practicing psychotherapist in Providence RI. After achieving her MSW in 1990 she went on to study at the Boston Graduate School for Psychoanalysis, graduating in 2014. Throughout her career she worked in residential programs, community mental health centers and in private non-profit agencies focused on the foster care population. Her daughter, Jessica Richards, has her undergraduate degree in Animal Care and Education, is happily married, and the proud mother of an active toddler.


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Chambers, J. (2017). The Neurobiology of Attachment: From Infancy to Clinical Outcomes. Psychodyn. Psych., 45(4):542-563.

Kaniuk, Jeanne & Steele, Miriam & Hodges, Jill. (2004). Report on a Longitudinal Research Project, Exploring the Development of Attachments between Older, Hard-To-Place Children and Their Adopters over the First Two Years of Placement. Adoption & Fostering Journal. 28. 61-67.

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Spotnitz, H. (1962). The Need for Insulation in the Schizophrenic Personality. Psychoanal. Rev., 49C(3):3-25.

Date(s) - March 4, 2020
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Central Congregational Church
296 Angell Street (Diman Street entrance)
Providence, Rhode Island 02906

Online bookings are not available for this event.

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