Adoption Healing  is also a 12 step program for all those affected by adoption
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  Adoption Healing  ... A Path to Recovery

Adoption Healing ... A Path to Recovery is a unique book.  The reader is provided with a description of the unfolding of the adoptee’s personality from birth, detailing each developmental milestone along the way, followed by different methods of healing the adoptee’s wounds, including inner child work, visualizations, healing affirmations, and anger management.  Every chapter includes a Myths and Realities of adoption section, a summary of the chapter and exercises to do on one’s own. 

Adoption Healing “presents a clear, comprehensive, and theoretically consistent approach to address the issue of healing in adoption... this book should be required reading by anyone serious about attempting to resolve emotional conflicts in adoption."
 – Robert Andersen, M.D. and Rhonda Tucker, authors of The Bridge Less Traveled

This “comprehensive and thoughtful book, offers a positive approach to help members of the adoption triad heal lifelong wounds. It is a welcome addition to the growing library written by experienced individuals who occupy both personal and professional roles in this world. 
 – Annette Baran, LCSW, co-author of The Adoption Triangle and Lethal Secrets

As an “author, teacher, and therapist, Joe Soll has brought the essence of adoption, its inherent pain to pen.  His words offer counsel for the tragic separation that has occurred in the sacred union of mother and child.
 – Jane Guttman, DC, author of The Gift Wrapped in Sorrow 

In “his gentle way, and with the expertise from years of leading support groups, Joe Soll teaches us how to face our deepest and most painful feelings - and survive... Joe's caring heart is with us every step of the way.” 
– Carol Schaefer, author of The Other Mother

Adoption Healing Book

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                 Table of Contents

Prologue: The Politics of Adoption
Proceed Gently

Part One:    The Missing Self
Chapter 1: Genesis
Chapter 2: Primal Wound – The First Trauma
Chapter 3: Age of Discovery – The Second Trauma
Chapter 4: Oedipus Wrecks
Chapter 5: Fracturing – The Third Trauma
Chapter 6: The Wreck Revisited
Chapter 7: Incomplete Crossing
Chapter 8: Limbo – Not Knowing  the Truth

 Part Two: The Search for Self
Chapter 9: The Truth Hurts
Chapter 10: Triage – Treating the Primal Wound
Chapter 11: Really Talking About Adoption
Chapter 12: Ghost Busters
Chapter 13: Preventing the Fracture
Chapter 14: Building an Authentic Identity
Chapter 15: Taking Charge of Your Life

Part Three:  Toward Healthier Adoptions
Chapter 16: A Wish List

 Part Four: Getting Help
Chapter 17: Choosing the Right Therapist
Chapter 18: From the Therapist’s Perspective 
Chapter 19: Finding a Support Group

 Part Five: The Challenge to Heal
Chapter 20: Healing the Inner Child
Chapter 21: Anger
Chapter 22: Visualization Techniques
Chapter 23: Affirmations 
Chapter 24: Mourning for Adoptees
Chapter 25: One Woman’s Journey
Chapter 26: The Respect We Never Got

 Part Six: Appendices
Appendix A: What Adoptees Don’t Wish to Hear
Appendix B: What Birthparents Don’t Wish to Hear
Appendix C: What Adopt. Parents Don’t Wish to Hear
Appendix D: About Sealed Adoption Records
Appendix E: Loss in the Adoption Hand-Off 
Appendix F: Things to Do with Your Inner Child 
Appendix G: From the News
Appendix H: Resources and Readings

About The Author

Joe Soll is a Diplomate psycho- therapist, Diplomate Forensic Counselor, lecturer and a former adjunct professor of social work at Fordham University Graduate School,  internationally recognized as an expert in adoption related issues.  He is director and co-founder of Adoption Crossroads in New York City, a non-profit adoption search and support organization.

The director and founder of the Adoption Counseling Center in New York City, Mr. Soll is also an approved adoption counselor for the United Kingdom Department of Health, and a former member of Matilda Cuomo's 1993 Adoption Task Force.  He is a fellow of the American Orthopsychiatric Association, the American Association of Grief Counselors and a member of the Council on Social Work Education.

Since 1989, Mr. Soll has organized and coordinated seven international mental health conferences on adoption, has been an expert witness in court about adoption related issues and has lectured widely at adoption agencies, social work schools, mental health facilities and mental health conferences in the U.S. and Canada. 

Joe Soll has appeared on Radio and Television over 300 times, given over 150 lectures on adoption related issues and has been featured or quoted in over five dozen newspapers, books and magazines.  He was portrayed as a therapist in a NBC Made-For-TV movie and played himself in the HBO Special “Reno Finds Her Mom.”  He most recently appeared in the Global Japanese Network Documentary, “Adoption Therapist: Joe Soll"

Adoption Healing  ... A Path to Recovery

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Adoption Healing:  $17.95 plus $5.05 S&H in the US via Priority Mail.  2nd Book in same order is $17.95 including S&H.

Orders shipped outside the US, S&H at an additional charge.

To Place a Charge Card Order, Call: 845-268-0283
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Reviews by Readers:

Reviewer: An adoptive mother from Arizona
Joe Soll's book, Adoption Healing...a path to recovery, allowed me for the first time, to realize that as an adoptive parent, I too need healing.   My pain, anger and all the myriad emotions that I felt through the years are just as real as those of my adopted daughter.  Adoption Healing is written with such tenderness, simplicity and positiveness that it makes for easy understanding and gives us the step by step keys to the healing process. Mr. Soll  includes exercises to help us through the pain which is another plus. In fact, this book helped me understand my daughter's pain and anger which I never understood before. What
a revelation that was and this is part of what the healing process entails. I recommend this book for all those who are adoptive parents or prospective adoptive parents. For me it was an answer to years of prayer and for the first time I see a light at the end of my tunnel. Yes, the healing has begun. A big thank you to Joe Soll for writing this book. 

Reviewer: An adopted woman from  New York.
 "Adoption Healing -- a path to recovery" is a book that deals with truth -- not the way people  would prefer to see it, but exactly the way it is. Not only does it validate those feelings of  doubt, fear,anxiety and loss that so many adoptees and birth mothers feel, but it gives you ways and exercises to help you deal with those feelings. I strongly suggest that everyone read it. It will help you to understand yourself, your sister or brother, your child, your partner or spouse. 

Reviewer: A birthmother from Pennsylvania
Adoption Healing...a path to recovery, more than anything else gives HOPE to those of us who have traveled the adoption path, particularly adoptees and birthparents. Having been told in 1966 that by giving up my infant son to be adopted by people who could give him what I could not...a two parent home, a name, even legitimacy; I tried hard to believe when they told me I was doing the most loving thing a mother could do for her child in my circumstance. I was an 18 year old student with no husband in sight. I don't know if they really believed when they said I would get on with my life and I would forget this whole unfortunate experience and that I would go on to have plenty of other children.

Joe Soll's book speaks to the fact that THEY were really, really WRONG! You never forget and you really can't even totally get on with your life on some levels. Giving a child up for adoption is a very deep trauma and tragedy for a woman, and many can't even survive it. It's a form of soul-rape. While Joe gives exercises, tools and rituals to adoptees to understand  their experience and even begin to heal; he also validates and acknowledges the pain and deep sense of grieving and loss the birthmothers live with. And although I have read several women authors who have written very eloquently about birthmother pain; this is the first male author that I've read who has deep understanding, wisdom and empathy for US. My heart was in my throat during much of this book, but I also felt that Adoption Healing should be required reading for Adoptees and Birthmothers, AND those who love us. This is an excellent and very well written book. 

Reviewer: An adopted woman from Oregon
I am thrilled someone has finally written a book that directly deals with self-help treatment  for the adopted person. Adoption Healing explains the psychological processes an adopted person goes through in their life, and the effect on him or her. It then gives simple exercises to help overcome the trauma of adoption. Even in a loving supportive adoptive family, the adoptee has suffered from the trauma of separation from his or her birthmother and family of origin. 

An adoption search and reunion is only part of the process necessary for those who were separated from their birthfamily to heal. This book helps in completing the healing process.  Unfortunately, those affected by an adoption need to work on their issues through self-help support groups and books as there are very few mental health professionals who understand the affect of the adoption experience on the adopted person and birthmother. This book helps fill that gap. 

 Adoption Healing is not just for adoptees. Birthparents and adoptive parents can learn a great deal about what their child has endured through adoption, and ways in which they can help their child, whether a youngster or adult. Therapists can develop a treatment protocol for their adopted clients. 

I have been waiting for a book like this since I started working with adoptees and birthmothers 14 years ago as a post-adoption emotional support group leader. It will help me help others. 

Additionally, it will help me deal with my own trauma of being adopted at birth in 1950. Although, my reunion is years past (and a "good" one), I plan to go back through the book chapter by chapter and do the exercises. Just a quick read has already begun to effect my emotions. 

Reviewer: An adopted man  from New York 
This a a magnificent book that will help everyone effected by adoption. It is particularly valuable for adoptive parents, to give them essential information about the children they love.  The book exposes the myths about adoption and reveals the facts that everyone involved needs to know. This book offers the opportunity to help millions of people and I hope it is a great success. Buy ten copies, not one, and give them to those who they will help. 

Reviewer, An adoptive mother from the U.K.
 This is the best adoption book I have read in a long time, and I can recommend it wholeheartedly to all readers of this Journal. I can do this because the author himself ~ gives every hurting reader who might find it too much at any point, most caring and sensible advice as to how, when and whether to proceed with it. Yes, it is a book that confronts, but it also greatly encourages. It is a book about dark tunnels and demons that haunt, but it is also about coming out on the other side having faced the worst that fantasies and fears can do, and replacing them with realities. 

 It is written by a social worker/therapist who was himself adopted, and he writes to all parts of the 'adoption triad' (particularly relinquishing birth mothers) as well as to the professionals. He has 'been there', both himself and in all he has heard over many years from his child and adult clients, and from the support groups and searching agencies he works with.

  His basic thesis is that losing your birth mother by being placed for adoption means pain, pain and more pain, not just for the child but for both their families too. There is then a corresponding need for validation, validation and more validation of this pain and its effects, by the adults to the child. Linked to both of those needs (and this is where the healing in the title comes in), is openness, honesty and reality, rather than any sort of continuing denial of feelings or facts around adoption. He also advocates as much real-life contact as possible between child and both his families throughout childhood, as in divorce situations.

  I found it refreshingly real to have it again affirmed that adoption of itself is not the solution to anyone's pain, least of all the child's, and is only potentially the beginning of the healing process. Nancy Verrier speaks loud and clear through much of what Joe Soll has to say, which to my mind further validates both books. I could imagine that for those who haven't yet braved "The Primal Wound” itself, this book might be a less harrowing and easier to assimilate introduction to the realities of loss and pain in adoption.

  Reunions, too, cause both pain and dynamic regression. "This is a good thing ", says Soll, "not a bad one. Reunion brings the adoptee back to the initial trauma, and revisiting the trauma is the only way to heal. " Soll strongly makes the point throughout, that however unpleasant or difficult reality turns out to be, it is enormously to be preferred than an aching void of unknowingness. It is, he claims, easier to live at peace with reality eventually, than with conflicting and confusing fantasies that only fragment and torment one in their grip. Yes, knowing two mothers can be confusing, "but not half as much as knowing one and fantasizing about the other ". Soll emphasizes that searching for birth parents is unlikely to be any reflection on what was offered by adopters, but a necessary part of the adoptee completing the whole and working towards the formation of the 'authentic self and identity.

  The author writes simply but persuasively, in short sentences with frequent repeats of key points. Some key points and quotes are in display boxes, making it much easier to take in what each chapter is about. The book is broadly chronological, and each chapter lists the frequently found myths and then the realities commonly encountered at each life stage of the adopted person. The developmental tasks of @Y childhood are particularly well covered, with no room for doubt as to the massive additional work-load carried by the adopted child in relating, in both fantasy and reality, to two sets ofparents. I was struck by the suggestion that 'ghost parents' can give rise, in an adopted child without the reality of birth parent contact, to the same sort of disabling 'phantom pain' experienced after amputation of a limb. 

 This is a book brim-full of practical suggestions to the hurting person, child or adult, such as journal-keeping and pillow-punching, and dialoguing with one's 'inner child', if not with one's therapist or support group as well, while reading it and experiencing each new wave of emotion. He clearly regards both therapist and support group as essential outside supports, which may not initially strike all readers on this side of the Atlantic positively. And anyway, we might say, chance would be a fine thing over here. His answer would doubtless be earlier access to specialist professionals, long before adolescence might be seen as masking the real issues. And there are many helpful comments on why he feels that the ages of six to eight offer the best 'window of opportunity' for therapeutic intervention for adopted children. This is the 'age of cognition', after which there is (without help) greater risk of the ”fracture of the personality ...and descent into belief in one's unlovability", There are also many helpful comments about healing through anger management and channeling (recycling toxic waste), through finding the right vocabulary for pre-verbal experiences, and through grief and mourning. He also has helpful comments on panic attacks, the inner child and visualization techniques, affirmations and the giving of respect (by society and by one's self).

  This book is particularly good on the schooling, employment, and relationship difficulties adopted children and young people so often face. Until there has been some degree of healing, Soll maintains, none of these areas can go forward smoothly or positively, as so many of us know only too well. But the difference with this book, is the emphasis he then puts on to what can actually be done about it. 

 I think that just about everyone with any interest in adoption could not fail to have their eyes wider opened by this book, apart from any who might still be determined to view adoption itself in a 'happy-ever-after' golden glow that wipes away any tears in an instant. I was struck by the value this book could have for several groups:-
           a) Some of our older and more articulate teenagers, already grappling with so many of the issues raised, and perhaps facing parenthood themselves. 
           b) It could be a very helpful starting point for many trying to think through the pros and cons of searching and tracing their birth mother, and whether this is best done sooner rather than later, alone or with support, and with or without adoptive parents' knowledge (his preference would be for sooner, slowly and with support, and with adoptive parents). 
          c) It could also be of great practical help to many professionals and therapists without much specific experience of adoption and pre-adoption issues, and who could therefore be mis-led by apparent denials of pain or difficulties. 
          d) Teachers and learning support staff, who do not always appreciate the massive 'hidden agenda the adopted child has to work through before he is emotionally available to learn. 
          e) Adoptive families going through challenging phases with children they feel do not accept their parenting. 
          f) Health and Social Services managers and policy makers who hold the purse strings for post-adoption support and therapy. 

 There is a particular issue around 'telling' a child he was adopted, that Joe Soll emphasises. He stresses that this should be in no way an isolated instance, something too terrible ever to mention again. He urges adoptive parents to create a climate of free speech, both verbal and non-verbal, that enables the child to keep raising issues and hurts and fears around his pre-adoption life and the people that were in it, throughout his childhood and on into adulthood. Ongoing talking about adoption and why it was ever necessary are, he maintains, enormously more important than the initial one-off disclosure, and is in itself a crucial part of the healing process. Old hat, you might think, but Soll makes the point that where for whatever reason there is not that open communication within the family, there is by definition the need for professional help from outside it

  There is a final comment I might make, about his references to adoptive parents. I do feel there are one or two rather sweeping statements in this book about us in general, that do not quite fit with the idea of equal partnership between all parties in adoption, and make one wonder what era he is talking about. For instance, there is quite a bit about our own assumed 'unresolved infertility issues' clouding our abilities to focus on our children' s needs. And, more worryingly, there is even the suggestion that adoptive parents have "no way ofknowing the inner pain their child i.'} suffering", and can neither see nor understand it, let alone help in the recovery process, which many ofus would take issue with. Nor does he specifically mention any other of the traumas that most of today's adopted children have experienced on top of that 'primal wound', but in talking of all adoptees as 'survivors' he is presumably applying the same principles to their healing and recovery from these other traumas too. 

 But even after those niggles, this book leaves you in up-beat and prose\ytising mode. Having faced in these chapters the depths and disasters he describes, I am left with an urge to tell others of it and of the benefits it could have for so many of us and our children, and their' other mothers' .It is at the same time profoundly deep and real, and also reassuringly pragmatic and positive, bringing a wealth of healing possibilities into the range of all.