How to Choose an Adoption Competent Therapist

Have you or your child faced adoption related struggles? Do you think therapy might be helpful? We discuss how to find and choose an adoption competent therapist with Kelly Raudenbush, a child and family therapist and the director of Sparrow Counseling, providing specialized therapeutic services for foster and adopted children and their families. 

In this episode, we cover:

  • What type of professional can provide therapy?
  • What’s the difference between being adoption competent and adoption informed?
  • Why is competency in adoption issues important?
  • What do we mean be an “adoption competent therapist”? What makes a therapist adoption informed?
  • Is adoption competence the same as trauma competence?
  • How can you tell if a therapist is competent to handle adoption issues? Are there specific trainings that provide adoption competency?
  • Creating a Family provides a list of ways to find an adoption competent therapist on our Adoption Therapy section.
  • How to find a therapist with lived experience of being adopted?
  • Is one type of therapeutic model of treatment more effective for adoptive children and families? Theraplay, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), Narrative therapy, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
  • Should therapy with adopted kids on adoption issues involve just the child, or the child and the parent?
  • How can a parent determine if the therapist is a good fit for the child and family? What questions should they ask?
  • What is home-based therapy and what are the advantages to this type of therapy for adoptive and foster families.
  • How can you find a therapist that will provide therapy within the home? (One source is
  • Is therapy via tele-health or via teleconferencing as effective for adoptive families? How to know if it will work for your family? Ways to make it more effective.
  • When to seek a therapist?


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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth

Image Credit: cottonbro