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The Primal Wound theory has been dividing the adoption world for years. Dr. Marcy Axness, an adoption therapist, adult adoptee, and author of Parenting for Peace, has written eloquently on the topic and is our guest to explain what adoptive parents need to understand about this theory, and how it impacts their children both now and in the future.

Highlights of the show (click to expand)
  • What is the primal wound theory?
  • Why do some adopted persons feel this primal wound of separation from their birth mother so intensely, while others feel little pain?
  • What are the four key experiences of adoption that most adopted persons go through?
  • How should the idea of the primal wound influence adoptive parenting?
  • The focus so often in adoption is on the blessing of it all, and by focusing on the blessing we run the risk of squeezing out the other feelings our children both young and old might have. How can adoptive parents make room for both the blessing and the burden?
  • How can we distinguish the primal wound of separation from their biological family from normal developmental stages?
  • How can we distinguish the primal wound of separation from their biological family from varying temperaments?
  • Can open adoptions prevent some of the psychological pain caused by the primal wound?
  • What is the ideal amount of openness in an adoption to help a child?
  • How long should a child remain with the birth mother to prevent the primal wound?
  • What is the ideal scenario of placement from birthmother to adoptive mother?
  • Does the age the child is adopted affect how the primal wound will affect him or her?
  • What are the symptoms of a child who is feeling this primal wound of separation?
  • Does the primal wound theory victimize adoptees and vilify birth mothers?
  • Why do some adopted persons not feel this primal wound?
  • What can and should adoptive parents do to best help their children integrate this primal wound into their psyche?
  • The technique of sleep talking can be used to help adopted children?
  • How does the high structure, high nurture parental style work?

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