Brainspotting in Adoption Therapy with Brooke Randolph - Ep 100
Release Date: 07/03/2023
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Brainspotting in Adoption Therapy
Does this sound familiar? You've been told to simply provide love and support to your adopted child, but despite your best efforts, they still struggle with emotional trauma. Or maybe you're an adult adoptee and struggling with ongoing distress from your relinquishment. The pain of watching your child - or yourself - suffer and feeling helpless can be overwhelming. But there is hope. In this episode, we explore the power of Brainspotting as a therapy for trauma in the adoption constellation. By understanding the critical role of support structures, nurturing openness and connection, and mastering emotion regulation strategies, adoptive parents can help support their child's emotional healing. And adult adoptees can access this same healing for themselves with the help of a trained therapist. Join us to learn more and take a big step forward in your healing journey.
📆 Community Calendar: UnravelingAdoption.com/Calendar
💌Sign up for our Unraveling Adoption email list: http://eepurl.com/hVIAVX
In this episode, you will be able to:
Understand the undisputed importance and benefits of thorough education and adoptee-centered support for adoptive parents.
Become aware of the life-changing impact of nurturing openness and connection in the adoption continuum for the adoptees’ wellbeing.
Explore the intricacies of Brainspotting, specifically tailoring its application for trauma management in the adoption space.
Master the art of regulating and balancing emotions for both adoptees and adoptive parents.
Step into the world of therapy, appreciating the sanctuary it provides for both adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents.
My special guest is Brooke Randolph
Meet Brooke Randolph, a captivating blend of therapist, author, speaker, and trainer who brings her own hands-on adoption experience to the table. In adopting her first son from Samoa in 2013, Brooke truly embraced and navigated the complexities of adoption. Her work is informed by her personal experiences, plus she enriches it with a groundbreaking healing approach called Brainspotting. Brooke is a passionate advocate for therapy excellence and training, openness in adoption, and family preservation.
The resources mentioned in this episode are:
Look up Brooke's website: https://brooke-randolph.com/
Check out Brooke Randolph's book, It's Not About You: Understanding Adoptee Search, Reunion & Open Adoption: https://amzn.to/3Jz4mdX
Find out more about Brooke's humanitarian work in Oceania: https://brooke-randolph.com/humanitarian-trainings-in-oceania/
Here's Brooke's group practice with a list of their Brainspotting therapists: https://www.greenhouseindy.com/brainspotting
Here's a list of Brooke's favorite books about adoption: https://amzn.to/3pnJDmA
Read one of Brooke's latest blog posts, "Why Brainspotting for Adoption Therapy: 4 Foundational Elements": https://brooke-randolph.com/blog/why-brainspotting-adoption-therapy-4-foundational-elements/
APtitude Support Group for Adoptive Parents Facing Adoption's Challenges: UnravelingAdoption.com/APtitude
APtitude Support Group for Adoptive Parents Facing Adoption’s Challenges: UnravelingAdoption.com/APtitude
Other Parents Like Me - oplm.com
Heather Ross - Life Coaching for Parents who have a child struggling with addiction: https://heatherrosscoaching.com/
Adoptee-Therapist Directory: https://growbeyondwords.com/adoptee-therapist-directory/
Unraveling Adoption is produced and hosted by Beth Syverson
Music written and performed by Joseph Nakao
Email questions or comments to [email protected]
Adoption Support Group for Parents
Adoptive parents often grapple with unique challenges throughout their adoption journey. Joining a support group can provide an avenue to share experiences, seek guidance, and gain emotional support. This helps parents better understand their child and provide them the emotional support they need. Beth, the host of Unraveling Adoption, recognized the importance of such support, founded 'APtitude', a support group that provides resources to adoptive parents. During their conversation, she shares how APtitude offers resources, a private Facebook community for adoptive parents, and a book club to facilitate the sharing of experiences and provision of support. It's an effective and safe container for parents to navigate their unique journey of adoption.
Timestamped summary of this episode:
00:00:00 - Introduction,
Host Beth Syverson introduces the podcast and welcomes guest Brooke Randolph, an adoptive mom, therapist, author, speaker, and trainer. They discuss their commitment to helping those affected by adoption and promoting excellence in therapy, openness in adoption, and family preservation.
00:02:09 - Brooke's Adoption Story,
Brooke shares her adoption journey, including working at an international adoption agency and adopting her son from Samoa in 2013. She discusses the benefits of open intercountry adoption and how she intentionally created an open relationship with her son's biological family.
00:07:06 - The Importance of Openness in Adoption,
Brooke emphasizes the importance of openness and information in adoption, providing adoptees with a solid foundation of their identity, and answering their questions. She stresses that withholding information can damage relationships and lead to distrust.
00:09:28 - "It's Not About You",
Brooke discusses the title of her book, It's Not About You: Understanding Adoptee Search, Reunion, and Open Adoption, and emphasizes that adoptive parents need to get out of their own way and prioritize their child's needs over their own. She also discusses the concept of co-regulation and the importance of attachment figures in regulating emotions.
00:14:57 - Importance of Regulation and Felt Safety
Finding one's own regulation is crucial to avoiding complications in a situation. It is essential to focus on felt safety and attachment to help kids feel safe enough to process trauma. Beth and Brooke discuss the importance of parents' goals not overtaking children's goals and how behavior is just a symptom of something else.
00:17:33 - Working with Adoptive Parents and Kids
Beth and Brooke discuss the dynamics of working with adoptive parents and kids. Brooke emphasizes the importance of helping the child determine their goals and focusing on those in therapy. She also mentions that while parents may come in with their own goals, their child's behavior is a symptom of something else, and the focus should be on helping the child feel safe enough to process trauma.
00:19:19 - Felt Safety and Brainspotting
Brooke explains that felt safety is feeling safe, not necessarily being safe, and it differs from person to person. She also discusses Brainspotting, a brain-body mindfulness-based therapy that utilizes a fixed eye position to increase access to the issue or pain. Brooke mentions that Brainspotting is an intuitive and flexible therapeutic modality that allows clients to feel seen and individuated.
00:23:51 - Brainspotting and Eye Position
Brooke explains that Brainspotting is a relational therapy that identifies and follows the client's lead, allowing for individualized sessions. Eye position affects how people feel, and finding a fixed eye position that increases or decreases activation can help clients access the issue or pain.
00:30:03 - Eye Position in Brainspotting,
Brooke mentions that a specific eye position does not correlate to a specific part of the brain. The positioning of the extraocular muscles is different for every person. The brain is complicated. We're just accessing different parts at different times based on what's most needed.
00:31:20 - Personal Brainspotting Experience,
Brainspotting helped both the guest and the host find a part of herself that was trying to come out for a long time. Different modalities, such as Brainspotting, breathwork, and EMDR are using our own brain's power to find our own healing. Brainspotting just helps uncover what our own brain has been trying to tell us all this time and hasn't had a chance.
00:35:05 - Adoption and Brainspotting,
Brainspotting has a relational foundation and a client-centered focus that is very healing for people in the adoption constellation. It is helpful for people who may not have words for their experience, whether because it was very early or because memories are encoded in a different language.
00:37:37 - Finding a Brainspotting Therapist,
To find a therapist, Google "Brainspotting" and see who comes up in your area. Consider joining an adoptive parents group such as APtitude which has a database full of directories and articles that are useful for their family's journey.
00:40:37 - In-Person vs. Zoom Brainspotting,
Zoom works fine - or even better - for some people, but it depends on the situation.
00:43:44 - Adoption Support Group for Parents,
Beth shares about her support group, APtitude, for adoptive parents facing adoption challenges. The group offers a database, a private Facebook group, a monthly speaker series, and bookclub as resources for adoptive parents to learn and grow together.