Improving care. Changing lives.

Child Mental Health Forum - Katie Naftzger, LICSW

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 10:00am to 11:15am
Katie Naftzger

Exploring the Unique Needs of Adopted Teens: Four Essential Tasks for Parents and Providers

Katie Naftzger, LICSW
Author of “Parenting in the Eye of the Storm: The Adoptive Parent’s Guide to Navigating the Teen Years.”

Four essential tasks for adoptive parents and practitioners through the teen years will be discussed - "unrescuing," setting adoption-sensitive limits, connecting conversations, and envisioning the future. Through clinical examples and existing research, we will discuss what adopted teens truly need from us to be prepared and ready for adulthood.

Ways to understand how and why adopted teens are at higher risk for certain mental health issues will also be explored. Specifically, we will delve into the adoptive narrative as a potential factor in a higher rate of suicide attempts for adopted teens compared to nonadopted teens. It will be discussed why dialogues about suicidality need to move beyond assessment to help adopted teens to feel empowered and optimistic and emotionally connected to others in their lives.

Target Audience: Physicians (psychiatrists, pediatricians, child neurologists), psychologists, social workers, other mental health clinicians and researchers, and students and trainees.

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  1. To know the four most important tasks for adoptive parents in the teen years.
  2. To know how those tasks manifest themselves in everyday life.
  3. To better understand the intersection between adoption and teenhood.


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