Northstar Clinical Consultants

A Specialized Consultation and Treatment Service for Adopted Persons and Their Families

Northstar Clinical Consultants is the over-arching name for a number of independently-practicing senior state-licensed psychotherapists who specialize in helping adopted persons and their families obtain help that they believe may be related to adoption. If the request is for psychotherapy, the therapist needs to be licensed in the same state in which the client resides. However, if the interest is in a relatively brief specialized consultation, perhaps about a specific concern of the client’s, this can be provided online via Zoom.

A Note for Mental Health Professionals

There is much in the literature about treatment of adoptive families with young children, as well as reports of sociological/social work-based studies. However, very little has focused on the actual development and psychology of the adopted person as they grow into adolescence and adulthood. This is the theme of a new book published by Routledge, for which three of the Northstar specialists are editors: 

Front cover for the paperback version.

20% pre-publishing discount through Routledge, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble

This announces the forthcoming publication in August, 2023 of Routledge’s Handbook on the Clinical Treatment of Adopted Adolescents and Young Adults. This volume has been written primarily for professionals in the medical and mental health fields who treat adopted young people in the 13-30 year old age range. An important premise is that the fullest impact and greatest complexity of being adopted usually comes in adolescence and young adulthood rather than in earlier childhood. This perspective is one of many that contradict the narratives of the adoption culture, contributing to the limited knowledge-base of psychotherapists. As a consequence, their treatment efforts are likely to be misdirected. Adopted persons undergo an alternate development that requires modifications in their treatment. While many systemic problems are observed, the main focus is on therapeutic evaluation and practice from the clinical perspective of understanding the internal life of the adopted client who is no longer a young child.

We maintain that treatment of the adopted person requires an understanding of them as an individual on their own terms separate from, as well as part of, her/his complex family system involving two or more families.

If a psychotherapist has already started treating an adopted person, Northstar is available to offer consultation to either party.  Either way, we can provide a great deal of information to fill in gaps in what they may know about various adoption topics. For the therapist, we view these consultations as a means of clarifying areas in which the therapist may not be familiar so that treatment can be more effectively focused. For example, some adopted clients wish to discuss their thoughts about searching for information about their birth relatives. Any aspect of “the search” is a very complex topic and we advise therapists to consult the Handbook mentioned above.

If a therapist believes it would be helpful to their treatment if the client had a consultation with one of the Northstar specialists for specific adoption-related concerns, this could be worked out through a collaborative arrangement.

Notes for Adopted Persons

We have reason to believe that adopted adolescents and young adults have most likely seen more therapists than their non-adopted peers. There are many reasons for this, one of them being that many have had frustrating experiences seeing counselors or therapists who were not familiar with the complexities of being adopted. Many adopted people need to see therapists who are not only well-informed about certain details about adoption, but who can provide treatment at a deeper level having to do with all that is active in the client’s mind and emotions, including the areas that are forgotten, confused, or possibly distorted by earlier experiences.

Being adopted is only part of a much larger life experience in personal development. A well-informed therapist can help the client learn what may or may not be related to adoption issues. What we do know is that the adopted person’s lived experience is far more complicated than that of most of their non-adopted peers. This begins with the complexity of their having a birth family that they may or may not know anything about. The adopted person wants to work out, within themselves, who they have become as persons, and perhaps why or how, and integrate all of the fragments from their earlier lives.

Northstar consultants can work with the adopted client or family member at whatever level they wish to work, depending on what they want to get out of either a consultation or treatment. This can be clarified in the initial FREE ONLINE CONSULTATION.

The way adopted people report their experience with previous therapists.