AMHCA Home Studies

Home Study: Fall Summit 2022-12 - Adoption-Informed Mental Health Counseling: Supporting Adoptee Consciousness 

11-28-2022 16:20

**Previously Recorded on 11/10/2022 - Not a Live Event**

Critical consciousness models illuminate processes by which marginalized groups develop awareness about oppressive systems and structures both individually and collectively to ultimately engage in activism for social justice. One marginalized group, adoptees, have relied on “out of the fog” language to delineate emergent adoptee awareness of the impact of adoption, to include systemic problematic practices. The adoptee consciousness model, templated from Anzaldúa’s conocimiento process, moves beyond emergent awareness to describe the ongoing individual and collective movement toward social activism adoptees may encounter throughout their lifespan. The model is conceptualized with five touchstones within the spiral: 1) status quo, 2) rupture, 3) dissonance, 4) expansiveness, and 5) forgiveness and activism. The model considers intersecting racial, ethnic, and cultural identities while also promoting empathy for adoptees wherever they are on the spiral of adoptee consciousness. Implications for mental health counselors will be explored. 

Susan Branco, PhD, LPC (VA), LCPC (MD), NCC, ACS, BC-TMH, (she/her/ella), is a transracial and transnational adoptee from Colombia, South America. She is an advocate for increased adoption related research and training within counselor education and is passionate about improving mental health outcomes for transracially adopted persons. For fourteen years she maintained an independent clinical practice specializing in working with adults, children, and families connected to adoption and foster care. In addition, she has professional experience working in community mental health, pre-natal care clinics, and with immigrant populations. Dr. Branco utilizes attachment theory, family systems, and trauma informed approaches in her clinical practice. Currently, Dr. Branco is a practicing counselor, clinical supervisor, and a tenure track Assistant Professor in the Counselor Education program at St. Bonaventure University. Her research interests include transracial adoption and mental health, Colombian adoption policy, and clinical training and supervision practices for BIPOC counselors. 


AMHCA will provide 1.5 CEs total after viewing and completing the accompanying quiz with a passing grade (80% or higher). American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) has been approved to provide continuing education by the National Board for Certified Counselors and the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. All sales are final - home study registrations are non-refundable.



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