The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Check out the below videos from our 2011 Adoption Conference, or watch all of our videos on YouTube.

"Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up" by Mary Dozier, PhD

Keynote presentation by Mary Dozier, PhD.

Children who have experienced early adversity, such as foster care, neglect, and institutional care, often have difficulties regulating behavior and physiology. We have designed an intervention that targets these issues. The intervention, Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up, helps caregivers behave in nurturing ways to enhance children's attachment organization, and provide a responsive, engaged interpersonal environment so as to enhance children's attention and self-regulatory capabilities. Evidence regarding the effectiveness of the intervention will be presented along with description of the intervention, and videotaped vignettes.


Panel and Audience Discussion of Clinical and Research Implications of Keynote

UnJa Hayes, Assistant Professor, Psychology, UMass Amherst.
Joyce Maguire Pavao, Founder & CEO of Center for Family Connections.
Jennifer McDermott, Assistant Professor, Psychology, UMass Amherst.


"How Many Families Does it Take to Make An Adoption?" by Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao

In her workshop entitled "How Many Families Does it Take to Make an Adoption?" Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao begins by asking us to consider what adoption is and is not. She tells us that adoption is not "an incident or an is not a legal moment of signing of documents of surrender..." but rather that it is a "taking on or extending or making a family by admitting others to the clan and claiming them as relatives as by marriage."

Using personal stories and her professional experiences, Dr. Pavao's workshop examines the adoption themes of loss to all triad members, family systems theory as it particularly pertains to adoptive families, and overarching clinical issues in adoption including self esteem and shame based issues. Dr. Pavao discusses the importance of a provider's sensitivity to adoption related issues in treatment as they relate to the family's adjustment to the child's placement as well as the family's own stage of development. In the family's stages of development, Dr. Pavao asks practitioners to delve deeper into the family's stressors, vulnerabilities, dysfunctional family dynamics, wounds occurred in the adoption process, the family's perception of the child's history and the family's expectations of and for the child.

Finally, Dr. Pavao discusses her use of genograms as a powerful tool to engage families and adopted persons in particular in the clinical environment. She looks at the role that Facebook is playing in search and reunion at present and shares the powerful film "The Triumvirate" with participants. Dr. Pavao concludes her workshop by asking the profound and simple questions, "What can hurt about having more people to love, and what can hurt about knowing more about yourself?"


"Adoption-Specific Psychotherapy" by Debbie Riley &Jill Waterman

A Manualized Approach For Children Adopted From Foster Care.


"Adoption Mentoring Partnership"

Adoption Mentoring Partnership (AMP) program summary.


"Reactive Attachment Disorder" by Dr. Anna Smyke