Caring for Me, Caring for You:
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Adopters
Adoption is a life-long process with challenges and setbacks as well as satisfaction and joy. Even before individuals and couples begin to explore adoption, they may have experienced difficult life events and disappointments. They then move forward to face the reality of parenting children from the care system which comes with its own set of challenges. The stakes for all parties are high and it is vital that adoptive parents are supported to manage their own wellbeing, for themselves and for their children.
MPCP is has been involved in providing two evaluated online 8-week mindfulness courses for adoptive parents in the Adoption West Consortium. ‘Caring for Me, Caring for You’ is our online course for adopters with children in placement pre and post adoption order and has been informed by our experience delivering our ‘face to face’ course for adopters in 2017.
The two funded online courses took place through the summer and winter of 2020 and have been made possible through Covid 19 Adoption Support funding, a grant from Oxford Mindfulness Centre and financial support from Adoption West.
Adoptive parents are caring for children from public care with very high levels of physical and emotional need which, in many cases, extend into adulthood. And now, adoptive families are facing the added challenges and uncertainties of Covid 19. We are, therefore, delighted to be working with Adoption West and Coram to explore how mindfulness courses delivered on-line can support adoptive parents, wherever they live, in these difficult most difficult circumstances.
The Programme: Caring for Me, Caring for You has been designed to build upon the accumulating evidence base that training in mindfulness can be helpful for both parents and their children.
Mindful parenting has been shown to help parents to manage the stresses and worries of everyday life.
Mindfulness supports parents’ ability to be truly present with children, through the good times and times of emotional and behavioural challenge.
Mindful presence may also enable parents to engage more fully with other therapeutic interventions that they and their children are receiving.
Children of Mindfully Self Compassionate parents tend to have lower rates of anxiety and depression.
Supporting adoptive parents’ ability to be with difficult emotions, to self-regulate under pressure and to listen without judgment or pushing away is, therefore, a key task for adoption and other services.
Qualities of mindfulness lie at the heart of re-parenting of children who have suffered neglect and trauma and this is the rationale for offering this training as an additional source of adoption support in line with the strategic direction of the Government's own report Mindful Nation UK’ and is included as an 'In Scope' intervention on the ASF website.