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Brenda R Benning, LICSW

(She / Her / Hers)

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Brenda Benning is a family therapist specializing in adoption, trauma and attachment. Her focus is on parenting kids from tough places and helping families restore peace in the home, while helping the entire family grow and thrive. She received her MSW from the University of Minnesota, completed the trauma certification program at the U of MN, and completed PACC (Permanency and Adoption Competency Certification) training. Brenda is currently parenting 10 children, 9 through adoption. Each child’s adoption story is unique and have ranged from fully open to fully closed due to safety concerns. The family/parenting adoption journey is special and personal experience can help a family feel at ease. Brenda provides this personal experience for families through her own parenting experience as well as continued training and education. Brenda’s focus in working with families is creating a sense of hope with the family, empathy for the child’s history, and love to help everyone move forward in the journey. Brenda does various trainings for families, school and other professionals working with kids from traumatic backgrounds to build a system around the child and family. Brenda currently works with families via Zoom or in home when possible as groups, individuals, and couples.

HEAL Family Services



Practice Location:
Treatment Modalities:
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)
ARC Model
Attachment Bio-Behavioral Catch-Up (ABC)
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
LifeBook/Life Story Work
Parental Assessment
Somatic Experiencing (SE)
Trauma Focused – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF CBT)
Trauma-informed Child Parent Psychotherapy (TI-CPP)
Areas of Practice:
Adoption Identity (i.e., self-worth, self-esteem)
Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Early Traumatic Experiences
Educational Consulting (IEP/504 Assistance)
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs)
Foster Care
Grief and Loss Related to Adoption
Kinship Families
Open Adoption
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
Parent Coaching
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
Systems of Care Navigation
Transracial/Transcultural Families
Client Demographics:
Elementary Age (7-12)
Family Work
Infant (0-2)
Parent Coaching
Teen (13-18)
Young Child (3-6)
PACC Graduate
Graduate of Permanency & Adoption Competency Certificate Program (PACC) through UMN’s Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare - More Info


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If your family is facing financial barriers to receiving care from an adoption-competent therapist in Minnesota, please reach out to our HELP Program:

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