Emily Benson, MSW, LICSW, RPT-S, SEP
I believe that adoption is one the greatest gifts that a child and family can experience. It can also be a complex journey filled with questions and a significant amount of adjustment. Adoption sometimes brings challenges to an existing family system, particularly for families who are adopting or have adopted a child(ren) who have experienced traumatic events prenatally, in infancy or in early childhood.
I have been comprehensively trained in Experiential Play Therapy by the creator of this model, professor Byron Norton, PhD. Experiential play therapy re-creates healthy attachment and discharges trauma. My work with children in the playroom is life changing for them and their families. An integral part of my practice is also working with caregivers to understand attachment, brain function and how early trauma shapes the brain. My theoretical orientation relies heavily on the work of Heather Forbes and Becky Bailey (attachment) and Bruce Perry (trauma). I also work closely with caregivers to provide education on how attachment develops and provide concrete examples of how to foster attachment with children.
As a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, I bring a unique perspective to my work with children and families, educating them on the impact of trauma on the nervous system and how together we can re-regulate children through play and supportive touch.
Blue Cross/Blue Shield
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
Experiential Play Therapy
Filial Play Therapy
Sand Tray or Sand Play
Somatic Experiencing (SE)
Adoption Identity (i.e., self-worth, self-esteem)
Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Divorce / Co Parenting
Early Traumatic Experiences
Grief and Loss Related to Adoption
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Sexual Abuse (Victim)
Adult (Ad. Parent - Individual)
Elementary Age (7-12)
Young Adult (19-25)
Young Child (3-6)
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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: https://fosteradoptmn.org/help_program_overview/
Parents should carefully choose a therapist based on the individual needs of their family. For more information, please see the following: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f-therapist/