Family Intensive

  • family-intensive-src
  • family-intensive-hands
  • adoptive-family-multiracial-3
  • adoptive-family-multi-racial-2

Family Intensive Program for Adoptive Families is an intensive multi-disciplinary approach to diagnosis, assessment and treatment of adopted children and their families.

Mindfully preparing for the arrival of a child with a complicated history into your family or trying to re-establish a sense of “normalcy” and peace after an adoption that has not gone the way you had expected takes a lot of support. We created the Family Intensive Program because at the heart of our passion for adoptive families is our hope that more adoptive families can stay together, not just physically in the same home, but feel emotionally engaged, supported, and delighted by each other’s company.

Our exceptional treatment ensemble aims to support you through the complexities of developmental psychology, trauma, mental health, and learning disabilities, so you can get as many questions answered about your child’s emotional, cognitive, and neurological areas of strengths and difficulties as possible. We feel you have to understand your child in order to feel like a competent parent and weather the storms of clinging and/or rejection so that your child can heal and your family can thrive.

Family Intensive Treatment Team

family-intensive-jordan-wright services-mind-icon

A. Jordan Wright, Ph.D., ABAP

Dr. Wright is the author of Conducting Psychological Assessment and is in the process of co-authoring the definitive textbook for training psychologists, on psychological assessment the Handbook of Psychological Assessment, with Gary Groth-Marnat, Ph.D. that is the gold standard for training. He is board certified by the American Board of Assessment Psychology and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Assessment Psychology.

His passion for working with children in foster care and adoptees began with a master’s degree in psychology in education and working at a foster care agency in Brooklyn. He has conducted countless assessments with this population and values an understanding of development that takes into account the unique history of each child and family involved.

What happens during assessments?

  • Typically 2 sessions, 7 hours total
  • Parents are interviewed and fill out questionnaires
  • Child takes tests

Why might assessments be helpful?

In short, assessments are like a guidebook to the inner workings of your child and provide concrete data of how your child’s brain and emotions work in comparison to other children their age. From our vantage point, truly understanding the strengths that your child has in addition to what is causing them to struggle is invaluable to any future psychotherapy, advocating for appropriate services at school, and as a baseline for their growth and development with you.

We as therapists cannot accurately guide you as parents to understanding your child’s strengths and areas of difficulty without thorough psychological evaluation. Assessment can answer questions like: Is it anxiety or an executive functioning issue? Is my child learning like other kids his/her age? What will ultimately be the best context for my child to reach his/her academic potential? Assessment serves as the basis for future treatment planning and advocacy for specialized services at school.

family-intensive-courtney-src services-connect-icon

Rennicke & Associates

Leah Langsam, Psy.D.
Courtney Rennicke, Ph.D.

Do you wish you could collaborate with therapists who “get it”?

Rennicke & Associates treatment team is headed up by Leah Langsam, Psy.D. a Certified Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Practitioner and passionate advocate for children in foster care and adoptees.

Courtney Rennicke, Ph.D. is a certified Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) therapist, Co-Founder and President of the Adoption Foster Care Therapist Network (AFCTN), and Board Member at Large for the United States for the DDP Institute.

What happens during family intensive treatment?

  • Typically 5 days of 3 hour sessions, 15 hours total
  • Treatment is a combination of parent(s)-only and dyadic parent(s)-child sessions

Why might family intensive treatment be helpful?

When problems are complex sometimes family life needs to pause to focus its full energy and attention on them. Consider that 5 days of the Family Intensive Program is almost equivalent to 4 months of weekly family therapy sessions.

Beyond the accelerated time frame, meeting for extended period of time has the paradoxical effect at times at feeling less rushed for time and can allow for greater safety to do deeper work on family member’s trauma and attachment histories. Families who complete the Family Intensive Program find that there are more tangible results in ways their family can change, which can replenish their sense of hope and that things can get better.

family-intensive-fadi-src services-body-icon

Fadi Haddad, MD

Do you wish that you could talk to a psychiatrist who has actually “seen this before”?

Dr. Fadi Haddad has seen and evaluated thousands of children through his career, most recently as the Medical Director of the Children’s Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (C-CPEP) at Bellevue Hospital, NYU Medical Center. Dr. Haddad is also the author of Helping Kids in Crisis, which was awarded the distinction of best mental health book of 2015 by the British Medical Association.

Dr. Haddad has a great passion for working with adoptees and orphans around the world both as an Orphan Ranger and frequent fundraiser for Dr. Jane Aronson’s Worldwide Orphans (WWO) charity.

What happens during a psychiatric consultation?

  • Typically 2 sessions, 2 hours total
  • Parent(s) interviewed
  • Child interviewed

Why might a psychiatric consultation be helpful?

Getting a consultation with a psychiatrist is not always about getting a prescription for medication, sometimes it can also be about getting clarification on a diagnosis, answering questions about the nature and trajectory of concerning behaviors and symptoms, and understanding the impact of medical and developmental issues on behavior.

In cases, where children have been on many different medications and perhaps have not experienced a clear effect, a consultation can also be very powerful in obtaining a second opinion about the effectiveness of an existing medication regimen.

Click here for a Sample Family Intensive Treatment Week

What might I gain out of a family intensive treatment as a parent?

  • Reduction in experience of blocked care/caregiver burnout
  • Working, practical understand of your own attachment historyIncreased experiential and emotional awareness of your child’s developmental and attachment history
  • Understanding principles of relationally based ways of addressing behavioral/emotional disruptions
  • Practicing link between self-care and increased capacity to nurture your child

What might my child gain from their experience in the family intensive program?

  • Substantive start on understanding their life’s story/adoptive story
  • Age appropriate understanding of trauma and emotion regulation/dysregulation
  • Identification of triggers due to their story or their neurological make up
  • Age appropriate understanding of their fear of getting too close/dependent on parents

How might my relationship with my child begin to change during this process?

  • Experience more prolonged glimmers of enjoyment and delight in your interactions
  • Experience “better compliance” with family rules and routines due to reduction in power struggles