Lesli Johnson, MFT

Me and my adoptive mom Linda. She's rockin' her 70's look!

Adoption: It's complicated.
When I look at this photo I see a mom who loves her daughter and a silly girl who loves her mom. What's not visible is the intense anxiety that I experienced, even at such a young age. The fears that kept me awake at night wondering if I'd be "left" again...the terror that I could lose all that was familiar to me as I did, in those moments after my birth. I wondered if I'd be taken from my adoptive family too. My implicit memory, my felt experience based on that early separation from my birth mother, told me it wasn't safe to trust that people will stay. My adoptive parents were not able to soothe my worries 
and at times,  I suffered. 
In my late teens I began my healing  journey.  I  am grateful that in the years that followed,  I was able to do some very  hard work connecting the dots of my story and better understanding how my early experiences shaped my thoughts and beliefs. I experienced relief and felt resilient.

I think about my two moms as Mother's Day approaches. Mother's Day can be difficult to navigate for the extended family of adoption. After I reunited with my birthmom years ago, I had a fantasy that one day Linda and Candis would meet. They would sip tea or wine (depending on the time of day) and catch each other up. They would be fast friends because they shared me and we were all in "this" together. This thought brought me comfort and made me feel whole. Sadly this never happened for a variety of reasons. My moms never got to know each other. Reunion is also complicated.

I share all of this with you to remind you, we are resilient beings. Our brains and neural networks change throughout our lifespan. I am passionate in  my work to guide our community toward wholeness and healing. We can heal and we do heal! Connect with community, find your support person, therapist or group and embrace this work! 

Online groups for the ADOPTION COMMUNITY 
begin in June! Sign up now to secure your spot.

Virtual groups will begin in the first week of June.
Personally and professionally, I've found group work to be essential to healing. Groups are a safe place for our community to connect, listen to and learn from each other.  While the details of our stories may differ, our felt experiences are similar and we can transform in the presence of others. I've created the following groups to provide you with a space to receive the support you need, ask questions, get answers, learn from others' insights, wins and ultimately realize you are not alone on your journey.

I'll be facilitating separate groups for adult adoptees and adoptive parents. (A first parent and teen group will be coming soon.) Each group will consist of 8-10 people. We will meet via Zoom. The fee is $55 per meeting and a 6 month 
 commitment is suggested.
I'm so excited for us to connect and work together!

Contact me directly for day and time options and more information. Registration is first come and spots are limited.

Teen AdoptCONNECT meets 
Thursday May 9th. 
Will you join us?

*Our group will meet quarterly in 2019 (rather than monthly) and the cost for each 90 minute group is $20 per person. Please RSVP and feel free to reach out with any questions or to register your teen.


Please listen to the  latest  episode of
this Friday, May 10th as Haley and I talk about 
boundaries. After you  listen  to that episode, listen to some of the others! 
It's a GREAT podcast!!


Read this book!! Julie Lopez does a fantastic job of discussing brain science and the brain-based therapies EMDR, Brainspotting and Neurofeedback in an approachable way. She offers how these transformative therapies can be effective in working with implicit memories that may interfering in present day life. As most of you know, I am a big fan of brain-based therapy and use Brainspotting and EMDR in in my work with clients every day.  


Have a great month. Feel free to forward this to anyone who may be interested! 

Connect with me on FACEBOOK, TWITTER and INSTAGRAM

With gratitude,
Lesli Johnson, MFT

You'll receive occasional updates and information.  I will never share your email address.


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