What we do

Adoptee Alliance provides online adoptee therapy by experienced social workers and psychotherapists who grasp adoption’s impact. We aid adult adoptees in rediscovering themselves and healing from relinquishment scars through the NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM). Our focus includes anxiety, depression, relationship struggles, undesired behaviors, existential crises, and reunion challenges. Our goal is to help adoptees heal and belong.

Adoptee psychotherapy

Our Founder

Steve Sunseth, MSW, RSW, Certified NARM Therapist

Steve Sunseth is a Master Social Worker (MSW) registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Steve has dedicated nearly 20 years to supporting trauma survivors, with a specialization in developmental trauma. As an adoptee himself, Steve is passionate about supporting fellow adult adoptees.

We are trained in various somatic, psychodynamic, and relational therapeutic modalities. Our primary lens for adoptees is the NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM), an evidence-informed approach addressing attachment, relational, and developmental trauma. Our expertise helps clients regulate their nervous systems, heal childhood wounds, establish meaningful relationships, and rediscover their authentic selves. Our lived experiences as adoptees drive our commitment to helping clients rebuild their sense of belonging.

Our Story

Adoptee Alliance was founded by Steve Sunseth, a registered social worker and baby scoop era adoptee

While Steve had always known about his adoption, it wasn’t until he reached his 40’s that he realized its profound impact on his life. His attempts to reunite with his birth family brought emotional turmoil and secondary rejection, driving him to seek psychological assistance. Unfortunately, Steve discovered few therapists who comprehended the complexities of the adoption experience, and existing therapeutic approaches fell short. Learn more about Steve’s personal adoption and reunion story in our blog.

As Steve delved into the adoption community, he found that his struggles were widely shared. Many adoptees’ stories included childhood runaway experiences and a constant feeling of not fitting in. This realization motivated years of research and self-reflection, fueling his determination to support this community.

Steve’s quest for appropriate therapy led him to specialize in a psychotherapy model designed specifically for adult adoptees. He then established Adoptee Alliance, a safe and supportive environment for adoptees to heal, grow, and create more fulfilling lives.

Adoptee therapy

Our approach

Our approach to counselling and psychotherapy

We specialize in various therapeutic modalities, including:

  • Internal Family Systems (IFS)
  • Somatic Experiencing (SE)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Numerous Attachment-Based Therapies (ABTs)
  • And more.

Our primary focus is on the NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM), which enables individuals to address the underlying relational patterns causing trauma-related symptoms. Through NARM, our clients cultivate healthy and adaptive ways of relating to themselves and others. NARM is an evidence-informed approach widely recognized as one of the most innovative in trauma therapy.

Using NARM, we help adult adoptees comprehend and regulate their nervous systems, heal childhood wounds, and establish meaningful connections with the world. The result is stronger relationships and a profound sense of belonging.

For additional information about NARM, please visit https://narmtraining.com/what-is-narm/.

Why Get Help?

Adverse Childhood Experiences, such as relinquishment, significantly impact a child, affecting their health, mental well-being, and economic status throughout life. Adoptees face an elevated risk of heart disease, diabetes, high-risk behaviors like substance use and smoking, as well as a higher likelihood of incarceration, suicide attempts, or hospitalization. Consequently, adoptees are often misdiagnosed with ADHD, depression, or anxiety disorders, with conventional treatments offering limited relief.

At Adoptee Alliance, we recognize your symptoms as natural protective responses to trauma, not ‘disorders.’ We collaborate with you to heal the trauma and develop new strategies for building meaningful connections with yourself and the world around you.

Adoptee therapy

Reach out today

Not sure where to begin your journey toward healing? We can help. If you have any questions, we welcome you to start the conversation here.