Joni S. Mantell, LCSW, is a psychotherapist with over twenty-five years of experience and also the Director of IAC Center. She holds a Masters in Social Work from The University of Pennsylvania; completed a 4-year Certification Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy at the Post-Graduate Center for Mental Health in NYC; and has taken specialized training in couples therapy, adoption, grief and loss, and understanding the creative process. She has extensive clinical experience with all adoption triad members, family-building options, couples and creative and performing artists including Broadway actors.
She is a recognized authority on the psychological and social aspects of infertility and adoption; and is particularly known for her expertise in helping people to transition from medical or situational infertility to adoption; and for her capacities to integrate and to differentiate adoption, child development and other psychological issues in her understanding of each individual and family situation.
Couples therapy: Joni has found that her work with couples during the family building crisis – when they must find ways to communicate and make decisions together – has taught her invaluable skills for working with individuals and couples dealing with all kinds of relationship difficulties, complex family formations, life transitions, losses and other personal and interpersonal issues.
IAC Center: In 2002, she founded the IAC Center because she felt that people needed a place to have safe and professionally guided discussions about infertility and adoption at multiple points in the life cycle. The IAC Center offers counseling, support groups and psycho-educational workshops for families and for professionals. Joni trains and supervises all IAC Center Counselors; and supervises other therapists seeking to develop these specialties.
Writing, consulting and speaking on infertility and adoption topics: The unique combination of her psychological training, extensive clinical work with infertility patients and all members of the adoption triad; academic and research based experiences gives her particular insight into the mindset of people whose lives are touched by infertility and adoption.
- Writing: Currently she writes regularly and serves as an “Ask the Expert” for Adoptive Families magazine
- Open Adoption Consultations: Can assist family members and adoption professionals in pre-adoption planning for open adoptions including Post Adopt Contact Agreements; and all triad members in navigating relationships post adoption. While the goal is always to help individuals and families to make and manage open adoption plans in the best interest of the child, each plan will be unique based on the individuals involved.
- Consultant to infertility programs and adoption agencies– She has developed educational training materials for Infertility Clinics and Adoption Agencies and Attorneys seeking to address the psychosocial issues that occur as a part of their work. Her trainings have been found to be beneficial for both the clients/patients and professional staffs.
- Assistance with the evaluation of individual clients – for infertility clinics and adoption agencies.
- Supervision of therapists interested in or already working with fertility and adoption cases.
- Speaker: Joni Mantell, LCSW has consistently been rated as an excellent, warm, connected and effective speaker.
- She speaks on a variety of adoption and family building topics; and can customize workshops and trainings for infertility programs; adoption agencies and attorneys; parent support and professional organizations, schools and business corporations.
- Topics she is frequently asked to speak on include:
- Crossing the Bridge From Infertility to Adoption
- How to Talk To Children About Adoption
- Understanding Open Adoption
- The Challenges of the Client-Agency Relationship in Adoption
- The Adoptive Parents Journey: Implications for Professionals working with Adoptive Parents and Children
- Contact Joni Mantell at JMantellmsw@iaccenter.com or 609-737-8750 with any speaking requests or needs for customized topics.
- Recent speaking engagements include: American Academy of Adoption Attorneys; Adoptive Parents Committee; Concerned Persons for Adoption: Delaware Valley Adoption Counsel; The Fieldston School in NYC; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Reproductive Medicine Associates of NJ. She also spoke and wrote regularly for RESOLVE and the American Fertility Association
- Original research on the Adoptive Parent Client-Agency Relationship in Adoption presented at the Joint Council for International Children’s Services (JCICS), Pearl S. Buck Foundation, New Jersey Association of Adoption Agencies (AACNJ) and a full day training at the Children’s Home Society of Minnesota.
- Professional Member of the Mental Health Professional Group of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, RESOLVE and The American Fertility Association. She held the position of Adoption Coordinator for RESOLVE NYC, NJ and the Northeast Region of Resolve over a period of 10 years.