For Professionals

Professionals working with individuals and families whose lives have been touched by infertility or adoption will benefit from IAC Center’s expertise in these areas. Understanding the mindset and how to work with these clients has proven beneficial to:

  • Therapists
  • Fertility Doctors & Nurses
  • Adoption Agencies and Attorneys

Common reactions to the infertility and adoption journey include: Loss, grief, anxiety, post-traumatic stress; as well as other complex emotions and difficulties in relationships with partners, spouses, family, friends and sometimes even with the professionals they are working with are common as well.

IAC Center counselors understand the complexity of the family building journey and its rewards. We can help professionals working with these individuals and couples to:

  • Understand the mindset of their clients (or patients) experience
  • Use this understanding to build empathy and to improve communication in the client-professional relationship
  • Identify the best ways to help these clients to make timely and meaningful decisions and to set realistic goals
  • Decrease professionals stress and potential for burn-out in working with these frequently stressed clients


2016 IAC Center Speaking at CEU Events for Professionals

  • Joni Mantell, LCSW is presenting a training on ‘The Challenges of the Agency-Client Relationship in Adoption’ on January 8, 2016 sponsored by AACNJ, the Adoption Agency Council of New Jersey. Contact Cathy McNee for more information.
  • Joni Mantell, LCSW is presenting as part of a panel on Infertility and Adoption at New York University at the Silver School of Social Work 2016 Professional Seminar Series on February 12, 2016.
  • Joni Mantell, LCSW is presenting a training on ‘How To Develop And Facilitate Effective Support Groups For Adoptive Families’ on April 21, 2016 at the Delaware Valley Adoption Council on Contact  for more information
  • Bridget Devine, LCSW is presenting a training on ‘How To Talk To Children Adopted At An Older Age About Adoption’ on June 23, 2016 at the Delaware Valley Adoption Council on Contact  for more information


Workshops for Professionals


Individual and Group Supervision

For professional workshops, consultations or supervision, contact Joni Mantell, LCSW at or 609-737-8750

Workshops for Professionals

All of these workshops can be set up for continuing education credits and are available for presentation at your agency, clinic or organization.

The following workshops are presented by Joni Mantell, LCSW:

Infertility and Adoption: The Impact upon Adoptive Families and Children

This workshop is designed for professionals seeking to learn more about the adoptive parents’ journey, and how that affects their dealing with both the adoption process and adoptive parenthood.  This workshop offers a psychological perspective.

Beginning with when parents first consider adoption, moving on to their experience of the adoption process, and finally exploring and identifying the simultaneous issues that parents and children experience in relation to the ages and stages of children’s understanding of adoption issues will be discussed.

It is critical for a professional working with adoptive families to understand the parents’ journey.  How the parents experience their own adoption issues has major impact on how they are able to help their children to deal with their adoption issues.  We will discuss the psychotherapeutic models that can help adoptive families develop attachments and elicit strengths in the children and other family members.

You will learn:

How to understand the psychological issues of adoptive parents who begin parenthood in the context of complex loss and emotion

Understand the differences in how men and women experience the infertility and adoption journeys

How the infertility experience impacts individuals and couples during the pre-adoptive phase, including their relationships with their adoption agencies or attorneys; and how to help these clients navigate the adoption process more effectively and with less stress for both professionals and clients.

How to help adoptive parents to understand the ages and stages children go through

How infertility impacts parenting and adoptive parents’ relationships with their adopted children at multiple points in the life cycle; and how professionals can help.

How to address specific issues for parents who have adopted domestically

How to address specific issues for parents who have adopted internationally


The Challenges of the Agency-Adoptive Parent Client Relationship in Adoption: Managing Expectations and Realities

This workshop is for adoption agency staff and other adoption professionals who would like to have a better understanding of the mindset of prospective adoptive parents.  We will examine how this mindset often complicates the forming of optimal relationships with the adoption agencies, dealing with the adoption process and focusing on and learning about the adoptive parenting they are about to embark on.  This workshop has more of a social work perspective.

You will learn:

How to understand the mindset of prospective adoptive parents who are becoming parents in the context of complex loss and emotions

How to improve the client-agency relationship to increase the clients’ trust in and communication with the agency

How to manage the psychological issues that make it difficult for clients to take in pre-adoption education while in the process of adopting

HOW and WHEN agencies can give clients information that they will best absorb

WHO can provide adoption education that clients can really take in

The kinds of supports that help adoptive parents during and after the adoption process

While everyone agrees on the content that prospective adoptive parents need to learn, there has been inconsistent success with managing their expectations and their understanding of the realities of the adoption process and adoptive parenting.  The goals of this workshop are designed to help you to improve your strategy in preparing clients to become successful adoptive parents, and to minimize the risk of adoption disruptions.


Helping Professional Stress Disorder 

Learn skills and systems to deal with the emotional challenges of working with infertility and/or adoption clients, so that you can experience greater personal work satisfaction and productivity.

In this workshop you will learn about:

Symptoms and Risks of “Compassion Fatigue”

How to recognize this in yourself and others

Information about prevention, resilience and treatment

Specific strategies on awareness, lifestyle balance and connecting with others

This workshop will be scheduled soon. If you have an immediate interest, or for more information contact Joni Mantell, IAC Center Director

Professionals please note: IAC Center Workshops are also offered for home study credits to your clients

These include but are not limited to:

Baby Care for Adoptive Parents

How To Talk To Children

About Adoption – We do this workshop with a unique emphasis on why talking to children about adoption is difficult for adoptive parents.

Transracial Adoptive Families

Open Adoption

Parenting the Older Adopted Child

Integrative Parenting: Strategies for Promoting Self-Regulation in Children

See Workshops for other topics of interest to you and to your clients.  Some workshops may work to fulfill Home Study Requirements for your clients.IAC Center will issue Certificates of Attendance with your approval. if you would like more information about this option.


How to Add an Emotional Layer to Your Adoption Program – Workshop or Consultation

This workshop is a mix of presentation of concepts, discussion and a consultation service for administrators and professionals working at adoption agencies.  Incorporating an understanding of mindset of pre-adoptive parents can help you to:

Plan and improve aspects of your program

Manage client’s needs during the wait

Optimize the incorporation of pre-adoption education

Optimize the awareness of post-adoption services

Improve client and staff communication

The relationship between pre-adoptive parents and their adoption agency is complicated due to some inherent differences in priorities.  Clients’ are usually reluctant to share their grief about the losses that brought them to adoption and their anxiety about the adoption process and adoptive parenting.  And these are precisely the emotional underpinnings that impact the way they handle every aspect of the adoption process, including the client-agency relationship and their expectations and the realities in adoption.

This presentation and consultation offers your agency a way to address these elephants in the room and to develop immediately usable communication strategies, programs and systemic adjustments. In effect, you will be able to create minor changes that will decrease the stress in the adoption experience for both the clients and the agency staff.


How to Add an Emotional Layer to Your Infertility Program – Workshop or Consultation

This workshop or consultation service is for administrators and professionals working in private practices or infertility programs.  A more clear understanding of the infertility patient’s psychology will help you plan and improve every step of your program in relation to client service and to decrease staff stress at the same time.

This workshop could also be called: Addressing the elephants in the room. It is not uncommon for infertility patients to feel emotional, and to be unclear or unable to control how they communicate with their doctor or nurses. This can cause additional stress for the patients as well as the professionals, and is not the most productive way of serving these patients.

You will learn:

The psychosocial aspects of infertility

The six phases infertility patients typically go through

How to identify the phase a particular patient is in for the purpose of improved communication

Specific communication skills with infertility patients

How to implementIAC Center’s checkpoint system for infertility programs  (This system should decrease stress for both patients and professionals)

We have found that this workshop is most effective as a consultation process set up in phases including: assessment, dialogue, goal setting, implementation and follow up.

If you are interested in any of these programs or for more information, contact Joni Mantell, IAC Center Director at or 609-737-8750


Individual and Group Supervision

For psychotherapists, adoption social workers and other professionals

Sessions are customized to your needs and may include case supervision, a tutorial on the psychological, relationship and social aspects of infertility and adoption, client-professional relationships or other issues you raise.

You will benefit from understanding the life cycle issues that are normative for individuals, couples or families whose lives have been touched by infertility or adoption. In working with these clients therapists may want to understand:

The medical or adoption process

Common issues for men and women experiencing infertility

The unique aspects of the grief process for infertility

Life cycle issues for the different members of the adoption constellation

Differentiating psychological, developmental and adoption issues experienced by adopted children, teens, adults

Therapeutic impasses

Variety of psychological approaches that have proven to be successful with these individuals and families

If you are interested in any of these programs or for more information, contact Joni Mantell, IAC Center Director at or 609-737-8750