Cotey Bowman, MA, LPC Associate
Supervised by Brandi Smith, MA, LPCS
I have a soft spot for working with MPE/NPE clients as they navigate their surprise DNA discoveries, late discovery adoptions and donor conceived experiences. This passion to help comes from discovering that I have a MPE myself. I understand the emotions that ensue from a experience such as making an unexpected finding. I have worked through this journey extensively and can help you in whatever part of the process you’re in. I focus on bringing awareness to your value and importance of identity as well as processing heavy emotions and forming meaning as you build upon this experience. I would consider it a privilege to journey with you.
Cotey received his MA in Counseling from Dallas Theological Seminary and currently practices at New Heights Counseling in Texas. Please reach out today for a free consult.
Cotey is licensed in the state of Texas and at times, is able to gain counseling privileges with other states upon request. He began N/MPE Counseling Collective as he saw a need for helping connect the N/MPE community to N/MPE competent therapists.
Dr. Alissa Beuerlein, PhD, LPC-MHSP
Dr. Alissa Beuerlein is a licensed professional counselor (LPC-MHSP) in private practice in Nashville, TN. She has her PhD and Master’s degrees in clinical counseling. Dr. Alissa specializes in complex trauma, using Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) among other trauma-aware therapeutic interventions. Dr. Alissa also specializes in working with people with attachment trauma, such as adoptee or donor conception (DC) or other non paternity event (NPE). As a DC person herself, Dr. Alissa understands the complexity of NPE experiences and works with her clients to process the individual experiences surrounding them.
Alissa is licensed in the state of Tennessee.
Lynne Spencer, MA, LLP, RN
Lynne is an experienced Masters Level Psychologist. She graduated from the Michigan School of Psychology (formerly the Center for Humanistic Studies) in 2000 with a Master’s in Clinical and Humanistic Psychology. She is also a registered nurse, specializing in Psychiatric/Behavioral Nursing, since 1983.
Lynne currently practices at Timber Creek Counseling in Chelsea, Michigan. Her special areas of interest include donor conception, adoption, NPE, depression, trauma, grief and loss, Mind-Body-Spirit integration, and the LGBTQ population.
Lynne believes it is important for everyone to have their life story heard, understood and honored. She enjoys helping people grow through facing up to their life challenges and gaining more life satisfaction and purpose.
Lynne is licensed in the state of Michigan.
Brianne Kirkpatrick, MS, LCGC
Brianne Kirkpatrick is a genetic counselor, DNA consultant, and author of the books ‘The DNA Guide for Adoptees’ and ‘Could the DNA Test Be Wrong?’ Through her website and online support group, Watershed DNA, Brianne offers support and professional guidance with a focus on adoptees, donor-conceived persons, and people with unexpected family matches (NPE). She provides special support to those who need to share a family secret.
Jodi Klugman-Rabb, LMFT, LPC
Jodi’s passion for the NPE population was born from her own 2016 DNA discovery, leading her to create the Sex, Lies & The Truth podcast, the Finding Family blog on Psychology Today and pioneering the only clinical training for mental health professionals she coined Parental Identity Discovery™. Jodi uses her expertise to guide people and their families through the unique and challenging process of discovering surprise DNA revelations and the necessary skills to cope with the them.
Jodi received a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology in 2001 from Dominican University in San Rafael and obtained licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in 2004. She is recognized for an empathic and direct style in connecting with clients and is skilled at dealing with difficult issues in trauma and family dynamics. Trained by EMDR founder Francine Shapiro, she is an expert in addressing grief, trauma, feelings of belonging, rejection, worth and self-esteem.
Jodi is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in the state of California.
Eve Sturges, MA, LMFT
Using her education, compassion, and experience, Eve helps individuals, couples, and families heal their pain. Eve’s therapy is an eclectic blend of Jungian depth psychology and a contemporary utilization of creativity. Clients are asked to collaborate in the therapeutic process, thereby embracing the power within themselves to create change. By developing small pieces of inspiration for themselves day by day, Eve teaches clients that they can create a life they love with the life they have. Eve has personal and professional experience with the NPE (non-parent expected, or non paternal event) experience and is extremely comfortable, confident, and empathetic while treating those who have had shocking DNA discoveries.
Eve has a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is a active member of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Eve’s office is in the Northeast Los Angeles area, and she is available for teletherapy within the state of California.
As a therapist, Eve hosts a twice-monthly support group for those affected by surprise DNA discoveries. Contact her for more details or to reserve a seat. (note; during the Covid-19 pandemic, this support group is currently on hold; please contact Eve if you would like to be notified when it starts back up again!)
Eve is licensed in the state of California.
Dr. Martha Dupecher, PhD, MSW
Dr. Martha Dupecher is a clinical social worker trained in psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
Additional areas of interest are attachment, infertility, donor conception, and DNA surprises, such as NPE. As the half-sister of a newly-discovered NPE, she understands the complex emotions that accompany such a revelation and the changes, both internal and in the environment, which must occur to accommodate the new reality.
Martha Dupecher is licensed to practice in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
Leslie Pate Mackinnon, LCSW
Leslie Pate Mackinnon is a therapist who specializes in issues that impact families conceived through adoption and third-party reproduction. For three decades she’s been sharing her expertise on these topics at conferences and events across the country and around the world. Her lived experience is that of a first mother who relinquished two sons for adoption in the mid 1960’s and a quarter of a century later, gave birth and raised IVF twins. Her experiences in both, and her extensive academic training, have given Leslie a unique perspective into alternate methods of building a family. The tremendous losses inherent in adoption and 3rd party reproduction, are seldom, if ever, addressed ahead of time with families, which sets them up for irreparable damage and dysfunction.
Leslie works with families and individuals to bridge that gap. And finally, for those contemplating contact with dna relatives, advance preparation is necessary to increase the chances for a successful response and ensuing relationship. Without preparation, doors are often slammed shut, never to be opened again. There are resources available to educate oneself & increasingly more therapists versed in this unique area. Beyond working with clients, Leslie’s passion is educating therapists. She offers on-line supervision in Adoption Competency and various on-line resources to spread the word: Openness and preparation are not optional, but essential!
Her story is included in the book The Girls Who Went Away and the documentary A Girl Like Her. Leslie was interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, featured in Dan Rather’s report; Adoption or Abduction and appeared on the Katie Couric Show along with her oldest son. She has appeared on CNN and is a consultant to those being reunited on TLC’s Long Lost Family.
Leslie is licensed in the state of Georgia.
Carla Barnes, MS, LPC
I first became familiar with NPE (Non-Paternal Event) in 2017 with the discovery that I am a NPE myself. The emotions that I felt were unexpected, and led to feeling alone because no one around me understood what I was going through. What I learned through this experience is that there are others out there like me, and that there is hope and healing through this journey. I look forward to traveling and supporting you on your NPE journey.
The impact of the discovery varies depending on the individual and the circumstances that surround it. For some, feelings of betrayal, loss, trauma, anger and/or grief may follow. Support from someone who understands can guide the client to healing after the discovery.
Using the Parental Identity DiscoveryTM approach, integrating a combination of EMDR, grief, trauma-informed, attachment, and family system skills to support the Non-Paternal Event, I work with my clients to assimilate the unexpected changes in their identity, mood, and family dynamics, increasing coping skills, and self-actualization.
I currently practice in Texas, working in private practice. I see clients in the office, and also through telehealth. With 17 years of counseling experience, my goal is for my clients to find hope, peace, and joy.
Carla is licensed in the state of Texas.
Brook Randolph, NCC, LMHC
Brooke Randolph, LMHC, is a therapist, author, speaker, and trainer licensed in Indiana and Massachusetts. Her primary specialty is adoption, particularly working with adult adoptees, but she has
enjoyed working with individuals who have experienced NPE and found many similarities to work with late discovery adoptees (LDA).
Brooke is Founder and Director of Counseling at The Green House where all therapists are adoption competent and Brainspotting trained. In addition to Adoption Therapy, Brooke is a Brainspotting Specialty Trainer & Consultant and Imago Relationship Therapist. She is also influenced by Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy.
Brook is licensed in the state of Indiana.
Erika Schmitt, MSW, LSW
Erika Schmitt is a social worker licensed in the state of Pennsylvania. Erika’s background is in adoption and she is also Director of Adoption & Permanency at The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center. As the agency’s counseling services were expanding beyond post-adoption work, and Erika became aware of the need for counseling for those affected by third party reproduction, she added counseling services specific to donor conceived individuals and those considering becoming a recipient parent in third party reproduction. Erika’s background in adoption, along with her comprehensive training in trauma and grief over the past 14 years, allow her to easily connect with individuals struggling with aspects related to their genetic identity. Erika further has enjoyed learning from her practice with donor conceived individuals as well. Erika has also provided counseling for infertility, giving her a well rounded view of the full picture of adoption and donor conception.
The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh was one of the first area agencies to embrace open adoption and we take pride in how we educate our birth and adoptive families as to the importance of a child knowing their genetic parentage. We take the same philosophy in working with those considering third party reproduction, offering counseling and educational services to help them understand and think through the decisions they will be making and the impact that will have on their child. We also have a program providing research and reunion services and counseling to adopted individuals wishing to seek out their birth family. We help prepare them for this journey, which brings many of them joy, heartbreak, and surprises. With overseeing all of these services and continuing her practice as a counselor in this realm, Erika is sensitive and qualified to work with an individual experience a NPE.
Erika’s therapeutic style is based upon the need of each individual client, and emphasizes the importance of the therapeutic relationship first and foremost. Erika can provide counseling services in person, in the Pittsburgh, PA area, or by telehealth to any Pennsylvania resident.
Erika is licensed in the state of Pennsylvania.
Jennifer Griesbach, LCSW, Certified Gestalt Therapist
Jennifer works with adoptees, including late discovery adoptees, and people with all kinds of early trauma and attachment difficulties to help them know themselves better, heal early trauma and have better relationships and deeper connections in their current lives. I am an adoptee myself and have a special sensitivity to the ways that individuals experience the impact of NPEs in all areas of their lives, especially in the non-verbal and somatic realm.
Resolving complicated feelings about genetic bewilderment, identity, trust, and the experiences of relinquishment, abandonment and rejection can make such a difference for people who come to know their biological roots later in life. I also work with underlying feelings of anxiety, depression, somatic symptoms, and complex PTSD.
My training is as a Gestalt therapist, which is a deep, holistic, creative modality that seeks to support you in your growth, through greater awareness of yourself and building your ability to take support from others in healthy ways. I am a certified Gestalt therapist (4-year post-graduate training) and am now on the faculty at Gestalt Associates for Psychotherapy in New York City. I also hold certificates in Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy and Child-Parent Somatic Psychotherapy from the Center for Somatic Studies, and I am a teacher-trainer in the Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy program. I am trained in EMDR, and recent trainings include Racialized Trauma (online, Resmaa Menakem) as well as developing and teaching a course in Gestalt Therapy as Trauma Treatment. As well as working with individuals I offer couples and family therapy (especially family sessions with adult children presenting with adoption and NPE issues), and I run groups for adopted adults. My office is in midtown Manhattan, and I offer teletherapy.
Jennifer is licensed in the state of New York and New Jersey.
Lisa Floyd, LMHC
Lisa is an adult adoptee who understands what it is like to not know biological parents, search for them, and work out the complexities of a relationship. She enjoys using Brainspotting and parts work like Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy. She enjoys working with trauma and family relationship issues.
Lisa is licensed in the state of Indiana.
Gus Ozmun, LMHC-A, LAC
Gus specializes in addictions and recovery. He is a Certified Brainspotting Therapist and also enjoys CBT and Gestalt therapies. Gus is becoming an adoption competent therapist.
Gus is licensed in the state of Indiana.
Danielle Zink, LMHC-A
Danielle works with clients ages 11-24. She is passionate about helping clients explore identity and build self-esteem. She deeply values personal growth, in both her private and professional lives. To that end, she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision. She approachs counseling with a trauma-informed lens and a focus on solutions that help clients identify and build on existing strengths. She is also becoming an adoption competent therapist.
Danielle is licensed in the state of Indiana.
Tim Mallory, MFT
Tim enjoys family therapy and working with high conflict couples. He has discovered a love for Brainspotting and is becoming an adoption competent therapist.
Tim is licensed in the state of Indiana.
Joni Mantell, MSW, LCSW
“I understand that finding a family member through adoption search/reunion or DNA discovery is just the beginning of the journey, not the endpoint. The emotional reactions come in layers, and I can help you work through each complex feeling, question of identity, and relationship as we revise your personal narrative to include this new information.”
With over 25 years of experience as a psychotherapist specializing in families created through adoption and third-party reproduction, Joni Mantell, LCSW, Founder and Director of the Infertility and Adoption Counseling Center, is also personally privy to the complexities of genetic bewilderment having undergone her own surprising DNA discovery: that she, herself, was donor conceived. The unique juxtaposition of her professional specialties and personal story—allowing her insight from both the perspective of expert and subject—has given her a deep understanding and passion for working with individuals and families navigating the intricate emotional, identity, self-esteem, and relationship issues related to adoption, donor conception, or other unexpected family matches (NPE).
Recognizing that each person and circumstance is individual, as are their processing and coping mechanisms, Joni strives to guide her clients through their personal and familial journeys with empathy, warmth and collaborative interaction. She also excels at mediating sessions between parents and child (young or adult) at any point in the discovery process. When unexpected adoption/donor secrets have been learned, it may be important and healing to explore the viewpoints of both the offspring and the parent together. Joni received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Certificate in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy from the Post Graduate Center for Mental Health in New York City. She is a frequent feature writer and contributor to “Ask the Expert” articles for Adoptive Families Magazine and other select publications
Joni is licensed in the state of New York and New Jersey.
Annette Becklund, LCSW
Bio coming soon..
Annette is licensed in the state of Florida.
Dr. Gina Daniel, DSW, LCSW, PhD
Dr. Gina Daniel, DSW, LCSW has been working as an outpatient counselor in private practice since 2012 in central Pennsylvania. As a school social worker for over twenty years, she has extensive experience working with adolescents, however, works primarily with adults in private practice. It is her belief that there are a number of benefits to participating in outpatient counseling. Counselors can provide needed mental health support, assist with problem-solving skills, communication improvements, unresolved issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and help you have a better understanding of yourself, your goals and your values.
She unexpectedly discovered her NPE status in June 2018 and has worked to bring awareness to the emotional needs that often erupt due to this experience. She has interviewed over 50 NPE from across North America. The focus of her dissertation was unexpected paternity through ancestry testing and how this experience affects personal identity and family relationships.
Gina is licensed in the state of Pennsylvania