27. Your intention and mindset

open arms sunset photo. intention and mindset when searching for a birth relative

The Right Frame of Mind and the Intention for your Search.

He who seeks Equity must do Equity.

Your Intention.

You may have noticed in our Consultation that we draw your attention to beginning this search with the right intention. We have to make it clear that our searches for relatives and first families can only be made if you have a positive attitude and the expectation of a reasonable and fair approach to your family member when you meet them. By this we mean that there is no point in entering a search if you have a grudge or a list of complaints about the person concerned. We have found on occasion that clients may have had difficult experiences to deal with and they wish to find people in order to ‘give them a piece of my mind.’ We cannot let anybody enter into searches with this intention. First and foremost, we have a duty to protect everyone concerned. We can only engage with you and find people if we feel that the searches are free from any kind of negative intent such as the impulse to verbally abuse or complain or any act of unkindness of misadventure.

However, we understand these emotions arise in life. If you wish to talk to us about your struggle with difficult emotions due to historical events, we will be more than happy to help you get on track so that you feel you can approach the search with an accepting and compassionate attitude. We do find that we search occasionally for people who may have made poor choices in their earlier years but who have thoroughly changed over the course of time. We do feel it is best to give everyone a chance and approach a search with an open heart. If difficult subjects need to be discussed, they should be reserved for the right time and should be discussed in the right way. We are here to give you advice and support regarding this. We are mindful of the legal maxim ‘he who seeks equity must do equity’. We are here to ensure that all searches are completed with compassion and equanimity, and we will encourage this mindfulness at all times.

Keeping Everyone Safe and Well with DBS checks.

You may have noticed that we spend a lot of effort and time in risk assessing our cases so that we can fulfill our duty of care and ensure everyone is safe and well. Sometimes it is apparent that we must see to it that people are equipped to go into their search with the right intention and we go to a lot of trouble so that we can be confident about this. Sometimes we do ask people to enter into a DBS search so that we can check for any criminal records. This benefits your search as we can prove that you are open and honest about any records and may give confidence when we put you in contact with your relative. We will talk in confidence to you about this should the matter arise.

The Mindset for working with us.

We have found that an open heart and mind is the best mindset for approaching a search. People who have a ‘learning mindset’ are the people we enjoy most in this work and by this we don’t mean you have to be perfect, and we understand that you will have challenges on the way that may make you upset. But we in the team are here with a learning mindset with the spirit of supporting your journey. There are many challenges on the way, and we are all willing to meet these with open arms. We like to think of ourselves as solution focused rather than problem focused. We encourage our clients to raise all issues and problems with us straight away with the intention of allowing us to resolve complications and put them right. We hope you will be able to work with us in this way and in turn we promise that if you find this hard we will help you. Sometimes it is hard to stay open-minded if you are anxious and upset but again the right strategy is to engage with us so that we can help you diffuse difficulty.

Have you ever paid to go to the gym and when you get there you haven’t put in the effort, thinking that the payment itself will do the job? All of us in the team have and we can tell you it didn’t work! What is needed is the right mind set and you need to be present and engage positively with the work. This is a big demand to make of you we know but we have found that people with the right mind set are more resilient throughout the ups and downs of a search and indeed this is the same for people who are subjects of our searches. We work with people who maintain an open heart through all the difficulties that they might face, even in the wake of severe loss and disappointment. The key to this is that they are willing to let us help them through and to work with us. We thought these indicators might help.

What Does Work.

Tell us as soon as you think there is a problem.

Staying in touch especially when the going gets tough.

Asking lots of questions and being curious about what is happening.

Giving us feedback if things don’t go well or if you spot an error.

Assume we are on your side and want to get this right for you.

Let us know if you need support.

Assuming we are all on the same team as you.

What Doesn’t Work.

An attitude of blame when things go wrong.

The decision that you are right no matter what.

An inability to listen.

An inability to give open and honest feedback.

Not bothering to ask questions.

Not taking advice.

Everyone in the team at Joanna North Adoption absolutely loves doing our work and helping people. We really want you to enjoy this journey with us and this leaflet is written with the intention of helping you understand why we work so hard at keeping you in the right state of mind for a search. Please ask for help and advice if needed.

Please remember – we are all on the same team.

Dr. Joanna North

Consultant Psychotherapist (Adoption)

September 2024.

Joanna North Adoption (Ofsted registered)

open arms sunset photo. intention and mindset when searching for a birth relative