For Your Use and Enjoyment

These articles are copyright protected. You are welcome to download or copy any of these articles for your personal use, but do not reproduce them for sale. If you want to reproduce for dissemination any of the articles or blog entries on this website, please ask us first by sending an email using the web-based contact form or by emailing Mr. Kinzer at michael(at) Thank you.

2010 MAMFT Fall Conference-Adoption and identity.pps

This is a pdf version of the PowerPoint Presentation given by Michael Kinzer at the 2010 Fall Conference of the MAMFT on the issues of attachment, belongingness and identity for adopted persons. You may download it and print it.  However, if you want to copy portions of the text from the document or otherwise use any part of the text, please ask permission first, by contacting Michael Kinzer at michael(at)

Adoption and Identity

This is an article that discusses some of the same subject matter as the presentation on adoption and identity issues, which is written for clients, families, and others who might be interested in these issues. Families with adopted children face many challenges, including the need to support the adopted child(ren) in their exploration of their identity. This can be a painful exploration for everyone because it invites questions about origin, belongingness, loyalty and gratitude.  Needless pain can be avoided by supporting the process with an awareness of its necessity.  A healthy exploration of identity for everyone involved can be difficult, but is the best possible outcome.

The Forest

As is the case with many mental health issues, balance is essential to be able to leave the forest by removing ourselves mentally from a situation when necessary while living in the forest and staying connected most of the time. This is a balance between two different ways of being, of seeing, of responding in the moment to the always changing, ever unpredictable, and yet hopefully also engaging relationships we maintain in our lives.

ADHD and therapy: beyond medication

As a family therapist who works with adults with ADHD and parents of children with ADHD, I’ve noticed that clients with ADHD benefit greatly from therapy even when it seems they are also benefiting from medication. What are they getting out of therapy that they are not getting from their medication? Here’s one answer: they become able to identify things in their lives that add to their distractibility so they can learn how to reduce the impact of those things on their ability to focus, finish tasks, remember where they put things, etc.

Anxiety and two powerful mistakes

When does normal healthy anxiety become a problem? What can be done to rid ourselves of unwanted and unnecessary worrying? This article originated as a blog entry, but then became a bit longer, so I decided to add it to the articles page as well.

Adolescent Mental Illness-A Common Thread

I reflect here on my therapy work over the years with teens and their adult caregivers, including parents, teachers, counselors, doctors, social workers, and probation officers–what each of us can do to help teens in trouble and how therapists can play a vital role in that process.

Selfishness and Love

This article comes from a relationship class I used to teach to prisoners.  In one class, a man convicted of murder asked how he could ensure that he would remember what I was teaching when he was back out on the street.  I said, “I don’t know.”  (I really didn’t know.)  We talked about it as a class for about 30 minutes.  At the end of the discussion, we all agreed: he needed to be more selfish. Think about that for a minute–how can that be right?  Read the article and see if you’re convinced.

Mr. J.

This is not an article–it is a chapter from my memoir, “Twelfth Child.” It is the last chapter of the narrative portion of the book.  It’s about my favorite high school teacher; a man who completely changed the direction of my life forever.


This is also a chapter from Twelfth Child. It tells the story of my family’s breakup when I was twelve, when Child Protection removed us, and placed me and several of my siblings into foster homes.