“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.