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Springfield Therapist Nominated for National Award

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A Springfield therapist is being recognized by the National Associations of Social Workers for his blog “Adoption at the Movies”. The blog is nominated in the 2013 media award for best single-topic blog, highlighting connections between film and adoption. KSMU’s Shannon Bowers has the story.

Using film to enter real and important conversations about adoption is the focus of Addison Cooper’s website, “Adoption at the Movies.” The National Association of Social Workers Media Awards honors professionals who help raise awareness about social work and its issues.

Not only does the site review movies from an adoption point of view, it also includes discussion guides for families to use afterward for easy access to important conversations regarding adoption.

Open communication is a key to a healthy relationship in any family, but adoptive families have some unique topics to process and often times are unsure about how to start the conversation, explains Cooper.

“Many kids who are adopted might have questions about their past. They might not have information on their background and they might not know how to express to their adoptive parents that, ‘I don’t know about my past,’” said Cooper.

Cooper is a licensed clinical social worker and therapist who draws information from his past experiences as an adoption social worker in southern California and from the adoptive training classes he provides. He also gets a lot of information from his blog followers and community.

“Adoption at the Movies” takes on tough subjects such as a child’s sense of belonging. He connects children’s feelings with movies like The Hobbit, when Bilbo is initially unaccepted by the dwarfs but later welcomed.

He says that even a simple question like “what did you think about this part of the movie?” can provide a window into a child’s feelings.

“Movies are helpful because they externalize what people feel inside and having stuff external makes it easier to start talking about,” said Cooper.

The National Associations of Social Workers is comprised of 145,000 professionals. Other nominees in Cooper’s category are “What a Shrink Thinks,” which is an inside window into a therapist’s practice, written by New York social worker Martha Crawford, and “Gender Blog,” in which California social worker Darlene Tando focuses on gender issues.

Voting for the award ends on March 15. The winners will be announced shortly thereafter.

For KSMU News I’m Shannon Bowers.