MN ADOPT Workshops

Adoption related issues are a unique, and often misunderstood, consideration for families. MN ADOPT recognizes this and is committed to providing expert assistance, guidance and support to adoptive, foster and kinship families. MN ADOPT focuses on providing services that assist all types of families by creating stable home environments. Through MN ADOPT Workshops and the services of the MN ADOPT HELP Program families can be confident they will be connected to professionals and trainers who understand the complexities of adoption and who can provide the education and support needed to make meaningful, lasting changes.

MN ADOPT hosts various workshops and support throughout the state and has two ongoing training opportunities:
Beyond Consequences and Reactive Attachment Disorder Learning Alternate Behaviors Series (commonly referred to as the RAD LABS workshop series). We welcome you to explore the offerings below and we look forward to assisting in whatever we can.

Kristan Nelson and Deena McMahon at a RAD LABS workshop

Beyond Consequences Workshop clip (click to play)

Incredible training. We have done foster and adoption for 13 years and we wish we had this at the beginning. Best training I have ever attended and I have attended a lot.
–Foster & Adoptive parent, attendee of the Beyond Consequences Training Series

MN ADOPT Trainings

Beyond Consequences Training & Support Series (8 sessions)2/22/2017 - 4/12/2017Wednesdays6:30 pm - 8:30 pmDakota County Western Service Center 14955 Galaxie Avenue
Apple Valley, MN 55124
Brenda Benning, MSW, LICSW
Reactive Attachment Disorder: How to
Thrive and Survive Beyond the Diagnosis (2 day session)
3/10/2017 &
Friday & Saturday6:30 pm - 8:30 pm (Friday)
9:00 am - 3:30 pm (Saturday)
Wilder Foundation Center, Auditorium A
451 N Lexington Parkway
St Paul, MN 55104
Deena McMahon, MSW, LICSW & Krista Nelson, LICSW, LMFT
Beyond Consequences For Professionals 3/15/2017Wednesday9:30 am - 12:30 amDakota County Western Service Center
14955 Galaxie Avenue, Room L139
Apple Valley, MN 55124
Brenda Benning, MSW, LICSW
Beyond Consequences Continuation Workshop: Lying3/18/2017Saturday9:00 am - 11:00 amMN ADOPT Office
777 Raymond Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55114
Brenda Benning, MSW, LICSW
I Have TWO Families?? Processing Birth Family Relationships With Your Children 3/21/2017Tuesday6:30 pm - 8:30 pm Gloria Dei Lutheran
700 Snelling Ave S
St. Paul, MN 55116
Deena McMahon, MSW, LICSW
Neuropsychological Evaluations: What Parents Need to Know4/4/2017Tuesday12:00 pm - 1:30 amWebinarAmy Gross, PhD, LP, BCBA-D
Beyond Consequences Continuation Workshop: Food Issues4/15/2017Saturday9:00 am - 11:00 amMN ADOPT Office
777 Raymond Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55114
Brenda Benning, MSW, LICSW
Beyond Consequences Continuation Workshop: Self Harm5/20/2017Saturday9:00 am - 11:00 amMN ADOPT Office
777 Raymond Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55114
Brenda Benning, MSW, LICSW

Beyond Consequences & RAD LABS Workshops

Beyond Consequences Workshops & Support

Join adoptive mother and skilled trainer, Brenda Benning, as she offers new perspectives into your child’s behaviors, while offering real life techniques that can help regulate these same behaviors. This is a specialized training for families who are or may be parenting children with traumatic histories and/or attachment issues. This series follows the model and book by Heather T. Forbes, “Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control.” Parents and caregivers will have the opportunity to safely share their own experiences and build a support system with other families who are living with the same unique experiences often found in adoptive, foster, and kinship families. Cost of the series includes the book, “Beyond Consequences, Logic & Control” by Heather T. Forbes (One book per couple). Books will be mailed prior to training (Additional books will be given for walk-ins).

Registration is closed to walk-ins after Session 2.

Brenda Benning, MSW, LICSW received her Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota and has trained with Heather Forbes, founder of the Beyond Consequences Inc., on multiple occasions. She is currently counseling families individually in home and in group settings. Her primary focus is adoptive families with children HEALing from trauma histories and attachment issues. Brenda and her husband are parenting ten children, nine through adoption; multiple with diagnosed trauma histories and attachment issues. Through these learned parenting techniques, she has been able to restore the regulation in her own home.


“The trainings and support that I have received through Beyond Consequence’s have helped me more than anything else to navigate the complex influences that have affected my children and make some sense of it all. I have changed how I parent as my understanding has grown. I love my kids in a whole new way, and we have changed our behavior and our interactions, and our outlook in life-giving ways. What a blessing for all of us!”
–Adoptive parent, attendee of the Beyond Consequences Training Series


 “I am able to stay calmer. Brenda [Beyond Consequences training series trainer] helped me realized I need to stay regulated so that I can help my children stay calm and form relationships with them. It helps to know that Brenda knows and lives and practices what she is teaching.” “I have learned to be more loving and patient with my child. I loved the way Brenda made me rethink trauma and children. I also appreciated getting to know the other parents in the group. Made me feel like I wasn’t alone.”
–Adoptive parent, attendee of the Beyond Consequences Training Series


“These classes really helped me to understand some of what my niece was experiencing.  It was like a whole different world opened up to me and some things made more sense.  I don’t know that I necessarily changed my parenting style but it certainly helped me to understand how to handle some situations better.  I’m very glad these classes were offered and it was also nice to find out that I am not alone in dealing with a child such as my niece.  There are other parents as well that you can connect with and draw support from if you so choose.”
–Kinship Adoptive parent, attendee of the Beyond Consequences Training Series

(Reactive Attachment Disorder Learning Alternative Behavioral Strategies)

Join Deena McMahon and Krista Nelson during this 2-day LAB Series (Learning Alternative Behavioral Strategies). This training is specifically designed to address the support and education needs of those parenting children with significant impairments and/or trauma issues with an emphasis on good self-care and humor! This training explores the unique experiences going on in your home and implements role play scenarios and class participation. Over the course of the 2-day session, the following themes will be discussed:

  • From Hell to Not So Bad…Some Days!
  • Rethinking RAD: A Developmental Perspective
  • The Mosaic: Attachment Plus Fetal Alcohol Spectrum
  • The Behavior: Understanding, Response and Effective
  • Pulling It All Together and Moving Forward
Deena Mcmahon

Deena Mcmahon

Deena McMahon, MSW, LICSW has more than 20 years of experience as a therapist working with families and children. She speaks throughout Minnesota and nationally on the dynamics of attachment, brain development and early trauma and how to effectively serve children and families involved in the child welfare system. She also has expertise in child sexual abuse and frequently serves as an expert witness in court proceedings regarding permanency issues.


Krista Nelson

Krista Nelson

Krista Nelson, LICSW, LMFT has been the Project Coordinator for the Wilder Foundation Center for Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder in St. Paul since 2001. Nelson is a licensed family therapist and clinical social worker with 25-years of experience working with children and families going through difficult life transitions.

“I went to the RAD Sessions this past weekend and I am so grateful for meeting these instructors. I would have sworn they had my daughter’s folder and was teaching based on that… Thank you so much and would love to attend more trainings if possible. My therapist has been telling me how important it is to take care of yourself. She also told us how important it was for human touch, and this training met all of those expectations. I feel like I took a lot from the RAD LABS this past weekend. Thank you.”
–Adoptive parent, attendee of the RAD LABS series with Deena McMahon and Krista Nelson

 “I am so grateful I heard about this training and to have met other parents who are experiencing the same problems. I have learned to be a more mindful parents and I now know how to recognize what symptoms are associated with RAD.”
–Adoptive parent, attendee of the RAD LABS series