How the Mother-Daughter Project is helping girls

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How the Mother-Daughter Project is helping girls

The Mother-Daughter Project offers a model for creating a mother-daughter group that simultaneously supports girls, mothers and mother-daughter relationships. It allows mothers to help their daughters deal with tough issues of adolescence pro-actively before they’re in the middle of them. The reason why the Mother-Daughter Project is so helpful, because right when a girl is hitting the pressures of adolescence, when her body’s changing, she’s trying to figure who she is and trying to figure out who her friends are, she’s also dealing with other risks that we worry about for our girls, like body image, low self-esteem, depression, suicide, substance use. And at the same time she’s doing all that, she’s also encouraged to pull away from the one person who may be her most knowledgeable and strongest ally – her mother. In the Mother-Daughter Project we create a context in which it’s okay to be close to your mother. There’s a whole group of mothers and daughters who are cultivating mother-daughter relationships as they proactively address the issues that girls are going to be facing. And have a lot of fun together.

See SuEllen Hamkins, MD's video on How the Mother-Daughter Project is helping girls...


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SuEllen Hamkins, MD

Psychiatrist & Author

SuEllen Hamkins, MD, is a psychiatrist, author and founding member of the Mother-Daughter Project, a community of women and girls that developed powerful, practical ways to help mothers and daughters stay connected and thrive through adolescence. Co-author of The Mother-Daughter Project: How Mothers and Daughters Can Band Together, Beat the Odds and Thrive Through Adolescence, Dr. Hamkins has given numerous presentations for parents and psychotherapists around the world, focusing on mothers, daughters, their relationships and the kinds of communities that nurture them.  As the psychiatrist for the Smith College Counseling Service from 1992-2004, SuEllen offered consultation to over a thousand women ages 16 to 23 to help them resist and overcome problems such as anorexia, bulimia, depression, anxiety, trauma, assault, and self-injury.  In addition to her work on behalf of mothers and daughters, as the Assistant Director for Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, she has been instrumental in developing strengths-based, narrative approaches to psychotherapy and psychiatric practice, helping people cultivate their values and strengths in the face of serious difficulties.  SuEllen is the mother of two daughters, now 17 and 22, and raising them has been the most thrilling and rewarding work of her life. She lives with her husband and younger daughter in western Massachusetts, where they love to swim outdoors, cross country ski, shoe snow, dance, cook and lounge around in the living room, reading. 

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