Managing group conflict in a mother-daughter group

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Managing group conflict in a mother-daughter group

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The best way to deal with potential conflict in mother-daughter group is proactively. When the group first starts meeting, describe what your hopes are for the group and come up with a common set of group expectations both for the activities you want to do, what your vision is for your daughters, and what you can expect from one another in a group. Then, check-in with one another regularly, every six months or so, about: How the group is going? Is it meeting everyone's needs? If a mother-daughter paired does decide to leave the group, honor them with a slim little goodbye. Then, ask all the mothers and daughters, do they want to invite someone new to come and join them? If so, who that is? Guaranteed group dynamics are often complex. But just like in creating any good relationship, the effort you put in to cultivating a healthy and long term mother-daughter group is enormous.

See SuEllen Hamkins, MD's video on Managing group conflict in a mother-daughter group...

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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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