Mother-daughter groups and school drama

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Mother-daughter groups and school drama

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A mother/daughter group is an oasis from school drama. Girls benefit from having more than one group of peers. Girls are changing a lot. If things are difficult and uncomfortable in one group of friends, it can be great for her to have another group where she feels comfortable and that she belongs. Groups that are based on the mother/daughter project model are also an oasis because these groups are cultivating mutual respect among the girls. The groups are designed to meet everyone's needs and they are always checking in to see whether the group is meeting the different needs of the girls. In addition, a mother/daughter group is a presence of mothers who can help cultivate healthy group dynamics. They can also pay attention, so if they know one girl is going through a rough time at school, they can reach out to her and create an extra connection with another girl in the group, so she has that support until things are easier for her at school.

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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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