Starting a mother-daughter group

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Starting a mother-daughter group

Creating a mother-daughter group can be incredibly helpful for your daughter and for your life, but it's also complicated. There are different women who will be involved and each of us have our own issues. One of the things that's really helpful in helping a group go smoothly is start off with the mothers, particularly, what their hopes are for the group and what their expectations are from one another. If you use the mother-daughter project book as a resource, it will take you step-by-step through conversations that deal with some of the most intense issues that we have gone through as women. We can only be really helpful for our daughters if we clarify where we stand on these issues and gotten help, if we need it, on these challenges that girls are facing as they are growing up. Our books invites women to have conversations, for example, what they love best about their body and what worries them about their body. They are invited to talk about what relationships in their lives are healthy and what are they worried about in relationships. This is done in a positive, proactive way, so that women can get in touch with their own strengths and resources and assets as they are moving forward, while also talking about what is painful or difficult. In addition, in a mother-daughter project group, the group is encouraged to regularly, every six months or so, ask; How is this group working for you? That way, everyone's needs in the group can be met.

Watch SuEllen Hamkins, MD's video on Starting 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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