Encouraging attachments to positive role models

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Encouraging attachments to positive role models

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How can you as a mother make space for your daughter to have another strong connection such as with a girlfriend, boyfriend, coach or teacher? Of course, as parents we want our daughters to have healthy relationships with other people – those are the places where they're going to grow and develop. But if you've been used to being her main connection, it can feel hard or you can feel hurt or left out if she develops a strong connection with another person. What we're really called on in those moments is to really stretch and make room in her life for this other important connection that she's having. You can still stay really close to her yourself – it's as if your heart needs to grow bigger, so she has the room to develop while still staying close to you.

Watch Video: Encouraging attachments to positive role models by SuEllen Hamkins, MD, ...

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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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