Expert advice on mother-daughter bonding

SuEllen Hamkins, MD Psychiatrist & Author, shares advice and ideas to help mothers form a strong bond with their daughters
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Expert advice on mother-daughter bonding

The "Day I Would Love" exercise is a great way for mothers and daughters to bond while they are also getting clear about what it is that they want in their lives. This is important because an articulated ownership in one's own desire is necessary to be able to create the life that they want to be living. For this activity what you do is you write a word on little slips of paper a word of phrase that might be part of a day that they would love. Of course, just include things that you would be happy for your daughter to pick. Spread all of these pieces of paper out on a table in front of you and her. Take turns picking out words that would be part of a day you would love. Then, write a paragraph using those words or phrases that describes a day you would love. This is an easy way to help your daughter articulate what your daughter cares about. It's important because you can really only create the life you want to be living if you can define those for yourself.

SuEllen Hamkins, MD Psychiatrist & Author, shares advice and ideas to help mothers form a strong bond with their daughters


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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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