Renowned Psychotherapist Releases 10 Tools to Heal the Wounds of a Mother/ Daughter Relationship

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As Mother's Day approaches it may conjure feelings of past traumatic memories making the holiday difficult to endure. Edy Nathan MA, LCSW, releases tools to help mothers and daughters bridge the gap in their strained relationships.

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it is important for each woman to create boundaries, safe words or motions, that if the conversation feels too overwhelming or scary, they use the safe words and know to stop.

Mother’s Day is a hallmark holiday that for some folks is another way to honor Mom. Roses, brunches and family gatherings celebrate the role of motherhood and maternal bonds. For some women, this holiday is filled with traumatic memories; opening emotional wounds that have not completely healed.

When the relationship with mom is affected by the past, here are 10 tools to help the healing begin.

1. A mutual desire to understand what happened to breach the mother daughter relationship is the first step. An agreement is made to set the limits of engagement.
2. Define what is safe. Nathan believes “it is important for each woman to create boundaries, safe words or motions, that if the conversation feels too overwhelming or scary, they use the safe words and know to stop. Take a time out. This could last minutes, a day or a week. Make another time to speak again.”
3. Begin with honest conversation, unveiling hidden thoughts, feelings and memories. Do this over time. One feeling, one story or one part at a time. Test the waters with less powerful thoughts or feelings. Check the self for a sense of safety.
4. If emotions are overwhelming, write to one another and read what was written. Take time to think about how to respond.
5. See a therapist to help guide the process.
6. Protect the self. Stop before emotions take over: there is a sense of empowerment when pausing to regain equilibrium.
7. Decide if the relationship is one worth saving. If it is, don’t fuse to the pain of the past. Nathan suggests to “create a desire board that reflects the kind of relationship you would like. Outline, define and reflect on what you need from the relationship and realistic desires.”
8. Now is the time for authenticity! Be real, even if it hurts or is uncomfortable. This is different than being mean.
9. Come from the best in you by being honest and clear.
10. Throw expectations away. They only create more angst and obstruct healing.

Mother’s and daughter’s do not always have the best relationships. Unconditional love is supposed to be the norm, yet there is no normal when it comes to relationships. Daughters who have painful memories associated to their mom’s, can heal the wounds. It comes from within and when lucky enough, they can construct a different relationship.

About Edy Nathan:
Edy Nathan is a licensed psychotherapist with over 20 years of experience specializing in grief. For two seasons, she was the therapist on the A&E TV Show, “Psychic Kids." She holds Masters from both New York University and Fordham University. She has post-graduate training from the Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy, The Gestalt Center and the Jungian Institute. She is a certified EMDR practitioner, regression therapist, certified hypnotherapist, relationship and grief expert. To find out more, visit

For a complimentary meditation and more information about other topics related to grief, loss and trauma, please visit here.

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