How a mother-daughter group saves lives

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How a mother-daughter group saves lives

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The mother-daughter project is a model of prevention for the things we worry about most for our daughters; things like teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse and abusive relationships. First of all, in a mother-daughter project group a girl has the opportunity to develop good communication with her mother and they learn in a supportive context to talk about personal issues in a way that is really supportive of girls. Secondly, issues are addressed proactively, before girls are in the middle of them, or before they are self conscious about them. Girls get steeped in girl positive perspectives and then they are also taught to critical examine other messages they're getting from the culture about how they should be. They're encouraged to develop their own values and they're given information so they can make choices that are based on their values. In these ways, the mother-daughter project helps girls grow up strong and free, despite the challenges they're facing.

View SuEllen Hamkins, MD's video on How a mother-daughter group saves lives...

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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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