“The idea of having children terrifies me. Truly, on a deep level.”
A 31-year-old married woman has opened her heart in a letter to Mamamia. She says that deep down, she’s uncertain if she should be trying to get pregnant or not.
Read the full article with my suggestions on how to determine whether or not to have children as well as some of the underlying reasons that might be holding you back.
Image Credit: Mamamia
Sydney Soul-Centred Psychotherapist + Eating Psychology Specialist, Jodie Gale, is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and well-being. Over the last 20 years, Jodie has helped 100s of women to transform their lives. She has a private supervision, counselling, life-coaching and psychotherapy practice in Manly, Allambie Heights and Frenchs Forest on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Jodie is passionate about putting the soul back into therapy!
Founded by Marc David, Dynamic Eating Psychology, combines the psychology of eating with the science of mind body nutrition; it is the latest and most up-to-date approach there is for healing from “weight concerns, emotional eating, binge eating, overeating, body image challenges, endless dieting and a variety of nutrition related health concerns such as digestion, fatigue, mood, immunity and more (Marc David)”
Using an empowering, positive and transformational approach, Dynamic Eating Psychology works using techniques and tools from counselling and coaching models, body centered practices, soul-centred and spiritual psychology, archetypal psychologies, positive psychology, cognitive approaches, Health at Every Size (HAES) and more. Dynamic Eating Psychology is also firmly grounded in the best of clinical and scientific nutrition, complementary and alternative medicine and mind-body sciences.
Rather than viewing the person as being a problem or having a problem to get rid of, Dynamic Eating Psychology views food and body concerns as symptoms that are in much need of depth exploration. Holding a soulful and holistic context, by exploring the complexity of these symptoms, we can learn, grow and transform our relationships with self, others, work, money, pleasure, sexuality, lifestyle, nutrition, search for meaning and fulfillment and so on.
“For far too long, we’ve been inundated by negative messages about food, body, weight and diet. We’ve been told that we’re willpower weaklings or that we need more control. The majority of nutrition experts promote vastly different and conflicting advice. The result is that people are confused about what to eat and how to have a happy relationship with food and a healthy metabolism. Eating Psychology Coaches help you rise above nutritional confusion. They’re trained to help you get un-stuck. By eliminating all the “shoulds and shouldn’ts”, their approach focuses on what’s right for your body and your personal style. As you work with an Eating Psychology Coach in this way, food and health issues become a place of exploration. Instead of seeing eating challenges as the enemy, they become opportunities for growth and self-improvement. From here, you’re better able to reach your highest goals (Marc David).”
In Psychology and Nutrition: The Perfect Union, Marc David writes,
“Mind Body Nutrition is an exciting new approach that looks at the psycho-physiology of how digestion, assimilation, calorie burning and all the nutritive functions of the body are literally and scientifically impacted by stress, relaxation, thought, emotion, pleasure, our personal story, eating rhythm, eating speed and awareness…. WHAT we eat is half the story of good nutrition. The other half of the story is WHO we are as eaters. Mind Body Nutrition provides this all-important missing link to metabolic health.”
Dynamic Eating Psychology™ and Mind Body Nutrition™ are for anyone who struggles with food, body, health and well-being concerns including:
Body hate, weight prejudice, restriction of pleasure and tyrannizing ourselves into a certain way of being are old and outdated ways of thinking! Dynamic Eating Psychology™ and Mind Body Nutrition™ can benefit you by:
You will also take away:
Reference: The Institute of the Psychology of Eating: Our Approach
Sydney Psychotherapist, Therapeutic Counsellor, Eating Psychology and Soul-Centred Life-Coach, Jodie Gale, is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and well-being. Over the last 15 years, Jodie has helped 100s of women to transform their lives. She has a private counselling, life-coaching and psychotherapy practice in Manly and Allambie Heights on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Jodie is passionate about putting the soul back into therapy!
I was recently interviewed by the Chief Sub-Editor of CLEO & DOLLY, Ellie McDonald, for her article Family Feud in the March issue of CLEO Australia (on sale now). Here you can find an edited and updated version of our discussion:
About the importance of a strong mother-daughter relationship and why the daughter needs this as she reaches adulthood…
To achieve and maintain healthy relationships with self and others, we need to have internalised an accepting, unconditionally loving, nurturing and nourishing mother so that we can relate from, and care for ourselves in this way. If we haven’t for whatever reason internalised a nurturing mother, we can get caught in a cycle of searching outside ourselves for others to meet our needs and to affirm our worth in the world.
For most, our relationship with mother is often our first and primary attachment relationship – it is the barometer for all of our future relationships with self, family, friends, colleagues, partners and our children. We are born into her world and this helps shape:
If mother has awareness and has worked at resolving her own identity issues, it is far easier for her to foster the daughter’s separation, autonomy and sense of self. A strong sense of self-identity is essential as we move into young adulthood.
About the negative effects of a strained mother-daughter relationship for a young woman in her twenties…
We know that strains in the relationship with mother throughout childhood and beyond are major contributing factors to our physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual health and wellbeing. Symptoms may include addiction, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, poor relationships, a lack of self-worth as well as numerous other concerns (Reference: Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes the Baby’s Brain)
Some of the negative effects that we may experience are:
As a psychotherapist for the last 15 years and a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and well-being, I have witnessed the journey of many young women who enter therapy because of symptoms such as eating disorders or relationship problems. Of course we work on symptom relief but a huge chunk of the therapy is actually spent separating psychologically from mother (and father as well as other internalized imagoes). This can be long-term and painful work as the daughter begins to wonder, ‘who am I, if I am not my mother?’, ‘who am I if I am not who my mother told me I am?’
It is grief work because it means letting go of the false identities we have been living out of as well as coming to the realisation that we cannot change mother into the mother we long for. It means accepting mother as she is. It means growing up and (re) mothering ourselves in a loving and nurturing way. In Jungian psychology, it means getting in touch with – and owning – our feminine aspects of the soul/psyche.
About how common the breakdown of a mother-daughter relationship is…
Many women have an extremely complex relationship with mother. It is not uncommon however, for the relationship to breakdown, heal and transform overtime.
About some of the reasons why this may have happened…
The most problematic mother-daughter relationships are for those who grow up with a mother who suffers with narcissistic wounding and who therefore parents with narcissistic tendencies.
If the mother has herself not been seen or heard and her own dependency, safety, love, worth, self-actualisation/realisation needs have not been met, she might:
In the few examples given above, it is more about the mother’s needs than the daughter’s – this can be highly toxic to the daughter’s sense of self. Child psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott writes,
“The mother gazes at the baby in her arms, and the baby gazes at her mother’s face and finds herself therein…provided that the mother is really looking at the unique, small, helpless being and not projecting her own expectations, fears, and plans for the child. In that case, the child would find not herself in her mother’s face, but rather the mother’s own projections. This child would remain without a mirror, and for the rest of her life would be seeking this mirror in vain.”
We all long for our mother to meet us emotionally, but the mother who suffers with narcissism is incapable of doing so. We learn at an early age, adaptive and creative ways of getting our needs met; though pleasing, rebelling, academic achievements, becoming the sick child and so on. These patterns of being and behaviour often follow through into adulthood.
About how to heal from a difficult mother-daughter relationship…
The Mother/Daughter Relationship:
For Daughter (and therefore Mother!):
NB: it is important that we don’t get caught in blaming or demonizing mothers; there are just as many complexities within father/daughter relationships. Notice that I don’t use the term ‘narcissistic mother’ – the reason for this is because at the core, mother is a human being, whole and unbroken – she herself has more than likely suffered with narcissistic wounding. The ‘narcissistic mother’ is only part of who she is. In saying all this, as mothers, we do need to recognise the profound impact that our wounding and parenting style have on our daughter’s sense of self and her ongoing relational, emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual health and well-being.
Sydney Soul-Centred Psychotherapist + Eating Psychology Coach, Jodie Gale, is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and well-being. She spent time in the South of France training in mother-daughter relationships from an Indigenous, Jungian and Psycho-Spiritual perspective. Over the last 15 years, Jodie has helped 100s of women to transform their lives. She has a private counselling, life-coaching and psychotherapy practice in Manly and Allambie Heights on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Jodie is passionate about putting the soul back into therapy!
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Sydney Soul-Centred Psychotherapist, Counsellor, Eating Psychology Specialist and Transformational Life-Coach Jodie Gale, is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and well-being.