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"Mommie Dearest..."

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Sometimes a client’s sense of self has been badly damaged by her mother, and for one reason or another (the mother’s death, for example) the relationship can’t be repaired in real life.

I often urge these women to write a letter to their mother sharing all their hurt, anger, love, and longing. Once this letter is done, I suggest that the client write the ideal reply that her mother would have sent her.

Sometimes it’s hard to conjure up these healing words and the daughter is blocked. In one instance, a client rewrote the song “I’d Do Anything for You, Dear” from the musical Oliver!, replacing the lyrics with a response from her “good” mother. This creative expression helped soothe her wounded soul.