WHAT CLIENTS ARE SAYING:
“I have struggled in my relationship with my mother literally since I was born; her needs felt overwhelming to me even at a very young age, and I always felt I had to protect the very center of myself to keep from being overwhelmed. The death of my father meant that suddenly I had to “deal with” my mother, after years of carefully cultivated distance. When I read Karen’s book (Difficult Mothers, Adult Daughters: A Guide To Separation, Liberation & Inspiration) my first thought was that, like the Truman Show, she had somehow been witness to the last 50+ years of conversations between me and my mom. It was a relief to know that someone totally “got it.”
I had put in serious mileage in therapy, so I understood what the issues were; but what Karen does is far more pragmatic and relevant for helping you where you are NOW. I had been spending prodigious amounts of energy pre-arming myself for every encounter, and it was seriously draining. I was having fights with my mother in my head about things that hadn’t even happened. It was like being on a carousel that I couldn’t step off of.
Karen showed me how to look at the chain of thoughts that kept leading me to anger, stress, and anxiety and to realize that while I could not control an initiating event, I could control the thoughts/meaning I attached to it. That was by far the most helpful idea; it stopped me from endlessly assaulting my friends and husband with stories about her behavior (which I was doing to get corroboration that I was “right” and she was nuts).
I am on my way to accepting that how I feel is valid without needing to bounce it off of multiple people for reassurance; likewise, accepting that however my mother feels is her reality, and that it may not align with mine, and that’s okay. One of the biggest takeaways, which Karen gave me on Day One: Guilt is better than resentment. Totally the opposite of what I had been thinking, because of the “energy” I got from being angry. Realizing that resentment is all about giving someone else power, not yourself. Guilt is something you own and have the power to change and re-frame; other people’s actions, at the core of resentment, are all about wanting THEM to change.
If you are having trouble stepping off the crazy carousel of guilt, resentment and anger, this work will give you the tools to take your life back.” ~ Lori B.
“When I found Karen I was trapped in a binary: either I get to be happy or my mother does. I didn’t think I had any autonomy over my own life.
I had just come out to my family and it was not going well. If I lived my truth, the people in my life would suffer and if I did not, I would. I was carrying a generations-old message: “I am a disappointment.”
Here’s the thing: I still carry that message. In fact, I literally carry around a little box that reminds me of it. But now, I know that message was given to me…it didn’t start with me. Having it in a box reminds me that it’s not mine…and that it no longer has power over me.
Of course, sometimes I have to remind myself and it doesn’t always come naturally.
When I started this work, I didn’t want results with any caveats. I wanted to be scrubbed clean of every negative thought and emotion that governed me. I wanted to be absolutely calm and serene with no ups and downs. But now, I am able to love my ups and downs. I love my human experience. I love my ability to be angry and I love my ability to be happy.
The biggest change is not just in my relationships, but it is really within me. The parts of my brain that used to be so fixated on chaos and anxiety and doom are now free. I have new hobbies, new friendships, and new meaning. I’ve read over 30 books since I met Karen, when before I read 0. I have finished paintings. I have taken language classes. I have begun new crafts. I have allowed myself to be without fear of when the other shoe was going to drop.
I am able to do those things because my relationships have changed so significantly. My relationship with my mother has new boundaries. Where we used to have one or two surface-level phone calls every day riddled with deep anxiety and pain, we talk when we want and there’s a newfound lightness to our conversation. Things are not perfect. My mother still wants me to behave a certain way. I still get frustrated by that. But, I get to choose. And both she and I are better because of it.
I would recommend Karen to anyone who has a challenging relationship in their family that has prevented them from being who they are. If you’ve ever felt your life was “stuck” by putting others’ expectations before your own needs. If you’ve ever felt your life could never be happy because of your relationship with your family. AND if you are willing to ask yourself hard questions. If you are willing to start thinking about what it would feel like to put yourself first.
My partner had a similar, co-dependent, controlling relationship with her father, who passed away a few years ago. She shared with me “it’s really wonderful to see the work you’ve been able to do – the boundaries you’ve been able to set. I imagine those are the kinds of things I would be able to do if my dad were still around, and it’s really nice to think about.” ~ E.D.
“My relationship with my mother has completely changed. And the amazing thing is that I never talked to her about my work and she was not directly involved in it. I used to feel that she was judging me all the time. Even when she wasn’t saying anything, her voice was in my head telling me I was no good and that I was failing. I constantly checked to see if she was cross with me and it was exhausting and meant I was in a constant state of people pleasing her and I would hide a lot of myself for fear she would not agree with what I was doing.
One of the biggest results I had working with you was in the relationship with myself. I had spent all my life pleasing others, starting with my parents, and so I pushed aside the parts of me that others didn’t like. You helped me not only accept these parts of me but to love them and to acknowledge what good they bring. And then to see what reassurance they need from me to feel loved and to stop fighting for my attention.
As a mother, I was so scared about repeating my relationship with my mother with my daughter. So when I did anything that reminded me of my mother I beat myself up. I avoided acting at all like her even though a lot of what she did was right (I didn’t turn out badly!!). You helped me look at my relationship with my daughter and see how I wanted to show up. Some of the things I did would be like my mum, and I would make mistakes, but all that is fine.
I would recommend Karen to anyone (full stop!) but particularly if you are struggling with your relationship with your mother and/or daughter. Karen does not pretend to have it all sorted with her mother and because of that she gives you permission for it not to be perfect for you.
It can be hard to admit when you struggle with your relationship with your mother. You can have a lot of shame around yours not being as good as other peoples’. If you feel that way and would rather bury it or just keep trying to be better than please don’t. Sign up with Karen. She will never judge you and so allow you to stop judging yourself. I didn’t have any idea that things would change so much when I worked with Karen and so if you are in doubt, just do it!” ~ R.L.
“I saw my mom at Christmas and feel really good about the visit. She was herself, of course, and I felt triggered of course, and I managed to stay grounded in my body so I could stay aware of my thoughts and manage my reactions/responses. It was a beautiful thing and I left feeling like I showed up exactly as I wanted to. Thanks for your help in working through all of that. I seriously think the biggest ah-ha was just realizing that never feeling triggered wasn’t the goal!” ~ J.B.
“Just over a year ago I read Difficult Mothers, Adult Daughters. Afterwards I started receiving her weekly emails and listening to her podcasts, which was an expanded experience for me. When I think of my mother and the headspace I gave our relationship, it was very contracted. I started to realize how much of my daily life I was affording to this contracted experience; how much time I spent thinking, anticipating, dreading talking to or being around my mother. So, I signed up for coaching with Karen.
In our time together I learned how to neutralize my thoughts, set healthy boundaries, and open my daily life to more expansion. It allowed me to look at some old stuff I had cut off for decades. This created space for massive healing.
I come away from this work not only liberated, but with tangible models I use with everyday obstacles.
Karen creates such a safe, judgement free environment in order to do very deep, quick, healing work. Her down-to-earth, funny, genuine personality made me feel even more comfortable to dig deep. I will be forever grateful for this life changing experience. Thank You Karen!” ~ Angela Turner, Charlotte, NC