If you’ve been in therapy and are still having issues with your mother, then working with me is a great next step, especially if some aspect of the relationship you have with your mother is holding you back in any way, shape, or form from something you want.
This doesn’t mean that therapy has failed or was ineffective, or that you had a bad therapist.
It doesn’t mean that therapy is a bad choice.
It also doesn’t mean that you’re somehow flawed or incapable or irrevocably wounded.
One thing I got (deep down in my bones) in 2020 is that the biggest lie about healing, transformation, success, happiness (all those things personal growth promise us) is that you’re supposed to have gotten over all your shit before you can have any of those things. And that if you haven’t gotten over it, then all of those things will forever be out of reach.
It’s just not the case. 2020 was an amazing year for me in many ways. I had two books published (three if you count the one I published on my own), tripled my income, was interviewed for articles in the New York Times and Toronto Sun, was interviewed on eight podcasts, I started my own podcast, Difficult Mothers, Adult Daughters: A Guide For Separation, Liberation & Inspiration was translated into Turkish and Estonian, and I coached 20 women, all of whom have created real, tangible results for themselves.
Also? I did all of that (and more) and still all my shit came up. Or, all my shit came up and I also did those thing. I spent a good part of 2020 feeling, by turns, scared, angry, guilty, sad, embarrassed, and ashamed. Triggered. Fragile. Vulnerable. Believing people don’t like me and thinking that’s a problem. People-pleasing as a result. Seeking approval as a result. Wanting to quit as a result.
In other words, there were plenty of days in 2020 when I had a trauma response.
I also experienced great joy, created certainty and confidence, set goals without a lot of trepidation and even met some of them, didn’t feel a metric shit ton of shame or regret when I didn’t meet other goals, rested, went on hikes with my newly retired husband and our dog Scout, worked, wrote, and played Words With Friends on Facebook.
I expect 2021 will be more of the same and then some.
My intention is not to no longer have my shit come up, it’s simply to continue to love myself because it does. And that is a radical thing to do.
Getting back to the conversation at hand…
I am NOT a therapist AND I can help you in ways that therapy isn’t designed to do. Not only have I coached therapists on their relationship with their mothers, therapists often send their patients my way.
Therapy and coaching co-exist beautifully together, but the approach and focus are different.
1. Most therapy is diagnostic and clinically treats people with psychological disorders or mental illness. Coaching can pick up where therapy ends and starts with the premise that the client is okay and full of potential. Coaches do not diagnose or treat mental illness.
2. The goal of therapy is to take people from a dysfunctional state to a healthy functioning state. Coaching helps highly functioning people get to the next level so that they can have a more meaningful and satisfying life (in whatever way they define meaningful and satisfying).
3. Most therapy is focused on the past, using childhood to explain current problems. Coaching focuses on the present, the future, and the belief that you do not need to continue focusing on the past in order to feel better and move forward.
4. Therapy asks “Why?” As in, “Why do you think, feel, and behave the way that you do?” Coaching asks, “What’s next for you? How do you want to feel? What obstacles are standing in the way of you feeling that way?”
5. Therapy is usually a long-term process. Coaching is typically short term.
6. Therapists are licensed professionals in a highly regulated industry. Coaches are not.
7. Therapy assumes the therapist is the expert. Coaching is an equal partnership.
Speaking from my own experience: therapy helped me identify the “pathology” of my past, which was helpful, but I continued to believe that my capacity for joy and my potential remained impacted by my mother. That it would be a “sad reality” for the rest of my life.
My experience with coaching showed me that I could choose otherwise, but I had to be ready to hear this. Coaching helped me take responsibility for my future. When we have dreams/goals and are having a hard time fulfilling them, it’s often because we still have unconscious stories we’re telling ourselves about what is possible.
All of that to say…
Don’t work with me because you think that by doing so, you’ll reach some magical pinnacle of un-triggered perfection where there is no guilt, shame, anxiety, anger, fear, or grief.
Work with me because you want to set some healthy boundaries with your mother rather than shutting her out of your life for good.
Work with me because you’re ready to re-establish contact with your mother and you want to do it in a healthy way.
Work with me because you want to do a part in repairing the collective, centuries-old passed-down trauma that is in our DNA.
Work with me because you want something for yourself and you know there’s some aspect of your relationship with your mother that is holding you back from getting it.
Work with me because you want something for yourself and you know your shit will come up as a result of wanting it.
Work with me because you want someone to remind you that the only thing that was ever wrong with you was your belief that something was wrong with you.