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Helen Pensanti, M.D.

Quick Order Natural Hormones Dr. Pensanti Interview with John R. Lee M.D.

Dr. John Townsend

Six Types of Mothers

Dr. John Townsend is a best-selling author and co-host of the nationally broadcast New Life radio program. He maintains a private practice in Newport Beach, California 92660

Dr. Townsend's latest book is THE MOM FACTOR in which teaches how to:

  1. Transform the Effects of the Past
  2. Say "No" to Your Mom Without Feeling Guilty
  3. Build a Healthy Relationship with Your Mom

SIX TYPES OF MOTHERS:

  1. The Phantom Mom: "There, but not there" Does not interact. May be controlling or a perfectionist. May be reactive and child does not freely share for fear of upsetting her. Child does not develop an attachment to his mother that fosters his emotional ability to become a truly relational person. A child needs to be attached. Psalm 22:9 "Thou didst make me trust when upon my mother's breasts." Child in danger of becoming mistrustful, hostile, aggressive; disconnected from others, hopeless, may develop addictions which can have their roots in the search for mother, may be suspicious and insecure.

    TO REBUILD THE RELATIONSHIP
    : Forgive. Reach out to the mother & invite
    her to a relationship with you. Set limits on how she affects you.
  2. The China Doll Mom: Afraid of feelings. Avoids strong or negative emotions. May react in anger or shame the child. Child will be immature, character will not develop. May push away closeness in their relationships. May be critical of the feelings of others, become withdrawn, depressed, develop anxiety disorders or develop substance abuse to soothe one's intense feelings.
    TO REBUILD THE RELATIONSHIP: Get some support or safety from others. Do not ask for it from your mother; she cannot give it. Set limits on your wish to be understood by her. Remove yourself from her when she becomes critical or simply end the conversation. Love her in your best way.
  3. The Controlling Mom: Does not foster independence in the child. May use guilt to control the child or withdraw love when child tries to separate from her, may become angry or enraged when child exhibits individuality. Child may become afraid of intimacy or become codependent; may be unable to say no to others; may experience a feeling of perpetual loss, a lack of direction in and control over his life; may isolate himself as an adult.

    TO REBUILD THE RELATIONSHIP: Become aware of the mom's struggle. Ask about her past . Introduce her to the "new you" and make her a part of your growth process. Set necessary limits to curtail her dominating behavior
  4. The Trophy Mom: Cannot handle a child who brings home problems. Needs her child to be "special" Child may become shame-based - strive to be perfect, avoid other's anger, afraid to expose imperfections. May be "good" with their"good" friends, but may also have a set of "bad" friends with whom they can be real. Often depressed, anxious, and guilty. May be blinded to God's forgiveness and grace.

    TO REBUILD THE RELATIONSHIP: Feel and grieve your unresolved hurt feelings. Express your anger and sadness to someone who cares and your brokenheartedness can be healed. Try to understand your mom's frailties and begin to love her as she is. Forgive her - acknowledge the offenses and let go. Stop wanting acceptance and you will break her power to hurt you. Have fun and enjoy her in the ways she can relate. If she begins to talk about your performance, do not participate in that discussion.
  5. THE STILL-THE-BOSS MOM: Cannot let go of the child needing her approval. Cannot tolerate having her opinions challenged. Still wants to "own" the child. This person will have difficulty relating to others as equal adults. Has problems moving into the adult world. May feel persistently inferior OR may conversely develop a superior attitude and become critical and condescending to others May tend to dominate others. May also resist all types of rules and authorities. May see others as abusive to his freedom to be himself. May see God as a harsh, dictatorial judge.

    TO REBUILD THE RELATIONSHIP: Affirm your mom and the parenting job she did. Tell her you appreciate what she did Do not blame. Focus on the fact that you want her to respect you as an equal adult. Ask her what she wants you to do if she starts to mother you in a way you do not want. Explore with her some new things that the two of you can do together as friends. Discuss your individual expectations in the relationship to come.
  6. THE AMERICAN EXPRESS MOM: "Can't leave home without her" Gives the child the message that she is the only source of love and truth; the child never learns to move past her. Child remains connected to the mother in an unhealthy way. May experience problems in accepting responsibility, may live out mother's dreams for his live and career instead of pursuing own. May suffer isolation, anxiety and panic attacks. May feel powerless and helpless. May become a "blamer" feeling someone else is responsible for them. May never mature emotionally or financially.

    TO REBUILD THE RELATIONSHIP: Begin the shift to friendship with mom; a mutual connection between two equal adults. Set limits on favors you will accept from her. Decide what you can five emotionally as a friend to your mother. Help her find friendships. Let her know there is only so much of you to go around. Accept her for who she is rather than who she isn't.

HOLIDAYS CAN CAUSE STRESSFUL FEELINGS. RECOGNIZE YOUR NEEDS, BUT DO NOT GO TO YOUR MOTHER TO HAVE THEM MET. DO NOT GO TO YOUR MOTHER AS A CHILD, YOU WILL MAKE A VICTIM OF YOURSELF. GO AS A FULLY DEVELOPED ADULT

Cordially,

Helen Pensanti M.D.

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