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How to Overcome an Abusive Mother/Daughter Relationship

by Anna Green

The effects of an abusive mother-daughter relationship often continues into adulthood, sometimes resulting in depression, anxiety, self-injury, substance abuse and difficulties forming healthful relationships. Overcoming the effects of an abusive mother-daughter relationship can take years of therapy and help from friends and family members.

Seek the assistance of a therapist. Because mother-daughter abuse can create lasting trauma, it is often necessary to work with a counselor or psychiatrist in order to move forward from the abuse. A therapist who is skilled in the dynamics of mother-daughter abuse can help you understand your mother's behavior and speed up the healing process.

Learn the dynamics of abuse. Books, websites and support groups can help you learn about some of the reasons that mothers abuse their daughters and help you understand why you might experience complex, conflicted emotions.

Talk to friends and family about the abuse. Although it will be difficult to share your experience with others, particularly those persons who may know your mother, it is important to have a support system of people who understand the problems you are trying to overcome.

Confront your mother about the abuse. If you feel comfortable talking to your mother, talk to her about the abuse and let her know the effect it has had on your life. If you do not wish to confront her in person, consider writing a letter.

About the Author

Anna Green has been published in the "Journal of Counselor Education and Supervision" and has been featured regularly in "Counseling News and Notes," Keys Weekly newspapers, "Travel Host Magazine" and "Travel South." After earning degrees in political science and English, she attended law school, then earned her master's of science in mental health counseling. She is the founder of a nonprofit mental health group and personal coaching service.