Conclusion And Contraindication

This intervention aims to actively work on issues of separation/in-dividuation in the mother/daughter relationship. "A daughter's identification with her mother contributes to a gender identity based on nondifferentiation and intimacy rather than differentiation and separation" (Chodorow, 1978, p. 109). As in the example of refusal of differentiation (Pat) separation, and individuation within the mother/ daughter interaction is mostly an unconscious "oath of fidelity" in the girl's development (Lerner, 1988).

Examining a Mother's whole life span while presenting her to a group of strangers is a powerful tool in the objectification of the relationship. The internalized Mother figure, or the self-object (Kohut, 1977) becomes a "real" person with her assets, liabilities, strengths, and vulnerabilities. This opportunity and potential for awareness as the shift from subjectivity to objectivity is profoundly provided through the group interaction.

This intervention has limited contraindications but, this kind of exercise and intervention works most effectively in a mature group where participants have already acquired a certain degree of psychological growth and have been previously prepared for this kind of introspection. It is not advisable nor recommended for use in a clinical setting with borderline or psychotic patients.


Chodorow, N. (1978). The Reproduction of Mothering. Berkeley: University California Press.

Kohut, H. (1977). The Restoration of the Self. New York: International Universities Press.

Lerner, H. G. (1989). Women in Therapy. New York: Harper & Row.

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