Why Hasn't Therapy Helped Me To Recover From My Narcissistic Mother?
When we want and need to heal our deep emotional wounds caused by a toxic parent and an unhappy, troubled childhood, we need to access that part of our psyche most influenced and affected by our early experiences ...there are tens of thousands of counselling therapists and psychotherapists in the UK alone. Their teaching is usually generic and not specific enough for this type of much deeper work.
Q I have a narcissistic mother and I’ve been in different types of therapy on and off for years. We touch on some things and I learn a new technique or ways of ‘re-framing’ something, but it doesn’t really help me in the longer term. Nothing seems to go deeper than an awareness of the problem and to suggest coping mechanisms to protect myself from my mother whenever I have contact with her. Why doesn’t all this therapy help me to really get over her and the way she still treats me?
A I suspect that it’s a case both of ‘one-size’ not fitting all (one way of therapy can’t work for everyone), as well as the therapists you have worked with lacking the professional (and perhaps personal) skills to enable them to work with you at the much deeper level required.
For a psychotherapist to be fully empathic and effective it really helps if they’ve ‘been there’ themselves and come through it.
When we want and need to heal our deep emotional wounds caused by a toxic parent and an unhappy, troubled childhood, we need to access that part of our psyche most influenced and affected by our early experiences.
Some of these experiences will be pre-verbal and from a time (before the age of 3 years) when you couldn’t put words to your experiences. Your body and sub-conscious mind will have recorded everything for you – and this deeper programming will be directing your life in the present day.
We need to carefully clean out the emotional wound and not simply apply a dressing over the top in the hope that the wound will heal itself. That might work for a physical wound, but not for a deeper psycho-emotional one.
I know there are tens of thousands of counselling therapists and psychotherapists in the UK alone. Their teaching is generic and not specific enough for this type of deep inner child healing.
To work with a problem such as childhood trauma and recovery from the influence of toxic parents is the ultimate level of therapy. This is the place where we find the underlying causes of perceptions, self-concept, thoughts, feelings, language and behaviours. Those ‘surface’ behavioural consequences are what the vast majority of less knowledgeable or experienced therapists work with.
I would strongly advise working with a psychotherapist rather than a life-coach - because however well-meaning a coach may be, if they lack relevant psychotherapeutic training they can do much more harm than good!
Yes, I am probably biased – but after 20 years as a psychotherapist I have no doubt that the inner child (that part of the psyche that was most impacted by our troubled childhood and toxic parents) is THE place of greatest healing and transformation.
I hope that you can now find the specific and deeper help you need to guide you along your own path to healing and recovery - and to transcend those deep emotional wounds which will in turn help you to cope with your toxic parent. (please see my website below for help with this)
This will involve working on your ‘internalised’ mother – those experiences with your toxic mother which still influence your life – and to shift that inner relationship with her into one more aligned and supportive of who you are now.
You will also need to grieve for what you didn't get, as well as what you did - and to re-parent your inner child and become the mum she wished she'd had!
It’s not your fault that your previous therapy hasn’t ‘hit the spot’ – your therapists haven’t been skilful enough for that level of work.
Fortunately there are some therapists who are.
If you’d like to make a start now to get more insight and information about what you might need, then please have a look through the free resources on my website (below).
Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy - 2002) MIND HEALER & MENTOR
www.maxineharley.com Where you will find FREE e-booklets, videos and other free resources designed to help and inform you on your journey of childhood and toxic parent recovery, re-parenting your inner child and making peace with the past.
You can also pick up your FREE copy of How To S.H.I.E.L.D. Yourself From Your Toxic Mother
and then you could also get your copy of How To Detox From Your Toxic Mother.
www.maxineharleymentoring.com - helping women to understand and manage their emotions, boundaries and behaviours - to FEEL better, so they can BE, DO and HAVE better!