“Sometimes there’s this message that, in order to be a teen, you have to hate your mother. I disagree with that,” says Amy Frisch, a psychotherapist with offices in New Paltz and Montgomery. “We need different types of supports, including from our mothers. That’s an important relationship, and it’s important to learn how to navigate it.” That’s the purpose of her group, the Mother-Daughter Connection, an 8-week series where six mother-daughter couples play self-exploration games, do expressive arts exercises, engage in discussions, and generally work on keeping an open dialogue with each other as the girls move into adolescence.
Geared for 12- and 13-year-old girls and their mothers, Frisch says it’s especially helpful for mothers and daughters to establish an understanding of each other’s signals, so that kids can ask for space when they need it without being disrespectful, and so parents don’t worry and feel out of touch with their girls. Led by Frisch and a co-facilitator, each family is screened for group readiness, and Frisch tailors the work to encompass what each person needs. For the first couple weeks, families can come for a trial to check it out. With the third session, a commitment is made and a small group begins to bond. In the ensuing supportive space, families are learning from each other as much as from Frisch. “It’s a delicate experience to help mothers and daughters feel really safe to show their true selves and not be judged for that.” For the past four years, the group has proved to be an opportunity for moms and daughters to continue to find ways to strengthen their relationship and build their connection.
The Mother-Daughter Connection: 8 Saturdays, September 26-November 21, 2015, 11a-1p, at the offices of Amy Frisch, LCSW; for 12- and 13-year-old girls and their mothers; $80 per couple, often covered by insurance; pre-registration required.
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