Skip to content

Share page

Maternal Jealousy: Breaking the Chains of Toxic Emotional Inheritance

Maternal Jealousy: Breaking the Chains of Toxic Emotional Inheritance

It makes sense that my mother was jealous of my freedom and opportunities. That is a normal human response. Jealousy is a normal feeling when someone has what your heart is yearning for. Even though I needed my mother to celebrate me, I understand why she couldn’t. Her grief was too much. Her loss was too great. And I was too strong of a reminder of what she never got to be and do. And because I was young and hadn’t learned what I know now, and my family does not ask women what they are feeling and needing, my mother did not have the words or language or the opportunity to say how sad she felt about her unlived life. The only way she knew how to voice her grief was to walk away from my graduation ceremony.”

– Rosjke Hasseldine, author of The Silent Female Scream

Times on both days:

5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, London UK

12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, New York, USA

Webinar attendance links can now be downloaded directly from your ticket.

Check what time this course will be on in your time zone with our Time Zone Checker.

For more information on how to access webinar joining links, handouts and video recordings please click here

There is no known commercial support for this programme.

Select your currency

$85.89

Quantity:

Receive a 5% discount if you buy more than one ticket for one course. Tell a friend!

Course Credits

CPD: 3 / CE: 3

Speaker(s)

Dr Gwen Adshead, Dr Jan McGregor Hepburn

Course length in hours

3 hrs of video content

Location

Online streaming only

Full course information

A mother-child relationship has always been idolised as being a cocoon of love and safety. The mother, being the primary caregiver, has always been upheld as a model of unconditional giving and nurturing. In putting mothers on this exalted pedestal, we collectively forget that mothers are human – just like us, with their own insecurities, traumas and unfulfilled dreams and desires. When there are daily reminders of looking at a growing child, who lives a carefree, fulfilling life that recalls their own thwarted ambitions, brings out their relational insecurities, and triggers their traumas – envy and jealousy can easily become the dominant emotions for mothers.

Sexism and patriarchy that limited a mother’s life can be one of the strongest root causes of maternal jealousy. The children, especially daughters, become their mother’s uncomfortable mirror. When a mother experiences daily comparisons of the educational opportunities, career choices, freedoms from restrictive gender roles, and increased love and support from partners that the mother didn’t have and couldn’t conceive of as possible, this creates deep channels of grief, jealousy and envy for the life she could never have. A mother grieves her unfulfilled dreams, unrealized talent, and unsupported life. And in being put on a pedestal of being a good mother, society expects her to not only ignore her grief but never even whisper it, and to live her whole life being happy for her children.

Equally, narcissism can be a strong factor at play. A narcissistic mother may perceive her offspring, especially a daughter, as a threat. If the child’s achievements draw attention from the mother, the child will most likely suffer retaliation, put-downs, and punishments.

As Peg Streep puts it wisely, “Jealousy and anger are highly personal in a very specific sense because these emotions reflect the self, not the object of the emotions. Because these feelings are self-referential, the more self-involved or narcissistic the mother is, the more likely it is that she will be jealous or envious.”  The mother can be especially jealous of her daughter for many reasons—her looks, her youth, material possessions, accomplishments, education and even the girl’s relationship with the father.

A strong relationship between the father and child, especially a strong father-daughter relationship, can be an area especially fraught with insecurity and jealousy on the mother’s part. A child needs to have a healthy relationship with both parents. However, if the mother is jealous of the father-child relationship, especially a loving father-daughter relationship, then what repercussions does that carry? The daughter wants both parents to love her. So, who does she please?

What complicates this dynamic further is the question of what stance the father takes. Often men in relationships with female narcissists choose to bow to the mother’s wishes so as to maintain the adult relationship. The father is then unable to connect with his daughter. This leaves the daughter not only confused but also with a lack of emotional connection with both parents.

Almost in every case of maternal jealousy, the child is left with little or no support during her growing years. She feels unloved, unsupported, constantly undermined and full of self-doubt. The scars left by maternal jealousy tend to run deep. The ramifications of maternal jealousy extend far beyond familial dynamics, permeating every facet of a child’s life. Inadequate emotional support, constant criticism, and emotional manipulation perpetuate feelings of unworthiness and self-doubt. At this webinar, we will we recognize the pervasive influence of maternal jealousy on relational choices, career trajectories, and self-esteem.

This seminar will examine how these behavioural patterns:

  • Influence the relationships formed by the individual (our client) with their partners / lovers, friends and colleagues
  • Influence wrong choices in career and the failure to succeed in it
  • Lead to underplaying their achievements in life and career
  • Self-sabotage their life and goals

How then, does the individual, cope? How do they come out of this intergenerational play of narcissism, unfulfilled life and trauma?

At this cutting-edge, therapeutically-oriented webinar, Dr Gwen Adshead and Dr Jan McGregor Hepburn delve into Attachment Theory and Psychoanalytical concepts, uncovering how maternal jealousy manifests, its impact on familial dynamics, and strategies for breaking the cycle of toxicity. They then offer a transformative approach to dismantling intergenerational patterns of toxicity. By fostering self-awareness, setting boundaries, and challenging societal norms, individuals can liberate themselves from the intergenerational cycle of maternal jealousy. Through case illustrations and vignettes, Dr Adshead and Dr Hepburn will explain how practical exercises and psychoeducational interventions can empower our clients to reclaim agency, cultivate self-esteem, and foster healthy relationships in their adult lives. Evaluate the psychological effects of maternal jealousy on offspring, exploring patterns of self-sabotage and identity formation.

Learning Objectives:

  • Distinguish between envy and jealousy, elucidating their nuanced impact on interpersonal dynamics and analyse the interplay of narcissism with envy and jealousy, unravelling its implications for familial relationships
  • Examine the role of repetition compulsion in perpetuating intergenerational trauma, particularly in relational contexts
  • Implement therapeutic strategies to mitigate the effects of maternal jealousy, promoting healing and closure in the mother-child relationship

© nscience 2024 / 2025

What's included in this course

What you’ll learn

At this cutting-edge, therapeutically-oriented webinar, Dr Gwen Adshead and Dr Jan McGregor Hepburn delve into Attachment Theory and Psychoanalytical concepts, uncovering how maternal jealousy manifests, its impact on familial dynamics, and strategies for breaking the cycle of toxicity. They then offer a transformative approach to dismantling intergenerational patterns of toxicity. By fostering self-awareness, setting boundaries, and challenging societal norms, individuals can liberate themselves from the intergenerational cycle of maternal jealousy. Through case illustrations and vignettes, Dr Adshead and Dr Hepburn will explain how practical exercises and psychoeducational interventions can empower our clients to reclaim agency, cultivate self-esteem, and foster healthy relationships in their adult lives. Evaluate the psychological effects of maternal jealousy on offspring, exploring patterns of self-sabotage and identity formation.

Learning objectives

  • Distinguish between envy and jealousy, elucidating their nuanced impact on interpersonal dynamics and analyse the interplay of narcissism with envy and jealousy, unravelling its implications for familial relationships
  • Examine the role of repetition compulsion in perpetuating intergenerational trauma, particularly in relational contexts
  • Implement therapeutic strategies to mitigate the effects of maternal jealousy, promoting healing and closure in the mother-child relationship

You'll also be able to...

Develop the ability to interpret and modulate the body’s nervous system (sensory and autonomic) to regulate arousal levels in clients and for safer trauma therapy

Identify and acquire recovery options and strategies for trauma clients inappropriate for trauma memory processing, particularly for those who don’t want to and those who decompensate or dysregulate from memory work

Also develop the ability to interpret and modulate the body’s nervous system (sensory and autonomic) to regulate arousal levels for professional self-care

About the speaker(s)

Dr Gwen Adshead is a Forensic Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist. She trained at St George’s Hospital, the Institute of Psychiatry and the Institute of Group Analysis.  She is trained as a group therapist and a Mindfulness-based cognitive therapist and has also trained in Mentalisation-based therapy. She worked for nearly twenty years as a Consultant Forensic Psychotherapist at Broadmoor Hospital, running psychotherapeutic groups for offenders and working with staff around relational security and organisational dynamics. Gwen also has a Masters’ Degree in Medical Law and Ethics; and has a research interest in moral reasoning, and how this links with ‘bad’ behaviour.

Gwen has published a number of books and over 100 papers, book chapters and commissioned articles on forensic psychotherapy, ethics in psychiatry, and attachment theory as applied to medicine and forensic psychiatry.  She is the co-editor of Clinical topics in Personality Disorder (with Dr Jay Sarkar) which was awarded first prize in the psychiatry Section of the BMA book awards 2013; and she also co-edited Personality Disorder: the Definitive Collection with Dr Caroline Jacob. She is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Forensic Psychiatry (2013) and the Oxford Handbook of Medical Psychotherapy (2016). She is also the co-editor of Munchausens’s Syndrome by Proxy: Current issues in Assessment, Treatment and Research. Her latest book, The Deluded Self: Narcissism and its Disorders (2020) is out now with nscience publishing house.

Dr Jan McGregor Hepburn has a background in Social Work Management and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and is a trainer for the North of England Association for Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. She was the Registrar of the British Psychoanalytic Council for 15 years and currently chairs the Professional Standards Committee. She is the author of several papers, most notably those published in the British Journal of Psychotherapy and European Psychotherapy Journal. She has presented papers at conferences and devised and facilitated both seminars and workshops on a variety of subjects to both management dynamics and clinical topics.

She is part of the ScopEd project which is the collaboration between BACP, UKCP and BPC to map the core competencies for clinical work. She is on the Reading Panel of the British Journal of Psychotherapy and has a doctorate from the University of Northumbria. Her latest book: Guilt and Shame, A Clinician’s Guide is out now with nscience publishing house.

Jan was awarded the BPC Lifetime Achievement Award in November 2023 in recognition of her great contributions to the profession and the BPC.

3 reasons why you should attend this course

nscience UK is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. nscience UK maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

What we offer

Play Video about About nscience

250+

video courses available

500+

webinars delivered

100+

world-class speakers

What our customers say

Part of the nscience family, nscience publishing house is an independent publisher of practical, clinical-application oriented books covering the practices of psychotherapy, counselling and psychology.

Our easy to search directory website lists the services offered by mental health practitioners throughout the UK.

*Legal text here. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Get up to 20% off on our new programmes

Be the first to receive ‘early-bird’ offers!

View our Privacy Policy