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The Difficult Mother: Insufferable or Misunderstood? Video Course

The Difficult Mother: Insufferable or Misunderstood? Video Course

“When you are not fed love on a silver spoon, you learn to lick it off of knives” – Lauren Eden

Most psychodynamic accounts of development assume that the child’s early relationship with their mother has a profound effect on self-development. However, accounts of motherhood and mothering often seem idealised, leaving little room to discuss or explore the experience of women who find mothering difficult; and may be described by their adult children as ‘difficult’ when they are in therapy.

Video course packs, including all notes are available immediately on booking. The access links are part of your ticket. Online video access remains available for 1 year from the date you receive the video course.

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$79.31

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Course Credits

CPD: 3 / CE: 3

Speaker(s)

Dr Gwen Adshead, Dr Chrissy Jayarajah

Course length in hours

3 hrs of video content

Full course information

The phrase difficult mother can span a complex spectrum of mother-child relationships and very often our client(s) can struggle to delineate these in their own minds:

  • Did the client feel neglected or under-mothered?
  • Or was their experience one of over-mothering and a sense of feeling intruded upon?
  • Did they have to care for a mother who was emotionally fragile (role reversal)?
  • Are their childhood experiences those of a hostile, frightening, excessively controlling or abusive maternal figure?
  • Are their memories of their mother full of moments where they felt pressured and their mother was demanding of success?

To unpack this extremely important topic with far reaching therapeutic implications, this intellectually rich and practical seminar brings together Dr Gwen Adshead & Dr Chrissy Jayarajah – Gwen is a forensic psychiatrist and psychotherapist who assesses mothers in difficulty regularly for the family courts; while Chrissy is a perinatal psychiatrist who cares for mothers with mental health problems before and after the birth of children. Together, they bring their experience to help participants understand more about why mothers fail their children, and why clients might remember them as ‘difficult’.

Building our discussions on a foundation base of Attachment Theory, at this seminar we specifically discuss:

  • What motherhood does to people’s minds: we explore the work of Selma Fraiburg and discuss the importance of intergenerational trauma in motherhood
  • We consider and discuss the social and cultural idealisation of motherhood, as described by Estela Welldon and its impact on maternal mental health
  • Our discussion also includes the complementary role of fathers and systemic concepts of parenting and families
  • We highlight current thoughts on maternal mental health problems and highlight potential therapeutic interventions

© nscience 2022 / 2023

What's included in this course

What you’ll learn

This intellectually rich and practical seminar brings together Dr Gwen Adshead & Dr Chrissy Jayarajah – Gwen is a forensic psychiatrist and psychotherapist who assesses mothers in difficulty regularly for the family courts; while Chrissy is a perinatal psychiatrist who cares for mothers with mental health problems before and after the birth of children. Together, they bring their experience to help participants understand more about why mothers fail their children, and why clients might remember them as ‘difficult’.

Learning objectives

  • Discuss the importance of intergenerational trauma in motherhood
  • Discuss the complementary role of fathers and systemic concepts of parenting and families
  • Discuss the social and cultural idealisation of motherhood, as described by Estela Welldon and its impact on maternal mental health

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 Chrissy Jayarajah MBBS MRCPsych DFSRH is Clinical Lead for CNWL Perinatal Services. She trained at Brighton and Sussex Medical School and completed her psychiatry training in London, with additional training in systemic (family) psychotherapy and forensic psychiatry. As a member of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists with a Diploma in reproductive and sexual health, Dr Jayarajah has a keen interest in women’s health. She has developed Maternity Unit guidance for the management of mental health during pregnancy and delivery and has expertise in providing training surrounding identification of vulnerable women; including issues surrounding sexual health, domestic violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM) and women in prison. She is scientific adviser for the Maternal OCD Charity and has expertise in the management and treatment of perinatal OCD and use of medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

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.

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