The Conjoint Session as a Tool for the Resolution of Separation-Individuation in the Adult Mother-Daughter Relationship

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Abstract

In the present article, two case reports are used to examine the adult mother-daughter relationship from the point of view of the mother. The two mothers, in midlife, looked to their adult daughters to perform selfobject functions. The daughters of these patients felt threatened by their mother's desire for emotional dependence and had emotionally distanced themselves from their mothers. Emotional estrangement from their daughters had caused these patients to experience feelings of depression severe enough to seek treatment. The article describes the use of a conjoint mother-daughter session within the context of the mother's individual treatment to help these mothers to recognize the unresolved separation-individuation in their relationships with their daughters and to promote a healthier connection in the mother-daughter relationship.

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