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ERIC Number: ED229697
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov-20
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
In Futile Pursuit: Rejecting Mothers and Their Approval-Seeking Daughters.
Gibson, Elaine
A pathological phenomenon repeatedly observed in some families is the most desperate efforts toward the most unpleasable parents made by the most rejected middle-aged children. Counselors working with these families find the daughters compulsively seeking the affection and approval their mothers have historically withheld. The aged and even senile mothers maintain the abandoning behavior pattern while the daughters fruitlessly pursue their appreciation and validation. While the daughters' self-esteem suffers the blows of repeated insult, they resist relinquishing their one-down position as though it were an addiction. Case studies show that the only way of stopping this destructive game is through individual therapy and major change in the daughters' attitude and behavior. It is necessary that the daughters recognize the futility of their efforts, experience the loss of nurturing they never had, grieve as needed, and accept reality. They can be helped to face their terror of being in limbo alone and to free themselves from old injunctions if they are sufficiently motivated to achieve the pay-offs of autonomy with its risks and unknowns. In effect, the daughter and her therapist join in reparenting and setting her free from the strands of doubt and hope and helplessness that bind her. (Author/WAS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Approval Needs
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (35th, Boston, MA, November 19-23, 1982).