Mothers, Daughters, and Eating Disorders
ARTIGOS. The mother-daughter relationship in eating disorders: the psychotherapy group of mothers. Relação mãe-filha nos transtornos alimentares: o grupo. Download Citation on ResearchGate | Eating disorders and the mother— Daughter relationship | Eating disorders, notably anorexia nervosa and bulimia, are. Psychologists consider an interactive relationship of the influence of mothers in the daughter's development of eating disorders where many.
In this study 91 female American university students and their mothers, answered questionnaires about body image and feeding attitudes and patterns.
The daughters' average age was 21 and the mothers' 48 years old. The results showed dietary symptoms and body dissatisfaction in mothers that were related to those of the daughters, which is pointed as a possible effect of the maternal role model. These studies concur with what psychoanalysts have proposed in their researches as fundamental to understand the role of the relationship established between mothers and daughters, specially when the latters have an eating disorder such as: Usually the psychoanalytical authors highlight the identification processes between mother and daughter, and the hard task of the beneficent identity construction, as well as, in the confinement that might derive from this process.
In this sense recognizing the difference of the self and the other, of the genders and of generations, is the zenith of a long road" op. Important concepts of the processes that promote identification are defined by Doltowho determines that the body scheme defines the individual as an instance of his species wherever the place, whatever the time or condition in which the subject lives.
The body scheme is an interpreter of the body image, allowing to structure the subjectivity it builds itself by learning and experience and it is, in part, unconscious, in part conscious. If the body scheme is the same for every individual, body image is peculiar to each one for it is related to the subject and his history. It is understood therefore that the building of the body image, suffers the influence of subjectivity related aspects that permeate the mother-daughter relationship.
Psychotherapeutic interventions that promote differentiation, separation, individuation and autonomy in the relationship established between mother and daughter are recommended and emphasized by professionals who work in the eating disorders field. In that same direction, an important number of studies have shown good results in involving relatives in the treatment of adolescents with eating disorders Lock et al.
Few though have focused in the specific mother-daughter relationship, especially in the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of mothers in relation to their daughters' illnesses.
The mother-daughter relationship in eating disorders: the psychotherapy group of mothers
When thinking about the identification model that the mother offers to her daughter, we must consider the complexity of the mother-daughter relationship and take into account the maternal role in the transmission of cultural values, including those related to weight, body shape and body appearance Hill and Franklin, In proposing interventions in the treatment of adolescents with eating disorders, in a multidisciplinary team of a public institution that complied with this vision and that would take care specially of the patients' mothers, the formation of a working group was considered.
A bibliographic review was done and no reference to this model of intervention was found in the literature. All patients' mothers are invited to join in when her daughter or son begins treatment at the clinic and stay in the group until the patient is discharged.
The meetings are weekly, last for an hour and are coordinated by a psychologist specialized in family therapy. Throughout all this years of experience working with these groups, besides difficulties of separation-individuation, lots of topics repeat themselves as, for instance, the need to know about the disease's etiology, "nobody in my family ever had a similar illness", "I can't understand how she got sick At times they show how difficult it is to cope with an unknown illness that provokes so many feelings such as guilt to name one.
Lots of mothers say "I don't know what I did wrong" or "I guess it is because I force-fed her when she was little". Fears are also present, like the ones expressed in the sentences "what is it going to happen?
Also frequent are feelings of impotence "nothing works! It's been so hard to deal with her!!
I don't know what to do". In most of the working groups, the questions related to the identification process, in which the mothers show how difficult it is to separate their own feelings from those of their daughters make up an important share of the meetings: The experience of working with psychotherapeutic mothers' group points to the importance of this intervention in the treatment of eating disorders.
We have observed how working with those questions so inherent to the conflicts that refer to the difficulties of differentiation and separation between mother and daughter, result not only in the possibility of progress in the treatment of young anorexic and bulimic patients, but, above all, enables mothers to identify and elaborate a good portion of these underlying conflicts.
We conclude then, once again referring to Marina Ribeirowho teaches us: Every mother-daughter pair is replicated in the following generation; What was at stage in the prior generation, if an elaboration of the conflicts and hardships hasn't taken place, tend to repeat itself in a baffling near manner This is the moment to thank for the accomplishments. I thought of bringing a poem, some music lyrics. I thought of that Almir Sater's song, the one that says 'rain must fall upon us for us to blossom'.
When considering biological, psychological, and social risk factors for the development of disordered eating behaviors, it is a primary relationship that is often explored in research and treatment.
Furthermore, research has indicated the following: It is important to note that these findings are correlational in nature and therefore do not constitute causation. In fact, there is no single cause of an eating disorder; rather, it is likely a combination and transaction of multiple biological, psychological, and social factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of an eating disorder.
The correlations identified below are just a few of the biological, psychological, and social risk factors that may be involved in eating disorders. These include eating related thoughts and behaviors. Mothers who talk more frequently about their own weight, shape, or size are more likely to have daughters with lower self-worth and greater feelings of depression. Conversations focused on healthful eating are protective against disordered eating behaviors.How A Young Woman’s Obsession With Her Eating Disorder Is Tearing Apart Her Relationship With Her…
When mothers and daughters find it important that their relationship lack boundaries i. Daughters are more likely to be dissatisfied with their bodies when their mother feels that they do not have a right to their own autonomy as well as if their mother finds it important that their relationship lack boundaries.
Eating disorder symptoms e. Then the child has to turn elsewhere for soothing. Here is where turning to food in order to self-regulate or self-soothe can begin. I have yet to meet someone suffering from an eating disorder who does not also suffer from a relational trauma, by which I mean that the person grew up without the experience of a caregiver being attuned to them and their needs and acting as a source of comfort when they were stressed or hurt.
The caregiver was either absent or blaming and generally not attuned to the child. As Susan Sands so eloquently puts it: Dad was absent and not very involved in her life.
Emma had little experience of her mother being there for her. So, Emma learned how to have few needs or none at all. She identified with being a caretaker and had little awareness of her own needs.
To the Mother of a Daughter with an Eating Disorder
This dynamic also played out with food. Emma would cook meals for her mother but she rarely ate a full plate herself. Betty was addicted to compulsive binge eating.