The Emotionally Absent Mother: A Guide to Self-Healing and Getting the Love You Missed

( 6 )


Was your mother too busy, too tired, or too checked-out to provide you with the nurturing you needed as a child? Men and women who were “undermothered” as children often struggle with intimate relationships, in part because of their unmet need for maternal care. The Emotionally Absent Mother will help you understand what was missing from your childhood, how this relates to your mother’s own history, and how you can fill the “mother gap” by:

  • ...
See more details below
$10.58 price
(Save 29%)$14.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $8.68   
  • New (8) from $8.68   
  • Used (5) from $8.99   
The Emotionally Absent Mother: A Guide to Self-Healing and Getting the Love You Missed

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49 price
(Save 29%)$14.95 List Price


Was your mother too busy, too tired, or too checked-out to provide you with the nurturing you needed as a child? Men and women who were “undermothered” as children often struggle with intimate relationships, in part because of their unmet need for maternal care. The Emotionally Absent Mother will help you understand what was missing from your childhood, how this relates to your mother’s own history, and how you can fill the “mother gap” by:

  • Examining the past with compassion for yourself and your mother
  • Finding the child inside of you and learning to mother yourself
  • Opening to the archetype of the Good Mother
  • Allowing friends and loved ones to provide support, guidance, and other elements of good mothering that you missed

Through reflections, exercises, and clear explanations, psychotherapist Jasmin Lee Cori helps adult sons and daughters heal the wounds left by mothers who failed to provide the essential ingredients that every child needs. She traces perceived personal “defects” back to mothering deficits, relieving self-blame. And, by teaching today’s undermothered adults to cultivate the mothering they missed, she helps them secure a happier future—for themselves and their children.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This book is a revelation to those of us whose mothering was short of what we needed. The author sensitively and authoritatively weaves developmental principles into a compassionate understanding of what it means to be under-mothered.”
Connie Dawson, PhD, coauthor of Growing Up Again: Parenting Ourselves, Parenting Our Children

"With compassion and sparkling clarity, Jasmin Lee Cori describes the effects of being under-mothered and what it takes to overcome them. Her book will be of great value to new mothers serious about creating a loving environment for their children, adult sons and daughters who want at long last to fill the holes in their hearts, and clinicians interested in understanding and healing the mother wound."
Evelyn Bassoff, PhD, psychotherapist and author of Mothering Ourselves: Help and Healing for Adult Daughters

“Jasmin Lee Cori has done a superb job of describing the importance of childhood attachment needs and the psychological wounds that get inflicted when an emotionally absent mother cannot meet those needs well enough. She has skillfully laid out clear steps wounded adults can take to identify their inner strengths and heal attachment wounds. I wholeheartedly recommend this book for anyone who wishes to understand and heal the wounds that can arise when parented by an emotionally absent mother.”
Shirley Jean Schmidt, MA, LPC, author of The Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy: An Ego State Therapy for Healing Adults with Childhood Trauma and Attachment Wounds

“This book effortlessly intertwines neuroscience with clinical acumen in a lovely work of extraordinary depth. In her compelling, heart-rending analysis of the importance of motherhood, Jasmin Lee Cori has created a work as significant as Alice Miller’s Prisoners of Childhood. Easily accessible and very useful, it is a must-read for parents-to-be, those in the helping professions, and adults who have been wounded by a negligent parent.”
Kate Crowley, OTD, OTR/L, University of Southern California

“With a compassionate and steady voice, Jasmin Lee Cori guides the reader through the difficult terrain faced by adults who have grown up without sufficient emotional mothering. Relying on personal experience and practice as a psychotherapist, she provides insight and tools to help readers overcome the challenges of a painful childhood and to move into the pleasures of living adult life fully.”
Kathryn Black, MA, psychotherapist, author of Mothering Without a Map: The Search for the Good Mother Within

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615190287
  • Publisher: Experiment, The
  • Publication date: 9/14/2010
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 96,458
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 11.06 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Jasmin Lee Cori, MS, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in working with adults who experienced childhood abuse and neglect. She has worked in human service agencies and private practice, and taught psychology in colleges and professional schools. She is the author of numerous articles and four previous books, including Healing From Trauma.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Mothering 7

Mother as the tree of Life 7

Mommy is what we are made of 9

Who can mother? 10

The good-enough mother 11

Good Mother messages 12

What happens when Good Mother messages are absent? 16

What does it mean to be undermothered? 18

2 The Many Faces of the Good Mother 20

Mother as Source 21

Mother as Place of Attachment 23

Mother as First Responder 25

Mother as Modulator 26

Mother as Nurturer 30

Mother as Mirror 31

Mother as Cheerleader 34

Mother as Mentor 35

Mother as Protector 39

Mother as Home Base 40

3 Attachment: Our First Foundation 42

How do we become attached, and what is secure attachment? 42

Why is attachment so important? 44

How can I know if I was securely attached to my mother? 46

What if I wasn't securely attached? How would that look? 47

What is attachment-related trauma? 54

Maybe I wasn't securely attached to my mother, but is it really fair to hold her responsible? 54

Can I still develop secure attachments if I've only partially done so in the past? How would this help me? 55

Identifying attachment figures 56

What is my attachment style? 57

Can I have more than one style? 60

Does my relationship with my mother really affect later relationships? 61

How difficult is it to change attachment patterns? 62

4 More Building Blocks 63

Feeling safe and secure 63

A happy home 65

When things go wrong, they can be fixed! 66

A sense of belonging 67

The budding self 67

A place to grow 68

Support for being a child 70

Touch 71

Love is the medium, love is the message 73

5 Mommy, Where Were You? 75

The hole where Mother was supposed to be 75

The need for Mother's physical presence 77

What happens when Mother is not emotionally present? 78

Mutual standoff 81

Thirty possible reasons Mother wasn't there 83

How a child interprets Mommy's absence 85

When Mother is the only one there 86

Original Loss 91

6 Voices of the Undermothered 93

Who was that masked woman? 93

Slim pickin's from Mom 95

Lack of mentoring 97

Missed connections 98

The mechanical mom 99

Is anyone watching? Does anyone care? 101

Culeless 103

No place to go for help 103

Feeling like a motherless child 105

No mother, no self 107

No anchor 108

Common challenges of the undermothered 108

What helps 113

7 Healing Mother Wounds 117

The cover-up 117

Discovering the wound 118

Reframing "defects" as deficits 119

Working through your feelings 120

Journaling 122

The healing power of anger 123

Leaving the past 126

8 Psychotherapy: Mother Issues and Mothering Needs 128

Parallels with the Good Mother 130

Special considerations in attachment-oriented work 132

Touch in therapy 134

Re-mothering 135

From isolation to secure attachment 139

Therapist as "Teaching Mommy" 141

9 Connecting with Good Mother Energy 143

Opening to the Good Mother 143

Archetypes 144

Working with imagery and symbols 145

Help from the Divine Mother 146

Taking on the "good" of the Good Mother 147

A second chance at finding a Good Mother 148

Meeting mothering needs with partners 149

Your portable Good Mother 157

10 Inner Child Work 159

An introduction to inner child work 159

The child as mother to the self 162

"Partswork" 163

Becoming your own best mother 167

Creating a safe place for the child 170

Time together 171

Working with Good Mother messages 171

Healing the unloved child 173

Changing your mind 174

11 More Healing Steps and Practical Strategies 175

Identifying specific "holes" 176

Taking a proactive approach 178

The hole of support 179

Getting support now 181

A sense of confidence 183

Navigating the world of emotions 185

A place in the web 188

Showing up and being seen 189

Embracing your needs 190

Practicing good self-care 192

Cultivating a capacity for intimacy 193

Protecting what is precious 194

Finding your power 195

Stepping out of deprivation consciousness 197

General tonics 200

12 Changing the Story 202

Your mother's story 202

Your story 206

The dance between you 207

How do I not pass this along to my children? 208

What about Mother? 209

Holding your process/holding your self 211

Does healing ever end? 212

Appendix 214

Notes 216

Resources 220

Acknowledgments 223

Index 224

About the Author 228

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    a wonderful self-help healing tool

    Having read and treasure/d Cori's book Healing From Trauma, I expected this book to be helpful, succinct, easy to follow, and informative--and it possesses all of these qualities. Regardless of the particulars of your formative experiences or relationsips with your parents, Cori presents knowledge AND wisdom applicable to all who hope to grow from wounded or incomplete to whole. Among other helpful practices, she includes guidance on how and with whom to make up NOW for what you missed THEN and, by remedying deficits, how to be the person that each child is meant to become. I'd recommed it to anyone at any stage of re-parenting or who might be wondering what parts of him/herself need nurturing and/or developing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    Powerful and Healing

    A must read for all men who suffer as adults from a childhood with an unloving mother. I was pleased to see this book does not cast stones or place excessive blame on the emotionally absent mothers. It instead helped me understand my mother. To accept her as an imperfect human, to love her without trying to change her and to get on with my healing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 5, 2010

    An inspiring book!

    I am impressed beyond words with the Emotionally Absent Mother. Jasmin Cori has integrated and assimilated so many difficult concepts and written about them in such precise and profound ways! I have been a psychotherapist for more than twenty years, weaving my way through theories and interventions for those adult clients who were under-mothered as children, and here is everything I needed all along, in one book. I am hopeful that this book will be clear validation for thousands of us who have been waiting years for its release.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)