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Challenging prevailing cultural and psychotherapeutic messages that encourage mothers to "pull back" from their sons, and sons to distance themselves from their mothers, Silverstein draws upon her extensive therapeutic background and personal experiences with her own son to provide viewers with an informal yet incisive overview of:* The ways traditional Freudian interpretations of the mother-son relationship inhibit parent-child intimacy and weaken family bonds
* Common cultural assumptions regarding "maleness" and "femaleness" and how these can hobble the emotional development of male children and adolescents
* The profound implications of these issues for all mother-son relationships, particularly for the millions of female-headed households in America.
The video focuses on a case study of a therapeutic intervention with a single mother and her teenage son, and is illustrated as well with personal snapshots from the author's own family photo album. Silverstein's strong presence is felt throughout as she offers wise guidance informed by poignant and illuminating insights gained from her own parenting experiences. Presenting a convincing case for rethinking the models under whichmental health professionals have long operated in regard to mother-son relationships and child development, Silverstein cogently examines such critical issues as:
* The cultural assumption that male role models are a prerequisite for raising healthy males.
* Ways single mothers can, on their own, teach their sons all they need in order to become emotionally healthy, self-sufficient adults.
* Cultural norms regarding "masculinity" that can actually increase the risk of health problems such as heart disease, mortality associated with violence, and other physical and mental health issues.