Difficult Mothers: Understanding and Overcoming Their Power

Difficult Mothers: Understanding and Overcoming Their Power

by Terri Apter


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


An essential work for readers seeking compassionate, wise guidance about the powerful relationship between mothers and their sons and daughters.

Mother love is often seen as sacred, but for many children the relationship is a painful struggle. Using the newest research on human attachment and brain development, Terri Apter, an internationally acclaimed psychologist and writer, unlocks the mysteries of this complicated bond. She showcases the five different types of difficult mother—the angry mother, the controlling mother, the narcissistic mother, the envious mother, and the emotionally neglectful mother—and explains the patterns of behavior seen in each type. Apter also explores the dilemma at the heart of a difficult relationship: why a mother has such a powerful impact on us and why we continue to care about her responses long after we have outgrown our dependence. She then shows how we can conduct an “emotional audit” on ourselves to overcome the power of the complex feelings a difficult mother inflicts. In the end this book celebrates the great resilience of sons and daughters of difficult mothers as well as acknowledging their special challenges.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393345445
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/13/2013
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 650,728
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Terri Apter is a writer, psychologist, and retired Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge. Her nine books include The Sister Knot and What Do You Want from Me? She lives in Cambridge, England.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Chapter 1 Difficult Mothers: Common Patterns 1

Chapter 2 The Science Behind a Mother's Power 23

Chapter 3 The Angry Mother 43

Chapter 4 The Controlling Mother 75

Chapter 5 The Narcissistic Mother 93

Chapter 6 The Envious Mother 115

Chapter 7 The Emotionally Unavailable Mother 133

Chapter 8 Am I a Difficult Mother? 161

Chapter 9 Resilience: Overcoming a Difficult Mother's Power 187

Notes 207

Bibliography 217

Acknowledgments 227

Index 229

What People are Saying About This

Carol Gilligan

The most intelligent and lucid account I’ve read of human psychology.

Customer Reviews