Healing the Mother Wound: A 40-Day Course for Daughters

The next round of Healing the Mother Wound will begin in Spring 2023. This course fills to capacity, so if you would like to be in the first group to be notified when registration is open, fill in your information below. 

Do you struggle with not feeling good enough and a deep, abiding sense of shame?

 

Do you long for a female figure to nourish you, take care of you, and accept you unconditionally?

 

Do you feel enmeshed with your mother, struggling to know where she ends and you begin?

 

Growing up, were you a parentified child, and now do you feel like you’re the adult and your mother is the child at times?

 

Are you afraid that if you say no to your mother, express a difference of opinion, or set a boundary with her that she’ll reject you, punish you, or abandon you?

 

Do you struggle with self-trust?

 

Do you feel like you have to be a good girl and good daughter, and that even perfect isn’t good enough?

 

If so, you may be suffering from a mother wound. 

Over the years of working with women all around the world, I’ve noticed a common source of pain and wounding around their relationship with their mother.

For some women, this shows up as the feeling of being enmeshed: not knowing where your mother ends and you begin.

For other women, it shows up for as a fear of abandonment, especially if you express a difference of opinion or try to establish boundaries and separateness.

For most women, it shows up as a combination of both.

And for all women it leads to a disruption in self-trust and a deep, abiding sense of shame – the feeling of not being good enough – not beautiful enough, not smart enough, not successful enough, not worthy of love and belonging.

 

What exactly is a mother wound?

A mother wound is a rupture of attunement where a mother, due to her own unmet needs, lack of fulfillment/sense of self, and/or narcissistic and judgmental tendencies is unable to meet the emotional needs of her child. The mother’s expectations and needs become paramount and the daughter learns to orient around those needs.

 

This isn’t about hating mothers or blaming for mothers for all our pain. The bottom line is that our parents will always fail us in some way; it’s the nature of being human. Just like there’s no such thing as a perfect partner or friend, there’s also no such thing as a perfect parent.

Many daughters are afraid to name and see the wound clearly because they’re afraid that they’re betraying their mother and are bound by an unwritten loyalty contract.

But we must name and see our wounds clearly so that we can heal them. And healing the mother wound is one of the most empowering and liberating journeys we can take for when we name the wound and allow our mothers to be fallible and human we can examine the old contracts, write new ones, and set ourselves on a trajectory that allows us to chart our own path, regrow self-trust, step into intrinsic worthiness and the fullness of our light, and receive nourishment from other sources of mothering.

 

In this 40-day course, I offer a roadmap for healing this wound. It’s a personal course and a collective course, for when we heal the mother wound we do so not only for ourselves, but also for the generations that come after us and before us.

 

It’s also collective in the sense that when you gather with a group of women from around the world and learn that your pain and struggles are not unique, several layers of shame fall away. We heal best in community.

I’m so excited to offering this roadmap to you. Like all of my courses, this one has been gestating inside of me for many years. And now it’s ready to be birthed.

 

Are you ready to heal from your mother wound? If so, take my hand and the hands of many other women as we sit in a circle in a sacred grove together and spiral into several layers of healing. I look forward to seeing you there.

The May 2022 round of this course is now full and registration is closed. I’ll be running it again in 2023, and I’ll look forward to meeting you there.

Responses From Past Participants

"With this course I found the path towards courage to transform how I relate to my own mother. A month after the course ended I can say that our relationship feels lighter to me and I have ways to work with feelings of anger and guilt. I have regained the hope and confidence that my mother and I heal our relationship from the inside out."

I have long had an inkling that my personal evolution lives in the age-old saying “ when the student is ready, the teacher will appear” . Upon discovering and experiencing Sheryl’s gifts and her most profound work, I can confirm that this is true. And what a teacher (spiritual midwife/mother/friend/guide/sister) Sheryl is! Every course of hers has come at an ideal time when a piece of my inner world was ripe and ready for the wisdom, space, expansion and ultimately return to my essence that these courses impart and facilitate.

The Healing The Mother Wound course came down from the heavens at a time when I was at a true loss of how to relate to my mother in a more healthy manner. My inner relationship to her was pained, enraged, helpless, fraught and frozen in inertia. This course helped me gently enter this fragile landscape, with great care and guidance. Each of the 40 emails, every video, all of the MP3s, the beautiful group calls and the consciously led forum in community with other daughters gifted me an opportunity. Many opportunities in fact to starkly look at my past, hold the pain, behold the beauty, realize I have always been mothered and guided by forces greater than the mother who gave birth to me.

What I also valued highly was Sheryl’s approach of aiding me in seeing my mother’s limitations, their effects on my life but all without entering the blame and shame game. Her ability to return to our common denominator of being human and working towards compassion towards ourselves and hence others is such a great and essential skill. Using metaphor, historical examples and teachings from realms I was unacquainted with, Sheryl also opened new worlds to me that contribute to this healing. Her ability to teach us to hold the past with care, breathe into the present with love and inch towards the future with hope is a rare gift. A juggling act of supreme uniqueness, made accessible in Sheryl’s teachings.

With this course I found comfort and new tools to mother myself while healing deep, wild and untended wounds. I am learning to accept mothering from other sources. Most importantly for me I found the path towards courage to transform how I relate to my own mother. A month after the course ended I can say that our relationship feels lighter to me and I have ways to work with feelings of anger and guilt. I have regained the hope and confidence that my mother and I heal our relationship from the inside out. Most importantly, I have been able to assess how I was mothered while consciously deciding how I want to mother myself and in turn mother my own children.

A deepest and most grateful thank you, Sheryl, for creating this course, pouring countless hours into it and, once again, giving us the gift of love, compassion, understanding and hope.

– Regina, Frankfurt, Germany

"I've been wanting to write to you to tell you that Healing the Mother Wound has been my favorite course that I have taken from you."
I’ve been wanting to write to you to tell you that Healing the Mother Wound has been my favorite course that I have taken from you.
 
It was so beautiful to know that we were all daughters with a similar wound. It felt very connecting. 
 
My favorite part was the forum. I absolutely loved that in the forum you or Ashley took the time to respond to everyone’s post. It was so personal, nurturing, powerful. It was such a gift to open my heart on the forum and always know that you or Ashley would respond, that you read it and saw my inner world, my pain, my longings, and you received it. That was really great.
 
The course felt smaller, more intimate than other courses. I loved that about it.
 
The material was really helpful too. I especially liked the part about shame (not that I LIKED writing about it but it was helpful to understand that’s a common byproduct of the mother wound). Another part that stuck with me is how there are mothers everywhere and how we can take the time to breathe into these wounds and offer compassion to the little girl inside that grieves. 
 
So thank you for offering this course. I think it will be a gift to so many.
 
– Kristina, Austin, TX
"I loved this course!"

I loved this course! The part I connected to the most is my great mother. I have been so busy with life/mom life, and have felt disconnected from her. You really helped me stop and listen to the music of Mother Nature. To connect again. I have been taking these walks at my work in the mornings (plant nursery) now ritually. I have been graced with a Great horned owl (visited for 2 weeks), hawks, hawk taunting a blue heron are a few of the gifts of my great mother – nature.

Some other things I loved about this course was the support on the forum. I didn’t write, however, I read through a lot of it. The support is inspiring! The support came from so many angles, which I love. You, Ashley, other forum members. My small group still meets from the recent Break Through Anxiety course and 3 of the 5 of us took the Healing the Mother Wound course. This also felt comforting and beyond blessed to have such amazing support.

Thank you for all you do, Sheryl!

– Elizabeth Sperry, Palm  Beach, FL

"It’s been such a wonderful safe container for letting go and listening in to the feelings of grief, loss and abandonment that can be held inside for far too long without a place to go or release into. "
As the course with you and our current group comes to a close I just wanted to write and thank you.
 
I’m so glad to have taken this journey with you and feel blessed by many aspects of the course that have supported my current self care practices and understanding of the Great Mother. 
 
It’s been such a wonderful safe container for letting go and listening in to the feelings of grief, loss and abandonment that can be held inside for far too long without a place to go or release into. 
 
The joy and calm of acceptance and understanding brings hope of change. 
Transformation requires letting go and most of all trust in ones self and nature which we are not separate from.
 Life winds it’s way, as connection and truth shed light into our world. 
 
I am excited to see how things unfold in my creative life and will continue my self care with greater trust and depth.
 
Sending much love to you,
 
– Jan, Australia
"You remain one of my greatest teachers and I am so grateful."
I want to thank you for the Mother Wound course. I’m sure the work I’ve done in the course will work in me for a long time. I wanted to take a minute though and tell you what has stuck with me so far is the idea of reciprocity you introduced at the end. This concept wasn’t new to me but the way you shared it has left an imprint. I am also taking things in more slowly and making greater efforts to discover the roots of my triggers and re-mother myself through them. You remain one of my greatest teachers and I am so grateful. Thank you.
 
– Nikki, E, California
"I did this course right before a trip I had planned to visit my mother. I stayed with her for two weeks."

“I did this course right before a trip I had planned to visit my mother. I stayed with her for two weeks. I could notice and appreciate the things that she did that were nurturing. I also noticed the things that were not nurturing. I saw her more as a person with good and bad qualities and that was okay.

“It was a great trip then halfway through she did something that upset me and I was able to support myself through those feelings. I asked the tree for support in the moment. Later, I journaled. I shook the angry energy from my body and showered. I was able to mother myself in the moment. Now that I have the imaginal mother to hold all the archetypal mother qualities for me I don’t need to expect it from her and be disappointed. 

“The course was filled to the brim with helpful information and tools. I could probably take a year working through that course with the amount of content in it and how big the topics of each email were. I liked that numbers-wise it was small and intimate.  

“THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THAT YOU DO!”

– Morgan, Los Angeles, CA

Frequently Asked Questions

My mother is no longer in my life, either because of estrangement or because she’s deceased. Is this course still applicable?
The course is applicable to anyone struggling with a mother wound regardless of levels of contact. So if your sense is that the pain around your mother-loss and the ruptured relationship still looms large and affects your well-being and your other relationships, I encourage you to take the course.
I’ve done a lot of work around this wound through therapy and other places. Should I still take the course?
As I often say in my work, we heal in layers and spirals. If your sense is that there are still more layers that need attention, the course will help you gently spiral into those unhealed places.
I don’t live in the U.S. Will I still be able to access the group calls?
Yes, we either use a bridge line, which has local access numbers, or we meet over Zoom.
I have more of a distant relationship with my mother than an enmeshed one. Could the course still be helpful?

Yes. While many daughters grew up enmeshed with their mothers, many other daughters grew up feeling pushed to the side, neglected and ignored. In either case, there’s a rupture of attunement where the daughter’s needs aren’t acknowledged and tended to, and this is how a mother wound is formed. If you look closely enough, there’s often a fear of engulfment and abandonment in both types of relationships.

Is the content geared toward repairing my relationship with my mother, who I know is toxic?

No, the content is NOT geared toward repairing a relationship with a toxic mother. The course is about healing the mother wound, which for some daughters means staying in relationship with their mother and for others means severing ties. I acknowledge throughout the course that if your mother is abusive in any way and on the far end of the Borderline/Narcissistic spectrum, it’s probably not loving for anyone to continue the relationship. However, some daughters with Borderline/Narcissistic mothers do find healthy ways to remain in relationship with their mother. As always, there are no formulas; there’s only what’s most loving for you. 

55 Comments

  1. If mother didn’t care for me and chose her bf over me & my siblings her whole life and even left me to spend my birthdays alone, weeks at a time left me, threw me out early to move in with her bf & now I seek to find others to mother me because I felt unloved my whole life is this course for me to break the conditioning to do it for myself to mother myself?

    Reply
  2. I can’t take the course this round because we are traveling and moving, but I hope you’ll offer it again in the future because it looks amazing. 🙂 I’d love to be added to a future list, if there is one!

    Reply
    • As long as you’re on my mailing list you’ll be informed of future live rounds. 😊

      Reply
      • After having my own daughter, I’ve been thrown into a dark night of the soul where I’m having to reckon with the high possibility that I am a lesbian. It’s something I’ve obsessed over for years & when I’m honest with myself, it seems more likely than not.

        However, I am trying everything I can to know as certainly as I can. I don’t want to leave a good man if I don’t have to. I don’t want my daughter to have divorced parents if she doesn’t have to.

        When I looked into her eyes, it pulled a lot of pain to the forefront that I have been ignoring re: my father’s alcoholism/emotional unavailability, & my mother not “rescuing” me, for lack of a better word. I didn’t realize how much my parents have truly damaged me until I became a parent myself.

        I’ve never particularly felt like my mother would reject me, but I have a lot of anger towards her & my father. I also feel like we might’ve been too close when I was a child (seeing her naked, using the bathroom, etc ), along with some other issues/probably some enmeshment. I wonder if my relationship with my parents is informing my gender & sexuality related questions. I’m wondering if this course would be good for me to take?

        Reply
        • Ashley: Yes, based on what you’ve shared the course could help enormously. I’m not sure how familiar you are with my work but I’ve written frequently about sexual orientation anxiety (what’s called SO-OCD in the mainstream literature) and how it often rears its heard during times of transitions. If you enter “what if I’m gay” in the search bar you’ll find one of my posts on the topic. I also suggest reading my book The Wisdom of Anxiety to learn more about how I work with intrusive thoughts.

          Reply
  3. Hi sheryl

    My mum is currently in the end of life phase of alzeimers and it brings me such pain. Would this be the right time to embark on such a course or will I be too raw.

    Reply
    • Mother loss is different from a mother wound. You may have both, but it sounds like you’re actively in mother loss and it may not be the right time to delve into the mother wound. Sending you much love as you navigate this very painful time.

      Reply
  4. Hi Sheryl
    I have my own mother would d but also a dysfunctional relationship with my own daughter aged 23. Will this course help heal that relationship too please?

    Reply
    • Yes, it will help in both directions. The more you heal your own wounding, the more effectively you’re going to be able to show up for your daughter. Of course, I always also recommend individual therapy to address the specifics of your situation.

      Reply
      • I recently had my baby daughter, and have a question in that direction, too.

        I am so afraid that she is (even subconsciously) trying to please me or fulfill my expectations, as she notices my strong feelings around topics, for example where I am sad to let go or particularly happy about some behaviour etc.
        Because I think this must have been me, adjusting my actions not to make my mother sad or disappointed or angry.

        Is this something the course might help with or is it too long a shot?
        I’ve worked with you in another course before and have followed your work for years, but this course feels like it might be exactly the right one for me..

        Reply
        • Yes, Anna, this is exactly what the course will address. I hope to see you there.

          Reply
          • I just wanted to book and saw that the course is full. In case any one drops out, is there a possibility for a waiting list? I’m sorry I’m too late.

            Reply
  5. I have blocked out most of my childhood memories. Could this course benefit me?

    Reply
    • If you have a sense that the blocked memories are connected to a mother wound, which is quite likely as blocked memories are often a result of emotional disconnect, then yes.

      Reply
      • Sheryl,

        I am newly pregnant. Is this the right time for this course for me? I definitely can use help growing my wise and loving inner mother.

        Reply
        • Yes, it’s a wonderful time to heal the mother wound and grow your inner mother.

          Reply
      • I have definitely been struggling with a mother wound. The. relationship with my mother was mostly distant. She just died last month and I have been in The Netherlands for the last months to spend time with her, help out, sell the house etc. I will be going back home to Australia next month. I am worried about feeling lost there suddenly without extended family again and with no sense of career direction at this point (i can so relate to that) , being perimenopausal and suddenly having independent kids. Worried about dealing with so many losses anns feeling lost. So much going on . I wonder whether this would be the right time for this course or whether it is important to deal with my grief first.

        Reply
        • I’m so sorry for your loss, and as the course focuses quite a bit on the grieving process taking it could be a very nurturing way for you to process your grief at this time.

          Reply
  6. If we have done a lot of work on our own mother wounds, however are looking at conceiving at some point – is this a valuable course? To heal to become a mother?

    Reply
      • Does this course help with severe OCD and distorted thoughts?

        Reply
        • That’s not the focus of this course. I recommend starting with my book The Wisdom of Anxiety.

          Reply
  7. Hello Sheryl Paul. Is this for me if I went through a breakup w my ex partner who I realize I made responsible for “mothering” me? Now the relationship is over, it is crippling bc a lot of the childhood wounds have come up around rejection. Will this course help me heal the self sabatoging behaviors that ultimately led to the end of the relationship and take steps to learn to heal those behaviors? Thanks I’m advance!

    Reply
    • I would recommend taking one of my other courses first – Trust Yourself or the 9-month course – and also start personal therapy if you haven’t already.

      Reply
      • Hi Sheryl,

        I took Trust Yourself already and I already signed up for this course. Should I request a refund or can it still be beneficial for me?

        Reply
        • I’m also in therapy, been in it for years now. Different modalities. EMDR again now, EFT, TRE and AIT. A lot of work around the trauma and symptoms.

          Reply
          • Given that you’ve been in therapy and have already taken Trust Yourself I think you’ll benefit from this course. Looking forward to seeing you there.

            Reply
  8. I just signed up for the course. I have two young daughters and
    As I have become more aware of the details of the generational Mother’s wound in my family, I am committed to changing it. I also think this course would be great for my mother who at 73 years of age has a very deep and strong mother wound. I am thinking about recommending this course to my mother. My question is, would that be a bad idea because she would be able to see my posts or comments, which she may find hurtful and may not be healing for either of us. Thank you

    Reply
    • An excellent question. I don’t think it would be a bad idea at all. If you’re concerned about privacy on the forum, I recommend choosing an anonymous screenname. My assistant, Kathryn, can help you with that. The Zoom calls would be trickier, but you could always sign on with a different name and keep your video off.

      Reply
  9. Is it not possible for men/sons to suffer this wound as well?

    Reply
  10. Hi Sheryl, Please add me to your mailing list. I’d like to participate in this course in the future.

    Reply
    • As long as you’re on my mailing list, which I can see that you are, you’ll receive the announcement when the next live round opens.

      Reply
  11. I’m pretty certain my mother is a narcissist as she only listens to respond and minimizes the feelings and experiences that Myself and my daughter share with her. My parents are still together and our family is close so it’s difficult to fully detach. I just need guidance on how to heal my mother wound while maintains healthy boundaries. I don’t want to miss the next available course. Thank You

    Reply
    • We’ll be adding an early bird registration email form soon. Once you sign up you’ll be in the first group to be notified when registration is open.

      Reply
  12. Hi there, what date does this next round commence on? Thank you.

    Reply
  13. Oh Sheryl!

    This is so beautiful and your video is so beautiful too! What a gift to the world that you are offering this course!

    Reply
  14. Hi Sheryl,

    I recently spoke to my mother for the 1st time in two years, only to end the call saying to her that, while I love her, it’s not healthy for my self-esteem to have a relationship with her, so that would be the last time she hears from me (she admittedly chooses belief(s) that are anti-gay and does not want/need to change.)

    Can this course be taken by men/sons? If not, do you offer once specifically to men/sons?

    Thanks,

    Reply
    • That sounds like a very painful situation with your mother; I’m so sorry. This course is only for those who identify as daughters.

      Reply
  15. So, I’m in my second relationship with a very loving boy. The first relationship I broke off because from the start of commitment, I felt nothing. This second relationship, the same is happening and I feel very much anxiety. I have felt anxiety during the whole relationship. I’m currently doing the Break free course. since a few months, I am having an enormous gay spike. I doubt whether the reason of me not being able to truly connect and feel attracted to men is me being gay. Also, II want to find out why all of this is happening to me and try and do my work. I may have a mother wound, maybe. In the past, when I was a child, I did not have a very good connection with my mother. My mother is very critical, and she criticized me a lot. Also, she did not hug me or say I love me (she showed her love through her deeds). Can it be that a mother wound is contributing to my RA, and might it be helpful to do the course? I might also be struggling with connection to my feminine side. I want to make the relationship with this boy work, because he is loving, but I don’t want to be in denial. Maybe healing the mother wound (if there is one) will take away the spike? And open me for love? Is the course helpful for me?

    Reply
    • There is often a direct correlation between a mother wound, relationship anxiety, and the gay spike, and as such the course could benefit you enormously. I would caution you, however, to take the course with the intention of healing the mother wound as opposed to the intention of “taking away the spike.” If you are ready to address your mother wound, please join us, but if you’re still working with how to meet a spike effectively I would encourage you to stick with the course you have for now.

      Reply
      • Well, thank you very much!

        I haven’t yet worked through the whole course BFFRA, so maybe it’s better to focus on that first?
        The gay spike is enormous and feels very real, so that’s why I would grab every opportunity to learn more about where these feelings originate from.

        When will another round of Healing the Mother Wound start?

        Reply
        • The next live round will start next spring (a year from now).

          Reply
  16. How often is this course offered? Thank you!

    Reply
  17. Hello Sheryl,

    How often/frequent are the zoom calls? Is it mandatory to attend? My schedule is a bit bonkers right now, but I don’t want to wait a year to take this course 🙂

    Also, my mother is no longer alive but I feel like I have passed my mother wound onto my teenage daughters. Will your course help address that and help me make reparations?

    Reply
    • Hi Jennifer: There will be three calls, and they’ll all be recorded so if you can’t make the live calls (many people can’t) you’ll still benefit by listening to the recording afterward, and you can still receive support and ask questions on the highly moderated forum.

      To your second question: Yes, there are many women on the course who have lost their mothers, and the healing work can still be done both retroactively and in service of healing your relationship with your daughters.

      Reply
  18. Hi Sheryl,

    Thank you (and Victoria) so much for doing this podcast, I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it very interesting!

    I have a quick question that others may relate to (?) If you have the time. There are wounds I beleive I have from my Mother, and I can remember some situations from childhood relating to these, however I have a pretty bad memory in general 😅 and I really struggle to think back to these times. I feel that as a child (like many people im sure) I didn’t think anything was “wrong/off”, I just thought “this was life” at the time.

    Anyway, my question is – when I struggle to think back to these times, but believe there really is some healing around the Mother wound that needs to be done – is it enough to focus on and let in the “feeling” around what i believe to be the wound (a heavy sense of sadness comes to mind, as well as anger and confusion) even though I can’t bring forth as many memories/situations I would like to work through? To add on this, I also feel shame as “what if” I had infinite more positive interactions with my Mum than I thought, but I just can’t recall them. (Typing this out, I’m sure the answer lies in self-trust)

    Also, a side note. I found your work about 4 years ago via my relationship anxiety. My Wife and I just celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary, and welcomed our 2nd son into the world, who is also named Asher 🙂

    Thanks Sheryl,
    Adam

    Reply
    • Another Asher! How wonderful 🥰.

      Healing doesn’t require that you have specific memories, only that you’re able to feel into the emotional layers, which you clearly can. You’re on the right track :).

      Reply

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