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Introducing Deconstructing Mummy - Motherhood Psychology Groups


North London Mums has a really useful directory of local North London businesses and every week we will introduce you to one of the businesses who advertise with us. This week we want to tell you about Deconstructing Mummy, motherhood psychology workshops run by North London mum Marianna, who advertises in our Parental Support and Helping Hands section.
At first Deconstructing Mummy sounds like a strange name and we weren't sure what they actually do. Why do mums need to be “deconstructed” after all?  Marianna, the creator of the idea behind the groups tells me that “Deconstructing Mummy” refers to a simple need all the mums crave: the freedom to mother their children without having to play out the various myths associated with motherhood. 

Being a mum and a practising psychologist herself, Marianna soon identified that there is quite a bit of literature and courses on parenting but almost none in understanding the mother herself and how she feels about motherhood and the changes that happen to you after you have children. 

From the myth of the “radiant mum-to-be” to the lived experience of the dishevelled, anxious and guilt-ridden mum that is, women are left to their own devices to cope. The long NHS waiting lists to combat postnatal depression and the day-to-day demands of hands-on mothering that leave mums feeling inadequate at a time when they need to feel some form of control,make one realise that the Deconstructing Mummy groups makes sense despite their strange name! But how do the groups work? 

The groups meet for 8-12 sessions and are built for a maximum of 8 people. Marianna tells me that each session has a specific theme, designed to tackle those areas that mums-to-be (pregnancy) and new mums find difficult. 

A session is devoted to the “idealisation of motherhood” and through psychological exercises, mothers are encouraged to identify those personal traps that get in the way of authentic mothering. Another theme that does usually take up 2-3 sessions is the mother’s relationship to her mother and how this affects her mothering behaviour. Most women want to avoid making mistakes their mother did but somehow end up repeating them. The “transformation” of the body, the relationship to their partner, breastfeeding and sexuality are other ideas explored during the remaining sessions. The groups end by exploring the “changing self” and how a mother makes the transition from her “old known self” to the new one that encompasses a life changing motherhood aspect.

According to Marianna, “These groups are designed to encourage mothers to share and realise that they are not alone or “weird”. Strange feelings and thoughts, disillusionment and fear go hand in hand with the joys of motherhood. We all think that the mother down the street is better at it and that we just don’t get it. The truth is that each mother brings her own psychological history in the mix and this aspect needs to be understood rather than criticised” .

The aims of the group are to relieve mothers of some of the stresses they experience, educate them about their own self, help them network and support each other as well as prevent post natal depression, encouraging a healthier image of motherhood that is unique to the personality of each woman-mother. Humour as well as the informal atmosphere encouraged in the group make this 1.5 hours meeting each week a good “get away” excuse for mothers.
About Marianna
Marianna is a practising psychoanalytic psychotherapist and a mother herself. She has a strong clinical background and a special interest in motherhood and women’s issues. She created the Deconstructing Mummy groups and has facilitated them mainly in Athens Greece, recently bring them to London. She organised the Deconstructing Mummy event in May 2011 which started as an exhibition of the works produced during the groups but soon became bigger including workshops, talks and events on motherhood.

The next groups will start on Tuesday the 23rd October and every Tuesday evening 7.15-9 pm at the Quaker Friends Meeting House 58 Alexandra Grove, N12 8HG. It lasts for 8 weeks. Full details here - http://deconstructing-mummy.blogspot.co.uk/p/motherhood-psychology-groups.html .

Marianna is also doing two free talks with the next two being on the 8/10 and 12/10 info here .

If you'd like to know more about Deconstructing Mummy and find out about upcoming classes near you, see their website here - www.deconstructing-mummy.blogspot.co.uk or facebook group here -  https://www.facebook.com/Deconstructing.Mummy or follow them on twitter @decmummy. 

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