Abuse, Trauma & Unmothered children


Complex Trauma & Difficult Early Attachment
Are different words for the above. Trauma comes under many guises and often goes alongside growing up with a difficult or disrupted early attachment to the parent/caregiver, meaning there were significant times in childhood when you were not seen, heard or acknowledged and you had difficult later life experiences too. I like the term unmothered children to describe this early disruption. Together they result in complex trauma that comes from a variety of sources.

Which might result in you experiencing some of the following.

  • Stress & Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Anger/Rage
  • Addictions
  • Domestic Violence
  • Childhood Abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • PTSD
  • Obsessions
  • Difficulties in Relationships- work or home
  • Self Harm
  • Dissociation
  • Bullying
  • Trust Issues


Unmothered children is an emotive phrase. I first heard it via Dr. Clarisa Pinkola-Estes in her famous audio book called Warming the Stone Child.


On Warming the Stone Child, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés leads us past the gates of the conscious mind (where real time healing happens) to discover the unmothered child within. Along the way, this gifted storyteller and Jungian psychoanalyst instructs us about the psychology of abandonment in childhood, how it affects us in later life, and its curiously special gifts and powers. Drawing from many world cultures, Dr. Estés has gathered a collection of deep myths, fables, and fairy tales with the adult listener in mind. Her storytelling creates a compelling picture of the orphan figure through the ages, while helping us understand the meaning of preadolescent abandonment in our own lives. Spiced with wonderful storytelling, Warming The Stone Child is a unique listening experience with a practical edge. Highlights: Inuit fable of the Stone Child; symptoms of the adult “abandoned child”; the story of the Little Red Cap; English tale of the Stolen Woman Moon; the four types of abandonment; re-creating the inner mother, and much more.

As different people we each have a unique experience of growing up. Unmothered children is a term I understand as growing up in a family where we did not have all of our needs met. There were significant times where we were not seen, heard or acknowledged and we had to adapt our true self to fit in. This unmothering is also known as developmental trauma or disrupted early  attachment. It often goes alongside childhood sexual abuse though not always. All of my training and practices give me the understanding, experience and tools to enable me to access the gates of the conscious mind and travel within. Beginning to unravel and make sense of past experiences and current symptoms.

I have a special interest in working with clients who have experienced trauma, abuse and neglect as unmothered children.  As you are reading this now and have connected with the words/term, you may recognise  this as a part of yourself?  Perhaps its time to begin to explore that? I am happy to discuss this with you and explore it further.

There are many reasons why this happens including growing up with domestic violence, parents using substances, alcohol, drugs, being part of large family, step family or lone parent family or living with a parent who has longstanding mental health issues such as depression/ anxiety. For whatever reason our parents- mothers, fathers/ primary care giver, were not able to be present and engaged to enable the baby, child, young person to be truly seen, heard or acknowledged. So although living with your current symptoms, ways of being and attachment patterns if difficult. Coming to therapy you now have the opportunity to begin to clear and heal these patterns of old, helping at the same time to heal and clear the generation trauma that it is.

Counselling & Psychotherapy and/or energy healing can help you begin to unravel your story and history.

Empathic attunement to the therapist will assist you in your exploration as you will be being truly seen and heard in an empathic therapeutic safe space. This will enable you to validate and resonate with those parts of yourself that are causing you angst.  “Reconnecting with that bright spark at your centre”, as Dr. Estes says.  Helping you to reconnect and join up your shattered/fragmented self.

Trauma, abuse and unmothered children

Both these innovative practitioners seem to be saying the same thing here, we are finding ways to connect with our core self or our bright spark at the centre, though delving deep underneath our conscious awareness into our primitive brain structures, where the sensation relating to the original wound is held, then working with that in a safe contained therapeutic space to allow for its remembering, recognition and release.

I am finding in my practice now that all of my training and therapies on offer combine well and join up to enable you to experience a deeper healing and help find a true re connection to that bright spark at your centre. Your true self uncovered.


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