Articles and Essays


Outlined in my book Ready to Heal are four beliefs about love and sex that women inherit from Disney land culture (McDaniel, 2008, pp. 29-40). In chapter two, I explain how fantasy images of women create an “inescapable” impasse, a sexual double bind. When conflicting rules collide, and choice A or choice B is wrong, women will hide or rage. How have you hidden your beauty? Or used it for pseudo power? What choice did you have? Do you have different choices now?


Young neurological systems can’t develop without the gentle gaze of a loving adult. The infant brain requires programming from caregiver facial expressions to develop healthy neurons. So if your mother was depressed, often angry, always distracted, or couldn’t stay with you, your brain is accustomed to suffering. Suffering is normal—sending you strength to curate the support you need and deserve.


Identifying Mother Hunger® is the most challenging work some of us will do in this lifetime. My research and clinical work focuses on naming this painful first heartbreak so that we can find a pathway to heal. There are many psychological and cultural roadblocks that inhibit naming this terrible heartache, so we must be patient with ourselves as we navigate shame or a sense of betrayal as we climb out of the cycle of hopelessness or despair. 

We get lost

Sometimes, it’s easier to look away from our internal world. The pain there is too hot to touch, to know, or to feel. So we focus on externals, and if they aren’t going the way we like, we judge, we blame, or we might go numb. Essentially, we get lost. This is when we need a comforting, grounding “other” to help us return to ourselves. Who is this person for you?