The Good Daughter Syndrome
Why you never feel good enough, can’t stand up to your difficult mother or set healthy boundaries without feeling guilty…and what to do about it
Are you fed up and at your wit’s end with your Mother?
Do you attempt to set a boundary with your difficult mother, but instead cave or back off at the first sign of pushback?
Are you stopped in your tracks by debilitating guilt you don’t fully understand?
Do you find yourself saying, “It’s just not worth it.” every time you try to confront your Mother’s behavior?
You know something is wrong with your relationship with your Mother, but feel powerless to escape the toxicity.
If yes, you may be playing the role of the Good Daughter.
So, how can you break away from your difficult mother?
Most people (including most therapists and every self-help book out there) will tell you to stand up to Mom, set healthy boundaries, and learn to say “no.”
Sounds good, right?
That’s excellent advice! …so why doesn’t it help?
Why can’t you make yourself do what you know you ‘should’ do?
Good Daughters make unconscious agreements (in childhood) that trap them into putting their mother’s needs ahead of their own.
I call these the Good Daughter traps.
Ironically, the Good Daughter strives to be “good” for mom, hoping one day Mom will give her the approval she craves and permission to break away and live her own life. Yet, in doing so, she sinks further and further into the quicksand of her mother’s dysfunction. She has been programmed to make up for Mom’s deficits no matter what it costs her.
If you identify as a Good Daughter, unless you escape these traps, you will remain buried alive underneath your mother’s needs.
You can’t see the traps.
But I can.
What’s more, I know what you are missing.
It isn’t that you lack willpower or intelligence. No, you are only obeying the evolutionary programming designed to keep you alive.
It’s hard, if not impossible, to break the agreements mother nature compelled you to make for your survival, impossible if you don’t know what they are.
Bound by these four agreements, daughters who are programmed to look good for Mom (and make sure Mom is good) are complicit in the very dynamic they are desperate to escape.
If you only knew that YOU have the power to change it.
But, unfortunately, no one has told you this.
But I will.
The first book of its kind, The Good Daughter Syndrome (Now available for preorder here.), reveals these hidden agreements and accompanying false core beliefs that trap daughters of difficult mothers into taking care of Mom and keep daughters from breaking free.
The Good Daughter Syndrome spells out the formula for breaking out of this dysfunctional disempowering dynamic.
You can now escape from the traps into sovereignty, wholeness, and freedom.
Praise For The Good Daughter Syndrome
“Fabrizio does effectively break down complicated family dynamics by sorting them into easy-to-understand categories. She also provides actionable suggestions, such as healing rituals, mind-body visualizations, and other exercises. Scripts for countering unsolicited advice, insults, and disagreements may give daughters more agency, while boundary-setting guidelines may help curb future violations.”
“Katherine Fabrizio’s book, The Good Daughter Syndrome, is a compassionate and comprehensive guide to keeping your sanity gracefully when living with a difficult mother. Her expertise in this field surpasses other books or materials and even counseling I have read or sought over the years in trying to gain insight and understanding. It is written in “user-friendly” language, soothing the aching heart. You can feel the empathy and help to come off the pages.“
The Good Daughter Syndrome is a thorough, conversational self-help book about avoiding the unconscious traps that mothers set up when they see their daughters as reflections of themselves.
Clarion Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Katherine Fabrizio’s book The Good Daughter Syndrome picks up where most books in the difficult mother genre leave off. Fabrizio goes beyond understanding the difficult mother and instead focuses on the daughter’s experience and how she can break free of this dysfunctional dynamic. This invaluable and necessary shift will set daughters free and affirm that they matter.
I really appreciate Katherine’s approach as she describes the impact of trauma on the brain. She clearly displays how the brain wires itself for survival in this dysfunctional relationship and shows how the daughter’s learned responses are not her fault.
I will recommend this book to many clients and colleagues.
Morgan Bennett, MA, LMFT, psychotherapist
In her wisdom and experience as a psychotherapist and mother, Katherine Fabrizio offers up an easily digestible manual for daughters seeking to understand and heal their mother wound.
The Good Daughter Syndrome is replete with real-life examples, self-reflective exercises, and useful scripts for daughters looking to break the unconscious agreements they make with a Difficult Mother. Ultimately, this book provides an easy-to-follow roadmap for daughters looking to transform their relationship with their mothers and, as a natural by-product, forge healthy relationships with significant others.
Stephanie Anderson Ladd, M.A., LMFT, LCMH psychotherapist
Katherine’s book is a must-read for sensitive women who ache for real-world wisdom to help them navigate the often-difficult mother-daughter terrain. Being sensitive myself, I consider up there The Good Daughter Syndrome with some of the wisest books I’ve ever read. It’s filled with the kinds of insight, knowledge, and gentle guidance that typically only unfold in one-on-one therapy. Thank you, Katherine, for a treasured gift I will be sharing with many of my friends. These days, who doesn’t need help deciphering the complicated feelings buried in our sensitive hearts?
Brynne Betz, M.A,, psychotherapist, writer, and creator of ‘Wednesday Wishes’ on brynnebetz.com
The Good Daughter Syndrome is easy to read, informative, and filled with examples and encouragement throughout that leaves you feeling empowered. Katherine walks you through each trap, how you got there, how your Mom got there, examples of how to address the traps, exercises to be present in the traps and to heal, and a steady stream of humor and understanding. I read this book in one sitting and highly recommend it!
Mary Lee Joines, M.S.W., psychotherapist