Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Dr. Susan Rodger


Mothering in the context of woman abuse was investigated using one-on-one interviews with mothers/survivors in response to a paucity of published research featuring women’s voices. Phenomenological and narrative methodologies guided data analysis, and Relational Cultural Theory (Jordan, 2001) was used as a framework. Three themes : emerged: Connection/Isolation, Mother-Child Relationship and Mothering. Participants reported feeling connected to or disconnected from their family, friends and sense of self; reflected on the authenticity and closeness (or lack thereof) that characterized their relationships with their children, along with some barriers impeding this relationship; and characterized their mothering as both enhanced and compromised. The results show that survivors of violence see themselves as effective mothers, in contrast to the deficits model of mothering advocated more generally in the helping professions (Lapierre, 2008). Implications for the counselling profession include creating more groups to foster social support and resisting the trend to pathologize mothering practices of survivors (mother blaming).



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