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Father Emotional-Detachment: A Health Risk for Daughters

Karen Davis-Johnson, M.S.W.

Editor of the Journal of Father-Daughter Communications

When people engage in discourse about the impact early childhood trauma has on mental health development, rarely does the impact of poor fathering or father emotional-detachment, enter the conversation. As a psychotherapists, researcher, and educator it is my mission to encourage people to consider the impact of trauma of ALL types, as they engage in discussions about healthy development, and healthy living, for girls (and women).

Most people are surprised to learn, that the father-daughter relationship is a “core-relationship” for females. Their quality of their relationship is fundamentally critical, to healthy psychosocial development, for women, without it, psychological and emotional trauma occurs, which can lead to a plethora of negative health-related outcomes

Pre-adolescent girls who are raised without a consistent, emotionally healthy,  father-daughter relationships often:

  • Have eating disorders
  • Have poor body image
  • Have failing grades
  • Engagement in “boyfriend-girlfriend” activity as early as 7, 8, 9 years old, which generally results in a string of continuous mini heartbreaks that negatively impact, self-esteem development

………TRAUMA!

Teen girls who are raised without a consistent, emotionally healthy, father-daughter relationships often:

  • Have poor sense of self and self-esteem
  • Develop a poor body image
  • Are not academically motivated
  • Hyper-focus on acquiring male attention through appearance and emotionally/physically dangerous activities
  • Engage in promiscuous activities which can result in STI’s
  • Become teen parents
  • Have low standards, supported by the unconscious idea that she doesn’t deserve REAL love
  • Engage in substance misuse/abuse and
  • Have depression

…………TRAUMA!

Women who were raised without a consistent, emotionally healthy, father-daughter relationships often display:

  • Deep-seated rage and anger
  • Unsolicited, emotionally triggered dis-regulated/argumentative behavior,
  • Doormat behavior
  • Poor male-female communication skills
  • Inability to maintain healthy, long-term intimate relationships
  • Enmeshed relationships with their male sons
  • Father hunger and
  • Depression

………TRAUMA!

Research suggests, early childhood trauma of all types, are positively correlated with numerous undesirable, behavior and emotional outcomes in girls. When we educate fathers and mothers about what their daughters needs from their fathers as a parent, through highly intense Father-Daughter Relationship Education Workshops, programs, and supportive literature, we help decrease the number of fathers who love, but do not know how to effectively parent, daughters

Father-daughter relationship education also increases parenting skills for mothers who operate from neurologically programmed behaviors that do not support father-daughter connectivity. Through father-daughter relationship education, mothers better understand the influence and impact they have on father-daughter bonding. Consequently, we can increase the number of daughters who grow into strong, motivated, healthy women and mothers.

My diverse roles, provide me with exposure to fathers from various backgrounds, many who  report they would like to know what their daughters need and want from them as parents.  As an educator and workshop facilitator,  I humbly stand in the shoes of females of all ages; toddlers who are unable to tell them, teens who often are unwilling to tell them, and women who have, over time,  become unaware of their father’s value or his current influence on the woman she has become.

What We Know

The patterns we learn during childhood are neurologically programmed (embedded) in our brains subconscious. Development or modification of established behavioral patterns presents innate challenges, which are not adequately addressed through current educational programs, or simple behavior modification protocols, often used in traditional counseling or training modalities. Established behavior patterns actually become hard-wired into the neurological system. To rewire or change the behavior pattern requires the application of specific input that triggers neurological plasticity (change in the way the brain functions to environmental stimuli) and initiates the process of establishing new behavior patterns, or changing existing ones. While many educators are shifting their thinking and realizing that the vast majority of what is intended to be educational is not impacting the brain because of the lack of intensity-others lag behind.  With intensity, comes change!

I offer high-intensity, interactive, workshops that act as a tool to change neuro-networks and modify, or manage established patterns of reaction and behavior. The extent of these changes are, of course, based on the brain’s ability to associate or link pieces of information. My training workshops are specifically designed for males only (What A Daughter Wants), females only (Lasting Influences of the Father Effect-L. I. F. E.) , father-daughter dyads (Fathers and Daughters BOND).

Workshop Goals

  • bring into awareness, established patterns that do not support your parenting or relationship goals
  • target the specific behavior patterns to be managed
  • target change through use of highly developed educational content (visual aids)
  • establish an emotional connection with the participants to stimulate receptivity to the idea of change in the way you think and behave in relationships.
  • Increase communications skills and emotional intelligence

The overall picture

I offer is very intense, and designed to create an emotional connection, incorporating several discrete pieces/chunks of information, which can help facilitate change or help to manage behavior patterns.  The level of intensity varies among the father-daughter dyad setting, according to the ages of the daughters represented within the group.

My commitment is to help people uncover undesired patterns of behavior that do not support their goals as fathers, mothers, spouses, friends or coworkers and  to move toward developing the relationships, they desire and deserve.

 

 

 

 

Views: 746

Tags: African, American, Davis-Johnson, Karen, Psychotherapist, and, bond, communiction, daugher, daughter, More…daughters, dauther, davis, detachment, emotional, father, fatherhood, fathering, fathers, for, health, johnson, karen, msn, of, relationship, research, risks

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Comment by Ryan ~CEO of the BFHS Network on May 30, 2012 at 9:02am

Hot Today!  

Comment by Ryan ~CEO of the BFHS Network on July 27, 2011 at 1:10pm
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Comment by Ryan ~CEO of the BFHS Network on June 12, 2011 at 1:45am
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