Shrink Rap: Being a Super Mom

Shrink Rap: Being a Super Mom

[click “Play” to hear Dr. Hokemeyer’s discussion with Susan]


By Dr. Paul Hokemeyer

Dr. Paul Hokemeyer Dr. Hokemeyer is a nationally recognized expert on Eastern philosophies, relationships, and emotional healing. A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, he holds a PhD in psychology, as well as a doctorate in the law. A part-time Telluride resident, Dr. Hokemeyer is based in the New York City office of the Caron Treatment Centers. He is also a weekly contributor to “The Dr. Oz Show,” CNN’s “Headline News,” and other media outlets, including “Good Morning America,” “truTV,” and “Oprah Radio.” His new column, Shrink Rap, is scheduled to appear at least bi-monthly on Thursdays on Telluride Inside… and Out.

From the bra-burning days of the early feminists, what’s really changed? Is life out from under a pile of laundry or flour all that women imagined it would be? Is being a 21st-century mom a whole lot better than life as Mrs. Cleaver? From my vantage point as a family therapist, maybe not so much

The pressure surrounding motherhood in the 21st century is extraordinary. Everywhere we turn there’s an expert (yes, including me) telling moms how to do it “right” and “better,” on subjects ranging from which schools make a difference to extracurricular activities necessary on a resume to get in to the”best” schools. And while this wealth of information may have real value, it also sets an impossible standard. So impossible, modern-day moms resort to destructive coping mechanisms, the most common of which is drug and alcohol abuse.

One of the most tragic examples of this insidious form of cancer is the case of Diane Schuler. Described as a “super mom” by her family and friends, Diane will be forever remembered as the mother who drove herself and her family’s children and three other men to their untimely death. While we will never know exactly what motivated Diane to become so intoxicated on that fatal date, we can be proactive in recognizing the cancerous signs of substance abuse and finding healthier ways for mothers to cope.

Although we’ve made great strides in the field of addiction in de-stigmatizing substance abuse, the perception remains that people who abuse substances live substandard lives. In my experience working as a marriage and family therapist with high functioning and successful families at the Caron Treatment Centers in Manhattan, I’ve found nothing could be further from the truth.

Want to know more, listen to my interview with Telluride Inside… and Out’s Susan Viebrock.

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