Home » Author Interviews » Author Interview: Kathryn Rudlin and Ghost Mothers

Author Interview: Kathryn Rudlin and Ghost Mothers


Kathryn Rudlin, LCSW has credentials as both a mental health professional, and a professional writer. Since 1988, she has worked in California as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), having completed her Masters Degree in Social Work at The University of Denver, a Bachelors Degree in Psychology at The American University, Washington DC, post-graduate courses in family therapy, and clinical supervision, and being personally trained by Dr. Karyl McBride in her recovery model for daughters of narcissistic mothers.

She has worked at every level of therapeutic treatment to include foster care, alternative schools, residential treatment, wilderness therapy, and psychiatric hospitalization. Currently, she is a therapist in private practice in San Diego, specializing in counseling and education for daughters with mothering issues, in addition to providing training on this topic to mental health professionals.

Kathryn is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Endometriosis Association, and the Unity Center of San Diego. As a professional writer she has published articles in the NASW California newsletter, San Diego Woman Magazine, and is a widely read contributing writer for About.com/A New York Times Company, on the topic of troubled teens. In addition, as has written a workbook on effective group therapy with adolescents, created bi-lingual learning materials for children, and was co-owner of Clinical Inspiration, a company that developed continuing education materials for mental health professionals. Recently she edited Dr. Carolle Jean-Murat’s award winning book, Voodoo in My Blood: A Healer’s Journey From Surgeon to Shaman.

Learn more about Kathryn’s book and practice: http://ghostmothers.com

Find Kathryn!





Welcome to Between the Covers! Why was writing Ghost Mothers: Healing From the Pain of a Mother Who Wasn’t Really There, so important to you?

Having traveled this difficult journey, and then being so fortunate to find ways to thrive from this experience, I wanted to share all that I’ve learned to help bring this problem out of the shadows, to illuminate how much there is to be gained in actively facing and healing from this pain.

What was the experience like writing Ghost Mothers?

At times it was wonderful and the words just flowed from me onto the page. Other times I couldn’t seem to write one sentence that flowed the way I wanted it to. I just kept at it and eventually it all came together.

How did you come up with the title?

I initially had no idea what to call the book I intended to write. One night I had a dream in which I was chasing a woman who had something I desperately wanted, then I caught up to her and she disappeared into an explosion of silky mist. When I woke up, the term ‘ghost mothers’ was resonating in my head and I knew that I’d found my title.

Can you tell us more about your main character (use yourself if non-fiction)?

I don’t know if I see myself as the ‘main character’ but I suppose so since this book is told primarily from my perspective. Writing ghost mothers is my effort to bring a story out of the shadows that is rarely told – not to blame mothers who are unable to emotionally connect but to offer hope and healing to the daughters who initially suffer so much from growing up this way.

What are her strengths and what are her weaknesses?

Strengths: Determined, optimistic, creative.
Weaknesses: Stubborn, a perfectionist.

Are there any supporting characters we need to know about?

Yes, the women who bravely contributed their own deeply personal stories to this book, with the intention of shedding additional light on the reality of growing up with a ghost mother.

Can you open to page 25 and tell us what’s happening?

This is the last page of Chapter 1, in which I share my story of growing up with a ghost mother.

What about page 65?

This page is in chapter 3, which explores ghost mothers who are so self-absorbed that they are narcissistic. This particular page describes the emotional impact of growing up with a mother who is far more focused on herself than the children she is supposed to be raising.

Now that Ghost Mothers has been published, what is your next project?

I’m currently creating a companion WORKBOOK that provides a supportive step-by-step process to successfully work through the 6 Ghost-Busting strategies presented in my book.

Do you have anything else you’d like to tell our readers?

If the idea of reading this book is scary to you, read the last chapter first!


ARE YOU HAUNTED by your past, unable to be the person you long to be?

The core cause of your emotional, physical or spiritual problems may be unresolved issues from being raised by a GHOST MOTHER.

Ghost mothers are unable to connect emotionally. You needed so much from her, and got so little. Now this reality keeps you from becoming the empowered woman you want to be. Illuminating the ghost-issues that keep you stuck will immediately help you to move beyond the pain of your past.

Based on the author’s healing journey, and the haunting stories of other ghost daughters, this book explores the impact of an illusive past, and provides healing strategies for embracing a visible life.

LEARN the 6 proven ghost-busting strategies to create a life in which you are no longer haunted by the pain of being raised by a ghost mother.

RECOGNIZE: the reality of your past and what your ghost mother couldn’t provide. RELEASE: the pain that creates negative emotions, and damages your spirit.
REFOCUS: on a strong identity that allows you to get your needs met.
RESTORE: your confidence, inner strength, and self-knowledge.
RENOVATE: your perception of yourself in powerful ways.
REWRITE: a new life-script using the hidden gifts of being raised by a ghost.

You will have no choice, if you are willing, than to create the kind of powerful life you want. I am very proud of how Kathryn decided to take her painful experiences and turn them into a positive opportunity to help others heal. This book combines her challenging experience, and all that she has learned from counseling others in a compelling and very personal way, to show how to reduce the amount of time spent suffering from similar issues, how to take steps to heal at all levels, and how to take responsibility for moving forward.

–Dr. Carolle Jean-Murat, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., author of Voodoo in My Blood: A Healer’s Journey From Surgeon to Shaman


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