Big White Wall
020 3741 8080
An anonymous 24.7 service where you can discuss troubles and anxieties with others.  It is supported by trained professionals. 16 + 

Childline | online chat | message boards
Freephone 0800 1111 (24 hours)
Respected helpline for children and young people that provides a confidential telephone counselling service for children with problems.  

Freephone 0800 77 66 00 24 hour service. 
Confidential information and advice for those worried about their own or others’ drug or solvent misuse.   Free from landline.  The call won’t appear on phone bill. 

Get Connected
Freephone 0808 808 4994 7 days a week 1pm-11pm
confidential telephone and email helpline for young people with a problem. 

helpline 0800 1111
A national charity that works to help support children suffering from abuse.

A national charity helping to prevent young people committing suicide.  Contactthrough HOPELineUK 0800 068 4141Weekdays: 10am-10pm, weekends and bank holidays: 2pm-5pm. A specialist telephone service staffed by trained professionals who give non-judgmental support, practical advice and information to anyone up to 35 or those concerned about a young person.

Tel: 116 123  24.7
Samaritans’ volunteers listen in confidence to anyone in emotional distress.  They are neitherjudgmental or tell callers what to do.

0845 767 8000 6pm to 11pm every day.
Leading UK mental health charity for anyone affected by mental illness. 

The site
0800 1111
website for 16 - 25 year-olds.  Provides non-judgmental support and information, including sex issues, exam stress, debt and drugs.

Youth Access 
To search directory of services for help in your area. 
0208 772 9900weekdays only 9am-1pm, 2pm-5pm
National membership organisation for youth information, advice and counselling agencies.   11 – 25 year olds.

Young Minds
0808 802 55 44 weekdays 9.30am-4pm. 
Free confidential parent helpline for adults worried about emotional problems, behaviour or mental health for individuals up to 25 .

New e-learning website for families offering online advice and information to help understand and identify problems, and how best to support your child.



How Mothers Love by Naomi Stadlen 2011 Piatkus
Through conversations with mothers, Naomi, a psychotherapist, describes how relationships are born and how intimacy develops in a mother/baby relationship.

Emotional Intelligence - a practical guide by Ian Tuhovsky 2016 Positive Psychology Coaching Series
A helpful book that gives guidance and helpful strategies on learning how to control emotions.  It can benefit those who have endured a difficult parent.  

How To Calm a Challenging Child by Miriam Chachamu 2012 Foulsham
All children have their challenging moments and this book gives excellent advice and guidance to parents on how to deal with them.  Her approach is a mixture of firm kindness and sensitivity.  


Difficult Mothers by Terri Apter 2012 W.W. Norton
Terri, who had a difficult mother, offers wise suggestions based on her own experience and general research into the complex relationship a difficult mother creates. She also describes ways to understand and overcome their power.

Children of the Ageing Self-Absorbed by Nina W. Brown 2015 New Harbinger Publications, Inc
This is a guide on how to cope with difficult, narcissistic parents and grandparents including ways to deal with these parents as they worsen with age.    

Mean Mothers: Unloved Daughters and the Legacy of Hurt by Peg Streep 2009 Harper Collins
This book explores the difficult behaviour daughters of mean mothers experience and gives hope for them to have fulfilled lives and become good enough parents themselves.

When You and Your Mother Can’t be Friends by Victoria Secunda 1990 Delta
Victoria describes some of the complex mother/child relationships.  She suggests ways of coming to terms with past experiences and how to avoid continuing the pattern of destructive relationships.

The Emotionally Absent Mother by Jasmin Lee Cori 2010 The Experiment - New York
When men and women are ‘under-mothered’ they struggle with relationships.  This book aims to help people understand what  has been missing from their childhoods and how to fill the ‘mother-gap’.


Matilda by Roald Dahl 1988 Jonathan Cape
Matilda is misunderstood and neglected by her parents. Once at school her close friendship with her teacher Miss Honey, together with her own resourcefulness, enable her to rise above the bullying of both her parents and her head teacher and start a new life with Miss Honey.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith 1948 Heinemann
James Mortmain, the father in this story, is obsessed with writing a second novel.  Although he locks himself away to write, his presence hovers like a dark cloud over his increasingly starving family. 

Bleak House by Charles Dickens 1852  Oxford World’s Classics
Mrs. Jellyby is a philanthropist who is so obsessed with creating settlements in Africa that she neglects her own family and behaves callously even when her daughter pleads for attention.

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens 1859 Oxford World’s Classics
Mr. Murdstone, David Copperfield’s bullying step-father makes David’s life a misery and persuades David’s mother that he is such a bad boy he should be sent away. Mrs Copperfield totally gives in to him.  

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson 1985 Vintage
This coming-of-age novel has several themes.  It tells the story of a young girl who seems ‘different’ to her peers, struggles to find her place in a world when she seems ‘different’ to her peers.  The novel also explores how difficult it is for Jeanette to live up to the often extreme expectations of her cold and critical mother.  

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal by Jeanette Winterson 2012 Knopf Canada
This memoir follows on from Jeanette’s novel described above but is more revealing about her fierce adoptive mother, who is a religious zealot and fails to understand Jeanette.

An Abbreviated Life by Ariel S. Leve 2017 Harper Collins
In this memoir Ariel, who grew up in a dysfunctional family, tells the story of the physical and emotional abuse she endured during her childhood and her relationship with her mother. 


Mommie Dearest (1981) is an American biographical drama about Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway) and the abusive relationship she had with her adopted daughter Christina.   

Now, Voyager (1942) is an American drama about Charlotte Vale, an  unattractive, overweight, repressed spinster whose life is dominated by her dictatorial aristocratic mother, (Bette Davis) whose verbal and emotional abuse has caused Charlotte’s total lack of self-confidence. 

Postcards from the Edge (1990)  an American comedy-drama  based on actress Carrie Fisher’s semi-autobiographical novel. Her character Suzanne Vale (Meryl Streep), is a recovering drug addict trying to get her life and acting career back on track.  It’s hard as her  over-involved, self-absorbed domineering mother (Shirley Maclaine) treats her like a child.   

Precious  (2009) is an American drama.  Illiterate sixteen-year-old Precious Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) is pregnant by her father for the second time and also suffers constant abuse by her mother. She is offered the chance to transfer to another school.  She seizes the  chance to turn her life around and begins to head in a different direction.