Testimonials about Cathryn's workshops & private consultations with Stepmoms.
Feedback from Resentment Workshops:
PR Queen Writes: "Learning to be a stepmom is hard. Learning to be a stepmom in a difficult divorce situation or high-conflict situation where there is often a NPD BM is even harder. There are no books that truly get what you have to deal with. It can feel like you are stuck in the middle of a tornado, your life swirling around you, feeling emotions like you have never felt before. Taking Cathryn’s 4 workshops gave me back a sense of control because it helped me to understand what was going on, explained that what I was feeling was normal, showed me that I wasn’t alone and gave me tools to deal with everything.
Cathryn gets it because she has been there and helped so many other SMOMs through this process. The bonding and support of the fellow sister SMOMS I met in the workshops has been incredible. It really has kept me sane and helped me through a truly difficult time. I would highly recommend any woman that finds herself in the role of stepmom take any or all of Cathryn’s workshops. We need to take care of ourselves and this is one way to do it."
PR Queen, Stepmom of 2 teens since 2010, SMOM since 2013
I am so thankful that I have taken the Resentment Workshop. The idea's that Cathryn and my fellow SMOMS have given me and the empathy that I needed to hear from them have been so healthy and hopeful to me. I'm just not sure that I have ever felt like I have had a "plan" for being a SMOM and now I have one for getting past my resentments. I also have a plan for Christmas! A plan for Christmas may sound dramatic, but I can assure you that for 15 years I have been giving my time, talent and money and have had huge resentment about it, but not this year!
I am excited about the personal growth and the practical tools I have learned. I'm also grateful for the forum and getting to know SMOM's that I can share my experiences with. I highly recommend the workshops that Cathryn has put together for us. The workshops as well as the forum connected to the workshops have been life changing for me.
Stepmom since 1999, SMOM since 2013
The SMOMS Resentment Workshop changed my life. It opened my eyes to how I was treating the world, instead of dwelling on how the world was treating me. I didn't even realize I had a list of resentments until I sat down to write them, and then they all came pouring out. My "step" life is more at peace, my work life is more at peace, my relationship is stronger, and I am honoring myself and my emotions. While, I'm not perfect, I feel I have the tools to take control of my own life. My efforts are leading me to feel better and closer to my partner and my SS, rather then at the mercy of them and my SS's mother. With Cathryn's help, and the encouragement of my fellow workshoppers, I face each day excited by my new found abilities. I wake each day know I CAN get through it, I WILL get through it, and I am the one who's gonna get me there.
I'm so grateful to have been given the opportunity to take this workshop. I didn't even know I needed it, and it changed my life.
- NEW STEPMOM TO 1 young SS
I initially found SMOMS by googling "Help for stepmothers,"at 3 AM shortly after the last of four stepchildren came to live with me. I was overwhelmed and in shock. I had raised three charming bio-children and thought I was finished until my dear husband pulled me into his world. My world had boundaries and ground rules, gratitude and respect, trials and triumph and, in the end, my kids and I love each other. This new world didn't subscribe to the basic rules of gravity let alone anything else. It became lonely and frightening, I had no way of communication and I became invisible. I didn't know myself any more, but I knew that I hated feeling so burdened. I was taking anti-depressants, muscle relaxants, and sleeping pills in attempts to keep my life on track and going to therapy counseling two times a week. And then, at 3AM, I found hope.
SMOMS is a website that tells every story of my life and your life with step kids, in every scenario you can imagine. If you are a stepmom, this site is your sanity, because, hello? You aren't crazy, your situation IS! Take a trial read. Read "Cathryn's Letters," and notice that your shoulders are touching your ears. Relax. Breathe and notice that you've been holding your breath since the day you met your step-kids. If you are lucky to find this site at the beginning of your journey, you will find wisdom and fore-sight from postings. If you are at the end of your rope, you'll find warmth, comfort, validation, and tremendous growth to pull yourself from the muck that has been sucking you dry. Yes, really.
Do you second guess yourself in almost every situation? Do you feel like a stunned deer in headlights? Do you feel that you're in over your head? Do you hate going home because you're sure you will get run over by a three-ton truck in your kitchen? Do you feel stuck in a spiral of negativity? SMOMS can make it stop. SMOMS can give you tips and tools to avoid mass destruction. SMOMS creator, Cathryn, will help you find the wonderful YOU who is lost and stunned. You CAN have peace and respect again in your heart, home and marriage.
I took the course about understanding resentment. As a result of the class, phone time with Cathryn and fellow classmates, and readings, I am "better than ever before!" I can now function in this new world, I have open and terrific conversations with my husband and you know what? I'm excited about this personal growth. I'm not afraid anymore. I like myself. I have a voice! My shoulders are relaxed, I no longer have an elephant sitting on my chest, and I live in the moment. My future with step kids is looking bright, I've been able to give up my $300 a week therapy and have cut back to less than half of my medication for depression, anxiety, and pain. My memory has improved, I'm sleeping well and I'm starting a Pilates class. If you are reading this at o'dark-thirty (in world time or soul time), pull up a chair and chat with us. I'm so happy you are here. My username is Barb.
Barb B. Colorado Springs, CO
La Belle Reine Writes: "The workshop about 'Understanding Resentments' was a huge breakthrough for me! It helped me to truly understand WHY I was feeling resentment and how to resolve it in a situation where the “other party” was unrepentant and very hostile."
La Belle Reine, Stepmom since 2003, SMOM since 2011.
Post Office Face Writes: "Cathryn's workshop on Empowerment helped me understand how to handle intense emotions that have come up as part of my stepmom journey with a hostile bio mom. One idea that especially hit home for me was the idea related to choosing to view stressful or negative events out of my control as opportunities for self-development and teaching. Being able to realize when my focus is too much on other people's actions and shift that focus to exploring my emotions and needs has been invaluable for my well-being but also for that of my family. Cathryn has given me the tools and insight to be able to do that and I am grateful.
My life has gained so much more balance and happiness since joining SMOMS, reading Cathryn's articles, and participating in the calls and workshops. Cathryn has given me the compassion, questions, and ideas I needed to change my life for the better. And the relationships I have formed through SMOMS has helped me feel like I am not alone in this journey."
Post Office Face "Posty", stepmom since 2009, SMOM since 2011
Before I took the resentment workshop, I was feeling like I was in a tiny rowboat in dark water alone. I felt like I was rowing against a current of feelings and stress I couldn’t manage.
I've been fortunate to work with Cathryn one on one to process many of these feelings, as well as learn skills for releasing myself from the pain and rage that being a stepmother often evokes. Doing a workshop and working with Cathryn one on one empowers you to think differently, which is the most vital skill for any stepmother who deals with a hostile biomom, stepkids, or other problematic family patterns.
You can learn to set yourself free, but it’s nearly impossible alone. The support and the connection I received through the resentment workshop and the private sessions has provided me with invaluable tools for freeing myself from destructive, draining negativity. I feel now I’m on a path to rebuilding myself as a stepmother and a partner, and am in an ongoing state of healing.
PandorasRelief, Stepmom of 1, since 2012.
Kim Writes: "Words cannot express the feeling of being so understood in a world that seems to have changed so fast with the splitting of households. Now as we begin healing ourselves and our relationships with our children (both bio and step), it’s a new place where we’re the ambassadors of this new world. Cathryn's commitment, humbleness, her strength and experience, the ability to pinpoint and direct me through contact, workshops or reading Cathryn's counseling of others Smoms have not only given me strength when I thought I was ready to give up, but in those times, empowered me.” Kim stepmom, since 2009Jadon Writes: "I’ve really learned so much from Cathryn during all 4 SMOMS workshops. She’s been so helpful in pointing me in the right direction concerning being a stepmom. The support that she’s provided while on this journey of self discovery has been 2nd to none! I’m so grateful for the tools that I will have for a lifetime. I have a whole new perspective! Thanks Cathryn and thanks sister SMOMS who took the workshops with me...you know who you are!" Jadon, Stepmom since 1999, SMOM since 2012
Jean Writes: "Working with Cathryn and being a part of SMOMS has helped me to grow more confident in my role as a stepmom, and even as a person. I have been able to target the areas of my life that need work and lay out a plan to improve upon these areas. As stepmoms, we sometimes feel powerless and even taken advantage of. But I have realized that the only person I can change is myself, and in doing this, I have been able to take control back of my own life. It has been a liberating experience!" Jean, Stepmom since 2009
Meggan Writes: "This workshop is different from all of the other self-help items out there. Cathryn helps people by helping them learn what they can control and what they can change. I learned a lot about myself!" Meggan, Stepmom since 2009
Christine Writes: "Cathryn’s workshop helped me understand a lot about the unique role of being a stepmom and what I can and can’t control (FYI, there is A LOT you can control!). She provided me with the ability to see that I’m not helpless and I can change a hostile situation on my own. Cathryn has a unique ability to understand common pitfalls of step-parenting and offers positive, productive, and compassionate solutions. Her workshops are a gateway for empowerment and I highly recommend it for all stepmoms who find themselves feeling frustrated and/or hopeless." Christine, Stepmom since 2011
Rose Writes: "Cathryn is a mix of counselor and friend. She provides kind insightful guidance which helps me navigate through the crazy path of adjusting to stepmotherhood. She has a talent for guiding by our own inner workings - she listens to our feedback and then is able to help us determine the next steps in creating emotional balance within, obtaining a respectful loving balance of power in our parenting and maintaining loving relationships with our dear husbands." Rose, Stepmom of 3 Teen boys since 2011
Sue Writes: "I discovered SMOMS 11 years ago when I was at a very low and lonely point in time with my stepkids. It wasn't until I joined SMOMS in 2002 that I realized I was not the only stepmom dealing with massive amounts of stress. Cathryn immediately reached out to me and I attended the monthly meetings for a few years. Additionally, I found many other stepmoms on SMOMS.org supporting me and helping me work out whatever issue I had going on at the time.
SMOMS became my source of comfort and support and got me through the "rough years" and that has been invaluable. It quickly became a community where we all ended up helping one another. I hold SMOMS very near and dear to my heart.
As for Cathryn, I cannot say enough wonderful things about her. She is so passionate about SMOMS and has devoted countless hours, time and energy into it and it shows. She takes the time to listen, understand and offer guidance in an incredibly gentle manner. She is always mindful and respectful of others because she cares and she speaks from the heart. Her only motivation is to help others because being a stepmother is not for the faint of heart and Cathryn goes above and beyond what you would expect from a mentor or consultant.
By the sheer number of participants on the forum from various countries alone is testament to how wonderful and important SMOMS and Cathryn in particular, is to stepmothers everywhere. I recommend Cathryn with the utmost of confidence and enthusiasm." Sue, Stepmom since 2001
La Belle Reine Writes: "I’ve been communicating with Cathryn since the fall of 2010. When I first found the SMOMS website, I was a battered and abused stepmom and was hanging on to my sanity and marriage by a small thread. I thought no one could help me and that I had to live the rest of my life subservient to BM and SD.
I emailed Cathryn my story and didn't expect to hear back. Cathryn not only heard my plea but had an empathy and compassion that I had never found before. Just knowing that I was not alone bolstered me. She helped me to see that my situation was very unfortunate but that there was HOPE in regaining my power and self-esteem.
She helped me to see that the bio-mom was a Narcissist and my eyes opened to the hell I’d been living in for 7 years. The more I learned the more I realized I needed HELP. So I started working with Cathryn one on one. It was then that she gave me the tools I needed to help set boundaries, become a non-reactive warrior and heal the wounds of my past...that was when I truly became like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon.
It was a struggle at times but with her careful and loving guidance, I have spread my wings and am now on the way to becoming a whole person again. Then when Cathryn introduced the Workshops, I was taken to a whole new level of awareness and began to work through the issues I have with my NPD Mother and resentments towards bio-mom and stepdaughter to truly free me from the chains of regret and anger. My time spent with Cathryn is PRICELESS and I could not have come this far without her!" La Belle Reine, Stepmom since 2003
MissKiss Writes: "It is with the great pleasure that I’m able to write a testimonial for someone as special Cathryn Bond Doyle.
Cathryn is not only a wise and caring person, but she is generous with
both her heart and her wisdom. I’ve never known anyone who could show true concern for a complete stranger. She has a way of taking hopelessness, pain and distress…and turning it into hope, confidence and power.
Cathryn can dissect what raw emotion you’re feeling and make sense of it. She took the pain I was feeling and helped me label those emotions so that I could better identify what I was up against. She can truly feel the agony of others and knows just what to say in order to give a sense of control in what feels like a powerless situation. She does so in a reassuring, encouraging and nonjudgemental way. She has a very soothing method in which she delivers not only advice but actions that can be immediately implemented.
Cathryn has genuine concern for the well being of others and
is forthcoming with her past experiences in order to help others
thru difficult times. This is especially helpful to those of us who are beginning a journey that feels much like an endless tunnel of darkness.
Cathryn not only gently takes you by the hand…but she guides with encouragement as she lights up the path to show you that no matter what is in front of you. You can make a choice to go forward and face it without fear. She allows us to empower ourselves and find self-worth and validation that we have lost along the way.
Cathryn knows what it is to serve others in a selfless manner and she also knows what it is to give of yourself with a pure heart, with honest emotion and no hidden agenda.
She is brazenly honest and expects everyone to be honest with themselves as well. She knows how to guide those of us who need it
to face the truth and helps us to ask ourselves the difficult questions
that allows us to make choices to help ourselves.
How wonderful it is to be someone that feels lost and hopeless…and to all of a sudden be able to ask yourself what it is that you need, and to be able honestly answer yourself; therefore empowering you to become to make the necessary changes to regain control over your own life.
Cathryn has created a haven for women that give of themselves as stepmoms on a daily basis and get nothing but criticism and little to no appreciation. She has dedicated so much of her personal time to helping others regain their sense of well being and emotional health.
She has become a wealth of knowledge as well as a lifeline to those of us she has counseled personally, and to those who have simply read her articles or even a post by a fellow stepmom. She has shared so much of herself by writing many articles that always feel as if they were written just for me. She gives all of us a connection when we have never felt more disconnected in all our lives.
She has shown us that we are all a part of something huge. It’s not just our private misery…there is an entire community of us that live life feeling inadequate, unappreciated and powerless in our own homes and situations.
I personally cannot thank Cathryn enough for taking her precious time to listen to and help me with my issues. We all go thru life with learned ideas of how our lives should be lived. She gives us the permission to change those learned behaviors…and gives us the tools to implement and achieve success.
I know that anyone whose life is touched by Cathryn will be all the better for it." MissKiss, a sister SMOM since 2011