Exciting opportunity!

Join the first ‘Rites for Girls’ International Facilitator Training  starting June 2017

A unique opportunity to become involved in pioneering work with pre-teen girls!

with Kim McCabe and Helena Løvendal
starting June 2017

Training Taster Day – come see if this is for you!

Training taster day in London on March 25th 10am – 4pm costing £40.  This session will be an opportunity for you to meet both of us and give you a flavour of the training and help you decide if this work is right for you at this time in your life.  The taster session will be held at Philadelphia Association, London NW3 1QW.  To secure your place book below or send a cheque to Man-Woman Project Ltd, 6 Chester Court, Lissenden Gardens, London NW5 1LY  and we will send you confirmation details.

‘Rites for Girls’ International Facilitator Training  starting June 2017

Do you feel you have an affinity for the teenage stage of life?

  • Would you like to join a group of pioneering women supporting mothers and daughters in making the transition from girl to woman a lasting life-enhancing experience?
  • You might remember your own issues from your teenage years – and be interested in exploring the importance of this life stage in more depth.

Teenagers are stressed. Many girls are feeling the pressure to do well at school, look good, stay connected on social media, get on with their parent and fit in. Sadly many girls are showing the signs of not coping and mental health concerns are on the rise.

  • Would you like to be able to support girls through this challenging phase?

You can acquire the skills and knowledge to deliver year-long ‘Girls Journeying Together Groups as part of a professional foundation.  Girls Journeying Together groups meet monthly (to give girls a sense of what monthly feels like) and led by an older woman they talk about the changes to come.  Our girls discover what is important to them, think about their futures, form firm friendships, and build the confidence to be themselves.  At the end of a year they finish with a celebration.  This way you can guide girls through their adolescence, reducing some of the pressures and helping them to emerge into adulthood as strong, sure, capable young women.

Limited places  – enquire now!

‘Rites for Girls’ is offering a diploma training to enable women to run Girls Journeying Together Groups. You will learn how to facilitate small groups of 11 and 12 year-old girls, meeting monthly for a year, as they practice being true to themselves, learn about puberty, share their hopes and fears, and help each other into their teens.  This forms the basis for you to offer continued support right through their teens.

Girls are being turned away – we need more facilitators!

This professional programme is taught by Kim McCabe and Helena Løvendal, and entails a mixture of residential group training, individual support, peer groups, written work, and supervised practical experience – with four residential weeks held over a year:   June 3-10th 2017,  Sept 9-16th 2017,  Nov 4-11 2017,  and May 12-19 2018.

Participants will have the opportunity to earn the course fees back through their supervised facilitation of a Girls Journeying Together group which they start in the second six months of the course.

Training is being offered to women who have some experience of being with girls aged 11-18 years, who already have some group work training, counselling skills, or other relevant experience such as youth work or teaching.  You will acquire the skills and knowledge to deliver year-long Girls Journeying Together Groups and be accredited to do so once you meet the course requirements.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us to ask more.  As we have a limited number of places, we will hold a waiting list for the following year’s training.

This is important pioneering work – if you are interested in finding out more about this training, please contact Kim or Helena :

kim@ritesforgirls.com                    helenalovendal@gmail.com

Limited places  – enquire now!
kim_portraitdKim McCabe is the founder/director of Rites for Girls since 2011 and home-educating mother of three.  As originator and facilitator of Girls Journeying Together programmes she offers year-long groups for girls and simultaneous support for their mothers.  She studied child psychology at Cambridge University, was a counsellor to distressed teenagers, carried out sex education in schools and youth groups, trained as an assertiveness trainer, 5Rhythms shamanic dance teacher, and business management consultant.  After thirty years of research and working with young people she seeks ways to support girls through their teens and is author of forthcoming book ‘From Daughter to Woman – parenting girls safely through their teens’ published by Robinson Publishing.

560Helena Løvendal: Born Denmark, 1958: In private practice in London, UK, since 1988. Co- founder/director The Centre For Gender Psychology & Creative Couple Work. Originator of ‘Ways of Woman’ inner leadership programs since 1993. Helena offers psychotherapy, coaching and workshops for individuals and couples, as well as specialist training and supervision for professionals in the field of relationships, sex and gender relations in UK, Europe, and Scandinavia.  Amongst the first qualified Sexual Grounding Therapists®, she is a SGT Senior Trainer and Head of Education SGT International since May 2013. Her first book “Sex, Love and the Dangers of Intimacy – a Guide to Passionate Relationships when The ‘Honeymoon’ is over”, published by HarperCollins in 2002, re-published in 2010 by Lone Arrow Press.  www.genderpsychology.com   www.creativecouplework.com   www.sexualgrounding.com

Full details available from Kim or Helena:

kim@ritesforgirls.com                        helenalovendal@gmail.com

Limited places – enquire now!


Photo: 123RF by Auremar
Posted on 21 December 2016
Musings: Parenting girls

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Next ‘Girls Journeying Together’ group starting in the spring 2017



Free Trial Session for girls (with Mums)
on Friday 17th March 2017, 5pm – 7pm
or Saturday 18th March 10am – 12pm


Best Friends Forever

Every year around spring time, I start another of my year-long Girls Journeying Together groups.  A dozen or so 10-12 years olds sit in a circle in my sitting room nervously wondering how we will pass the afternoon.

We meet monthly, so they’ll get a sense of what monthly feels like, and we cover all manner of things over the year.  Their needs and concerns help to determine their year’s programme.  Over the year I provide the space for each girl to:

  • dream into her future
  • clarify her values
  • learn about the changes that puberty brings
  • discuss the pressures of peers, media, and parents
  • prepare for her first period and support one another in their bleeding time
  • get to know each other really well; well enough to dare to speak their innermost fears and heartfelt hopes
  • (only if the time is right) talk of dating, safe sex, diets, drinking, drugs, cutting, exam pressures and other teen concerns
  • share her experiences
  • laugh and cry and dance and feast
  • find mentors
  • and in time become a mentor herself.

A year later we finish with a celebration and those dozen girls are full of affection for one another and feel well-prepared for what lies ahead.

“At first I didn’t think I’d like it, but it’s brilliant, we talk about things, really talk, so you realise that others feel the same way.”

“I’ve made friends for life I’d say.” 

“I was nervous about growing up – I’m not now.”

“You can ask anything.”

“We’ve had loads of fun, and learned stuff but it hasn’t felt like learning.”

“It got me thinking about who I want to be – what I want to do with my life.”

Every girl needs a circle of women, and the company of other girls, with whom to learn about womanhood.  Some girls are lucky to live in communities that naturally provide this female support.  Many girls are not so fortunate.  When families have busy lives, lived far from extended family, and children spend most of their time in the company of children, then a girls’ group can fill the gap.

I wish that coming-of-age groups were commonplace, then girls would expect it as their right, rather than needing their mothers to encourage them to try it out.

We focus on teaching our children algebra, tectonic plate movements, and what befell the wives of King Henry VIII, and then leave the fundamental issues of maturation up to chance chats with family, the modeling of soaps and films, and the immature influence of peers.  We give swimming lessons before diving into the sea, and driving lessons are mandatory before taking to the roads solo – so why not insist on structured adult support in the preparation of our children for adulthood?  Most religions and many tribes still recognise the importance of guiding our children safely towards adulthood, and offer them a rite of passage while they are actively engaged in this maturation process; but we have lost sight of it, blinded by the chase for qualifications.  I feel sad to find myself in a culture that often values grades, awards, and medals over relationships, and developing a healthy sense of self.

The more ‘developed’ we become, the more we abandon our teenagers and leave them to invent their own idealizations for adulthood – and to make their own markers to prove their adulthood (often using drink, sex, driving, and other risk-taking).


Girls look to the women in their lives to give them a sense of what it is like to be a woman.  The women they like, they emulate; and the women they don’t like, they strive to be different from.

Many girls find themselves with only one woman who knows them well, their own mother.  If fortunate, a girl will also have a smattering of aunties, grandmothers, godmothers, cousins, friend’s mothers and mother’s friends who know her and care for her.  She may also have a special teacher, tutor, or coach.  Even then, many girls rarely have the opportunity of hearing women speak of their dreams, their passions, their relationships and their bodies.  And yet, we want our girls to find their own futures, to know what is important to them, to discover what they love to do, to form firm friendships, and to like themselves well enough.  Too often seeking these vital goals are left to chance, or left in the hands of schools, or the influence of social media.


Rites for Girls has an free trial session for any girl aged 10-12yrs (in year 6 or 7) who might be interested to join the next Girls Journeying Together group.  Girls come from London, Brighton and all over Sussex and Kent.

Girls’ Journeying Together
– a year-long exploration
with a small group of girls your age

Who?      Pre-teen girls; aged 10-12yrs (in year 6 and 7)
When?    Monthly, 3 hours at the weekend, starting in May.
Where?   Forest Row, Sussex
When?    Free trial session with Mums:  5-7pm  Friday 17th March 2017
                                                   or 10am-12pm Saturday 18th March 2017

Provisional dates: TBC
Friday group 4:30-7:30pm: 28 April 19, 26 May 2017, 16 June, 14 July, 22 Sept, 13 Oct (with Mums), 17 Nov, 8 Dec 2017
5 Jan 2018, 2 Feb, 9 Mar, 20 Apr 2018 (final celebration with mothers)

Saturday group 10am-1pm: 29 April, 27 May 2017, 17 June, 15 July, 23 Sept, 14 Oct (with Mums),  18 Nov, 9 Dec 2017
6 Jan 2018, 3 Feb, 10 Mar,  21 Apr 2018 (final celebration with mothers)

I am a trained facilitator, youth guidance worker, counsellor, 5 Rhythms movement teacher, and a mother of three.

To book or ask more contact Kim 01342 810505  ☙  kim@ritesforgirls.com



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Photo: 123RF by Lisa Young

Posted on 9 May 2014
Musings: Parenting girls, Coming of age
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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Prepare well for exams – but still have a life!

Alexandre Zveiger

Jess can’t seem to get down to her revision.  Her teachers know that she is a capable student who has the potential to do well, but at this rate she’s not going to do as well as she could.  Jess finds revision boring and Facebook so much more attractive.  It’s not that she wants to do badly, she just can’t quite summon up the motivation to put the hours in.

We want our children to well in exams – their best hopefully.
The pressure to succeed is so high – there seem to be fewer routes from education into the world of work, and exams can seem to form a formidable gateway.
We don’t want to have to hassle them to study – it damages good relations.
We don’t want them to be too stressed – anxious – or unhappy.
We don’t want them to define their sense of worth on the results of these tests.
We want them to increase their choices by getting good results.

Anna feels defeated.  No matter how hard she tries she just can’t concentrate.  She reads the same passage over and over, none of it going in.  She knows she’s not going to do brilliantly but she’d like to at least pass them all.  None of the subjects interest her much, she’d much rather be playing in her band. She’s eating a lot of chocolate.  Anna goes for days without seeing her friends because she feels like she should be revising, and then goes out and stays out because she can’t face the books back home.

As parents we want to help our children through the intense exam period – but it’s not always clear how to help them to keep perspective, not to get too stressed, and still work hard.
How to maintain focus in the weeks of revision and sustain it in the exam period?
What to do on the days when it all seems impossible, or pointless, or hopeless?
Sometimes our children don’t find our input helpful; or don’t want it to come from us or their teachers.

Julie has always done well in school and she is expected to earn good results in her exams.  At the beginning of the year she drew up a revision timetable and she’s been sticking to it.  But she’s been having trouble sleeping, lying in bed worrying about not living up to expectations.  She’s feeling like she’s forgetting it as fast as learning it.  Anxious.  She’s lost her appetite and now she’s losing weight.  Secretly she quite likes this slimming down but her friends have noticed and are starting to say she’s too skinny.  The only time she really feels calm is when she is running on the treadmill at the gym – which she is beginning to do rather too often.  She’s so worried that she’ll do badly – anything less than straight As is going to feel like failing.  It doesn’t matter what her parents say to reassure her, she just doesn’t seem to stop worrying.

Luckily for me, I was good at exams.
I want to help girls to get through the experience without it costing their health or well-being.
In this workshop I help girls to:-

*  find their own motivation
*  figure out specifically how they learn
*  learn how to take care of themselves and their mental well-being

I do pass on a few tools and techniques to optimise a girl’s performance but mostly we focus on getting into the right headspace and finding balance, so she’ll be the best she can can.

Prepare well for exams
– but still have a life!

a two hour session of sane exam prep
with a small group of girls your age

limited spaces – book now

“Course I wanted to do well, but I couldn’t quite get down to my revision.
This motivated me but not with guilt.”

“I’ve got rid of that nagging feeling
like I should always be doing more work.” 

“Exams used to mean not being able to sleep, eating wrong, and feeling stressed
– it’s not so bad now.”

“This will be useful whenever I’m stressed out, not just at exams.”

“It was fun, even though it was about exams, it was fun.”

Who?      Teen girls
When?    Saturday 28th March, 2:30-4:30pm
Where?   Forest Row, Sussex
Cost?      £15

I am a trained facilitator, youth guidance worker, counsellor,
5 Rhythms movement teacher, and a mother of three.

To book or ask more: Kim  ☙  kim@ritesforgirls.com

Rites for Girls exam support 2015

Photo: 123RF by Alexandre Zveiger

Posted on 12 February 2015
Musings: Parenting teenagers, Parenting girls
Tags: , , , , , ,

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Trusted teen

What if you could really trust that your teen was going to turn out all right?
How would your life be different?  And hers?

How many stressful conversations would be avoided if you weren’t trying to alter the behaviour of your teen?
How much better would your relationship be then?
Might that not have a more positive impact on your child than telling them what to do (however subtly)?

With all the best intentions in the world, can you be sure that your attempts to influence your teen will lead to the best outcome?  Can you be sure?

Ozkan Deligoz copy

How might your teen see herself differently if you had faith in their ability to make the right choices (even though they might not be your right choices)?
Think of the many adults that you know who have horrendous tales of their teen years, but who have made fulfilling lives for themselves as adults – and maybe not in spite of their adolescent experiences but because of them.
How many adults do you know who were ‘good teens’ but are not happy adults.

So can you be sure that what you think is right for your child, is what is right?

Notice when your advice to your teen is driven by fear – fear that she won’t make her own right choices, fear that she won’t know what is best for her, fear that she’ll do something regrettable.
Do you want your child to live as a fear-based adult?  Do you want her to be limited that way?

Do you trust her to want the best for herself?  Are you sure that what drives her decision-making is not as good as what drives your decisions for her?
Would you having faith in her maybe encourage her to take responsibility for herself?

Children do want the best for themselves – even when it doesn’t look like it.

If you feel irritated with me while reading this, because what do I know about your situation, then you’ll be having the same response that I have when I read this kind of stuff.  But, do you know, it works!  I resist it, every time, and it makes me cross while I read it, but if I let it affect how I think, then it makes a difference.  My relationship with my teen softens.  Conflict disappears.  And I don’t wake and worry.


Photo: 123RF by Ozkan Deligoz

Posted on 10 July 2014
Musings: Parenting teenagers, Parenting girls
Tags: , , ,

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Junk food battles

Many teens like to eat junk.

Ruud Morijn

Here are some of the reasons that they like to eat junk:

You don’t want them to eat junk!
Their bodies are changing rapidly and they just don’t know how to get the increased nutrients they need.
Junk food requires no effort.
Junk food is full of sugar and salt and satisfies a craving.
Teenage girls don’t understand how to manage PMT and food cravings.
Teens are full of feelings they often can’t manage and junk food can numb those feelings.
Junk food feels comforting.

These are all really good reasons.  Junk food can seem to be a good solution.  It works.

Yulia DrozdovaragnarocksenrouteksmVladimir VoroninPlengsak Chuensriwiroj iperlwaraphanAmarita Petcharakul

So, if junk food is serving some of your teens needs, but you’re worried about the longer term effects then here’s two things that work way better than nagging:

1. Stop worrying about the ‘bad food’ and concentrate on providing plenty of good food in appealing ways.

– there is nothing like a good breakfast, lovingly prepared, to set your child up for the day.  A high protein, slow energy release breakfast often leads to teens making healthier food choices throughout the rest of the day.  Fill her up on good nutrition wherever you can and her body will call less for the unhealthy stuff.

Milan Markovic

 2. Think about what junk food is giving your teen, and figure out other ways of meeting those needs.

  • is it hunger or feelings that have her reaching for the crisps or chocolate straight after school?
  • does she need a chat rather than a bowl of sugared cereal just before bed?
  • in the lead up to her period, would a hot bath and easing back on activities help her to avoid devouring a whole packet of biscuits?

Frenk And Danielle Kaufmann 2

You may need to start with yourself – and gently tackle the reasons behind your own unhealthy eating – so that you can model healthy behaviour to your teen.

As parents we often see ourselves in a guiding and influencing role in our children’s lives, but too often we are lazy and believe that we can just tell them what to do.  More powerful is to show them, either by doing it for them first, or by making sure we are doing it ourselves.

Photo: 123RF by Ruud Morijn, Yulia Drozdova, Amarita Petcharakul, ragnarocks, enrouteksm, Vladimir Voronin, waraphan, iperl, Plengsak Chuensriwiroj, Milan Markovic, Frenk And Danielle Kaufmann
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Posted on 6 May 2014
Musings: Parenting teenagers, Parenting girls

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