1st Edition

The Psychology of Today's Woman New Psychoanalytic Visions

Edited By Toni Bernay, Dorothy Cantor Copyright 1986
    396 Pages
    by Routledge

    377 Pages
    by Routledge

    The sexual revolution, oft discussed in the journalistic literature of recent years, has brought in its wake a host of questions that are only beginning to be addressed.  How are women coping with "real world" challenges for which they may be ill prepared, both socially and psychologically?  How successfully are they integrating old and new ego ideals in forging new identities?  Is their ostensible "liberation" actually making for a sense of integration and wholeness?

    The Psychology of Today's Woman: New Psychoanalytic Visions probes these and related questions from the standpoint of both developmental and therapeutic concerns.  Taking Freud's notion of female sexuality as a point of departure, editors Bernay and Cantor have compiled a collection of original essays that reassesses traditional conceptions of female psychology (Section I), proffers new visions of femininity (Section II), and explores critical situations in the lives of contemporary women (Section III).  A final section of the book, of special interest to analysts and psychotherapists, examines the various facets of the clinical treatment of women.

    Collectively, the contributors to this volume articulate a strong challenge to the "deficiency model" of female identity that has long dominated psychoanalytic theory.  More impressively still, they offer constructive alternatives to the preconceptions of the past.  They converge in the belief that the richness and diversity of female experience cannot be encompassed in the overly simplified definitions and "masculine" analogizing of classical analysis.  Whether we investigate the status of "masculinity" and "femininity" as personality traits, the relationship between "nurturance" and "aggression" in female identity, or the meaning of "normality" and "pathology" in treatment situations, we are very much in a realm of multiple truths in which the formulas of the past give little sense of the options of the present or the possibilities of the future.

    Foreword, Horner  Introduction, Bernay, Cantor  I. Traditional Visions of Femininity Reassessed  1. Is Freud an Enemy of Women's Liberation? Some Historical Considerations, Lewis  2. Early Pathways to Female Sexuality in Advantaged and Disadvantaged Girls, Galeson  II. New Visions of Femininity  3. Reconciling Nurturance and Aggression: A New Feminine Identity, Bernay  4. The Self-in-Relation: Empathy and the Mother-Daughter Relationship, Jordan, Surrey  5. Antigone: Symbol of Autonomy and Women's Moral Dilemmas, Shainess  6. Working Mothers: Impact on the Self, the Couple, and the Children, Person  7. Anger in the Mother-Daugher Relationship, Herman, Lewis  III. Today's Woman  8. Reproductive Motivations and Contemporary Feminine Development, Williams  9. Marriage and Divorce: The Search for Adult Identity, Cantor  10. Women and Work, Applegarth  11. Empty-Nest Syndrome: Possibility or Despair, Tallmer  12. The Aging Woman: Confrontations with Hopelessness, Semel  IV. Issues in the Therapeutic Relationship  13. Women Feminist Patients and a Feminist Woman Analyst, Eisenbud  14. When Men Are Therapists to Women: Beyond the Oedipal Pale, Moldawsky  15. Childless Women Approaching Midlife: Issues in Psychoanalytic Treatment, Ziman-Tobin  16. Women's Dreams: A Nocturnal Odyssey, Natterson  17. Creative and Reparative Uses of Countertransference by Women Psychotherapists Treating Women Patients: A Clinical Research Study, Ruderman   


    Toni Bernay, Ph.D., is in private practice in Beverly Hills, California, and is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology) at the Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Dorothy W. Cantor, Psy.D., is Director of Continuing Education, Graduate School of Applied Professional Psychology, Rutgers University.  She is in private practice in Westfield, New Jersey and is co-author (with Ellen Drake) of Divorced Parents and Their Children: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals (1983).

    "This excellent collection of innovative articles reflects a more contemporary psychoanalytic vision of women. . . Feminine psychology demands a change in Freudian orthodoxy. As this provocative book suggests, for psychoanalysis to be relevant today a fresh examination of theoretical perspectives must take place."

    - Diane Kovacs, Los Angeles Times