When Feeling Bad is Good

Ellen McGrath, Author
Ellen McGrath, Author Henry Holt & Company $22.5 (350p) ISBN 978-0-8050-1474-7
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages - 978-0-553-56513-3
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California clinical psychologist McGrath, calling upon her own experiences as well as those of patients, argues that many women undergo nondisabling healthy depressions stemming from their being in a sexist culture. Full of lists, quizzes and instructions written in women's-magazine style, the book offers a light but comprehensive analysis of the tensions between a woman's Traditional Core and her ways of dealing with aging, body image and four other potential sources of healthy depression. McGrath's useful advice includes Action Therapy-such as pummelling a pumpkin that symbolizes a victimizer as well as taking inventories of relationships and interviewing elders about quality aging. Such prescriptions seem more substantial than McGrath's tip to rent videos of movies such as Fatal Attraction to gain insight into relationships, or McGrath's over-broad thesis, which implies that all disadvantaged groups suffer unique forms of depression. Literary Cruild and Doubleday Book Club selections. (Nov.)
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