Trusting Ourselves: The Sourcebook on Psychology for Women

Karen Johnson, Author, Tom Ferguson, With
Karen Johnson, Author, Tom Ferguson, With Atlantic Monthly Press $22.95 (477p) ISBN 978-0-87113-346-5
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
Psychiatrist Johnson and medical writer Ferguson bring a valuable feminist perspective to power imbalances in male-female relationships, women's psychosexual development, ``victim'' psychology, and the effects of abuse, depression, violence and family dysfunction on women's lives. But in attempting to map a female psychology free from the sexist bias found in Freudian psychoanalysis, this self-styled sourcebook succumbs to peculiar generalizations (`` . . . women's preoccupation with their mothers borders on obsession''), cliches (`` . . . women and men seem to mix like oil and water'') and debatable feminist stances (``Most problems that plague female-male relationships are problems of inequality''). The style swings awkwardly between cumbersome, heavily footnoted prose and psychobabble. Chapters on self-esteem, creating healthy relationships, eating disorders and so forth, while providing succinct summaries of the literature, are on a par with those in most pedestrian self-help guides. (Apr.)
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