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Miller, A.G. (1998). The Healing Connection; How Women Form Relationships in Therapy and in Life, by Jean Baker Miller and Irene Pierce Stiver, Beacon Press, 1997, 231 ps.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 58(3):342-345.
   

(1998). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 58(3):342-345

The Healing Connection; How Women Form Relationships in Therapy and in Life, by Jean Baker Miller and Irene Pierce Stiver, Beacon Press, 1997, 231 ps.

Review by:
Alan G. Miller, M.D.

The question, “What is effective in what we do? has been asked in the past, but never has it been answered so cogently as in this book. The authors have distilled 35 years of work into a book of just over 200 pages that will knock your socks off. They characterize their work as the product of four clinicians and others meeting weekly in a study group. Some study group! Then they ask “innocent” questions, such as, “What constitutes mental health?” They decide that it may not be the finding of a separated self or of finding gratification and that continuing to pursue what seems to be the American ideal of arrogant narcissism might not be an appropriate goal. An ability to participate actively in relationships that foster growth and well-being of others is believed to be a workable alternative. What does one do in one's life if one has already learned one is not the best and the brightest, has no chance and no hope of ever reaching such a point, and is therefore culturally doomed? Being active in mutually empowering relationships sounds like a truly livable alternative. Although the authors have worked primarily with women and much of the book addresses the concerns of women, the relational insights that the authors offer have applicability to both genders.

The book is divided into four sections—” Connections,” “Disconnections,” “Psychotherapy,” and “Community”—that address different aspects of their findings.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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