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Pesskin, A. (2015). The Dark Side of the Womb: Pregnancy, Parenting and Persecutory Anxieties by Joan Raphael-Leff. Published by the Anna Freud Centre, London, 2015; 277 pp; £20.00 (paperback). Brit. J. Psychother., 31(4):543-546.

(2015). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 31(4):543-546

The Dark Side of the Womb: Pregnancy, Parenting and Persecutory Anxieties by Joan Raphael-Leff. Published by the Anna Freud Centre, London, 2015; 277 pp; £20.00 (paperback)

Review by:
Annie Pesskin

Joan Raphael-Leff has been thinking about babies, their parents and the extraordinary psychic acrobatics required to become a good enough parent ever since qualifying as a psychoanalyst at the Institute of Psychoanalysis (BPAS) over 40 years ago. She has specialized in working with adults with reproductive and early parenting issues, and with couples and their babies bringing, quite literally, a lifetime of experience to this fascinating and perilous aspect of the life cycle. Her new book, The Dark Side of the Womb, is written for parents, midwives and anyone else involved with people in the process of becoming parents.

Her book is a cri de coeur in multiple ways. She exhorts us to listen as parents-to-be to what our babies are telling us they need; she asks us to heed the warning signs in friends, patients, even our own family members, of a parent-infant relationship going awry.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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