Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To search for a specific phrase…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Did you write an article’s title and the article did not appear in the search results? Or do you want to find a specific phrase within the article? Go to the Search section and write the title or phrase surrounded by quotations marks in the “Search for Words or Phrases in Context” area.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Notman, M. (2015). Women's Bodies in Psychoanalysis by Rosemary M. Balsam Routledge, New York, 2012; 222 pp; $40.95. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 96(1):239-244.

(2015). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 96(1):239-244

Book and Journal Reviews

Women's Bodies in Psychoanalysis by Rosemary M. Balsam Routledge, New York, 2012; 222 pp; $40.95

Review by:
Malkah Notman

Gender, sexuality, femininity and body image have received considerable attention in the psychoanalytic literature in recent years. Most of this writing, however, including thoughtful and historically inclusive psychoanalytic articles (e.g. Dimen and Goldner, 2012) do not consider the actual biological body. This neglect can be understood in part as a reflection of the theoretical shifts from classical drive theory to postmodern concepts which emphasize the social construction of gender, the influence of the mind on concepts of the body and the ambiguity of terms such as ‘femininity’. The female body is even more absent from the literature and the pregnant body hardly appears at all. Balsam, in this unusual, beautifully written book, goes a long way to address this absence and its impact on psychoanalytic theory and practice. The book is based on careful scholarship, a thoughtful examination of theory, and detailed clinical observation. Its language is wonderfully rich, clear and evocative. She considers the reasons for the omission of the body, and examines the effects of this lacuna on analysts' understanding of their patients. She observes that even those psychoanalysts who have written about the female body (e.g. Pines, 1993; Raphael-Leff, 1991) have not integrated their observations into psychoanalytic theory. She believes there is a need to include consideration of the sexed gendered body in all phases of development and to integrate this knowledge into psychoanalytic theory.

[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.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.