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Wilkinson, A. (1983). Woodman, Marion. Addiction to Perfection: the Still Unravished Bride. Toronto. Inner City Books 1982. Pp. 204. Paperback $12.. J. Anal. Psychol., 28(3):284-285.

(1983). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 28(3):284-285

Woodman, Marion. Addiction to Perfection: the Still Unravished Bride. Toronto. Inner City Books 1982. Pp. 204. Paperback $12.

Review by:
Agnes Wilkinson

Edited by:
Andrew Samuels

Marion Woodman writes for women afflicted with serious eating disorders (obesity, anorexia, bulimia) and for those who try to treat these difficult cases. True to the traditions, of her particular school of analytical psychology she presents the root problem of addiction to perfection in the language of Greek mythology. Her image is that of Athena (born fully armed with a mighty shout from the head of Zeus after he had swallowed her pregnant mother, Metis) who, angry with a more beautiful Medusa, takes her cruel revenge by changing Medusa's locks to snakes. Woodman then puts the question Is it possible that the modern Athena is not in contact with her Medusa? This Athena/Medusa myth seems to be as firm an image and concept in her clinical work as Freud's Oedipus myth was for him— and equally effective.

In the context of more humdrum regular analytic therapy with other sorts of people some of the author's extra-analytic and post-analytic practices come as a shock. For example, she writes about the workshops that have evolved out of her practice. Having made the point that these provide a different experience for each participant because each has had sufficient analysis to be well established on her own path, she writes that,

Our workshops almost always conclude with creative dance. The intense concentration has created sacred space and sacred time and in that world we reconnect with the ancient energies that are so ready to enter when the container is properly prepared.

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