Reviving Ophelia: Saving The Selves Of Adolescent Girls

by Mary Pipher

Random House Publishing Group | February 14, 1995 | Trade Paperback

4.6667 out of 5 rating. 6 Reviews
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Why are more American adolescent girls prey to depression, eating disorders, addictions, and suicide attempts than ever before? According to Dr. Mary Pipher, a clinical psychologist who has treated girls for more than twenty years, we live in a look-obsessed, media-saturated, "girl-poisoning" culture. Despite the advances of feminism, escalating levels of sexism and violence--from undervalued intelligence to sexual harassment in elementary school--cause girls to stifle their creative spirit and natural impulses, which, ultimately, destroys their self-esteem. Yet girls often blame themselves or their families for this "problem with no name" instead of looking at the world around them.

Here, for the first time, are girls'' unmuted voices from the front lines of adolescence, personal and painfully honest. By laying bare their harsh day-to-day reality, Reviving Ophelia issues a call to arms and offers parents compassion, strength, and strategies with which to revive these Ophelias'' lost sense of self.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 pages, 8.26 × 5.48 × 0.8 in

Published: February 14, 1995

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0345392825

ISBN - 13: 9780345392824

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– More About This Product –

Reviving Ophelia: Saving The Selves Of Adolescent Girls

by Mary Pipher

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 pages, 8.26 × 5.48 × 0.8 in

Published: February 14, 1995

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0345392825

ISBN - 13: 9780345392824

Read from the Book

Reviving Ophelia is my attempt to understand my experiences in therapy with adolescent girls. Many girls come into therapy with serious, even life-threatening problems, such as anorexia or the desire to physically hurt or kill themselves. Others have problems less dangerous but still more puzzling, such as school refusal, underachievement, moodiness, or constant discord with their parents. Many are victims of sexual violence. As I talked to these girls, I became aware of how little I really understood the world of adolescent girls today. It didn''t work to use my own adolescent experience from the early 1960s to make generalizations. Girls were living in a whole new world.... Even in our small city with its mostly middle-class population, girls often experienced trauma. How could we help girls heal from that trauma? And what could we do to prevent it? This last year I have struggled to make sense of this. Why are girls having more trouble now than my friends and I had when we were adolescents? Many of us hated our adolescent years, yet for the most part we weren''t suicidal and we didn''t develop eating disorders, cut ourselves, or run away from home.... But girls today are much more oppressed. They are coming of age in a more dangerous, sexualized, and media-saturated culture. They face incredible pressures to be beautiful and sophisticated, which in junior high means using chemicals and being sexual. As they navigate a more dangerous world, girls are less protected. As I lo
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From the Publisher

Why are more American adolescent girls prey to depression, eating disorders, addictions, and suicide attempts than ever before? According to Dr. Mary Pipher, a clinical psychologist who has treated girls for more than twenty years, we live in a look-obsessed, media-saturated, "girl-poisoning" culture. Despite the advances of feminism, escalating levels of sexism and violence--from undervalued intelligence to sexual harassment in elementary school--cause girls to stifle their creative spirit and natural impulses, which, ultimately, destroys their self-esteem. Yet girls often blame themselves or their families for this "problem with no name" instead of looking at the world around them.

Here, for the first time, are girls'' unmuted voices from the front lines of adolescence, personal and painfully honest. By laying bare their harsh day-to-day reality, Reviving Ophelia issues a call to arms and offers parents compassion, strength, and strategies with which to revive these Ophelias'' lost sense of self.

About the Author

Dr. Mary Pipher is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Lincoln, Nebraska. She teaches part-time at the University of Nebraska and is also a commentator for Nebraska Public Radio.

From Our Editors

Take an eye-opening look at the complex world of teenage girls. In Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, respected psychologist Mary Pipher illuminates the dangerous and devastating realities that face young girls today, from dysfunctional families to incest to abuse and more. Beyond just outlining the threats and obstacles facing these young girls, Pipher offers advice on confronting and understanding these problems.

Editorial Reviews

"An important book . . . Pipher shines high-beam headlights on the world of teenage girls."
-Los Angeles Times

"A vibrant and insightful account . . . The loss of the spirit which Dr. Pipher so brilliantly portrays is the loss of the American spirit."
-DR. NATALIE PORTER
Former president, Division of the Psychology of Women,
American Psychological Association



From the Paperback edition.

Employee Review

An in-depth look at the impact our culture has on adolescent girls today. Pipher addresses many of the issues facing girls, form drugs to sex. She states that our culture is "girl poisoning" and proceeds to prove it. This book will open parents' eyes to their daughters' ordeals, and will help women realize the impact their own adolescence had on their lives.

Bookclub Guide

1. Why are kids having more trouble coming of age in 2000?

2. Discuss the differences in childhood and in parenting between your era and today. What was better, or worse? How can we preserve the best of both eras for our children?

3. How do we build a sense of community in our neighborhoods today? How can we help other people's children? What institutions can help us?

4. How do we balance the need to protect our children with the need to raise them free of unnecessary fear?

5. What useful work do we have for children in our community?

6. What can we do to fight violent and sexualized media and the omnipresence of marketing to children?

7. What experience in adolescence are mostly girls' experiences? What experiences are mostly unique to boys? What issues are shared by both genders?

8. What do you think a typical school day is like in the life of your child? (Your students?)

9. How can schools and families protect girls from eating disorders? How can we hold advertisers and media more accountable for their images of young women?

10. How has our culture changed for girls since Reviving Ophelia was written? Discuss both negative and positive changes.

11. How do computers affect girls' social and emotional development?

12. How can we help girls hold on to their true selves?

13. What role do sports play in girls' development?

14. Why do girls argue so much with their mothers and what can be done about it?

15. How can fathers help their daughters through adolescence?

16. What are the signs of depression in teens and when should a family seek professional help?

17. What guidelines and policies should parents have about their children's friends?

18. How can we keep our teens connected to older and younger people and not isolated in peer culture?

19. What is a good school harassment policy?

20. How do we teach boys to respect women and girls?

21. What are some differences in adolescence across ethnic groups--specifically African-American, Asian, and Hispanic?

22. What is your policy about movies, television, music, and computers? How do you enforce it? What are the relative merits of protecting children from media versus exposing them to media but processing it with them and helping them understand it?

23. How can we teach children to behave properly? 24. How do we teach values to our children?

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