Reviving Ophelia

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Reviving Ophelia

by Mary Pipher

Riverhead | August 16, 2005 | Trade Paperback

3 out of 5 rating. 2 Reviews
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#1 New York Times Bestseller

The groundbreaking work that poses one of the most provocative questions of a generation: what is happening to the selves of adolescent girls?


As a therapist, Mary Pipher was becoming frustrated with the growing problems among adolescent girls. Why were so many of them turning to therapy in the first place? Why had these lovely and promising human beings fallen prey to depression, eating disorders, suicide attempts, and crushingly low self-esteem? The answer hit a nerve with Pipher, with parents, and with the girls themselves. Crashing and burning in a “developmental Bermuda Triangle," they were coming of age in a media-saturated culture preoccupied with unrealistic ideals of beauty and images of dehumanized sex, a culture rife with addictions and sexually transmitted diseases. They were losing their resiliency and optimism in a “girl-poisoning" culture that propagated values at odds with those necessary to survive.   

Told in the brave, fearless, and honest voices of the girls themselves who are emerging from the chaos of adolescence, Reviving Ophelia is a call to arms, offering important tactics, empathy, and strength, and urging a change where young hearts can flourish again, and rediscover and reengage their sense of self.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 304 pages, 8.22 × 5.58 × 0.81 in

Published: August 16, 2005

Publisher: Riverhead

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1594481881

ISBN - 13: 9781594481888

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Reviews

– More About This Product –

Reviving Ophelia

by Mary Pipher

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 304 pages, 8.22 × 5.58 × 0.81 in

Published: August 16, 2005

Publisher: Riverhead

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1594481881

ISBN - 13: 9781594481888

About the Book

Pipher's acclaimed, groundbreaking "New York Times" bestseller provides an eye-opening examination of adolescent girls in America who are prone to eating disorders, depression, and suicide attempts, and offers compassion and strategies to help revive these young women's lost sense of self.

Read from the Book

EXCERPT 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.
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Table of Contents

Preface ..... 11 Chapter 1: Saplings in the Storm ..... 17 Chapter 2: Theoretical Issues - For Your Own Good ..... 29 Chapter 3: Developmental Issues - "I''m Not Waving, I''m Drowning" ..... 45 Chapter 4: Families - The Root Systems ..... 74 Chapter 5: Mothers ..... 101 Chapter 6: Fathers ..... 115 Chapter 7: Divorce ..... 131 Chapter 8: Within the Hurricane - Depression ..... 146 Chapter 9: Worshiping the Gods of Thinness ..... 166 Chapter 10: Drugs and Alcohol - If Ophelia Were Alive Today ..... 186 Chapter 11: Sex and Violence ..... 203 Chapter 12: Then and Now ..... 232 Chapter 13: What I''ve Learned from Listening ..... 248 Chapter 14: Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom ..... 260 Chapter 15: A Fence at the Top of the Hill ..... 282 Recommended Reading ..... 295 Index ..... 297

From the Publisher

#1 New York Times Bestseller

The groundbreaking work that poses one of the most provocative questions of a generation: what is happening to the selves of adolescent girls?


As a therapist, Mary Pipher was becoming frustrated with the growing problems among adolescent girls. Why were so many of them turning to therapy in the first place? Why had these lovely and promising human beings fallen prey to depression, eating disorders, suicide attempts, and crushingly low self-esteem? The answer hit a nerve with Pipher, with parents, and with the girls themselves. Crashing and burning in a “developmental Bermuda Triangle," they were coming of age in a media-saturated culture preoccupied with unrealistic ideals of beauty and images of dehumanized sex, a culture rife with addictions and sexually transmitted diseases. They were losing their resiliency and optimism in a “girl-poisoning" culture that propagated values at odds with those necessary to survive.   

Told in the brave, fearless, and honest voices of the girls themselves who are emerging from the chaos of adolescence, Reviving Ophelia is a call to arms, offering important tactics, empathy, and strength, and urging a change where young hearts can flourish again, and rediscover and reengage their sense of self.

About the Author

Mary Pipher, Ph.D., is a psychologist and the author of nine books, including the New York Times bestsellers Reviving Ophelia, The Shelter of Each Other, and Another Country, as well as Seeking Peace and Writing to Change the World. She lives in Nebraska.

Editorial Reviews

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

"A must-read for all of us who care about young women in our lives…Reviving Ophelia arms us with information we can use in helping our daughters grow to adulthood with their strength intact."
-Lincoln Star Journal

"Pipher is an eloquent advocate…[she] offers concrete suggestions for ways by which girls can build and maintain a strong sense of self."
-Publishers Weekly 

"Serious and thoughtful material presented with the fluidity of good fiction."
-Kirkus Reviews
 
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