Reviving Ophelia

421 Words2 Pages
The book I chose for this assignment is Reviving Ophelia. This was a very interesting book. Mary Pipher, PhD. discusses the roles that society plays in shaping the self esteem of teenage and preteen age girls. The author contends that our society today is very look-obsessed and media driven. Through magazines, television, fashion, and retail the "idea" girl is formed and anyone who doesn't fit this idea is not perfect in the culture that girls live in today. Weight issues have caused conditions of anorexia and bulimia putting young girls in jeopardy of declining health. Dr. Pipher chronicles the life of adolescent girls from their carefree days of being energetic, assertive, and tomboyish to their losing themselves at the onset of puberty. Most girls lose their previous selves to fit into a norm of society, being more passive, depressed, and self-critical. The main point of this book is to help uncover the true self of adolescent girls and to give them techniques to help them combat the views of society. This quote from the book summarizes all that the author was addressing when writing this book. "Most girls choose to be socially accepted and split into two selves, one that is authentic and one that is culturally scripted. In public they become who they are suppose to be."

Dr. Pipher's approaches to psychology are more eclectic than following any one approach exclusively. When a girl comes in for depression, she first will determine if there is a biological reason for the depression. "At the severe extreme, I think of a client whose family history was filled with depression and alcohol abuse, who had an alcoholic father and psychotically depressed mother. When she hit adolescence she had neither internal nor external resources to support her." Dr. Pipher describes her form of therapy approach as this, "I call myself a relationship-oriented cognitive behaviorist. I'm influenced by the humanistic psychologists and also by social learning theorists." The author gives girls encouraging behavior techniques along with thought changing techniques to help them to observe and learn more clearly about the world around them.

The book I read is like the psychology textbook chapters 7 and 10. I chose chapter seven because it deals with learning and conditioning. In my book, Reviving Ophelia adolescent girls are taught how to act, look, and behave by society standards.
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