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This title in other editions

The Monster Within: The Hidden Side of Motherhood

by

The Monster Within: The Hidden Side of Motherhood Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Whether it is uncertainty over having a child, fears of pregnancy and childbirth, or negative thoughts about one's own children, mixed feelings about motherhood are not just hard to discuss, they are a powerful social taboo. In this beautifully written book, Barbara Almond draws on her extensive clinical experience to bring this highly troubling issue to light. In a compelling portrait of the hidden side of contemporary motherhood, she finds that ambivalence of varying degrees is a ubiquitous phenomenon, yet one that too often causes anxiety, guilt, and depression.

Weaving together case histories with rich examples from literature and popular culture, Almond uncovers the roots of ambivalence, tells how it manifests in lives of women and their children, and describes a spectrum of maternal behavior — from normal feelings to highly disturbed mothering characterized by blame, misuse, abuse, even child murder. In a society where perfection in parenting is the unattainable ideal, this compassionate book offers some prescriptions for relief by showing women how they can affect positive change in their lives.

Review:

"Psychoanalyst Almond (The Therapeutic Narrative) uses her decades-long interest in maternal ambivalence to study how individual uncertainty or insecurity can manifest itself in forms of inadequate motherhood or fears of 'monstrous offspring.' Relying heavily on extreme case studies, Almond explores the parent-child relationships that often detour in what she considers Oedipal periods. Citing cases from her own practice and public figures Almond's relentless judgment of women and even marital sexual behavior throughout her analysis of bad mothering is disconcerting. She relies too heavily on extreme examples such as implicitly 'narcissistic' Angelina Jolie and Nadya Suleman, casually comparing the latter to the overwhelmed nursery rhyme mother from 'The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.' All of her analyses seem to culminate in Andrea Yates' horrific act of murdering her five children. Throughout the explication of case studies, Almond includes literary interpretations centering on incest and mother-hatred of classic horror stories such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Bram Stoker's Dracula. While an interesting premise, Almond's reliance on severe cases and an inordinate obsession with incest reduces the potential impact on ordinary stressed mothers looking for understanding and relief. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"First, let me recommend this engrossing study to every new mother, old mother, good mother and bad mother. Sons, husbands, dads and lovers might profit from reading this, too. The Monster Within addresses what everybody knows, but almost nobody talks about: Even the best mothers among us will be or have been tormented from time to time by strong feelings of dread, fear, hatred and even revulsion at the whole process of motherhood, as well as experiencing downright murderous feelings toward our children." Washington Post Book World

Review:

"Myth-shredding look at maternal ambivalence." Ms Magazine

Review:

"Just the thing for a gray and drizzly autumn afternoon. Drawing on her thirty-seven years of practice as a psychoanalyst as well as her own experiences as a mother, Almond leads an adventurous tour through the shadowy, secret parts of the mother's psyche....An oddly compelling read." The New Yorker

Review:

"Barbara Almond's book is a wonderful new resource for helping mothers, especially new mothers, to tolerate that love between them and their children must be burdened by resentment. Her evocative clinical and literary stories make ambivalence a bit easier for mothers to bear. This is essential reading for mothers, in psychotherapy or not, for fathers, and for therapists, including male therapists who will become better able to see women's bodies and motherhood from a woman's perspective." Stanley Coen, M.D., author of Affect Intolerance in Patient and Analyst

Review:

"The Monster Within is a gripping book. Dr. Almond's fresh insights and perspectives regarding maternal ambivalence help us to become more comfortable with these feelings. This book is enormously useful to mothers, clinicians and anyone else interested in the psychology of motherhood." Daphne de Marneffe, author of Maternal Desire: On Children, Love, and the Inner Life

Review:

"Psychoanalysis has always addressed the monster within: conflicts, fears, and those unacceptable feelings of anger, envy, and hatred with which we all grapple. Such feelings are particularly scary for mothers, and Dr. Barbara Almond, an experienced psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, shows us how and why this is so. The Monster Within presents richly nuanced and detailed cases that give the reader a sense of what these difficult feelings of ambivalence are, as they are experienced day to day, consciously and unconsciously. Her expertly presented material provides the lively underpinning of this compelling book." Nancy J. Chodorow, author of The Reproduction of Mothering

Synopsis:

"Psychoanalysis has always addressed the monster within: conflicts, fears, and those unacceptable feelings of anger, envy, and hatred with which we all grapple. Such feelings are particularly scary for mothers, and Dr. Barbara Almond, an experienced psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, shows us how and why this is so. The Monster Within presents richly nuanced and detailed cases that give the reader a sense of what these difficult feelings of ambivalence are, as they are experienced day to day, consciously and unconsciously. Her expertly presented material provides the lively underpinning of this compelling book."—Nancy J. Chodorow, author of The Reproduction of Mothering

"The Monster Within is a gripping book. Dr. Almond's fresh insights and perspectives regarding maternal ambivalence help us to become more comfortable with these feelings. This book is enormously useful to mothers, clinicians and anyone else interested in the psychology of motherhood."—Daphne de Marneffe, author of Maternal Desire: On Children, Love, and the Inner Life

"Barbara Almond's book is a wonderful new resource for helping mothers, especially new mothers, to tolerate that love between them and their children must be burdened by resentment. Her evocative clinical and literary stories make ambivalence a bit easier for mothers to bear. This is essential reading for mothers, in psychotherapy or not, for fathers, and for therapists, including male therapists who will become better able to see women's bodies and motherhood from a woman's perspective."—Stanley Coen, M.D., author of Affect Intolerance in Patient and Analyst

Synopsis:

Mixed feelings about motherhood--uncertainty over having a child, fears of pregnancy and childbirth, or negative thoughts about one's own children--are not just hard to discuss, they are a powerful social taboo. In this beautifully written book, Barbara Almond brings this troubling issue to light. She uncovers the roots of ambivalence, tells how it manifests in lives of women and their children, and describes a spectrum of maternal behavior--from normal feelings to highly disturbed mothering. In a society where perfection in parenting is the unattainable ideal, this compassionate book also shows how women can affect positive change in their lives.

About the Author

Barbara Almond, M.D., is a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst in private practice, a member of the faculty at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, and Emeritus Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at Stanford University. She is coauthor of The Therapeutic Narrative: Fictional Relationships and the Process of Psychological Change.

Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1. The Ubiquity of Maternal Ambivalence

Chapter 2. Motherlove: The Power of Maternal Desire

Chapter 3. The Subtle Ambivalence of the Too-Good Mother

Chapter 4. “Before the Beginning”: Womens Fears of Monstrous Births

Chapter 5. Womens Reproductive Fears: More Clinical Examples

Chapter 6. Rachels Story: Internalized Ambivalence and the Dangers of Hidden Guilt

Chapter 7. Whose Fault Is It? The Externalization of Ambivalence

Chapter 8. When Fears Are Realized

Chapter 9. From the Childs Point of View

Chapter 10. Vampyric Mothering: From Stage Moms to Invasive Moms

Chapter 11. The Darkest Side of Motherhood: Child Murder

Chapter 12. What Happens Later: The Fate of Maternal Ambivalence

Chapter 13. Whats a Mother to Do?

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520267138
Author:
Almond, Barbara
Publisher:
University of California Press
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
Psychology -- History.
Subject:
Gender Studies
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20101031
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
296
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.75 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Mothering
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » History
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Womens Psychology
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies

The Monster Within: The Hidden Side of Motherhood Sale Hardcover
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$13.50 In Stock
Product details 296 pages University of California Press - English 9780520267138 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Psychoanalyst Almond (The Therapeutic Narrative) uses her decades-long interest in maternal ambivalence to study how individual uncertainty or insecurity can manifest itself in forms of inadequate motherhood or fears of 'monstrous offspring.' Relying heavily on extreme case studies, Almond explores the parent-child relationships that often detour in what she considers Oedipal periods. Citing cases from her own practice and public figures Almond's relentless judgment of women and even marital sexual behavior throughout her analysis of bad mothering is disconcerting. She relies too heavily on extreme examples such as implicitly 'narcissistic' Angelina Jolie and Nadya Suleman, casually comparing the latter to the overwhelmed nursery rhyme mother from 'The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.' All of her analyses seem to culminate in Andrea Yates' horrific act of murdering her five children. Throughout the explication of case studies, Almond includes literary interpretations centering on incest and mother-hatred of classic horror stories such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Bram Stoker's Dracula. While an interesting premise, Almond's reliance on severe cases and an inordinate obsession with incest reduces the potential impact on ordinary stressed mothers looking for understanding and relief. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "First, let me recommend this engrossing study to every new mother, old mother, good mother and bad mother. Sons, husbands, dads and lovers might profit from reading this, too. The Monster Within addresses what everybody knows, but almost nobody talks about: Even the best mothers among us will be or have been tormented from time to time by strong feelings of dread, fear, hatred and even revulsion at the whole process of motherhood, as well as experiencing downright murderous feelings toward our children."
"Review" by , "Myth-shredding look at maternal ambivalence."
"Review" by , "Just the thing for a gray and drizzly autumn afternoon. Drawing on her thirty-seven years of practice as a psychoanalyst as well as her own experiences as a mother, Almond leads an adventurous tour through the shadowy, secret parts of the mother's psyche....An oddly compelling read."
"Review" by , "Barbara Almond's book is a wonderful new resource for helping mothers, especially new mothers, to tolerate that love between them and their children must be burdened by resentment. Her evocative clinical and literary stories make ambivalence a bit easier for mothers to bear. This is essential reading for mothers, in psychotherapy or not, for fathers, and for therapists, including male therapists who will become better able to see women's bodies and motherhood from a woman's perspective."
"Review" by , "The Monster Within is a gripping book. Dr. Almond's fresh insights and perspectives regarding maternal ambivalence help us to become more comfortable with these feelings. This book is enormously useful to mothers, clinicians and anyone else interested in the psychology of motherhood."
"Review" by , "Psychoanalysis has always addressed the monster within: conflicts, fears, and those unacceptable feelings of anger, envy, and hatred with which we all grapple. Such feelings are particularly scary for mothers, and Dr. Barbara Almond, an experienced psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, shows us how and why this is so. The Monster Within presents richly nuanced and detailed cases that give the reader a sense of what these difficult feelings of ambivalence are, as they are experienced day to day, consciously and unconsciously. Her expertly presented material provides the lively underpinning of this compelling book."
"Synopsis" by ,
"Psychoanalysis has always addressed the monster within: conflicts, fears, and those unacceptable feelings of anger, envy, and hatred with which we all grapple. Such feelings are particularly scary for mothers, and Dr. Barbara Almond, an experienced psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, shows us how and why this is so. The Monster Within presents richly nuanced and detailed cases that give the reader a sense of what these difficult feelings of ambivalence are, as they are experienced day to day, consciously and unconsciously. Her expertly presented material provides the lively underpinning of this compelling book."—Nancy J. Chodorow, author of The Reproduction of Mothering

"The Monster Within is a gripping book. Dr. Almond's fresh insights and perspectives regarding maternal ambivalence help us to become more comfortable with these feelings. This book is enormously useful to mothers, clinicians and anyone else interested in the psychology of motherhood."—Daphne de Marneffe, author of Maternal Desire: On Children, Love, and the Inner Life

"Barbara Almond's book is a wonderful new resource for helping mothers, especially new mothers, to tolerate that love between them and their children must be burdened by resentment. Her evocative clinical and literary stories make ambivalence a bit easier for mothers to bear. This is essential reading for mothers, in psychotherapy or not, for fathers, and for therapists, including male therapists who will become better able to see women's bodies and motherhood from a woman's perspective."—Stanley Coen, M.D., author of Affect Intolerance in Patient and Analyst

"Synopsis" by ,
Mixed feelings about motherhood--uncertainty over having a child, fears of pregnancy and childbirth, or negative thoughts about one's own children--are not just hard to discuss, they are a powerful social taboo. In this beautifully written book, Barbara Almond brings this troubling issue to light. She uncovers the roots of ambivalence, tells how it manifests in lives of women and their children, and describes a spectrum of maternal behavior--from normal feelings to highly disturbed mothering. In a society where perfection in parenting is the unattainable ideal, this compassionate book also shows how women can affect positive change in their lives.
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