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My Mother, My Mirror
Recognizing and Making the Most of Inherited Self-Images
Average: 3 (6 votes)
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As you were growing up, your mother's self-image likely impacted your own in many conscious and unconscious ways. Perhaps those things your mother disliked about herself-her looks, her lack of confidence, or even her personal failures-came to shape your own self-image.

In My Mother, My Mirror, an experienced psychotherapist explores how mothers unwittingly pass on their self-esteem and body image issues to their daughters, helps you break the cycle when parenting your own daughters, and guides you through the process of overcoming the hidden negative messages that keep you from reaching your fullest potential. Without blaming your mother, you will learn to rethink and rebuild your self-image.

A thoughtful and engaging perspective on mother-daughter relationships in all of their complexity.
-Melinda Parisi, Ph.D., psychologist at the University Medical Center at Princeton

Publisher Reviews
  • “A valuable resource for both the lay audience and clinicians alike, My Mother, My Mirror offers a thoughtful and engaging perspective on mother-daughter relationships in all of their complexity. Laura Arens Fuerstein provides a route for mothers and daughters to examine and re-evaluate the beliefs that serve to keep them bound in self-defeating distortions. She is a compelling storyteller, and her examples, drawn not only from her clinical work, but from works of fiction, biographies, and mythology, provide vivid and engaging illustrations that bring theory to life. Notably, she refrains from blaming mothers (who, after all, are recipients of their own psychic inheritance), and ultimately helps to promote a freer and more authentic sense of self.”
    —Melinda Parisi, Ph.D., psychologist and program director of the University Medical Center at Princeton Eating Disorders Program

  • My Mother, My Mirror offers a fresh look at the feelings of inadequacy so common in women. Few self-help books contain the intellectual and clinical sophistication informing this lively, readable work. Laura Arens Fuerstein translates the jargon of contemporary psychoanalysis and psychological science into images and metaphors that resonate poignantly with deeply felt female experience. With this contribution, her therapeutic skills reach far beyond her clinical office and give readers new opportunities to grow into their best selves.”
    —Nancy McWilliams, professor at Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology

  • “As a breast surgeon, I have a privileged window into women’s body-related self-images, and get a very good idea of their inner strengths. Those with a realistic view of themselves seem to adjust more easily to physical changes that may result from surgery. As Laura Arens Fuerstein writes, the overemphasis placed on female beauty is partly attributed to the media and our culture’s focus on youth and glamour, but its deepest causes often lie in our mothers’ distorted views of themselves that they unwittingly pass on to their daughters. My Mother, My Mirror is a highly engaging book that offers women a clear and unique approach to shedding the emotional baggage that maintains these distorted views.”
    —Alisan Goldfarb, MD, Mount Sinai School of Medicine Department of Surgery, in New York City

  • In My Mother, My Mirror, Laura Arens Fuerstein uses her long experience as an analytic clinician and teacher of psychotherapy to help us recognize and change distortions in our views of ourselves. These distortions are born of distortions in our mothers' views of themselves when we were children. With her firm base in psychodynamics, she demonstrates how to use free writing and other creative activities that engage the senses, as well as literature and mindfulness, to shift toward a truer self-image and greater fulfillment. The book is groundbreaking in that it lifts the mother-daughter relationship guilt trip, while at the same time inspiring us to grow by facing anger, preserving love, and avoiding blame.”
    —Susan Gutwill, MSW, psychotherapist and member of the board and teaching staff of the Women’s Therapy Center in New York City


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