“I encourage girls to search within themselves for their deepest values and beliefs. Once they have discovered their own true selves, I encourage them to trust that self as the source of meaning and direction in their lives” Mary Pipher, Ph.D.
Clinical psychologist Mary Pipher has brought widespread attention to the loss of true-self, experienced by adolescent girls in her critically acclaimed book, Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls. (Whitaker, 2006). In her book, Pihper addresses the development issues of adolescent girls, the culture they live in and how their needs are and are not being met. She explains that our failure as a society, is not giving our children good, sound advice on how to become a decent, functioning adults and our unwillingness to do so, is destroying our culture (Pihper, 2002). She also offers insightful advice as to how, we as a society can encourage our adolescent girls to remain true to their authentic selves.
Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls
More than anything, I want to save my children from the pain and self-imposed isolation I experienced during adolescence. As a parent, I want to shelter my children, make all of the hard decisions for them and protect them from any harm that comes their way. As a realist, I understand that the experiences of adolescences are necessary to build character, strength and integrity. As a dreamer, I want my children to magically transcend into adulthood, unscathed from the trauma of their teens years. As a future psychologist, I agree that our children are growing up in a poisonous culture and without intervention; we will all suffer (Pipher, 1994).
When I looked up this book and noticed its publication date (1994), my first thought was, “How relevant can this book be, it’s almost 20 years old?” The issues adolescents faced in the early 1990’s are not the same issues