The Monster Within
The Hidden Side of Motherhood
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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.
Praise For The Monster Within: The Hidden Side of Motherhood…
“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.”
— New Yorker
“Myth-shredding look at maternal ambivalence.”
— Ms Magazine
“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.”
— Carolyn See
“A smart, cohesive read, and a welcome respite from perfect-mother guidebooks. Recommended If: The last book you’d ever pick up is one about motherhood.”
“Takes on the taboo of maternal ambivalence. . . . Almond, a psychoanalyst, offers an optimistic message about the roots of these mixed emotions.”
— The Washington Post
University of California Press, 9780520271203, 312pp.
Publication Date: October 4, 2010
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.