IPT Book Reviews

Title: Feeling Strong: How Power Issues Affect Our Ability to direct Our Own Lives   Neutral Review
Author: Ethel S. Person
Publisher: Quill, 2003

Quill, A Division of HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022-5299
Phone: (212) 207-7000
Fax: (212) 207-7901
Price: $13.95 Soft

This book deals with an important topic.  Power to direct our lives and to relate to other people in effective ways is crucial to our daily lives and our experience of life.  The author is a bright and skillful observer and writes well.  The book can be engaging and interesting to many.

However, it is also a clear example of an ideological position determining both observations and the meaning given to them.  Freudian psychoanalytic thought is the ideology of the book.  There is no reference to any of the vast amount of empirical research evidence readily available in the science of psychology relevant to the topic.  No mention of scientific data is found in the bibliography nor in the chapter notes.  Only psychoanalytic books, articles, and material is referenced.

Then result is a network of conjectures, speculations, and assumptions about the interior unobservable processes of human beings.  The black box does not exist for this author.  She knows all that goes on in there.

The book may be useful for any who want to generate hypotheses that can be checked by empirical research but is has no demonstrated validity as a guide for life or how to deal with human power or powerlessness.

Reviewed by Ralph Underwager, PhD,, Institute for Psychological Therapies.

Order this book: Paperback

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