The Anxiety of the Unknown—Choice, Risk, Responsibility

Therapeutic Issues for Today’s Adult Women
  • Rosalind C. Barnett
Part of the Women in Context: Development and Stresses book series (WICO)


Within the last several years we have seen a plethora of research findings and demographic data describing current social changes, especially as they affect women. The changes that have received greatest attention include the lengthening life-span, the widespread movement of women into the labor force, the rising divorce rate, and steadily growing inflation. These massive changes in our social environment have undoubtedly affected women’s views of themselves and their life satisfaction. Yet explicit work on exploring the implications of these widely discussed social shifts on the psychological experiences of women and on the issues they bring into therapy has not kept pace. Several recent reviews (Maracek and Johnson, 1980; McMahon, 1980) focus on the process of therapy—the form, not the content. Other overviews deal with the psychiatric aspects of particular and frequent presenting problems, such as abortion, sexual dysfunctions, eating disorders (see, for example, Notman and Nadelson, 1978). These efforts, however, rarely address the impact that the sweeping changes in the social and political definitions of women’s roles have had on the issues with which adult women are grappling, especially in their middle years.


Eating Disorder Adult Woman Woman Patient Full Acceptance Life Pattern 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosalind C. Barnett
    • 1
  1. 1.Wellesley College Center for Research on WomenWellesleyUSA

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