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The subject of midlife has been dominated by the woes of aging—menopause, divorce, hormone replacement therapies, aging parents, and fleeing children. Now a broad-ranging new work by clinical psychologist Linda N. Edelstein, Ph.D., The Art of Midlife, describes the freedom and authenticity that can be made a cornerstone of the middle years. She describes three healthy and predictable phases. First, women relinquish old ways, untying themselves from the past and mourning the losses of youth and its illusions. By placing less emphasis on the needs of others, women can live more creatively and enjoy the present. The women Dr. Edelstein studied have been able to move to the next step, in which they reconnect to themselves. They regain their authentic voices, simplify life, and allow long buried aspects of themselves to emerge. Finally, women refocus their futures. With courage, they embrace new people, ideas, activities, and work—and pursue adult dreams regardless of external rewards.
"The author provides and excellent review of the tasks and opportunities inherent in the middle years of a woman's life. She uses an elegant theoretical model to describe the process of change at this stage and richly illustrates it with numerous clinical vignettes and marvelous literary references, chosen with particular aptness that makes them linger in the reader's consciousness….Written in a user-friendly manner, the book is not only a valuable resource in terms of providing information and validation to midlife women, but is also a useful tool for those male clinicians still pondering what a woman wants. Finally, it is well indexed and has a comprehensive, diverse, interesting bibliography that encourages rather than overwhelms."
Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic
"Dr. Edelstein, in her excellent book…describes midlife as a complex internal process for women dealing with claiming their own creativity and letting go of impediments….I recommend this book…as it voices poetically and accurately complex tapestries of midlife growth and change."
Voices: The Art and Science of Psychotherapy
|Pt. I||Relinquish the Old||5|
|1||"Freedom Is Daily, Prose-Bound, Routine Remembering": An Overview of Midlife Creativity||7|
|2||"The Terrible Weight of All This Unused Life": Relinquish the Old||17|
|3||"Glowing Coals under Grey Ashes": Midlife||31|
|4||"First It Was in Black and White, and Then It Was in Color": Creativity and Insight||49|
|Pt. II||Reconnect to the Self||71|
|5||"She Must Braid Us All Together": The Psychology of Women||73|
|6||"I Am Her Only Novel": Relationships with Parents and Their Dreams for Us||91|
|7||"There's Still So Much I'd Like to See": How We Are Formed by Social Forces||99|
|8||"Once You Are Real You Can't Be Ugly": Authenticity||111|
|9||"Finding a Fortune in the Lining of an Old Coat": Aggression and Creativity||125|
|10||"The Long Meandering Fingers of Ice Will Thicken": Problems in Creative Living||143|
|Pt. III||Refocus the Future||159|
|11||"Life Shrinks or Expands in Proportion to One's Courage": Finding Courage||163|
|12||"Don't Dream It, Be It": Turning Points||171|
|13||"I Have a Brain and a Uterus and I Use Both": Women and Work||181|
|14||"Let the Beauty You Love Be What You Do": Achievements and Dreams||191|