Books by Joan Minninger

Released: March 24, 1993

Coming to terms with dysfunctional father-daughter relationships. Drawing on myth and legend, fiction and drama, biographies of the famous, and case histories of patients in therapy, psychotherapist Minninger (whose patients provide some of the case histories) and freelance writer Goulter distinguish six common patterns of behavior characterizing unhealthy father-daughter relationships. They include: ``lost father/yearning daughter''; ``abusive father/victim daughter''; ``pampering father/spoiled daughter''; ``Pygmalion father/companion daughter''; ``ruined father/rescuing daughter''; and ``anguished father/angry daughter.'' Glamorous examples abound: Gloria Vanderbilt and Marilyn Monroe are seen as fitting the lost/yearning pattern, and Jackie Kennedy is described as belonging to the pampering/spoiled one. Freud, King Lear, and F. Scott Fitzerald are similarly analyzed and put into their proper slots. Readers are urged to look for patterns that strike a familiar chord so that they can take steps to end the rigid pattern, or ``dance,'' and develop healthier relationships. To aid the healing process, the authors recommend a technique called ``redecision therapy.'' Used by Minninger in her own practice, it takes individuals back to a time when an unconscious decision was made, and enables them to make a more appropriate and conscious one in the present. Simple guidelines for practicing the technique are spelled out, with encouraging examples provided by Minninger's patients. The writing style is easy, with lots of catchy headings to break up the text; the examples are often entertaining, though frequently superficial; the tone is reassuringly upbeat. The authors push all the right buttons, but the concepts aren't really new nor the insights very fresh. Read full book review >