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Reviews 223

and the power of insurance companies. The dictates of many in- useful for students and novices interested in learning about femi-
surance companies nearly eliminate treatment options other than nist theory and practice as well as providing a broad overview for
weight and nutritional stabilization. Although one can argue con- those of us who have lived and practiced this approach for the past
vincingly that the long-term treatment of years ago fed anorexia, three decades.
it did support treatment goals that addressed many underlying is- Enns provides in-depth coverage of the major theoretical per-
sues. Also receiving no attention in this treatise are the advances spectives as well as their translations into feminist therapy. This
in the role of genetics and brain functioning in understanding material is well organized with separate chapters focusing on rad-
anorexia, or recent findings about other predisposing, precipi- ical, liberal, cultural, and women of color feminisms. Many of the
tating, and perpetuating factors, many of which are also gender chapters and subheadings begin with a series of relevant questions
bound. Knowledge of these domains is crucial for effective treat- that allow the reader to situate her/himself in relation to the ma-
ment. terial that follows. This is an important contribution to making the
As a feminist psychologist specializing in the study and treat- book user friendly and interactive.
ment of those with eating disorders, I am left with unanswered In addition, material on global, postmodern, third wave, and
questions. First, if the program under scrutiny recognized the so- lesbian/queer feminisms update this edition. These are crucial
ciocultural antecedents of anorexia, would Gremillion’s criticisms aspects of current feminist theory and practice covered by the
stand? Would she detect the same interactions if the staff mem- book, making it useful not only to those seeking an historical or
bers were specialized in the psychology of women, such as at the abstract document but also to contemporary students as well.
Renfrew Center in Philadelphia? Second, would staff interactions Yet this book remains an important historical document, com-
and perceptions be more positive if women headed the treatment piling information on the earliest years of feminist psychothera-
program? Gremillion argues that women staff can be part of the pies, material too easily discarded or made invisible by time and
problem due to their gendered sense of themselves. The dynam- indifference. Our own feminist principles demand careful con-
ics of any organization, however, are influenced by the gender of sideration of context and diversity and Enns is up to the task.
the “authority” structure, and an authority structure with femi- She chronicles the history and geography of the feminist devel-
nist underpinnings has the potential to have a positive impact on opment of psychotherapy, beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, and
treatment programs. contextualizes these innovations within the first and second waves
Programs with a feminist philosophy give us hope for the treat- of feminism in the United States. She then reaches all the way
ment of those with eating disorders and also point to refinements through the present practices to the future possibilities. This is
that could address the major pitfalls of the Walsh program. Gremil- undoubtedly the most comprehensive contribution to the chroni-
lion endorses narrative therapy as a promising window of oppor- cling of a field now 35 years old. Much of the current literature is
tunity for combating the deficiencies she identified, but time will far from comprehensive and does not provide the depth and com-
be necessary to assess its effectiveness. plexity of the history and thought of feminist theory and practice.
In summary, Gremillion’s goal to “make explicit the potentially This is the only book I know that takes on and accomplishes this
transformative tensions and contradictions that already exist on the goal reasonably well.
unit” (p. 24) is accomplished with the help of her sharp observa- Needless to say, Enns had to be selective in what she included,
tional and interviewing skills. She has synthesized the knowledge and she had to exclude some important work. Now that I have
that she gained into a discourse that challenges many treatment lived the history of the second half of the twentieth century, I
norms. Psychological practitioners, researchers, and teachers may long for our own history to contain the comprehensive theory and
find the terminology of an anthropologist to be somewhat foreign, details of practice, as well as the back story, not only the disputes
but her book surely will engage its readers and initiate spirited and differences, the alliances and influences, but the personal
discussions. relationships that inform the theories. Yet, as an author, Enns
need not and could not fulfill my every fantasy, although I would
Kathy Hotelling is the Director of the Counseling and Student Develop- have liked her to have made her decision-making process more
ment Center and Adjunct Associate Professor in Education at Northern transparent regarding what she included and what she left out.
Illinois University and a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice. The text contains some major and minor errors. I was quite
She has specialized for 25 years in the prevention, education, and treat- surprised to discover my own work in Engendered Lives (Kaschak,
ment of eating disorders, and is a frequent consultant to school districts
and colleges establishing programs on eating disorders. 1992) discussed in a section dealing with the integration of socialist
and psychoanalytic approaches, neither of which is or ever has
been my perspective. Although I noticed other minor inaccuracies,
I found no other obvious errors of this magnitude. Nevertheless,
THE HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY it would be too much of an irony for this error to be the only one
OF FEMINIST THERAPY and I urge caution to the reader in this regard.
The treatment of the theories of women of color also mer-
its comment. Enns gives the topic its own chapter, which, while
Feminist Theories and Feminist Psychotherapies: Origins,
providing a clear focus, also separates the many theorists in this
Themes, and Diversity (2nd ed.), CAROLYN ZERBE
specialty from the theorists in the prior chapters. While providing
ENNS. Binghamton, NY: Haworth, 2004. 391 pp., clarity, it simultaneously obfuscates by its very segregation. Femi-
$39.95 (paperback), ISBN: 0-7890-1808-X. nist gospel has it that virtually no women of color were involved in
the development of second-wave theory and practice, and I would
Carolyn Z. Enns has revised and updated her earlier 1997 edition like to see this myth laid to rest. Although the disparity in numbers
of Feminist Theories and Feminist Psychotherapies. Written in an between White women and women of color is worth noting, it is
easily readable and accessible style, this book will be especially also important, even crucial, for future generations to be aware
224 REVIEWS

that neither White women nor Americans had a monopoly on the some assistance from good health and circumstance. To reflect
early development of feminist theory and practice. I can attest to the promise as well as the potential challenges of this time of life,
this fact as someone who worked beside African American, Latina, Green makes efforts to describe older women’s experiences more
and Chicana colleagues from the earliest days. accurately.
I particularly regret the less than comprehensive nature of this Green attempts to take readers across the contextual landscape,
chapter in which the entire feminist women of color movement which is an active part of a dynamic socio-cultural-psychological
in the United States is exemplified only by the work of Chicanas interactionism, a term used first by Martin and Sugarman (1999) in
(she makes the common assumption that Latinas are all women of The Psychology of Human Possibility and Constraint. The primary
color) and Asian Americans. Enns acknowledges that she is only limitation of this book is that the narrative provides broad brush
providing examples, yet one must ask why this chapter is reduced strokes and skips over or minimally acknowledges some powerful
to only examples. factors that influence girls and women’s sense of self. Two such fac-
I was happy to see that Enns provides a chapter on global tors come to mind. In the area of biological factors, the drives and
feminisms, although her treatment is quite abbreviated. Feminist decisions around parenting are described too succinctly. There
therapy thrives in many nations of the world and grows organi- are compelling forces—emotional, biological, social, political, fi-
cally from the cultures in which it is practiced, often not based on nancial, religious, cultural—involved in conceiving, the inability to
American practices. Yet perhaps this would be another book. If conceive, adoption, and the choice not to parent. These factors and
so, I hope someone writes it soon if only to lay to rest the miscon- choices are anticipated in childhood, explored in adolescence, con-
ception that feminist therapy is yet another American export. sidered in adulthood, perhaps extended or experienced in middle
The book’s final chapter is designed to assist the reader in de- age, and certainly revisited in old age. The impact of these partic-
veloping her or his own approach to feminist therapy. This is a ular experiences and how they affect one’s sense of identity should
tremendously useful chapter in its practical application and speci- be a critically relevant part of any life span developmental theory
ficity. It is rare that a book can accomplish a lucid and accessible of women and girls. The other minimally referenced, yet critical
presentation of feminist history and theory along with the specifics aspect of any women’s sense of self and identity is race. Culture is
of practice, and Enns has done just that. Although not perfect, this discussed, but the role of racial identity and how it may influence
book is a well-designed and thoughtful contribution to the field. I one’s sense of self as a woman is absent from this developmental
recommend Feminist Theories and Feminist Psychotherapies par- theory.
ticularly as a text in both undergraduate and graduate courses in This book provides a springboard for thoughtful discussion and
theory and practice. further development of life span theories of girls’ and women’s
lives. As such, this book is a worthy read, and I recommend it for
REFERENCE consideration for advanced theory and women’s study courses.

Kaschak, E. (1992). Engendered lives: A new psychology of


women’s experience. New York: Basic Books. REFERENCE
Martin, J., & Sugarman, J. (1999). The psychology of human pos-
Ellyn Kaschak, Ph.D. is professor of psychology at San Jose State Uni- sibility and constraint. Albany, NY: State University of New
versity in San Jose, California and the editor of the journal Women and York Press.
Therapy. She has published 10 books and numerous articles on feminist
theory and practice.
Laura Palmer, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and the Director of
Training of the Counseling Psychology Program, Department of Profes-
sional Psychology and Family Therapy at Seton Hall University. Her ar-
LIFE SPAN DEVELOPMENTAL THEORY FROM eas of research interest include emotional well-being in elderly women,
the neurocognitive impact of trauma, and the role of fatigue in learning
A FEMINIST PERSPECTIVE processes.

The Psychological Development of Girls and Women: Re-


thinking Change in Time, SHEILA GREEN. New York: THE ROOTS OF RELATIONAL HEALTH
Routledge, 2003, 167 pp., $78.95 (hardcover), ISBN: 0-
415-17861-4; $26.95 (paperback), ISBN: 0-415-17862-2.
Communication Among Grandmothers, Mothers, and
Adult Daughters: A Qualitative Study of Maternal Re-
The collective theory on the development of women and girls
has rarely been reviewed with such breadth and nimbleness as
lationships, MICHELLE A. MILLER-DAY. Mahwah,
in this challenging gem of a book. Sheila Green takes the reader NJ: Erlbaum, 2004, 254 pp., $59.95 (hardcover), ISBN:
quickly and critically through early developmental theories, invit- 0805839798.
ing readers to ask questions about the absence of context in
these theories, particularly that of sociocultural context and time. In Communication Among Grandmothers, Mothers, and
This is not an introductory text; the review of fundamental the- Adult Daughters, Michelle Miller-Day tackles an age-old
ories is necessarily abbreviated, cutting quickly to Green’s pri- preoccupation—mother–daughter relationships—and infuses
mary critique from a feminist perspective. Most compelling to new insight. By moving to Elkwood1 to live among six sets of
me was this book’s inclusion of developmental issues across the multigenerational families for 8 months, she was able to observe
life span, including themes relevant to older women. It is all and enter into their interaction firsthand. In doing so, she unravels
too rare that older women’s development receives significant at- complex dynamics and captures communication patterns that are
tention, even though most women will realize older age—with co-created and transmitted from one generation of mothers to the