The wounded woman : healing the father-daughter relationship

by Linda Schierse Leonard

Book, 1982



Call number


Call number



Athens, Ohio : Swallow Press, c1982.

Physical description

xx, 186 p.; 23 cm

Local notes

This book is an invaluable key to self-understanding. Using examples from her own life and the lives of her clients, as well as from dreams, fairy tales, myths, films, and literature, Linda Schierse Leonard, a Jungian analyst, exposes the wound of the spirit that both men and women of our culture bear—a wound that is grounded in a poor relationship between masculine and feminine principles.

Leonard speculates that when a father is wounded in his own psychological development, he is not able to give his daughter the care and guidance she needs. Inheriting this wound, she may find that her ability to express herself professionally, intellectually, sexually, and socially is impaired. On a broader scale, Leonard discusses how women compensate for cultural devaluation, resorting to passive submission (“the Eternal Girl”), or a defensive imitation of the masculine (“the Armored Amazon”).

The Wounded Woman shows that by understanding the father-daughter wound and working to transform it psychologically, it is possible to achieve a fruitful, caring relationship between men and women, between fathers and daughters, a relationship that honors both the mutuality and the uniqueness of the sexes.

User reviews

LibraryThing member SumisBooks
Wow, how do I start this review? Well first off, if you read this book, by the end of it you will absolutely hate men and blame them for everything that has ever gone wrong (or right) in your life.
The author covers MANY bases of types of father - daughter relationships and all seem to end negatively. Whether your father was good to you, bad to you or non-existent, it's all negative and the father has always done wrong. Even to the point that he causes the mother to affect you negatively. One of the basic themes of the book is that the father can never do anything right. And even if what he's done has caused you to become stronger and more successful it's still negative and the father was in the wrong.
The most irritating and unreadable portions of this book are the countless examples of the author taking famous fairy tales and mythology stories and twisting them so that they tell tales of female repression by men. She uses these stories in a "presenting evidence to prove her point" sort of way. She chooses stories that are easily twisted in this way and later complains that there are no stories like these of courageous/powerful/independent women. Which anyone who studies these things (men & women alike) can tell you that there are many such tales.
Lastly, the absolute worst part of this book (at least for me) is that no healing for the reader ever takes place. And apparently none takes place for the author through writing the book either as she describes in the chapter immediately following the "healing" chapter. This book was just a big let down on all aspects. I do not recommend this book to anyone, least of all someone who is in need of healing from a father - daughter relationship.
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