It's 2005 -- but are women following their dreams and expressing their desires as confidently and independently as they expected they would by now? Hardly, says Helene G. Brenner, Ph.D., author of the book, I Know I'm in There Somewhere: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner Voice and Living A Life of Authenticity. Women today, more than any generation before them, have been told they can do anything and be anything they want to be. But even women in their twenties and early thirties, who grew up with girls' soccer leagues and women astronauts, still struggle not to lose themselves somewhere along the way to adulthood, careers, marriage and children.
I Know I'm in There Somewhere deals with many of the psychological issues behind the problem described in the New York Times bestseller, Perfect Madness. Not since Women Who Run With the Wolves has a book so ambitiously, or so nakedly, tackled the subject of the female psyche. Using vivid case studies and examples of women in therapy, I Know I'm in There Somewhere candidly explores just how difficult it really is for most women today to stay in touch with their own feelings, opinions, needs and wants in the face of all the demands, obligations and expectations placed upon them, and in the face of their own powerful desire for connection.
“Women live their lives standing outside themselves,” says Dr. Brenner, a psychologist who has devoted her career to studying the psychology of women. “They're quick to second-guess themselves, quick to doubt themselves when things go wrong beyond their control, and quick to judge their feelings, their thoughts, and their bodies from an external standard and find themselves wanting.” Women are still reacting, she says, from an inner psychological legacy, handed down to them from generations past, that gets in their way -- a powerful yet barely conscious inner directive that tells them to mold and accommodate to others at their own expense.
Her solution is a radical departure from the majority of self-help books that tell women how to “improve” themselves by focusing on changing their thoughts, behaviors and belief systems. From her clinical experience with more than a thousand women, she offers a startlingly innovative approach that focuses on self-acceptance rather than self-improvement, and that teaches women how to trust what they know to be true, how to recognize and stand up for what they want in life, and how to use all of their feelings, both positive and negative, rather than themselves. She then offers practical advice on how women can avoid “losing” themselves in relationships, both before and after marriage, and a step-by-step guide to pursuing their dreams.
With 27 “innercizes” interspersed throughout the book, Dr. Brenner leads readers through a progressive journey toward living more and more from their own “inner voice.” Unlike many self-help books, however, this highly realistic book doesn't promise total transformation in seven easy steps. Rather, in the words of Laura Davis, author of The Courage to Heal, it is “for real women living in the real world, looking for ways to hold on to their authentic selves in the midst of imperfect lives and relationships.” The result is an extraordinarily validating and empowering book for all women - a book that helps women stay in the “driver's seat” of their own lives.
Among the topics Dr. Brenner can address:
• Women, men and relationships -- The differences in emotional styles and requirements between men and women, how women “give themselves away” in relationships, effective communication techniques to create more intimacy in their relationships while being more true to themselves.
• Women at work and in their careers.
• Juggling roles, especially the career/children conflict.
• The challenges of motherhood on women's sense of self.
• Following one's “inner voice” as a woman.
• The emotional growth and development of women from 20-70.
Visit www.helenebrenner.com I Know I'm in There Somewhere: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner Voice and Living a Life of Authenticity, released May 26th, 2003 by Gotham Books (hardcover, $24.00, 283 pages, ISBN 1-59240-028-0) and in paperback May, 2004. Gotham Books is a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. one of the leading U.S. adult and children's trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G.P. Putnam's Sons, Gotham Books, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin, Philomel, Riverhead Books and Viking, among others. Penguin Group is owned by Pearson plc, the international media group.