From Publishers Weekly
Since early childhood, many of us have lived with false identities assigned to us by our parents, according to psychologist Block ( Motherhood As Metamorphosis ). To the extent that we unconsciously adhere to such roles as "Mama's Boy," "Troublemaker," "Goddess" or "God," our true natures are buried or denied. Block cites figures in folklore and popular culture and relates them to the cases of patients like Sherry, a bulimic who strives to be an emotionless Snow Queen, a "bodiless spirit." Block examines the emotional needs these roles meet within the entire family, and how they work together in the family drama. She advises readers how to identify the "real self," and how to shed traits that, by playing out old myths, squelch true success and happiness. Citing the centrality of psychoanalytic and family-systems theories to her ideas, Block offers a valuable approach to psychotherapy.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Block uses such archetypes as Cinderella and such pairings as "the Goddess" and "the Pip-squeak" to translate psychological tangles in family relationships in a way that resembles soap operas. She covers the ramifications of distorted relationships on the basis of role assignments found in personalities she has treated, observed, or heard about; she is heavy on analysis by analogy. Her qualifications, references, and observations are reasonable. Her vignettes about the problems of living out parental fantasy are vivid and have an easy-to-understand message. This could be a popular introduction to family psychology. Virginia Dwyer