Women of the Asylum: Voices from Behind the Walls, 1840-1945

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Jeffrey L. Geller, Maxine Harris
Anchor Books, 1994 - Social Science - 349 pages
9 Reviews
Twenty-six first-person accounts by women placed in asylums from 1840 to 1945 provide a chilling study of women in psychiatric institutions, chronicling involuntary imprisonment by male family members, as well as voluntary commitment, social conventions, and attitudes toward women and insanity.

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Review: Women of the Asylum: Voices from Behind the Walls, 1840-1945

User Review  - Cynthia - Goodreads

Awesome compilation of essays from 19th-century and mid-20th-century female patients of lunatic asylums. Even in their brevity, many of the pieces are written with such emotional candor that a vivid portrayal results. Read full review

Review: Women of the Asylum: Voices from Behind the Walls, 1840-1945

User Review  - Gia - Goodreads

Very interesting read. To see and really feel what it was like in 1840-1945 in asylums. The poor women forced into these places for not feeling well or speaking up. The last story being written by actress, Frances Farmer. Read full review


Foreword by Phyllis Chester Ph D xiii
Firsthand Accounts
Firsthand Accounts

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About the author (1994)

A clinical psychologist and associate at Dartmouth College's Psychiatric Research Center, Maxine Harris is best-known for her groundbreaking book The Loss That is Forever: The Lifelong Impact of the Early Death of a Mother or Father. Based on interviews with scores of people, and her own experience as a clinical psychologist, Harris provides readers with a basis for understanding the impact the early loss of a parent has on adult development. Some of Harris's other works include Women in the Asylum, a collection of first-person accounts by women who were in insane asylums; Sexual Abuse in the Lives of Women Diagnosed with Serious Mental Illness, which includes sections on assessment, treatment and policy; and Trauma Recovery and Empowerment, a clinical guide for working with women in groups. Besides writing books, Harris was also on the editorial board of the journal Violence Against Women. Published monthly by SAGE Publications, the journal is available on the Internet as well as through the mail. As co-director for Community Connections Mental Health Agency in Washington, D.C., Harris worked with homeless clients.

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