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
2 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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User Review  - amaraduende - LibraryThing

I feel good reading this for an interesting reason - these women often seem to have little hope in anything other than that someone, someday, would read their words and know what they endured. The ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Leser - LibraryThing

There is nothing like first hand accounts to bring the deplorable condition of the Insane Asylum in the mid 19th to early 20th centuries. How easy it was for a husband to get rid of an unwanted wife ... 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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