Letters to a Young Therapist


By Mary Pipher

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Mary Pipher's groundbreaking investigation of America's "girl-poisoning culture," Reviving Ophelia, has sold nearly two million copies and established its author as one of the nation's foremost authorities on family issues. In Letters to a Young Therapist, Dr. Pipher shares what she has learned in thirty years as a therapist, helping warring families, alienated adolescents, and harried professionals restore peace and beauty to their lives. Letters to a Young Therapist gives voice to her practice with an exhilarating mix of storytelling and sharp-eyed observation. And while her letters are addressed to an imagined young therapist, every one of us can take something away from them.

Long before "positive psychology" became a buzzword, Dr. Pipher practiced a refreshingly inventive therapy — fiercely optimistic, free of dogma or psychobabble, and laced with generous warmth and practical common sense. But not until now has this gifted healer described her unique perspective on how therapy can help us revitalize our emotional landscape in an increasingly stressful world. Whether she's recommending daily swims for a sluggish teenager, encouraging a timid husband to become bolder, or simply bearing witness to a bereaved parent's sorrow, Dr. Pipher's compassion and insight shine from every page of this thoughtful and engaging book.
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  • "A wise and compassionate book."
    Washington Post Book World
  • "In Letters, Pipher comes across as more of a tribal elder than clinician, an empathetic observer offering solid advice that just happens to be supported by decades of research and experience."
    Florida Times-Union
  • "Pipher's book just might be one of the most soothing books you'll ever read."
    The Plain Dealer
  • "Giving advice seems to be second nature to her.”
  • “Refreshing, informative and insightful.”
    Publishers Weekly
  • “Mary Pipher is a national treasure. Everyone, not just therapists, can benefit from this wise, compassionate, lovely book.”
    Jean Kilbourne, author of Can’t Buy My Love
  • “Writing with her usual grace, compassion and humility, Pipher once again proves herself to be a magnificent storyteller and a wise, trustworthy guide for our times. She speaks straight to the heart.”
    Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., author of The Dance of Anger
  • “Mary Pipher makes me proud to be a therapist.”
    William J. Doherty, author of Take Back Your Marriage
  • “What shines through the pages of this small book is Mary Pipher’s abundant wisdom, rare compassion, simple courage, disarming charm, and outrageous simplicity.”
    Sam Keen, author of Fire in the Belly
  • “Mary Pipher’s tidy, cordial book is so crammed with spunk and wide-ranging wisdom I wish it were required reading for all three branches of government. Pipher has done what we want therapists to do—she’s shared with us her love of life and hatred of cruelty and her hope for all of us.”
    Carol Bly, author of Beyond the Writers’ Workshop

On Sale
Feb 9, 2016
Page Count
224 pages
Basic Books

Mary Pipher

About the Author

Mary Pipher is the author of numerous books, including the bestsellers Women Rowing North, The Shelter of Each Other, Another Country, and the landmark Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, which spent 154 weeks of the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into nineteen languages. Pipher has traveled all over the world lecturing to students, health-care professionals, and community groups. She lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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