She: Understanding Feminine Psychology
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She: Understanding Feminine Psychology

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  790 ratings  ·  40 reviews
What does it mean to be a woman? What is the pathway to mature femininity? And what of the masculine components of a woman's personality? Robert A. Johnson explores these questions in this new edition of She, updated to reflect the growth of his thinking on these subjects.

Many writers and scholars have long considered that the ancient myth of Amor and Psyche is really the...more
Paperback, Revised Edition, 96 pages
Published November 1st 1989 by Harper Perennial (first published 1976)
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Mar 17, 2010 Jenny added it
There were moments when I thought Johnson was really on to something, but overall I couldn't relate an iota to the "femininity" posed in this book and, in fact, felt offended by it at times. This could be due to my surface-level reading of the book, but it could also have to do with the fact that Johnson tries to summarize feminine psychology in a mere 80 pages- missing opportunity after opportunity to present concrete modern examples of his interpretation of this Greek myth. Alas, true to my co...more
A book about feminine psychology written by a man and using a man-centric pscyhological interpretation: enough said. I've always been drawn to the myth of Psyche and Eros, so I found, especially the intial, symbolic interpretations interesting. But some parts of the book made me want to scream and were vaguely reminiscent of "The Fascinating Woman." So read with a grain of salt- you HAVE been warned.
Nancy Lewis
An interesting essay, but still slightly subjugative. I wonder if it's because of the author's personal views, or a sign of the time in which the book was written. Was 1989 really that long ago? There is a companion book called "He" (of course).

از مقدمه ی سخت و غیر جذاب! مترجم و ترجمه ی نه چندان مناسب کتاب که صرف نظر کنیم، خود کتاب یکی از بهترین هاست! کتاب با نگاهی به اسطوره ی سایکی و اروس به روانشناسی و تحلیل زن درون بر اساس رویکردهای یونگ می پردازد. کتاب شامل 9 بخش است. 3 بخش اول کتاب به تحلیل سه شخصیت محوری اسطوره آفرودیت، سایکی و اروس اختصاص دارد. در فصول بعدی دکتر جانسون به روانشناسی مرحله به مرحله ی این اسطوره می پردازد و در فصل 8 با بررسی و تحلیل خوان های پیش روی سایکی کتاب به اوج خود می رسد و نهایتا در فصل 9 تحلیل های مطرح شده...more
A short read assembled by a Jungian psychologist type fellow. Overall pretty flaky and shallow. Idea herein is that the Greco-Roman character Psyche and her associated tale of love w/ Eros is actually a template for feminine behavior and personal evolution. The book reads pretty much like a horoscope and as such is not terribly interesting or full of impact (or win, if you're a hip nerdcore kid).

Apparently, this same author has written a similar tome for males based upon Ares. Most likely won't...more
Will Bellais
Aug 09, 2007 Will Bellais rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All who are interested in women
This slim volume focuses on the story of Cupid (eros) and Psyche. Eros is the need for love and Psyche is the spirit of love. Johnson explores the maturing process of women through the story of Eros and Psyche. The story enchants on its own -- and we have heard much of this story through the Grimm Bros. fairytales. However, once we meed Eros, the perfect man who does not want to be seen for what he really is, Eros' mother Aphrodite, and the most beautiful girl on earth -- Psyche -- we are taken...more
Well, I still don't understand Feminine Psychology, but I enjoyed reading the book. Another notch in the belt of Jungian thought. One of these days I expect to have an awakening when it will all suddenly make sense to me. Till then I continue to plug away at reading – building a foundation I hope. This one looks at the myth of Eros and Psyche as a metaphor for the spiritual journey every woman faces.
Dylan Grant
I have read the prequel to this book, "He: Understanding Masculine Psychology" and greatly enjoyed it. So when I saw this book it was only natural that I pick it up!

This book, much like it's prequel, is extremely short and sweet and can easily be read in a day. It's a work of Jungian psychology (my favourite kind!) so it looks at a myth (In this one, the myth of Psyche and Eros) and demonstrates how that myth has profound insight on our internal lives. I felt that the prequel, dealing with men,...more
Headley Mist
Can not think of a better review of this book than this quotation:

Pronunciation -- think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.

Kind of reflects the plot.
If you intend to read this, be sure to read He as well.

This book tells the myth of "Eros & Psyche" which is actually one of my favorite Greek stories! This hits the spot. I truly enjoyed this much more than the He version simply because I was very familiar with this story.

The myth focus on Jung's analysis of anima/animus -- the masculine side of a female person is called animus.

Take with a grain of salt, this book is enjoyable and the analysis is great way of allowing us to gain a perspecti...more
more like 3.5 stars. It was interesting the interpretation of the Psyche, Eros, Aphrodite myth. I also enjoyed some insights re: the female influence over the male influence.
Humaira Khatoon
A book about feminine psychology written by a man and using a man-centric pscyhological interpretation.An interesting essay, but still slightly subjugative.
Yet another book from my "Psych of Identity" class. About the feminine archetype in psychology.
Jun 27, 2009 Cara rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: life
Just couldn't get into this one. Disappointing after what a revelation We was.
a must-read for any woman overwhelmed by falling in love
Adrian Alvarez
A deceptively simple book. Robert Johnson uses a Jungian analysis of the story of Psyche and Eros to explore notions of the feminine psyche and it's operation in human behavior. It is a slim book and so, a slim project, but a worthwhile one and certainly worth the time it takes a reader to digest his ideas. Are they male-centric ideas, as some critics have suggested? I'm yet to read a compelling argument that proves Johnson's short "project books" (She, He, We, and Owning Your Own Shadow) someho...more
Shavawn Berry
In this book, She: Understanding Feminine Psychology, Robert A. Johnson examines the myth of Eros and Psyche as a metaphor for the work a woman must do to become conscious and alive. I found the the story illuminating and surprising -- full of magical events (ants sorting seeds, reeds giving advice on how to gather the golden fleece, an eagle who is sent to gather water from the river Styx)-- and down to earth explanations of the difficult passage that Psyche must make in order to become conscio...more
Don't be fooled by the book's small size. She: Understanding Feminine Psychology packs a powerful and frighteningly applicable punch. Delving deep into Greek mythology (particularly the tale of Psyche), Robert A. Johnson reveals how age-old stories contain universal truths. The work draws parallels to modern-day situations, and in effect, sheds light on the psychological and emotional issues that are prevalent in contemporary society. The information is useful to both men and women alike, since...more
This book seems to be working off a lot of heteronormative gender roles, but I do like it's '80s old-school charm. This book was recommended to me by Jessa Crispin (Bookslut) who also read my astrological charts. It's a good breakdown of the myth of Psyche and Eros. I loved reading about Psyche's "tasks" and all the beings that helped her through it. I can see a lot of parallels between this and my own poetic process.
He, She, and We are three parts of a whole that take you on a journey which navigates the recognition and integration of the male and female psyche in each of us. I was turned on to these by Dr. Gentz who is a practicing psychologist in Tulsa Oklahoma. My partner and I read them at the same time. We found that parts of these books were better absorbed on the second reading.
Amy Wilder
Johnson uses the myth of Cupid and Psyche to explore feminine psychology - perhaps the first time that anyone had put it into so many words for me that each woman has a masculine side to her soul and each man has a feminine part to his soul.

This deepened my connection to Cupid and Psyche which just kept popping up everywhere for me around this time in my life.
Elizabeth Merchant
I recently discovered this author but I wasn't as impressed with this as I was some of his other titles. It read more like a good college psychology paper. Maybe feminine psychology isn't his strongest point. I wouldn't call it a waste of time, however.
Jesse Winslow
I really enjoyed this book. Short and concise, it takes the myth of Eros and Psyche and translates it to the psychology of the female in a fairly plausible way. All though it does not encompass all of the female psyche, it mainly focuses on love and relationships. A really fun read with come definite gems.
Svetlana Guljajeva
The book draws interesting associations between a Greek myth of Psyche and Eros and an internal processes going on inside feminine psyche throughout her life. The book definitely needs reading once again.
David Michael Smith
A landmark work of psychology; the author uses the ancient myth of Amor and Psyche as the springboard for a brilliant, perceptive exploration of how one becomes a mature and complete woman. Written by a male, but what are you going to do?
Jason Mckinney
Johnson makes some interesting points in this, but I didn't find it nearly as informative or like it nearly as well as He. It's worth reading if you've read the other one though.
Katie Robinson
It's a great book that chronicles the feminine journey for males and females. Some thoughts get repeated a few times, but all in all it's a great and brief read.
A quick Jungian take on some of the changes women go through in transitioning to marriage...appropriately timed. More moderner than I would have guessed.
Sara Cat
Some of it is very good, may explain women in relationship to men, but not a comprehensive or relatable picture for many.
Phillip Moffitt
An exploration of how one becomes a mature and complete woman using the ancient myth of Amor and Psyche.
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Robert A. Johnson is a noted lecturer and Jungian analyst in private practice in San Diego, California. He has studied at the Jung Institute in Switzerland and at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in India.
More about Robert A. Johnson...
Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche He: Understanding Masculine Psychology We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth The Fisher King and the Handless Maiden: Understanding the Wounded Feeling Function in Masculine and Feminine Psychology

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“ is almost always the case that whatever has wounded you will also be instrumental in your healing.” 10 likes
“Most men get their deepest conviction of self-worth from a woman, wife, mother, or if they are highly conscious, from their own anima. The woman sees and shows the man his value by lighting the lamp.” 3 likes
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