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She: Understanding Feminine Psychology

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,998 ratings  ·  117 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
Paperback, Revised Edition, 112 pages
Published March 24th 2020 by Harper Perennial (first published 1976)
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 ·  1,998 ratings  ·  117 reviews

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Mar 17, 2010 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
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
She: Understanding Feminine Psychology is an interesting book for readers that are intrigued by philosophy, psychology, mythology. Johnson relates feminine psychology to the Greek myth of Eros (Cupid) and Psyche to show the similarities between modern and ancient times, as well as the surprising authenticity and relevance of this myth.

The myth deals with Psyche, a young, lonely daughter of a royal family that ends up falling in love with Cupid, the son of the very jealous Aphrodite. She has no
Will Bellais
Aug 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Nancy Lewis
Dec 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
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).
Humaira Khatoon
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A book about feminine psychology written by a man and using a man-centric pscyhological interpretation.An interesting essay, but still slightly subjugative.
"Unless we do conscious work on it, the shadow is almost always projected. That is, it is neatly laid on someone or something else so we do not have to take responsibility for it".

I took notice of him passing away last 24th September. My homage, reading him and listening to him.

This is a great book as proof that, in some cases, a myth (namely Psyche and Eros) may provide a model for understanding woman’s failed or successful psychological development. But, despite Robert Johnson mentioning
Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it
This book has been sitting on my shelf for years. I picked it up today because it is December 28th and I needed one more book to reach my 40 book goal. This was by far the skinniest book on the shelf, alas! I grabbed that shit and sat down to speed-read (this 40 book challenge was really important to me, ok?!)

Well, I'm not a believer in fate, but this book was what I needed to read at this exact moment in my life. Some of the love stuff was kinda schmaltzy for me, but I really loved the bits ab
Lisa Hough-Stewart
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
A narrow and occasionally offensive reduction of women that purports to be an analysis of the female psyche. What it is, is a reasonably interesting interpretation of the myth of Psyche and Eros. I would be giving it more stars if the author had been honest about what this short book actually is. Instead he makes sweeping conclusions about femininity (but only in relation to masculinity, because the female psyche is valued only by reference to what it can do for men, apparently), based on his su ...more
Apr 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: emo-health
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.
Dec 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
a must-read for any woman overwhelmed by falling in love
Jun 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: life
Just couldn't get into this one. Disappointing after what a revelation We was.
Aug 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
Whenever you have a man writing about something Karen Horney basically discovered and not mentioning her once, you know you have a problem.

Duncan Akyeampong
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: human-nature
I have come to an understanding how the feminine energy work with women. The author breaks it again in different sections for example why women value marriage more then men also that all have women a psyche in them. The author puts these terms in a Greek mythology way about how women see love in a different way then men do.
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Erin by: Sabrina
While this book was good in that it was validating to my inner work experiences and spiritual journey, it wasn't as poignant or clarifying for me as his other book on the divine masculine called "He". Perhaps because of my own long-term suppression of my feminine aspects and thus lack of familiarity with that part of myself, I need to do more reading to get further clarity and really have the allegory provided in this book sink in. There were points in the allegory, the myth of Psyche and Aphrod ...more
Shavawn Berry
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Sebrena Williamson
Apr 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Some of it made sense, some of it was kind of nonsensical... women should not define themselves and their femininity around men. Also, I would of been more comfortable and the research done was by women.... However, there are some good ideas about men and women needing femininity and masculinity both. There is a lot of good information surrounding evolutionary theory: how did the genders get this way? However, the author defines personality and purpose strictly in gender. As my boyfriend has man ...more
Kathleen McKee
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book is better than then name, well written by someone who helped me see the value of myth in society... he also connects how Western society's passion for falling in love, is the displacement of how we used to have a Love for God... but religion is unpopular and romance movies are popular. He explores our psychology of passion and love in terms of Psyche and Aros (Cupid)... and it's a bit sexist of course... written some years ago, but the philosophy/psychology/myth of this short book, so w ...more
Amy Wilder
Nov 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
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.
Mar 15, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Elizabeth Merchant
Mar 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: our-library
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.
Nov 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: college
Yet another book from my "Psych of Identity" class. About the feminine archetype in psychology.
Jan 06, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Kirtida Gautam
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology, chakra-5
Somebody up there is over looking what I am reading.
Oh man! It was one of the most Aha reading moment of my year.
Victor Finn
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
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,
Female mythology as an element of our lives is found in men and women. "Myths are rich sources of psychological insight. Great literature, like all great art, records and portrays the human condition with indelible accuracy."

"Often when new growth occurs , the most dreadful things seem to happen, but then we see that they were exactly what was required." 6
"It is almost always women who say, 'Let's sit down and talk about where we are.' The women are almost always the carrier of growth in most re
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A brief, but really interesting read. Initially, I was skeptical of a male author's ability to interpret what it means to be feminine, but the way he drew on research from Carl Jung's archetypes and his explanation that anyone, regardless of gender, can embody certain feminine and masculine traits made me feel like I was reading less about femininity and more about the ways in which we can acknowledge our ego and shed light on our unconscious choices that impact our daily lives. My favorite line ...more
Corrinn Cobb
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
More like 2.5 stars. I found Johnson's analysis of the myth of Psyche to be very insightful and even engaging at times, yet his applications to our modern world fell flat with me. I felt myself wondering if ever really talked to any women and wasn't just making wild, assuming generalizations.

Johnson also repeatedly states that feminine psychology isn't just about the woman, but yet he repeatedly and primarily speaks only of women. It would have been helpful to see more examples - both in myth an
Stevie Agostinelli
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it
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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.

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