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Addiction to Perfection: The Still Unravished Bride: A Psychological Study (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts, 12)
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Addiction to Perfection: The Still Unravished Bride: A Psychological Study

(Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts #12)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  491 ratings  ·  37 reviews
"This book is about taking the head off an evil witch." A powerful study of the nature of the feminine in food rituals, dreams, mythology, body work, Christianity, sexuality, creativity and relationships.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 1st 1988 by Inner City Books (first published December 1982)
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Start your review of Addiction to Perfection: The Still Unravished Bride: A Psychological Study (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts, 12)
Feb 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
this book is one to read slowly...and not for everyone! if you want to know more about the Jungian psychology and how it relates to: women, body image, perfectionism, dreams, and therapy, then this book is for you. Otherwise, it's full of rich text that I had to read many times more than once to digest it's richness. I have a feeling I will turn to this book many times in my work with clients, and more importantly in my own personal journey. Woodman is a diamond in the rough.
Tara Greene
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
i love all of Marion Woodman's writings and this one is very good at dealing with all the denials and addictions women suffer from. Anorexia and many other types of psychological addiction to being perfect stem from the mother's criticism. There is an internalized inner critic which keeps us separate from loving ourselves and others.Its a great case study. Marion is a Jungian Therapist very well known for her work on the shadow and understanding women's issues.
Pickle Farmer
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some of this book was kind of insane but I did find a lot of it REALLY helpful and interesting. I underlined a lot of sentences. I guess I’ve become the kind of person who reads books recommended by Tori Amos and finds them genuinely useful ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Steve Ellerhoff
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a re-read. A lot of the books I've been reading led me back to it -- and one in particular (Donald Kalsched's first book) quoted it directly, so I decided it was time to circle back around on Marion Woodman's study of perfectionism and dealing with it.

This book first came out in 1982 and maybe it's good to keep that in mind. She addressed eating disorders with many of her analysands, and there has been so much work done in helping people with these problems in the past forty years. Bein
Jan 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
I really love Marion Woodman. Her books, especially Dancing in the Flames: The Dark Goddess in the Transformation of Consciousness changed my life. Her poetic, spiritual, feminist approach to spirituality and healing is unparalleled. Which is why this book breaks my heart. In this book she is tackling a serious issue - eating disorders in women. I started out hopeful, as I do think "an addiction to perfection" lies at the heart of so many of women's wounds. She starts with a "fact" that all "obe ...more
Feb 16, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
Never had the juice to actually finish this book. Just was getting into reading other things after two years in school. This an amazing book though about patriarchy, women, the significance of dreams and eating disorders from a depth psychological point of view. I'm not done yet, but this book is a must read for anyone working with clients with eating disorders in this modality.
Apr 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anal retentive, Type A, seriously, all women
Shelves: psychology
OK, I'm a perfectionist, so much so that sometimes it gets in the way of my ability to create what I want to create. This book delves into the reasons why people like me are the way we are. This is essential reading for psycotherapists!
May 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
Might be difficult to read if unfamiliar with Jungian psychology. I really related to a lot of the ideas in the book about the roles of food and sex in society and for the individual in terms of personal development and withdrawing from wholeness.
Feb 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This woman has an experience with and understanding of all sorts of addictions that afflict people in this age. And what are the roots of it in our society. I used it over and over in private psychotherapy practice.
Jul 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a book I am re-reading. This book was a light to me these twenty years ago, illuminating the dynamics of addictive behavior within the frame work of the hunger to develop psychilcally and spiritually. A great resource.
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An incredible book on the feminine journey towards realising wholeness. Woodman circumambulates the concept of psychological ravishment in contrast to being raped by the ideals of perfection. This book is incredibly quotable and contains many historical and modern examples to make her point of the need for renewed femininity.

Now I’ve finished it I feel I need to read it again!

“She lives and moves and has her Being through some power within her.
And that power is based in the archetypal feminine
John B.
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very perceptive book on the domination of the masculine principle in Western culture. Jungian analyst Woodman links this principle with addictive behaviors, primarily in women (workaholism, obesity, alchohol and drugs, etc), tying her concept of positive feminine deprivation to the psychological ills of individuals, both men and women. As with most Woodman books, it is hard to read her straight through, so I concede that I spot read this book. It has some brilliant paragraphs interspersed with a ...more
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
It took me a while in order to digest the richness of this book. I’ll probably read it again some time. I gave it 4 stars as I thought it could’ve been more organized. Otherwise, the analysis elaborated in its contents is thought provoking and compelled me to reflect and question lots of patterns in my everyday attitudes and behaviors. An excellent book to read and keep as a reference, especially to those who are interested in personal growth and Jungian psychology.
Marina Resende
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
loved how marion wrote about the inner life of the feminine and gave incredible symbols and keys to unlock powerful stuff in the unconscious. highly recommend, every women should read this. however it's not for everyone, to understand the core of this book you have to be familiar with some psychology terms. it comes with a glossary in the end tho.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All the stars!
Oct 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
It probably isn't quite fair to give a book four stars rather than five simply because I couldn't understand all of it, but that's what I'm doing. I think if I read it again, I would absorb more of it, partly because there's so much there and it takes a while to percolate and make sense to me, and partly because I had very little exposure to Jungian psychology before reading this book, so the language was a little inaccessible to me at first.

Some of the take-home messages I got from Addiction to
May 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
There are some interesting ideas in here, and others that have not aged well (at one point she suggests that lesbian relationships are an exercise in finding "validation for their femininity" ...yikes)
In the foreword Woodman acknowledges that some parts of the book could do with editing but that she left these in to represent the process. This makes me wonder to what extent the book was edited at all. I think this is where its arguments fall down, for example there are far too many synonyms for
Sukhmani Atma Kaur
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A deep exploration of Jungian thought and feminine principles used to illustrate the eating disordered mind. A vivid and reflection-filled read for any aspiring Jungian or eating disorder therapist. An extra note that if you enjoy Marion, she is featured in a podcast called Mother Earth Body on "Jungianthology" (podcasts by the CG Jung institute of Chicago) that elaborates on some of her discussions in the book.
Anja Weber
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've read most of Woodman's books since February of this year--she's writing right where I am in my journey--integrating matter with mind, soul with spirit, earth with heaven, body with head. ALL of her books are 5-stars. She's a gifted teacher.
Jan 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mental-health
A thoughtful Jungian perspective on eating disorders. I didn't keep it or use it because it implies exactly nothing about how to approach working with someone with anorexia, compulsive overeating, or bulimia.
Melissa Martell
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Marion Woodman is a Jungian Psychologist and in this novel she is analyzing the Patriachy's effects on the feminine in all of us, especially women. The need to be perfect and it's effect on our psyche and our planet. Great read, I've always loved Woodman intuition and wisdom as an analysis.
cynthia Clark
Jan 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: female perfectionists
This is not light reading, but my therapist recommended it to me enough times that I finally read it. Very enlightening re: my personality and "issues."
Erica Yatsuk
Jun 15, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: psych
another art tehrapy read. hard to read though. but once you get through it, its interesting.
Brynne Betz
Nov 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
what an amazing psychological study...I respect, admire and devour Marion Woodman.
Jun 07, 2008 added it
I've never made it all the way through this book. But I probably need to.
Jun 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psych
If you read only one dense Jungian study of the archetypal roots of spiritual discontent, it must be Addiction to Perfection!
Adriaan Krabbendam
Dec 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
The best study in understanding anorexia (and much more)
Apr 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Haunting; splendid; beautiful. Woodman is an absolute genius. A modern master of the Jungians' dark poetry.
Remarkable author who's work shaped many of my earliest insights on feminism and Jungian therapy.
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Marion Woodman was a Canadian mythopoetic author and women's movement figure. She was a Jungian analyst trained at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zürich, Switzerland. She was one of the most widely read authors on feminine psychology, focusing on psyche and soma. She was also an international lecturer and poet. Her collection of audio and visual lectures, correspondence, and manuscripts are housed at ...more

Other books in the series

Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts (1 - 10 of 132 books)
  • Alcoholism and Women: The Background and the Psychology
  • The Illness That We Are: A Jungian Critique of Christianity
  • Vertical Labyrinth: Individuation in Jungian Psychology (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts, 20)
  • The Spiral Way: A Woman's Healing Journey
  • When the Spirits Come Back (Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts, 33)
  • The Mother: Archetypal Image in Fairytales (Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts, 34)
  • Acrobats of the Gods: Dance and Transformation
  • Eros and Pathos: Shades of Love and Suffering (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts, 40)
  • The Dream Story (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts, 44)
  • Saturday's Child: Encounters With the Dark Gods (Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts, 51)

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“So long as she is obedient to a mother—actual or internal—who unconsciously wishes to annihilate her, she is in a state of possession by the witch; she will have to differentiate herself out from that witch in order to live her own life.” 0 likes
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