Self-help books on Women's issues
There are so many popular psychology texts in the shops that it can be difficult to know where to begin. This set of book-lists was compiled by staff of the University Counselling Service to respond to those students who have asked us what they might read on this topic.
Our selection is not intended to be the 'final word' - we are sure that there are many other good and helpful books out there; in any case we recognise that what is helpful is very subjective and depends on personal circumstances.
Books are listed in alphabetical order by author. Copies of some of these books are available to borrow on a weekly basis from the University Counselling Service.
The descriptions given are intended to provide a summary of the contents but should not be taken to imply that the Counselling Service endorses the opinions expressed.
Date of information: Jan 2006
Putting on Appearances: Gender and Advertising
Diane Barthel, Temple University Press, 1991
Political critique of how advertisements influence women to accept a low self-image and find solutions by purchasing advertised products.
Beauty Secrets: Women and the Politics of Appearance
Wendy Chapkis, South End Press, 1986
Explores the links between appearance, gender and sexuality.
Body Foods for Women: Eat your way to good health
Jane Clarke, Orion, 1997
Seeks to show how to design your own healthy eating plan to suit your lifestyle, based on foods you enjoy, whether you want to become fitter, control weight or to treat and manage specific health problems.
A Woman In Your Own Right: Assertiveness and you
Anne Dickson, Quartet,1982
Sets out the use of assertiveness in communication and dealing with difficult situations.
Healing Mind, Healthy Woman
Alice Domar and Henry Dreher, Harper Collins, 1997
Explores the potential role of psychological medicine to help alleviate gynaecological problems, eating disorders, pain and anxiety, and promote well-being. Provides techniques intended to help women relax and transform negative thought patterns
What Do Women Want?
L. Eichenbaum and S. Orbach, Harper Collins, 1994
Seeks to show that men and women are both dependent by explaining how men have learned to 'manage' their dependency needs very differently to women, and why women feel dependent and hungry for love. The authors also suggest that dependency on both sides is the essential core of any successful relationship.
Women and Alcohol
Elizabeth Ettorre, The Women's Press, 1997
A book intended for women who think they may have a problem with alcohol. It combines advice and help with an understanding of the particular issues that face women who drink.
Women Without Sex: The truth about female impotence and other sexual problems
Catherine Kalamis, Self Help Direct, 1999
Seeks to explain key causes, and to examine treatments (including self-help).
The Dance of Anger: A guide to changing the pattern of intimate relationships
Harriet Lerner, Harper Collins, 1997
Advice on how to break repetitive behaviour patterns.
The Dance of Intimacy: A woman's guide to courageous acts of change in key relationships
Harriet Lerner, Harper Collins, 1999
A guide intended to foster intimacy in all relationships.
Women Who Love Too Much
Robin Norwood, Arrow 2004
This text is suitable for the reader for whom being in love means being in pain. Therapist Robin Norwood describes loving too much as a pattern of thoughts and behaviour which certain women develop as a response to problems from childhood.
The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women
Naomi Wolf, Vintage, 1991
Seeks to explain sexual inequality in terms of a compulsive pursuit of beauty on the part of women that is culturally conditioned.