Susie Orbach: On Women in Therapy artwork
In These Times: Speaking for the mind

Susie Orbach: On Women in Therapy

  • E13
  • 30:06
  • January 27th 2022

Susie Orbach is an iconic psychotherapist in the women's movement, author of insightful and bestseller books, co-founder of Women's Therapy Centres in London and New York, and therapist to the late Princess Diana.

Chrissie Pollard interviews Orbach, asking what has changed for women from past movements to present social realities.

With a subtle yet powerful aura and precision, Orbach highlights key themes of "internalised misogyny", the self-degrading and self-attack of women learned from male social structures and male social behaviour. Women are still subject to these external forces mentally and emotionally. The rise of the independent woman created pressures to be there for everyone except themselves.

But Orbach sees these forces acted out more and more in our bodies - something she intuited in the early 80s with her Fat Is a Feminist Issue book. Her other concern is the mental vulnerability of young generations who grow up and live in nothing but the internet. Bodies and minds now seek out groups to share their misery and alienation, becoming more divided from others as they do so.

Whilst great progress has been made for women to be recognised as equal human beings, there is still a long way to go. Women may be good at listening to others. Orbach urges them to listen to themselves, and to trust and enjoy doing so.

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