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June 21, 2013

Saranac Lake psychologist's new book is game changer

SARANAC LAKE — A mirror in a fairy tale asked a question once: Who’s the fairest of them all?

But the reflection caught in a looking glass isn’t always princess perfect, so the story goes. And the villain is a wicked witch.

There’s a reason for that, according to Saranac Lake psychologist and author Dr. Patricia O’Gorman, who has published a new book to help women rethink self-reflection.

GIRLY THOUGHTS

Published this spring, “The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power” introduces a concept O’Gorman defines as “girly thoughts,” the often hyper-critical form of self-reflection that, she explains, can short-circuit a woman’s view of success.

This new book, her eighth published work, is drawing praise and growing media attention.

Girly thoughts, she writes in the book, are signals from damaging messages delivered to women by society: “Those less-than-helpful ideas that are so pervasive as to actually create negative inner dialogue — that get in the way of women listening to their own needs and desires.”

O’Gorman said the concept was born some years ago in a conversation with a male colleague.

“He and I were just talking. Apropos of something I said, he said, ‘Oh, that’s girly thought.’ I remember my jaw dropping. And I looked at him and said, ‘That’s brilliant. Can I do something with that?’ 

“There really is such power in having a term and leaning on it. I think when we have a term for something, it allows us to manage it in a totally different way.”

REVISITING HIGH HEELS

O’Gorman’s book was more than a decade in the making and follows in the footsteps of a work she finished 19 years ago.

“Its predecessor was a book a little ahead of its time, titled ‘Dancing Backwards in High Heels,’” the author said, laughing.

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