Dana Becker is professor emeritus of social work and social research at Bryn Mawr College and has practiced as a psychotherapist for over three decades. With a doctorate in psychology and a master’s degree in social work, she has been an equal-opportunity critic of both fields in her work on the effects of therapeutic culture on women in the US.
These themes are explored in her books, Through the Looking Glass: Women and Borderline Personality Disorder (Westview Press, 1997) and The Myth of Empowerment: Women and the Therapeutic Culture in America (NYU Press, 2005). Her most recent book, One Nation under Stress: The Trouble with Stress as an Idea (Oxford University Press, 2014), tackles the effects of the therapeutic culture through an examination of the ideological work currently performed by the stress concept. Her work has received awards from the Society for the Psychology of Women.
Becker is known for her work on the use of borderline personality disorder to medicalize women’s problems. She has also advanced some significant criticisms of the way we talk about and deal with stress in our society and noted how feminist psychotherapy had been weakened in its revolutionary potential.
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