Posted on July 29, 2014
0 people commented on this
Today we want to share the moving words of psychologist and writer Dr. Terri Apter with you. As an accomplished writer and Senior Tutor at Newnham College, Cambridge, Terri’s diverse studies in the area of psychology have formed the basis of several books about family, development and identity, particularly mother-daughter relationships.
“As a child, I wanted to be a writer,” she says in her video. “The idea of being able to put into words how you saw other people, what you were feeling, that seemed to me to offer the utmost magic. I did become a writer – I became a novelist in my twenties and it was something that was very exciting and totally consuming for me.”
Her work has been nominated for many awards: her most recent book, Difficult Mothers, was on the Guardian Best Seller List; The Sister Knot was a finalist for the 2008 Books for a Better Life Award, while The Myth of Maturity became the cornerstone of several conferences, including one at the University of Cambridge. The Confident Child was an International Educators Award recipient, and Altered Loves: Mothers And Daughters During Adolescence was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.
“What started as a study of adolescence and their parents became a study of adolescent girls and their mothers,” Terri reveals. “I then discovered that this was new stuff.”
She has presented her work at the Oxford Literary Festival, the Edinburgh Literary Festival, the Hay Festival, Words by the Water and the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Terri also reviews fiction, theatre and social science publications for the Times Literary Supplement.
We admire the fact that she is so honest about what she sees when she looks in the mirror. As she says, she wasn’t always comfortable with it. “There’s an uneasy negotiation involved…because of how [my reflection has] changed over the years. I remember as an adolescent thinking that I might just find a favourable mirror that would show me in a light that I would find acceptable.”
Terri says her biggest life challenges probably lie ahead of her, but that she has grown to accept her reflection. “There was a phase in which I would look in the mirror and I would say ‘Who is this older woman because it’s not me?’ I think just now I have a truce with the mirror in that my self-image has caught up to the reflection, or at least the reflection that I see.”
Inspired by Terri’s video? Add your own contribution here.