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Women of all ages want to make others happy—it’s just in a woman’s nature, isn’t it? But what happens when that “need to please” goes wrong, and a woman keeps pushing herself harder while simultaneously ignoring her own needs? What happens when a woman begins to think self-sabotaging girly thoughts—thoughts like If only I was thinner . . . younger . . . prettier . . . was into kinkier sex . . . ? What happens when relationships sour and the trauma is carried into subsequent relationships?

Noted psychologist and author Dr. Patricia O’Gorman answers these questions for today’s generation of women. This groundbreaking book reveals how girly thoughts are just conclusions women reach as a way of making sense of the trauma they’ve experienced and the resulting codependency issues they grapple with. They need to be reminded from time to time of the saying that while legendary dancer Fred Astaire received top billing, “Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.”

Whether dealing with family members, coworkers, intimate relationships, or a best friend, when a woman feels “less than” she often misses the path toward achieving her true potential. Blaming herself for what someone else has done to her is, sadly, a common theme among women, but Dr. O’Gorman shows how this reaction is merely how women have been conditioned to respond—then provides the tools they need to break the cycle and become more resilient.

Resilience, according to Dr. O’Gorman, is the part of us that celebrates cycles: it looks forward to new beginnings and back to past lessons. Using this life-long lens, readers will learn valuable ways of looking at their interpersonal relationships and will acquire tools to become more resilient, and they will:

  • Discover the resilience patterns established in childhood
  • Learn how “girly thoughts” become so powerful and how to neutralize them
  • Understand issues that are specific to women when dealing with any relationship
  • Learn to overcome trauma—physical, psychological, and emotional
  • Discover how to self-motivate by losing the victim mentality
  • Learn to listen to the inner self and align with personal strengths as a way to tap into personal power
  • Understand what resiliency is and is not, and how to achieve it
  • Determine personal resilience patterns


Publisher’s Weekly — “O’Gorman (Dancing Backwards in High Heels) distinguishes her second book on the topic of women and resilience by introducing the concept of “girly thoughts”—essentially a woman’s thoughts on her limits and standards as informed by her family, friends, and greater society… Both cohesive and to-the-point…(with) robust self-tests… This manual hits its high note in such concise, concrete features as “Walk on the Wildside”, which provides specific advice for staying in tune with one’s positivity…an overall pleasant read brimming with common-sense advice.” (Publisher’s Weekly – March 2013, http://publishersweekly.com/978-0-7573-1709-5)

HispanicMPR—Patricia O’Gorman, Ph.D., a psychologist who has worked on women, trauma and substance abuse issues, believes women are wired to try to make others happy. When they don’t live up to these self-imposed expectations, she says …  blame themselves for the hardships that follow. In The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power. She proposes that the messages women learn from a young age drive them to self-sabotaging Girly Thoughts that dictate who they are and how they should act. … Society expects women to have many of the same characteristics that our grandmothers and mothers had, she says… many women feel trapped believing that if they accomplish their career goals they become less desirable or not desirable; but if they seek to be desirable they must sacrifice parts of who they want to be. These beliefs often lead to anger and depression and feelings of low self esteem so prevalent women become unaware of them or their source. (HispanicMPR– April 5, 2013, http://www.hispanicmpr.com/2013/04/05/psychologist-discusses-ways-women-can-succeed-by-overcoming-societal-messages/)

3 Boys and an Old LadyThere are times when I feel too this or too that but as I’ve grown I’ve learned to love me. The assessments including throughout The Resilient Woman were wonderful tools to reflect on how your past influences the path of your present. Yet, it was Dr. O’Gorman’s term “girly thoughts” that struck a cord with me most. She writes “what keeps us from using what we know to help us bounce back when we run headlong into adversity? I finally found a simple term for this liability: girly thoughts.” The term girly thoughts reprises itself several times throughout the book as a term of weakness and vulnerability. Dr. O’Gorman offers suggestions to overcome our girly thoughts and those doubts of our strengths.  Great read.

Bookworm Diva–Broken into three significant parts, The Resilient Woman: Mastering the Steps to Personal Power enveloped the essence of the word, resilient. Having heard this word before and used mostly as a description of hard-working women, I have developed a new-found knowledge of the term, and it’s application to my life. Written by Dr. Patricia O’Gorman, PhD., …. (the)  text can be useful in both the personal and professional lives of women. I read the book without completely using the journaling questions, but I can use the questions to create thought provoking writing marathons.

Candace Johnson of Change it Up Editing I am excited to announce the publication on Tuesday, March 5 of an important new book I was privileged to edit: The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power by Dr. Patricia O’Gorman, PhD offers both a mirror and a roadmap to guide women to new understandings about individual thoughts, actions, and strengths.

Societal messages that tell women they aren’t smart enough, pretty enough, good enough—self-sabotaging girly thoughts that tell them who they are and how they should act—compete with the voice of women’s inner strength, a strength that helps them forge their own best solutions for their best courses of action.

I encourage women (and the men who love them) to read this essential book, and then feel free to share your opinion on your favorite online book site.

The Resilient Woman Endorsements:

“This is a powerful MUST READ resource for woman to understand the process of resiliency and their resilient style in facing stressful challenges. Bravo to the author for empowering woman with creative exercises and tools to strengthen their resilient style.”

—Mercedes A. McCormick, PhD, LP, 2013 President of the American Psychological Association, Div. 52 International Psychology, and past president of the New York State Psychological Association, Division of Women’s Issues

“Offering both a mirror and a roadmap to guide women to new understandings about individual thoughts, actions, and strengths, The Resilient Woman provides both the insight and the protective tools to ‘woman-proof’ our lives. . . . plus the actionable steps to help us live from our base of personal power. It’s a masterpiece!”

—Teena Cahill, PsyD, humorist, TV and radio show host, director of Wisdom and Beyond, and author of The Cahill Factor: Turning Adversity into Advantage

“While showing how our childhood influences our resiliency, Dr. O’Gorman skillfully provides insight on the wide variety of changes women experience over the years. Developing and understanding a strong resilience plays a critical role in every woman’s personal and professional success.”

—Janet L. Duprey, New York State Assemblywoman, 115th District

“Exploring the individual, family, and community factors we have experienced enables us to look at ourselves in a new way. The questions raised by Dr. O’Gorman about how we think of ourselves, and the steps suggested to build a sense of resilience, are very constructive. How were we taught to deal with changes in our lives? Are we curious, or ashamed to question feelings aroused? The exercises suggested in The Resilient Woman can help to answer those questions. Then we can indeed feel gratitude for who we are and what we have accomplished.”

—Lita Schwartz, PhD, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Pennsylvania State University

“Unfortunately, even after half a century of feminist awareness, many smart women and girls are unable to access their power and live as fully as they would like. This book is a place to start—for women and for men who care about women and girls—to unravel the invisible forces that determine how we feel and what we’re capable of doing.”

—Marsha Shenk, pioneer in business anthropology, coach, consultant to leaders from the Fortune 50 to Solopreneurs, and founder of The BestWork® People

“Women who come to a family-law attorney are generally in pain and at a crossroads in their lives. Although as their attorneys we are limited by time in the amount of guidance we can give, The Resilient Woman offers an incredible tool to empower our clients during this period of their lives. Do not, however, mistake this book as merely a read for a person in crisis. The Resilient Woman explores why and how we revert to our girlhoods for so many of our emotional responses, how to analyze and overcome the results of those responses, and how to make decisions based on our adult selves. Patricia O’Gorman is an instinctive, incisive writer who instructs with a beautifully light hand, and I would recommend this book for any woman.”

—Elaine Wilson, Esq., past president of the Foothill (East San Diego County) Bar Association

“Wow! I wish I could have read this book twenty-five years ago. I could have spared myself decades of listening to the static of girly thoughts as well as participating in the self-sabotage that goes with them. Growing your self-awareness, recognizing the need for boundaries, and acquiring the confidence to take charge are critical components of a successful professional career. This is particularly true of professions that have traditionally been dominated by men. First you have to ‘know what you know’ and then have the faith to act accordingly. In The Resilient Woman, author Patricia O’Gorman offers both the background knowledge and the doable steps any woman can use to accomplish this.”

—Rebecca Lewis, Esq., attorney and criminal prosecutor

“Dr. O’Gorman defines ‘resilient women’ in a whole new light while messaging that resiliency has more to do more with one’s curiosity, optimism, combatting outdated girly thinking, and gratitude. Her practical and warmly written book invites readers to recognize and boost their resilience as they take the journey to transform and give higher meaning to their lives. By the end of The Resilient Woman I was saying, ‘Yes, I am!’ and ‘Yes, I can!’”

—Kathryn Brohl, LMFT, author of Social Service Workplace Bullying: A Betrayal of Good Intentions

“Dr. O’Gorman’s book is a practical and powerful guide for helping women develop and acknowledge their resilience. Though girly thoughts often undermine women’s belief in their own competence, most survive life’s inevitable surprises and setbacks quite well. It’s now time for women to take credit for doing so. The stories of how women have tackled the toughest tests of life will be an inspiration to all.”

—Linda Sapadin, PhD, psychologist and author of How to Beat Procrastination in the Digital Age

“In The Resilient Woman, Dr. O’Gorman exposes the self-defeating ways of thinking about both self and other that women often grow up with and rely on to guide their relationships. Dr. O’Gorman provides a practical guide for the reader to reconsider these ineffective girly thoughts and to get in touch with and utilize strengths that underlie their resilience.”

—Thomas Lund, PsyD, coauthor of Narrative Solutions in Brief Therapy

“For those trapped by social mores or personal trauma or in counterproductive thought patterns or behaviors, the author presents real stories to help understand why as well as encouragement to take charge of changing their lives for the better. While the book is purposely focused on women of all ages, most of the advice and the structured change methods offered would be helpful to men as well.”

—Michaela K. Rodeno, CEO (retired) of St. Supery Winery in Napa Valley, CA., former VP/Marketing for Domaine Chandon, and current chairman of the board of directors of Visit Napa Valley

The Resilient Woman is imbued with strength, clarity and inspiring guidance that any woman can use.”

—Maureen Healy, author of Growing Happy Kids

“Dr. Patricia O’Gorman’s background makes her imminently qualified to address what happens when women disregard their own needs. The Resilient Woman reflects her latest thinking on an issue that debilitates tens of thousands of women—a way of thinking and behaving that can literally be fatal—and shows the way to a new path of personal power. This book can save your life!”

—Julie D. Bowden, MS, marriage, family, and child therapist and coauthor of Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics.

“Women so often give away their power as they go through life on autopilot, and, when a crisis hits, they scramble to unearth the wisdom and strength they always had. The Resilient Woman is a manual for unleashing that power and letting go of those girly thoughts that only get in the way of one’s true self.”

—Sherry Gaba, LCSW, speaker, cohost of A Moment of Change on CBS radio, and author of The Law of Sobriety

“This very readable book offers many of the basic tools used clinically to reverse the consequences of post-traumatic stress for women who have survived domestic abuse, street crime, war, and other kinds of institutional abuse, whether in academic or treatment centers. The Resilient Woman is a book I would like to be able to hand to each of my female PTSD clients to stimulate their recovery.”

—Rona M. Fields, PhD, fellow of the American Psychological Association and author of Against Violence Against Women

“Patricia O’Gorman has created an in-depth yet highly accessible treatise about how women can tap into the layers of their histories and identities. Unpeeling the layers creates a step-by-step plan for creating personal degrees of sustainable agency that can be life transforming. Celebrating our weaknesses and pains as our true strengths instead of trying to manage them in the deep shadows of our psyches has the potential to reshape the meaning of wisdom from within in our homes, communities, and societies.”

—Dr. Steve Tyrell, president, North Country Community College, Saranac Lake, NY

“As a wife, mother, grandmother, professional speaker, entertainer, and a suicide survivor, I know the desperation that can fill a woman’s life . . . even when everything looks good on the outside. I urge women to read The Resilient Woman and take the risk of getting to know your true selves, your strong selves. You will reap tremendous benefits from reading this powerful book.”

—LaDonna Gatlin, CSP, CPAE, author of The Song in You

“Patricia O’Gorman offers women a path to uncovering and accessing their natural strengths and beauty. Through recognizing their support systems and integrating their personal history, Patricia empowers women to accept, nurture, and creatively fulfill their lives. She has created an insightful, engaging dialogue that encourages positive self-reflection and growth. This is a guide to living your life with joy and confidence, a book you will read and share with your friends.”

—Robin Becker, MA, artistic director, Robin Becker Dance

The Resilient Woman brings together many effective theories on empowerment, parenting, self-esteem, self-care, and independence to provide a guidebook for woman of any age. Understanding and getting past the fear of releasing old ways of being opens the door to a future based on what really matters to you. As you discover ways to build your life from a foundation that is uniquely you own, you will release the dreams and hopes of the past that caused pain and failure.  Applause to Dr. Patricia O’Gorman for bringing so much empowering information together into one comprehensive guidebook that every woman should have on her bookshelf.”

—Nancy Mramor, PhD, CEO of Transformedia LLC, health and media, psychologist, award-winning author, and international speaker

“I could relate to so much of this book because of my own life. As author Patricia O’Gorman points out, childhood experiences have an incredible impact on resilience in adulthood, but no matter what difficult circumstance life throws at you, you too can create resilience from it.”

—Erin MerrynGlamour’s Woman of the Year 2012, political activist, and author of Stolen Innocence and Living for Today  (http://www.aol.com/video/youve-got-erin-merryn/517634128/)

A PDF with all reviews and acknowledgements can be found here: The Resilient Woman book reviews