Read alsoCan You See Us?
Identical twins Drs. Phyllis and Philetha Tucker have seen it all during their careers—murder, rape, bomb threats, and assaults with deadly weapons. Surprisingly, the sisters are not police officers, FBI agents, or private detectives. They are school teachers who together have spent over 60 years educating—and at times saving—the youth of America.…
In The Search for Domestic Bliss, Dowbiggin delves into the stories of the usual suspects in the founding of the therapeutic gospel, exposing little known aspects of their influence and misunderstood features of their work. Here we learn, for instance, that Betty Friedan did not after all discover "the problem that knows no name"—the widespread unhappiness of women in mid-century America; and that, like Friedan, one of the pioneers of marriage counseling was an open admirer of Stalin's Russia. The book also explores the long overlooked impact of sex researchers Alfred Kinsey and Masters and Johnson on the development of marriage and family counseling; and considers the under-appreciated contributions to the marriage counseling movement of social reformer and activist Emily Mudd.
Through these and other reform-minded Americans, Dowbiggin traces the concerted and deliberate way in which the old order of looking to family and community for guidance gave way to seeking guidance from marriage and family counseling professionals. Such a transformation, as this book makes clear, has been a key part of a major revolution in the way Americans think about their inner selves and their relations with friends, family, and community members—a revolution in which once deeply private concerns have been redefined as grave matters of public mental health.