Living with 'The Gloria Films': A Daughter's Memory

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9781906254025: Living with 'The Gloria Films': A Daughter's Memory

- this slightly voyeuristic, aging therapist really enjoyed the book and would recommend it for its unique insight into the effects of what, at the time, was a unique insight into the world of therapy. It is an insight which is told honestly, with a profound sense of love and affirmation and celebration of life. Carl Stonier, Ipnosis No 33.

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In 1964 Dr Everett Shostrom, a psychologist from California, produced a series of educational films titled "Three Approaches to Psychotherapy", therein filming complete psychotherapy sessions for the very first time. Three celebrated therapists demonstrated their models on a willing client called Gloria. Dr Shostrom had asked Gloria to be prepared to discuss, on film, a subject that was currently troubling her as a recently divorced mother - dating men and dealing with direct questions about her sex life from her fourth-grade daughter, 'Pammy'. At the time, the topic had pith, intrigue and moral uncertainty. Although the interviews quickly diverged from sex, an aura remained that underscored the state of psychotherapy, the era of the mid-60s, and the evolving consciousness and 'liberation' of women during that decade.Immediately upon the release of the films, reverberations began. They were translated into multiple languages and became a regular part of the college curriculum in psychology departments in the USA and abroad. The three therapists - Carl Rogers, Albert Ellis and Fritz Perls - were solicited for their responses and evaluations; the films were, controversially, shown in theatres and on TV. There was a lawsuit and a life-long relationship. The success of the films was said to be down to 'Gloria's genius'. Countless papers, theories, rumours and idiosyncratic research titbits circulated about Gloria and the films, yet what she experienced, how she was treated after the filming and how her personal life evolved, was never fully revealed. She had brilliantly happy moments, devoted relationships and profound loss. Her generosity with her time and spirit was her spark of grace.This beautifully written memoir blends the intimacies of family life, intuitive characterisation and an insight into the development of psychotherapy in California in the 60s. Gloria's daughter Pamela J Burry ('Pammy'), whose innocent question sparked Gloria's disquiet, has woven together a legacy of letters, notes, transcripts, tapes, articles and her own memories to write about a life which became the subject of much academic analysis, moral outrage, rumours of suicide and speculation in the years following the release of "Three Approaches to Psychotherapy", more popularly known as 'The Gloria Films'.

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