The father/daughter relationship is crucial in a girls development. It has a profound impact on her sense of who she is and on all her future intimate relationships, with either men or women. The failure of the father-daughter relationship can send a young girl into adulthood convinced she is a woman without worth. The author conducted in-depth interviews with 75 women over 25 who became successful in their professional and/or personal lives despite the lack of a father's recognition and affection; These women are from a wide range of economic, ethnic, educational and geographic backgrounds. While every womans story is unique, certain patterns emerge: There are fathers who only can love conditionally, fathers who buy a daughters love but give none in return, fathers whose daughters are simply extensions of their own egos, fathers who slyly manipulate, fathers who thrive on the power and control they assert; still others who are verbally or physically abusive, some who are shadow-figures, and others who are simply not present at all. Not all dysfunctional or abusive fathers can be neatly categorized, but every woman whose life was dominated by a difficult Dad will recognize the helplessness of the child who never can please. While the legacy of pain that these fathers leave is deep, there is much that can be done to alleviate and even to conquer it. Using these womens stories as well as her insights from her private practice, and citing the most recent research, Dr. Rosenthal outlines nine basic strategies to overcome the void left by an absent father and illustrates these strategies in action, including Acknowledge the truth about your childhood Understand your fathers behaviors and your defensive responses Be aware of warning signals to stop repetitive hard-wired destructive patterns in your current life Investigate past adult relationship mistakes, both personal and professional Practice and establish new patterns of behavior, including positive brain imaging techniques And others The women whose stories are told in A LIFE OF THEIR OWN have learned to recognize and change the patterns their fathers tried to impose and have moved forward, fulfilled.