Dr. Anne Wilson Schaef, author of 18 books including the New York Times bestseller "When Society Becomes an Addict," where she compared western culture to an active alcoholic, passed away at her home in Rogers, Arkansas, on Jan. 19. She was 85.
In 1981, Schaef impacted millions of people with her groundbreaking book "Women’s Reality" which was a staple in women’s studies classes at universities around the world. This book, subtitled "An Emerging Female System in a White Male Society," was part of her lifelong work championing women’s issues. She had a commercially successful book titled "Meditations for Women Who Do too Much" in 1990, which hit a chord with many woman and sold millions of copies throughout the world and was translated into many languages. She published "There Will Be a Thousand Years of Peace and Prosperity and They Will Be Ushered in by the Women" in 2016.
Schaef made an impact in the addiction recovery field over the last 40 years with her books, including "Codependence: Misunderstood, Mistreated," one of the first books ever written on codependence; "Beyond Therapy, Beyond Science"; and "Living in Process." She wrote extensively on what she saw happening in the culture and developed her own approach to healing the whole person, which came out of the ancient teachings of her ancestors and her own life experience. She was raised in the traditional Cherokee way by her mother and her great-grandmother, and carried the principles they taught her into her life and her work.
Schaef had a Doctor of Philosophy degree in clinical psychology from Union Institute in Ohio, and an honorary doctorate in Human Letters from Kenyon College in Kenyon, Ohio. After practicing for many years, she left the field of psychology and psychotherapy in 1984 as she was developing the LIP work.
She was called “one of the most important thinkers of our time”, “cutting edge”, “way ahead of her time”, and “having the vision of the eagle,” and her genius has been quoted by fellow authors for many years.
She was a huge supporter of women, indigenous people and all creation. She traveled extensively, teaching, speaking and touching many people throughout the world and making a profound impact on millions of lives with her "Living in Process" work and sharing her Cherokee upbringing.
Schaef did not believe in retirement, often asking, “Why would you quit doing something once you’ve gotten really good at it?” and at the time of her death still had several books at publishers and in production.