I’ve been writing this book all my life as a girl, teenager, and woman. As has every woman I talked to as part of my research for this book. We just didn’t know it.

What we knew is that throughout our lives, we have been guarding one big secret. And that guarding it took a lot out of us. It disconnected us from our authentic desires, it made us feel like we didn’t belong with others who have it together, it made us stay in relationships and jobs that weren’t good for us for way too long and wage an unrelenting war on our bodies. What we didn’t realize is that every woman. Every woman. Every. Woman has been guarding the same. Exact. Secret:

“There’s something wrong with me.”

Once I realized that, I also realized that my story was every woman’s story. That my quest for happiness and fulfillment was every woman’s quest. And that on this quest, we were all running into the exact same invisible inner walls.

This book will show you the invisible, so you can do the impossible:

after decades of working so hard, checking off the boxes of achievement, devouring self-help books, going to therapy, dabbling in meditation, yoga, medication, personal growth workshops and retreats…

…but still did not feel comfortable in your own skin and feeling like a failure…

…and feeling guilty for wanting more, because your life is so good…

to finally feel happy and fulfilled.

I’ve discovered on my personal journey and over the years of serving women as a therapist and coach—that problems that we believe are individual (“something’s wrong with me”) and have been working so hard to solve as such, have very little to do with us personally:

They’re rooted in our shared trauma—the trauma of the millennia of oppression that I’ve termed Patriarchy Stress Disorder® (PSD).

This discovery has changed everything for me and women I’ve shared it with. The most common response of a woman hearing about PSD for the first time has been:

“Finally! Someone’s given a name an an explanation to what I’ve been feeling all my life, wondering, what’s wrong with me!”

In this book, I uncover:

  • Why you’re dissatisfied in spite of your achievements, and why it's not your fault.

  • What secretly drains 90 percent of your time and energy, and how to reclaim it.

  • How to upgrade your game of “How much can I bear?” to “How good can it get?”

My early readers are saying:

“Groundbreaking, fascinating, and sobering. Finally—we have an explanation. This seminal work of Dr. Valerie Rein is a must read for every woman in the process of unlocking her own ultimate fulfillment and success.”

Ali Brown

CEO + Entrepreneur Mentor

“The greatest barriers for women now and ahead are internal. Especially as the gender equality movement adds more responsibility to women’s plates—we need a new movement that gives women the tools to manage and optimize their mental health so they can rise in leadership with greater ease and joy. Dr. Valerie has some of the most groundbreaking solutions I have seen. Whether you’re in the corporate or entrepreneurial world, starting out or advanced in your career, this is a must-read for all women.”

Claudia Chan

Creator of S.H.E. Summit & This Is How We Rise leadership book, podcast, and course

“Mind Blowing. I was immediately impacted by Dr. Valerie’s definition of trauma. I have it so great. I am blessed. I have a good family. I’m lucky for a life of opportunity. These messages blind us to years of trauma that impacts every single area of our lives. Not to mention the trauma we carry from our ancestors and the collective of women today.

Through beautiful storytelling, facts and research, and heartfelt relation to what really is going on in our lives, Dr. Valerie creates a transformation. From that feeling of something not being quite right, to understanding, to actionable steps, and finally to power, Patriarchy Stress Disorder is required reading for women if we are to realize our power and impact our world. THANK YOU Dr. Valerie for the work you are doing for women and for our world!”

Carrie Sechel

Former Deloitte Partner, Business Consultant, Author, Speaker

“Dr. Valerie is the go-to expert on identifying and healing the complex effects of intergenerational, cultural, and personal traumas that all humans carry. These have a profound impact on how we show up in life and at work and how we work with each other. The fields of Human Resources and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and anyone concerned with advancing equality and empowerment should be paying attention to Dr. Valerie's work.”

Jennifer Brown

Founder, President & CEO, Jennifer Brown Consulting (JBC). Author, Inclusion and How to be an Inclusive Leader

“As a single mom I resonated with the constant guilt and fear of passing along my issues to my twin girls. After reading this amazing book, I now will focus on being unconditionally ok with myself and passing that on to my girls. Instead of the way I have been surviving my life, I want to thrive —and now I have a way to do it!

This book is a masterpiece. Just like a really good movie, its message sticks: How good can it get? It inspired me to take a new direction with my team and we had a great meeting this morning. We agreed to work together to change from being reactive to proactive! Thank you Dr. Valerie for sharing the light with us!”

Dr. Jill Wade

Owner of Stonebriar Smile Design

“We can’t untie the knots we cannot see. In this brilliantly written and courageous book, Dr. Valerie Rein makes visible the web of knots that hold us back. Her writing captures your imagination and your heart and takes you for a ride through your own history of setbacks and self-limiting behaviors. Join the women Dr. Valerie has helped break through the chains of PSD by reading this amazing book. The stories, research and practices in Patriarchy Stress Disorder will inspire you to live from your best Self. I could not put this book down, and I learned something new about myself on every page. Thank you, Dr. Valerie!”

Amy Weintraub

Founder of LifeForce Yoga, author of Yoga for Depression and Yoga Skills for Therapists

“Dr. Valerie helps us better understand the invisible programs encoded in our DNA that subconsciously affect us. Corporate executive women, especially in Healthcare, are affected by cardiovascular disease, weight gain, eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety, issues with sleep, and ultimately burnout. Backed with eye-opening data, Patriarchy Stress Disorder uncovers the invisible root of the issues that plague powerful women and offers scientifically-informed exercises that readers can begin putting into practice immediately. I would love to see PSD included in every Psychology textbook.”

Dr. Anne Arvizu

CEO, RxER Communications Corp.

Want a taste of "Patriarchy Stress Disorder®: The Invisible Inner Barrier to Women’s Happiness and Fulfillment” before diving in? Get a free sample:


I am available to speak to your group about PSD and how it affects our personal lives, relationships, and careers. Click here to talk to me about your event.