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The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self (1979)

by Alice Miller

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,501265,846 (3.92)33
This bestselling book examines childhood trauma and the enduring effects it has on an individual's management of repressed anger and pain. Why are many of the most successful people plagued by feelings of emptiness and alienation? This wise and profound book has provided millions of readers with an answer--and has helped them to apply it to their own lives. Far too many of us had to learn as children to hide our own feelings, needs, and memories skillfully in order to meet our parents' expectations and win their "love." Alice Miller writes, "When I used the word 'gifted' in the title, I had in mind neither children who receive high grades in school nor children talented in a special way. I simply meant all of us who have survived an abusive childhood thanks to an ability to adapt even to unspeakable cruelty by becoming numb.... Without this 'gift' offered us by nature, we would not have survived." But merely surviving is not enough. The Drama of the Gifted Child helps us to reclaim our life by discovering our own crucial needs and our own truth.… (more)
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» See also 33 mentions

English (20)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
orig. published 1979. "Das Drama des begabten Kindes"
  betty_s | Oct 3, 2023 |
If you don’t understand how why you do the things you do, don’t write it off as “it’s just how you are.” There is an internal prize of higher value than anything material for those who bravely seek self understanding and acceptance.

I originally rated this 2 stars when I first read it. I found hard to follow. After it was recommended to me again, I gave it a 2nd chance. So glad I did; I would give it 6 or more stars if I could. I wasn’t 'ready' to read it before. I get it now and found it eye opening and fascinating. I’ll probably read it a 3rd time. ( )
  RaggedyMe | Aug 12, 2023 |
Het boek legt geduldig uit hoe het drama van het begaafde kind zich voltrekt, en hoe het te herkennen valt. Destijds heel revolutionair. Gelukkig is er vandaag ook een behandeling gebaseerd op deze bevindingen (zie Ingeborg Bosch met Past Reality Integration), zodat herstel van dit drama voor iedereen bereikbaar is. ( )
  Marjoos | Nov 16, 2022 |
Alice Miller gives the impression that she believes every child has been abused. Maybe so. I found this book confusing at times, such as when she connects war and child abuse without explanation. It also seems somewhat dated, in that she describes therapists who are unwilling to talk about childhood, whereas today that seems one of the most common topics. But the most frustrating part is that she continually refers to a four-step method that she does not explain until the last few pages of the book. ( )
  stephkaye | Dec 14, 2020 |
I feel like Alice Miller makes a very strong case for her theses and for the most part I am convinced. The only criticism I have is, that she uses her theory so broadly at some points, that it seems to render large parts of psychological research on depression, aggression etc. obsolete. The human psyche is more complex than what she makes it to look like, is what I'm trying to say. But please don't be put off by my critique, it is a compelling read and her focus on the early child-parent-relationship and it's effects on child development is really eye-opening. ( )
  MyBookshelf2 | Apr 10, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alice Millerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ward, RuthTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring weapon in our struggle against mental illness: the emotional discovery of the truth about the unique history of our childhood.
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This bestselling book examines childhood trauma and the enduring effects it has on an individual's management of repressed anger and pain. Why are many of the most successful people plagued by feelings of emptiness and alienation? This wise and profound book has provided millions of readers with an answer--and has helped them to apply it to their own lives. Far too many of us had to learn as children to hide our own feelings, needs, and memories skillfully in order to meet our parents' expectations and win their "love." Alice Miller writes, "When I used the word 'gifted' in the title, I had in mind neither children who receive high grades in school nor children talented in a special way. I simply meant all of us who have survived an abusive childhood thanks to an ability to adapt even to unspeakable cruelty by becoming numb.... Without this 'gift' offered us by nature, we would not have survived." But merely surviving is not enough. The Drama of the Gifted Child helps us to reclaim our life by discovering our own crucial needs and our own truth.

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