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Resilient Adults: Overcoming a Cruel Past Paperback – March 15, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0787902537 ISBN-10: 0787902535 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (March 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787902535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787902537
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #946,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A deeply moving book: inspirational, celebratory, incredibly optimistic, practical, powerful, and beautifully written."

"Excellent. . . . There are many new titles about optimal personality development but few are as well researched or as inspiring as Higgins' Resilient Adults."

"An inspiring and invigorating book! I recommAnd it to the courageous women and men who struggle each day to overcome their own cruel pasts, to the therapists who work with them, and to anyone interested in the relationship between adult development and mental health.'' (Robert Kegan, Harvard University and the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology)

"There are many new titles out about optimal personality development but few are as well researched or inspiring as Higgens's Resilient Adults. Thse survivors' own stories provide hope and valuable lessons to those hurt by life's experiences and for those who seek to understand and help them. It is written with informed intelligence and poetic passion. Recommended for its practical picture of mental health."

From the Inside Flap

What is it that makes some people resilient enough to overcome devastating trauma? What separates them from those who are understandably broken by such events? Most important, how can we foster this strength in ourselves and in others?Gina O'Connell Higgins draws on her twenty-year career devoted to the study of resilience to describe people who had brutal childhoods, who suffered violence at the hands of a parent, who were raped, abused, and abandoned, and yet who created lives of hope and happiness. Offering an approach that focuses on the origins of mental health rather than the beginnings of mental illness, Resilient Adults outlines how men and women can recognize the resilient traits they possess and appreciate what has gone right with their lives.What makes some people resilient enough to overcome devastating childhood trauma? What separates them from those who are broken by such events? Most importantly, how can we foster the strength to overcome tragedy and live a life filled with healthy relationships, satisfying work and community involvement? Gina O'Connell Higgins, who has studied survivors and resilience for over twenty years, provides insight into these and other key questions.Through both grim and joyous profiles, Higgins describes people who had brutal childhoods?who suffered violence at the hands of a parent, were raped, abused, and abandoned, and yet who created lives of hope and happiness. These compelling portraits include a psychiatrist, happily married for twenty-eight years, who as a child was the victim of a satanic cult and forced to become a prostitute?and a man who, though ferociously beaten by his father and sexually abused by his mother, grew up to become the director of a human service agency.With an unique approach that focuses on the origins of mental health rather than the beginnings of mental illness, Resilient Adults shows how men and women can recognize resilient traits within themselves, and appreciate what has gone ri

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
As a forty-eight year old womens' health professional who struggled with an abusive childhood and recently left an abusive marriage of 27 years, I found great validation and hope in this book. Ms. O'Connell Higgins protrays the resilient who successfully avoided repeating the terror of their upbringing. Yet her focus on faith and her description of "the Sea Beyond the Sirens" are invaluable supports to anyone- young or old- who has decided to rid themself of the deamons of abuse.
Finally, the descrptions the resilient and their role as "helpers" explains the activites of many who struggle to survive. They give back the fruits of their labors to others who are in need of example and assistance.
Most importantly, her work incorporates the notion that no person abused should be viewed only as a victim. The survivor status may not come to all, but is always available to those who have the desire to change.
The hope this book inspires makes it an excellent text for anyone who is involved in treating the traumatized or who is personnaly at any stage of abuse recovery.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
Recommended reading for young adult survivors and their therapists. Forty persons who have overcome severe childhood abuse whom today live succesfully in long term, committed relationships and hold respected positions in their career fields are the subjects of the author's research.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Brody TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book by psychologist Gina O'Connell Higgins is one of the best book on resilience available. As a clinical social worker and marriage and family therapist, this is the book I most often provide to my clients who have struggled with a history of childhood abuse. I try to help people view themselves as survivors rather than as victims and this book is a wonderful resource for that mindset.

Higgins has studies what resilient adults have in common. "They are above average to superior in IQ; possess exceptional talents, including creativity and other inner resources (and have developed many of these); have obtained higher economic levels than their family of origin; demonstrate high levels of ego development; have sustained empathically close relational ties in childhood, adolescence and adulthood (including those they formed with parental 'surrogates'); frequently have highly psychologically compromised siblings; and maintain strong political and social activism.. More dynamically, they remain fiercely committed to reflection, new perspectives, and ongoing therapy." (p. 20)

I find this book fascinating and highly readable for the lay-person and the professional. It is of profound and tragic interest that the author came from an abusive past. She went on to become a psychologist while her brother committed suicide. This book will give the reader unusual insight into the courage and unique adaptivity of the resilient adult.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rainy on April 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books I have ever read. It moved me and inspired me. The author uses real examples of people she knows/has worked with. It is a fairly easy read and I have already suggested that it be a recommend/required reading for my Master's program courses.
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