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The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child Paperback – April 1, 1993


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The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child + Coming Home to Self: The Adopted Child Grows Up + Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self (Anchor Book)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 231 pages
  • Publisher: Gateway Press (April 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963648004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963648006
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this to anyone adopting or adopted.
Susan N.
This book can only help an adoptive parent understand their child, and an adoptee understand themselves which will only enhance their lives.
Cynthia J. Dutton
Only by understanding the Primal Wound, can we understand the adoptee.
Joseph M. Soll

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

187 of 198 people found the following review helpful By Coco Ventura on October 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
As an adoptee, I could not have written this book better myself. It is an extremely insightful book which opened up a world of understanding to myself and also to my loved ones. It helped me understand why I am the way that I am, why I do some of the things that I do, why I struggle with love in my life, and why I have this subconscious fear of abandonment and trust.
This book is a definite "must read" for all parents of adopted children. I know that as a parent you will resist believing in the Primal Wound but you must for the benefit of your children. You will learn to understand your adopted children and will be able to help them throughout their lives - sometimes even in the smallest way, i.e. the simple reassurance that you WILL return home after work.
I met my birth family at 30 years old. Then I read this book a few years later. This book made a difference in my life. It will make a difference in your life, too. Enjoy!
Thank you Nancy Newton Verrier!!
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111 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Long Pants on February 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have read many books on adoption. This is my favorite. Upfront, smart, insightful work. I admire this book for not being afraid of the criticism it may receive for being too acurate, too honest, too exposing of our society's slow pulling up of it's socks with regards to acknowledging adoption as a period of trauma for the infant and not simply a time of celebration for infertile couples wanting children.
It felt as though Verrier took the hand of my young adopted self and walked me through my entire life. My copy is severely highlighted with "yes", "yes" written at least once in each margin. If that weren't enough, Verrier then guides us through the search and reunion process, which was the area I had been looking for help with. It seemed as though she had witnessed the intricacies of my own reunion process...for there it was spelled out on the page. The book also provides some great insight into the delicacies of the triad relationships (adoptee/birth parents/adoptive parents) during the reunion process, suggesting ways to move toward solid relationships. Finally, Verrier offers the adoptee real usable tools for mourning his/her deep loss so that he/she can slowly remove adoption related roadblocks in his/her adult life.
To the non-adopted eye, the book may seem repetitive in places, but this book was built for the adoptee. The repetition is reassuring and appropriate.
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99 of 108 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am an adoptee, who as an adult has searched for and found my birth family. I am also an adoptive father, my son being a teenage adoptee. I found this book to be the most insightful book on adoption that I have ever read. This book, like fine art, speaks to the essence of our being. It speaks to the adoptee primarily, but also to the adoptive parent and birth parent. The truths found in this book are basic and undeniable on the primal level. However, triad members often do attempt to deny them on an intellectual (conscience) level all the time. This denial sets up the basic tension or unspoken problems of adoption. The answer is in speaking about them and adressing them head on. Difficult at best. Nancy Verrier's premise of the primal wound may be difficult for the triad members to accept, but for the adoptee it hits home. I am not completely convinced of the "primal wound" concept, but I am convinced that the problems and struggles that Nancy describes are real. The thoughts and feelings of adoptees are accurately described by Nancy. All adoptees know in their "heart of hearts" that these feelings and thoughts are real. How each adoptee deals with this reality is unique to each individual. Critics may call this book pop psychology, however, the Nancy has accurately described the problems that adoptees experience, this is reality not pop psychology. The symptoms and problems are real and must be acknowledged and dealt with if adoptees are to heal. I would recommend this book to all adoptees. The courageous will use this information to improve their lives and those of their fellow triad members. I wish all who read this book the best as they search for truth in their own adoption issues. Thank you Nancy for your insightful and beatiful work of courage and love.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful By LizO on May 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book during a very emotional time of my life which included seeking out my birth mother. I am ADD and normally read a book about three pages then fall asleep. This book, however, had me nodding my head, saying yes and feeling validated for those things I had felt through most of my life and finished within 24 hours.

Verrier has a good thought on this whole adoption thing. For those of us that were adopted during the dark ages of secrecy and the idea that adoption should be kept secret, this is a good book for those of us with conflicting feelings.

While this may not apply to all adoptees, and it certainly doesn't, it does ring true for many of us left with many unanswered questions as to why we are the way we are, who we are and why we may act out in ways our adoptive siblings and parents don't.

In all it's a good book to consider for the adoptee seeking answers, the adoptive parent who may need some insight, the sibling not connecting with their adoptive brother/sister, the spouse of an adoptee, etc....

Again, it doesn't fit everyone, no book like this does but for many of us this book explains a lot to our mental outlook. I don't think in life you can find any book that really can put people (whatever the classification) into one-size-fits all but this book fit me to a "T". Others may or may not be able to relate but worth the read if you are a member of the adoption triad.
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