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Prisoners Of Childhood: The Drama of the Gifted Child and the Search for the True Self Hardcover – July 4, 1996
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Dr. Miller, who writes an elegant and easily understandable prose, discusses here the issue of children raised by a narcissistic parent(s). She explains that this book is not about high I.Q. children, but about those who were able to survive an abusive childhood because they developed an adequate defense system. At a very early age the child intuitively apprehends the parent's needs. Since the parent, especially the mother, is the child's soul source of survival, the child strives to please, fearing disapproval, or abandonment. Thus, the child sublimates his needs for the parent's. Roles reverse and the child frequently takes on the parent's responsibility as emotional caregiver. This impedes the growth of a child's true identity, and a "loss of self" frequently occurs. The child adapts by not "feeling" his own needs, and develops finely tuned antennae, focusing intensely on the needs of the all important other. Ms.Read more ›
Alice Miller was one of the patron saints of John Bradshaw, the man whose work heralded the age of the Inner Child that became part of the pop-psychology lexicon of the 90's. Her perspective and conclusions, scientifically, sociologically and philosophically speaking, are practically undebateable. And without even needing the true case examples from her therapeutic practice to underscore her points (which she uses with striking and original clarity and precision across gender, racial, ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic lines), her elucidation of her central thesis on the ignored emotional life of children- and the cost of having parents unequipped to give them the love they need- will undoubtedly make deep seated memories of your own childhood come to the surface.
Why does society have such automatic and irrational contempt for the egotist?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As someone who has 20+ years of experience in the therapeutic field, I was recently stumped by a person I was trying to understand and help. Read morePublished 8 months ago by SouthernGirl
The most profoundly insightful book in psychology i have ever read. Deeply impactful.Published 17 months ago by Thomas R Loiselle
This book, a translation from another language was worthless to a non-professional. The book seemed to concentrate upon teh failings of the mental health care providers.Published 23 months ago by Deb Kimball
Alice Miller cuts to the heart of what the amateurs popularly misconstrue as narcissism. A very enjoyable if disturbing read.Published on February 6, 2014 by Geoffrey Homan
Author uses clinical language which is a little difficult to understand at times. However this would give you a better understanding of what you are going through if you were... Read morePublished on November 27, 2013 by Stephanie
This book is one of the most insightful books I have ever read. Alice Miller is a brilliant writer who somehow manages to provide, in a short succint little book, vital and... Read morePublished on November 24, 2013 by Suzanne Abbott Harris
"Prisoners of Childhood" forms the foundation stone of Alice Miller's valuable critique of Freudian psychology and object relations. Read morePublished on September 5, 2013 by Robert Couteau
More technical/analytical than what I thought I'd be reading. If you are not in the headgame business its not an easy book to digest.Published on August 26, 2013 by Susanne Loomis