Dibs in Search of Self Mass Market Paperback – Jun 12 1986
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From the Publisher
As a former teacher-turned-editor, who read DIBS many times before even coming to work here at Ballantine, I feel very connected to this book. The author is a leading authority on play therapy and the treatment of emotionally disturbed children. Dibs is one of these lost children. The story takes us through his long journey from being labeled as "mentally defective," to emerging as a gifted and lovable young man. Whether you're a teacher, a parent, a psychologist, or just someone who loves to actually feel what they're reading, DIBS is for you.
--Laura Paczosa, Editorial Assistant
About the Author
Virginia Axline (1911-1988) was a pioneer of play therapy for children. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
This remarkably moving and honest book gives credit not to the therapist/author for having worked a miracle, rather, it is the child and his inner strength and resolve that are given praise. The amazingly articulate child acts out his anger through his play of dolls. In a poignant part, Dibs reverses the parent-child role and 'makes' a 'mother' doll build a mountain upon the instruction of the 'boy' doll.
"It is too hard to do," said Dibs. "Nobody can build a mountain. But I'll make her do it. She'll have to build the mountain and do it right. There is a right way and wrong way of doing things and you will do it the right way."
After some thought, he decided he would help the 'mother' and not impose such an onerous task on her. He talks of love and caring for his mother and sister. This shows that Dibs, despite his frustration, fear and anger, has great capacity for compassion, empathy and forgiveness. The therapy sessions with his non-judgmental therapist helped Dibs be aware of his feelings and of matters within and without his control.Read more ›
treatise or in the works of Freud, Lacan, Buber or Carl Rogers, but in
the very simple -and very wise- words of a five-year-old child whose
real name I do not know but who was called Dibs, the subject of an
unpretentious little book published in 1964 by child-therapist
Virginia M. Axline, "Dibs: In Search of Self".
Dibs, the unwanted son of highly intellectual parents -his father was
a renowned scientist, his mother a gifted surgeon- could only
communicate through rageful tantrums, bites, kicks, shouts or
scratches. Most of the time he was simply a mute, withdrawn child
whose teachers had almost lost all hope of getting through to him. His
parents, who showered on him "the best toys money could buy" variously
described him as "defective", "mentally retarded" or possibly
"autistic", tags that most doctors were only too eager to accept
themselves. At home, when civilities could be easily dispensed with,
Dibs' father just addressed him as "stupid".
In a final, desperate attempt to help him before he was dispatched to
some "mental institution", Dibs' teachers asked the assistance of Dr
Axline, a play-therapist with a non-directive (Rogerian) orientation.
After obtaining Dibs' parents reluctant permission to "study him" -and
granting them a strict confidentiality clause- Dr Axline started
weekly one-hour play-therapy sessions with him.
Nothing was structured.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Really beautifull story of the treatment of a little boy with the "humanistic" vision in psychology, play therapy. Love it.Published on Oct. 11 2013 by Karine Gagnon
"Dibs in Search of Self" is the story of a little boy named Dibs and his struggle to open himself up to the world. Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2004
Sorry, but this book just doesn't ring true. A child this severely impaired (read the first two chapters) is not going to be cured in a few months of once-a-week play therapy... Read morePublished on Nov. 7 2003 by bethany
This book doesn't blame anyone's parents for mental illness. I read this book while getting a psych degree in college and it stood out for the real care and empathy the author... Read morePublished on Aug. 25 2003 by CDaniels
There was a time Freud was considered an genius; we now know that his theories were grossly inaccurate. Read morePublished on July 10 2003 by Amazon Customer
This was a really insightful book. I agree that Dibs probably did have an autism spectrum disorder. Read morePublished on July 8 2003 by J. Kerrigan
Dibs in Search of Self by Virgina M. Axline is fantastic book about the therapy of a young boy named Dibs. Dibs won't talk or play with the kids in his kindergarden class. Read morePublished on June 27 2003
...of an inaccurate perspective. In terms of writing quality and emotional "pull," this book deserves 5 stars. Read morePublished on May 18 2003 by Suzy Shedd
That is exactly what I'm saying. You are a psych student -- look at the DSM-IV criteria for autistic disorder. Read morePublished on May 6 2003
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