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Publisher's Summary

This best-selling 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 audiobook has provided millions of people 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.

©1997 Basic Books (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Narcissism has rarely been written about with the clarity and quiet insights of this modest, thought-provoking work." (Washington Post Book World)

"An unpretentious little book with an amazing impact.... Many readers find themselves portrayed with an accuracy and empathy that seem uncanny, as if the author had been a silent, unseen witness to their childhood [and] their innermost and secret selves." (Vogue)

"Rare and compelling in its compassion and its unassuming eloquence...her examples are so vivid and so ordinary they touch the hurt child in us all" (The New York Magazine)

What listeners say about The Drama of the Gifted Child

Average Customer Ratings
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Therapists will benefit from this book, as well as clients

This book takes a strongly psychodynamic and moderately psychoanalytical view of the forces at work in adults who have had traumatic backgrounds. Indeed, as in all of her books, the author reveals that most of us are unaware of the baggage we carry.

It also reminded me of the baggage my own adult children carry because of my lack of insight into my childhood baggage, which effected my parenting. It reminded me to talk to them about how their childhood experiences have left implicit scars that they need to understand and overcome.

As a therapist who utilizes a strong Interpersonal Neurobiology approach to therapy, I have found this a very useful book to recommend to clients. Their feedback has always been good.

22 people found this helpful

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now that I know now. I can start to work.

If it's difficult to hear it first its because it 'hits too close to home". But once you hear, for better or for worse, what she has to say, you'll now be able to deal with it.
Worth hearing through to the end.

11 people found this helpful

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Beautifully crafted with loud and clear truth

This is a must book for more than half of our society. the narration is good with simple approach to hardcore psychology. If you're a perfectionist artist or any kind of highly sensitive person with a feeling of endless hunger maybe this book is just for you.

9 people found this helpful

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Psychology for psychologists

Excellent work. This is probably the most important work in psychology I've read after CG Jung. She expresses the affects of childhood trauma on the adult psyche.

8 people found this helpful

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interesting information, though hard to follow

The idea is really interesting, yet both the narration and book structure are non ideal ( e.g. it's hard to even tell from narration when does a chapter ends - she just keeps talking quickly). So, it's not bad, but would consider the book version instead.

8 people found this helpful

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Learn Your Truth

An amazing eye opening piece by Miller. If you have kids, this book is a must, not pass on tramas of your own childhood, and be consciencely aware how your actions effect them.

7 people found this helpful

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Not as useful as I had hoped

I am a therapist that read this book in coll5a few decades ago. I decided to listen to it before recommending it to clients. I am glad I did, because it's a tough read. The content wasn't as well organized as I thought it would be. I don't know if this is due to the translation, but it took effort to get through this. While the material is good, it isn't held together well logically. I do not think I will recommend this book, even though it is considered a classic.

6 people found this helpful

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An unfortunate translation of the original title

The original title of this book was "Prisoners of Childhood," which makes far more sense than "Drama of the Gifted Child." The latter, in my interpretation, points to the challenges surrounding children of remarkable capabilities, which constitutes very little of this book. It is hard to know how I may have felt had I listened to a different reader's interpretation of the material. This reader's performance is atrocious - lending an egotistical and embittered tone to every syllable. The writer lacks any connectivity and understanding to a higher source, which, in my opinion, makes much of her philosophy limited in scope and understanding, though not without some practical merit and interest. I would definitely NOT suggest subjecting yourself to the torture of listening to this reader. If the topic of being imprisoned by the experiences of childhood interest you, this book may further open your mind, but do yourself the favor of truly READING it, unless a better performed version avails itself.

17 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

A must read for anyone who was once a child.

Easy to listen and comprehend the translations between childhood and transference from generation to generation.

3 people found this helpful

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a tough but insightful read...

this book is a LOT. my therapist asked me to check this book out. I found myself going through a whirlwind of emotions. some of the verbiage was a bit advanced from what I'm used to but the context clues helped get me through. I found my logical brain in awe to a degree like wow this makes total sense while my emotional brain was like, "NOPE.NOPE.NOPE. YOU CANT MAKE ME GO THERE LALALALA " on some childish level mentally. meanwhile, I was crying a lot feeling angry, sad, and hurt. this book is a lot to process and was tough for me to get through. it definitely highlighted a lot of my traumas I didn't realize were affecting me so profoundly. I'm definitely going to have to give this another listen with a more open emotional brain lol

2 people found this helpful