Dibs:In Search of Self


Dibs: In Search of Self                                                                                                                                                                                                      Plot Summary

“Dibs, five years old, is silent and withdrawn in the playgroup. If he responds at all, to anything, it is generally in monosyllables- ‘No, no, no!”. He attacks the other children if they approach him. His New York background is upper class and wealthy, but at home he is often locked in his room as he is mute, unmanageable, an embarrassment. His father is a brilliant scientist, his mother was a top heart surgeon before the children were born. Maybe he should go to a school for the mentally retarded? The playgroup leaders are didvided on this, and the assessment of the proffessionals is that they cannot fathom the problems. Virginia Axline, a gifted therapist and a pioneer of play therapy, takes on this small frightened child and, over the course of many weekly one-hour play sessions, enables him to start to become the person he is meant to be. He is indeed an astounding child, gifted and highly sensitive. This is a classic of clinical cognitive psychology, the techniques and guiding philosophy are described with clarity and simplicity, the main verbal technique being reflective listening. The outcomes is joyous, but the process of healing and development is hard and emotionally demanding. The crying of the child and the crying of the parents are equally full of grief, and it is hard if not impossible to no grieve with them. This is an M.Scott Peck of a book, and I would recommend it to anyone; but particularly for all counselors, special needs workers, and professional psychologists.”

Michael JR Jose, Resident Scholar

“Dibs is confused with trying to find himself. The therapist and his parents are trying to find out what is wrong with him. He turns out to be one of the most intelligent kids.”

Sondra Hopkins, Resident Scholar

By Virginia Axline

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