29 April, 2013

Dibs: In Search of Self by Virginia Axline (1964)

Virginia Axline pioneered non-directive play therapy for disturbed children, and this is an account of her sessions with Dibs, a five year old boy from a wealthy family. Dibs was so uncommunicative and aggressive that he was almost considered retarded. His gradual emergence through Axline's gentle techniques is what makes this book a classic in its field, although I must admit to wondering how accurate her account was at times. But it's an incredible read and some of Axline's discoveries, such as that Dibs had secretly taught himself to read, were jawdropping. The identity of Dibs has never been revealed.

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