Resilience: How Your Inner Strength Can Set You Free from the Past

Overview

"Cyrulink has healed people and countries." (The Times, London)

Renowned French neuropsychiatrist and psychoanalyst Boris Cyrulnik's parents were deported to a concentration camp during the Second World War. They never returned. This early personal trauma at the age of five led Cyrulnik to his life's work helping individuals and countries come to terms with their pasts and forge ahead to create positive futures. It is his firm belief that ...

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Resilience: How Your Inner Strength Can Set You Free from the Past

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Overview

"Cyrulink has healed people and countries." (The Times, London)

Renowned French neuropsychiatrist and psychoanalyst Boris Cyrulnik's parents were deported to a concentration camp during the Second World War. They never returned. This early personal trauma at the age of five led Cyrulnik to his life's work helping individuals and countries come to terms with their pasts and forge ahead to create positive futures. It is his firm belief that trauma does not equal destiny-that, rather, we can find strength in the face of pain.

Drawing on years of experience working around the globe with children who have been abused, orphaned, fought in wars and escaped genocide, Cyrulnik here tells many amazing and moving stories of individuals whose experiences prove that suffering, however appalling, can be the making of somebody rather than their destruction. This inspiring book teaches us that we can not only survive in the shadow of adversity-we can thrive.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

French neuropsychiatrist Cyrulnik (Arts and Social Sciences/Univ. of Toulon; Talking of Love on the Edge of a Precipice, 2005, etc.) presents narratives of childhood trauma, seeking to tap into the human ability to cope with incredible adversity.

How do young children who have endured horrendous hardship—e.g., abuse by caretakers, internment in concentration camps, witnessing their parents' murders—rebound to become healthy, even optimistic adults? The author, whose own parents were deported to Nazi concentration camps, looks at numerous examples of trauma in this loosely organized narrative of human possibility. "A child who has survived an extreme situation," writes Cyrulnik, "is shaped like an oxymoron: his guilt is innocent, his pride is shameful, and his heroism is cowardly." The environment around such a resilient child is to his development—he is loved out of disgust or admiration. "We love victims so long as they remain wretched because it makes us feel good when we help them," writes the author with typical bluntness. Cyrulnik provides numerous examples of trauma and abuse: youths interned at Drancy, Vietnamese boat people dispersed to France, Ethiopian refugees in Winnipeg, orphans isolated and deprived in institutions in Romania, Russia and China. The author also looks at the trauma of exiles, giving rise to isolation and assimilation; survivors wracked by guilt; orphans "set free" in their creativity by the death of their parents; and children numbed by the tragedies of war. Some of the typical responses of traumatized children are sublimation, emotional self-control, altruism, use of humor as a defense, aggression, precocious maturity and recurrent depression. Cyrulnik writes that we can learn from these children, who experience spectacular recovery when put in a healthy, stimulating, supportive environment, and even make strong emotional bonds. Rendering their memories into stories is a crucial way to cope, while secrets and collective amnesia are insidious and hurtful.

Deliberative reflections, both more academic and more provocative than the usual self-help guidebook.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585428502
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/17/2011
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 979,307
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Renowned neuropsychiatrist Boris Cyrulnik is the author of more than a dozen books, including Talking of Love on the Edge of a Precipice (2005) which was on the French bestseller list for forty-five weeks. Cyrulnik is currently Director of Teaching at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Toulon in France.

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