Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting” as Want to Read:
The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  635 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Never before has world-renowned psychoanalyst Alice Miller examined so persuasively the long-range consequences of childhood abuse on the body. Using the experiences of her patients along with the biographical stories of literary giants such as Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, and Marcel Proust, Miller shows how a child's humiliation, impotence, and bottled rage will manifest ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 17th 2006 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Body Never Lies, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Body Never Lies

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,488)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 24, 2007 Tabetha rated it really liked it
The author spends a lot of time arguing that the commandment to "honor thy parents" causes a lot of harm, especially to children whose parents were abusive in one way or another.

I've known several abuse survivors, some of whom still question themselves as to whether it really happened, or if it could have been as bad as they remember, or have spent a lot of time finding excuses for their parents. In that sense, I think this book could be useful for affirming those experiences and allowing heali
Jan 29, 2009 jenna rated it did not like it
Eh! Maybe my hopes were too high after being so enamored of The Drama of the Gifted Child. The thesis is one that I whole heartedly subscribe to; the mind-body connection is clearly illustrated in both my personal and professional life.

However, I found the initial part of the book weak and dull; that she beats the reader to the punch by pronouncing the impotence of the presented material (connecting physical ailments of historical figures to their emotional loose ends from childhood) does nothin
Kathie Jackson
Aug 01, 2013 Kathie Jackson rated it liked it
The belief that our repressed emotions can cause physical ailments is nothing new. What Miller offers that feels groundbreaking is this: children of abusers need not forgive their parent(s) in order to be free of the pain and damage. As a therapist Miller feels her profession too often preaches the typical morality of "honor thy parents" and finds that most counselors believe forgiveness is key to the patient being able to move on. Miller instead believes a therapist should become an "enlightene ...more
Initially NO
Jul 28, 2015 Initially NO rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crisis-healing
This book is amazing in its power to enable people, to shift the stuck. I found the descriptions of people who stop eating and get diagnosed with anorexia or bulimia, make more sense than anything I've read on this topic. The idea of desperately trying to find nutrition metaphorically... yes. This is the second book of Alice Miller's I have read. Now, I have to read her entire shelf.

The body never lies - ‘Ultimately the body will rebel, even if it has temporarily been pacified with the help of d
AA Palliser
Jul 06, 2010 AA Palliser rated it it was amazing
This is a must read for therapists and people in any kind of realtional or attatchment based therapy.

I found this book fantastic as a help tool for people in my practice who are dealing with issues around abusive parents or trauma. It gives one the courage to look at the bonds of parenthood and question the realationships with parents who have been cruel or abusive.

I loved it.
Nov 14, 2009 Michelle rated it really liked it
Interesting and validating. Occaisionally she goes slightly over the top and draws conclusions I found a bit of a stretch. Also it can be repetetive, but I think that was on purpose, since the resistence to these ideas was part of the point. I'm glad this book was written, I think it's important.
Samantha Verdin
Apr 26, 2013 Samantha Verdin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology, favs
Desde que estoy en psicoanálisis y puedo pensar en los momentos que he enfermado y las circunstancias que han envuelto esos momentos en mi vida, encuentro que existe una gran relación entre el sufrimiento emocional/psíquico reprimido, y su válvula de escape: el cuerpo.

Alice Miller continúa con lo leído en 'El drama del niño dotado...' (que creo que es la base de sus otros libros), y ejemplifica cuáles son las consecuencias físicas de las emociones reprimidas en la infancia, que arrastramos dent
Kai Schreiber
Ihr Revoluzzertum ist erfrischend und ihre Thesen vermutlich nah an der Wirklichkeit, aber die empirische Methode grenzt ans esoterisch Naive und ich musste stellenweise schnell drüberblättern. Jemand fühlte sich als Kind nicht geliebt und bekam später Krebs, Tuberkulose oder starb früh? - Klarer Beweis für die These, dass alles Übel der Welt aus Kinderherzen stammt. Das ganze noch überwiegend anhand der Biographien berühmter Autoren (Kafka! Nietzsche!), deren Details ohnehin schon durch eine De ...more
Aug 30, 2015 Beyza rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self'te de yaşadığım bir şeydi: Evet, sanki benden bahsediyor ama hayır, tam olarak da bahsetmiyor. Aslında bahsettiği şey çok değerli, gerçekten de terapistler de, yıllarca terapiye devam edenler de, olumsuz duyguların göz ardı edilmesi pahasına, bağ kurdukları kişileri affetme, onlara şefkat duymaya çalışıyorlar. Bunun doğal olarak kişiye hiçbir faydası olmuyor. Buraya kadar her şey güzel, ama hem birinci bölümdeki edebiyat ve düşünce tari ...more
Jul 06, 2014 Ebony rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
Miller’s The Body Never Lies was much more accessible than Prisoners of Childhood. It’s still instructive about what makes a good therapist, but this time the advice pertains to individuals looking for a therapist as well as practitioners. Instructive is a good word for the text in general. Miller offers really simple instructions for those who were abused and humiliated in childhood: “stop loving and forgiving those who hurt you.” Super simple. Widly radical. She argues that the 4th commandment ...more
Oct 26, 2015 Mijazmija rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
El libro básico y revolucionaro que cada uno debe leer (sobre todo los padres o los que lo quieren ser, terapeutas, medicos y pedagogos). Miller ha demostrado con su sinceridad( que que muy a menudo nos parece cruel), la potencia de vinculos viciocos y los impactos de la represion de nuestra propia verdad que en nuestra sociedad funciona bajo el cuarto mandamiento. Libro que nos puede liberar de nuestras ilusiones y ceguera, nos abre los ojos y nos da fuerza y motivos para desechar lo malo, apre ...more
Dec 16, 2014 Sera rated it it was amazing
A good read for anyone who is working on themselves and their childhood.
Gives you a good lens to view things differently.
May 27, 2014 Emna rated it it was amazing
Brilliant..Provides simple and powerful insights on what the body communicates in distress and internal conflict situations..
Alice Miller, Psychoanalytikerin, Lehrende und Autorin, schreibt in Der Revolte des Körpers über den Zusammenhang von körperliche Krankheiten und als Kind erfahrenenen psychischen Verletzungen, die verdrängt wurden und die sich über den Körper bemerkbar machen. Sie verknüpft das mit der herrschenden moralischen Vorstellung, dass wir unsere Eltern lieben müssen und ihnen zugefügtes Leid irgendwann vergeben müssen, damit die Seele heilen kann. Sie positioniert sich ganz eindrücklich gegen diesen L ...more
I identified with a lot of what she had to say, though there were moments where I saw she went further than I did and saw things I did not. The jury is out whether or not I agree with her that artists which cover their material manage to do so in a way that they still don't feel the emotion. It's a nice defense against the fear, perhaps, that some things are just so horrible that they kick your ass utterly - and I don't want to believe in that, either.
Jan 05, 2016 Kendra rated it it was ok
2.5 She needed a lot more evidence to prove her point. I felt like multiple times she mixed a well known truth with her opinion based on her experiences and called the entire thing a truth. Her theories have real merit and I look at child abuse in a whole new way. The part I found most fascinating was how the body does keep a record of what has happened to it and it doesn't judge whether it was good or bad it just knows what it has experienced.
Dec 19, 2014 Alexandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cuando pensaba que no quedaban más mitos cristianos para derribar, llega Alice Miller con este asombroso libro dandole un nuevo giro al cuarto mandamiento. Propone un enfoque radical en la psicoterapia para afrontar las consecuencias del maltrato y el abuso infantil de una manera honesta, dolorosa pero curativa.
Miller deseaba que llegara el momento en que sus apuntes acerca del daño ocasionado por una infancia dolorosa en los padecimientos del adulto, no sólo psicológicos, sino físicos, parecie
Veronica G
Aug 30, 2014 Veronica G rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! One of the bests I have read on poor parenting, its effect long term and short term! I cannot say enough good things about it. This was highly recommend to me by a friend in Book Club and she was right. Awesome book! Consider this book a self-therapy book from cover to cover.
Maria Athanasopoulou
I was slightly disappointed by this book. It lacked scientific background and elaborate explanation of the author’s ideas, premise and statements. Nevertheless I highly recommend “The Drama of the Gifted Child” as it explains more clearly the views of Alice Miller, i.e. false self/role.
Gert Kruitbosch
This book made me realise that my good youth has a shady side.
It's good to know that and to work on it.
I feel a lot of anger from the author in the book as well.
A lot of examples of the same issue
Sep 08, 2014 Jmp rated it it was ok
Interesting idea that the 4th commandment to honor thy father and mother do not apply when the parents are abusive. Many stories in the book, but this is the theme over and over.
Apr 06, 2015 Jodell rated it it was ok
I took what I wanted out of it:

1. you don't have to forgive if you don't want to

2. your body will tell you what is wrong by manifesting your unfinished business into mental
health issues or illness such as cancer and other maladys.
Oct 31, 2011 Olivia rated it really liked it
A very interesting read about how child abuse of any form is stored within the body and either results in the child becoming an abusive adult or an adult suffering from various mental and health problems. Because society teaches us to love our parents (the 4th commandment) we are unable to express our hate, hurt or whatever negative emotion we have towards our parents and end up suffering or letting others suffer. Whilst I don't agree with everything she says I think it will show the reader a fe ...more
Nov 26, 2014 Jomyrak rated it really liked it
Shelves: inner-work
Excellent book on the effects of cruel parenting. I had a several "aha moments" with this book.
Jan 31, 2016 Justė rated it liked it
Sutinku su autore, kad smurtas, emocinių ryšių ir meilės trūkumas vaikystėje gali turėti neigiamų pasekmių ateityje ir sukelti fizinius ir psichinius sutrikimus. Ypač kai užslopinami neigiami jausmai tėvams. Kaip bebūtų, knyga atrodo gana ištempta, nuolat pateikiama ta pati mintis. Autorė yra parašiusi jau kelias knygas šia tema, tad gal išsisėmė. Taip pat jos mintys pasirodė hipotetiškos ir empiriškai nepagrįstos. Nors pateikiama tikrų istorijų, nėra aišku ar tikrai sutrikimai kilo dėl užslopin ...more
Catalina Beldianu
Merita citita pentru cei care sunt preocupati de propria dezvoltare personala.
Aug 29, 2014 E.d. rated it it was amazing
This book mainly questions the validity of the Fourth Commandment. I loved it.
Oct 05, 2015 Silvia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book to rethink our relationship with our own bodies :)
Lale Akat
most precious of her books-answer to a lot of questions we all have.
May 02, 2013 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of good psychology, excellent deconstruction ( mostly by illustration) of the "honor thy parents no matter what" commandment /idea. Explores the hideous effects that might result due to this frame, eg most of the religions seem to slavishly follow this and also some therapists aim for "forgiveness" as an endpoint etc.
Loses a star for the over emphasis on "don't forgive bad parents therefore cancer" type ideas. Sure, forgiving nasty vile parents might result in ulcers /headaches perhaps, an
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 49 50 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Schopenhauer's Porcupines: Intimacy And Its Dilemmas: Five Stories Of Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders
  • The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy
  • Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
  • Why Is It Always About You? : The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism
  • Too Scared To Cry: Psychic Trauma In Childhood
  • Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship
  • Trauma-Proofing Your Kids: A Parents' Guide for Instilling Confidence, Joy and Resilience
  • What We May Be
  • Our Inner Conflicts: A Constructive Theory of Neurosis
  • The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family
  • The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships
  • Healing Your Aloneness: Finding Love and Wholeness Through Your Inner Child
  • Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics
  • Between Therapist and Client: The New Relationship
  • Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love
  • Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents
Psychologist and world renowned author, who is noted for her books on child abuse, translated in several languages. In her books she departed from psychoanalysis charging it with being similar to the poisonous pedagogies, which she described in For Your Own Good .

Miller was born in Poland and as young woman lived in Warshaw where she survived World War II. In 1953 she gained her doctorate in phi
More about Alice Miller...

Share This Book

“Thus he spent his whole life searching for his own truth, but it remained hidden to him because he had learned at a very young age to hate himself for what his mother had done to him. (...) But not once did he allow himself to direct his endless, justified rage at the true culprit, the woman who had kept him locked up in her prison for as long as she could. All his life he attempted to free himself of that prison, with the help of drugs, travel, illusions, and above all poetry. But in all these desperate efforts to open the doors that would have led to liberation, one of them remained obstinently shut, the most important one: the door to the emotional reality of his childhood, to the feelings of the little child who was forced to grow up with a severely disturbed, malevolent woman, with no father to protect him from her.” 19 likes
“A system of morality tells us what to do and what not to do, but it cannot tell us what we should feel. Genuine feelings cannot be produced, nor can they be eradicated.” 4 likes
More quotes…