A Reaction to the book Dibs In Search of Self
Virginia M.Axline as the author, narrator of the book, doctor-psychologist and being one of the pioneers in doing clinical cognitive technique using series of play therapy, successfully brought out the best of an emotionally crippled/mentally challenged Dibs.Way back in 1964, in which the book has published, neither the people nor the society do not understand and accept such Dibs condition and characterized it as a mental illness that family who has members like Dibs treat it as an embarrassing thing.
Nowadays with modernized and advanced approach in research and studies, the society has evolved, and people now have a broader mind of thinking, perspective and acceptance.
There are now some practices and scientific categories in which the case of Dibs can be classified as being a late-bloomer rather than autistic or mentally defective, which has normally evolved only after reaching a certain age.
In that case, Axline was just lucky enough that she became the instrument of Dibs’ coming out from his own world as a new kid with lots of potentialities to give. Furthermore, it is understandable why Axline needed to hide the true identity of the kid and gave him the pseudonym Dibs, which in some ways, the whole story looks like a doubting half-truth narration. And this is because Dibs is only five years old, innocent and fragile when she happened to met him and played as his mentor/therapist.
However, there are still some discrepancies in the story such as the truth behind Dibs’ parents neglecting and estranged behavior over Dibs irregardless of his condition which has supposedly requires much more special love, care and attention from them especially that they both came from a wealthy and well-educated background. Another discrepancy that could be noted is Dibs’ parent’s sudden change towards him. The happiness of having a genius child urged them to treat their child positively, especially the mother, and it is normal. But is that so? Why all of a sudden?
Isn’t it ironic? We all know that affluent people do not always bend down their own pride in the blink of an eye. Did they undergo some emotional therapy while Axline is taking charge of Dibs? Perhaps. But there are no stories in the novel about such thing. The book Dibs In Search of Self entails success over scientific method on unknown trials. It is Dibs who have the mental challenge issue and the main character of the book that is subjected to Axline’s study of clinical cognitive technique via play therapy. But along the way, it is not only Dibs who surpassed the trial of fate.
Rather, the book also imparts Axline’s success of doing such play therapy approach. There are some topics and intrigues looped in the psychology circle during those times that Axline has just only created the success story of Dibs to make herself applauded and boost her name over her colleagues. But whether Dibs is just a fictional character of Axline, the lesson that the book has brought about will never be questioned. And this is the lesson that when someone believes in oneself and guide him to manifest his own potentials, positive results will always come out.