Supernormal: Childhood Adversity and the Untold Story of Resilience
In this seminal new study of resilience, Meg Jay tells the stories of a diverse group of people who have overcome trauma in their childhoods to go on and live successful lives as adults. These are the 'supernormal', who having shouldered greater than average hardship as children defy expectation and achieve better than average success as adults. But how, and at what cost?Whether it was experiencing parental divorce, or growing up with an alcohol or drug-abusing parent, living with a parent or sibling with mental illness, being bullied, living in poverty, being a witness to domestic violence, suffering physical or emotional neglect, the people Meg Jay introduces us to are all survivors. She explores what they have in common that made it possible for them to transcend the trauma of their early years and to build successful adult lives. And she asks the questions: What was the cost of developing those powers? And having survived, even thrived, how do you go on and build a trusting, fulfilled life?Drawing on her clinical experience with survivors of childhood trauma, Meg Jay documents ordinary people made extraordinary by the experience of all-too-common trauma. Bringing together personal, scientific and cultural knowledge Jay gives a voice to the experience of the 'supernormal', furnishes them with the tools to better understand themselves and take full advantage of their strengths, and gives a window into their world for those who seek to understand them.
This extraordinary book taught me more about resilience than anything else I've read. With the ear of a therapist and the voice of a novelist, Meg Jay delves deep into the human condition to illuminate how we find strength after suffering. It's impossible to read Supernormal without seeing yourself in it - and without seeing yourself more clearly too -- ADAM GRANT, New York Times bestselling author of ORIGINALS, and OPTION B with Sheryl Sandberg Adversity is much more common than we think. But so is resilience, as Meg Jay reveals in this remarkable book. With a storyteller's grace and a clinician's insight, Jay explains how everyday superheroes triumph over traumas of every kind - and how you can use their inspiration and lessons to transform your own life -- DANIEL PINK, author of Drive Bracing * * Elle on The Defining Decade * * Required reading * * Slate on The Defining Decade * * Will inspire, motivate, and educate -- RACHEL SIMMONS, author of The Good Girl on The Defining Decade Eye-opening, important, and a pleasure to read -- WENDY MOGEL, author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B Minus on The Defining Decade
Meg Jay, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who specialises in adult development. She is an assistant clinical professor at University of Virginia, and maintains a private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia. Jay earned a doctorate in clinical psychology, and in gender studies, from University of California, Berkeley. Her first book, The Defining Decade, has sold more than 200,000 copies, and inspired one of the most-watched TED talks of all time. www.megjay.com @drmegjay