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Alice Miller born is a psychologist noted for her work on child abuse and its effects upon society as well as the lives of individuals. She was born in Poland and in migrated to Switzerland. She gained her doctorate in philosophy , psychology and sociology in in Basel. She has two adult children. Miller became strongly disenchanted with her chosen field of psychoanalysis after many years spent in practice.
Her first three books originated from research she took upon herself as a response to what she felt were major blind spots in her field. However, by the time her fourth book was published she no longer believed that psychoanalysis was viable at all. Drawing upon the work of psychohistory , Miller has analyzed writers Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka and others to find links between their childhood traumas and the outcome of their lives.
She maintains that all instances of mental illness , crime and falling prey of religious cults are ultimately caused by childhood trauma and inner pain not processed by a helper which she has come to term an "enlightened witness". In the s Miller strongly supported a new method from Konrad Stettbacher, who was later charged with incidents of sexual abuse. Since then she has refused to bring forward therapist or method recommendations. In open letters, Miller explained her decision and how she originally fell for Stettbacher but in the end distanced herself from him and his regressive therapies.
Even psychiatrists , psychoanalysts and clinical psychologists are unconsciously afraid to blame parents for the neuroses and psychoses of their clients. According to Miller mental health professionals are also creatures of the poisonous pedagogy internalized in their own childhood. For Miller this can only hinder the way to recovery: to remember and feel the pain of our childhood. However, the unconscious command of the individual, not to be aware how he or she was treated in childhood, leads to displacement: the irresistible drive to repeat traumatogenic modes of parenting in the next generation of children.
In her first book also published under the titles Prisoners of Childhood and The Drama of Being a Child Miller defines and elaborates the personality manifestations of childhood trauma. She seeks the truth about her own childhood experiences and in so doing defines the model that has become widely accepted in psychotherapeutic circles, such as the Tavistock Institute.
She addresses the two reactions to the loss of love in childhood, depression and grandiosity; the inner prison, the vicious circle of contempt, repressed memories, the etiology of depression, and how childhood trauma manifests itself in the adult. From this book flow the others. For Miller, the traditional pedagogic process is manipulative, resulting in that the grown-up adult is deferential to authorities, even to tyrannical leaders or dictators like Hitler.
This book is legally available online here. It is her first critique of psychoanalysis, charging it with being similar to the poisonous pedagogies that she described in For Your Own Good. Miller is critical of both Freud and Jung. Miller also criticizes Kafka, who was abused by his father but fulfills the politically-correct function of mirroring abuse in metaphorical novels, instead of exposing it.
According to Miller, Nietzsche did not experience a loving family and his philosophical output is a metaphor of an unconscious drive against his family's oppressive theological tradition. She believes the philosophical system is flawed because Nietzsche was unable to make emotional contact with the abused child inside him. Though Nietzsche was severely punished by a father who lost his mind when Nietzsche was a little boy, Miller does not accept the genetic theory of madness.
In this more personal book Miller confesses she herself was abused as a child. Banished Knowledge is autobiographical in another sense. She concludes that the feelings of guilt instilled in our minds since our most tender years reinforce our repression even in the psychoanalytic profession. Written in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall , Miller takes to task the entirety of human culture. She also continues the autobiographical confession initiated in Banished Knowledge about her abusive mother.
In Pictures of a Childhood: Sixty-six Watercolors and an Essay Miller says that painting helped her to ponder deeply into her memories. In some of her paintings Miller depicts baby Alice as swaddled , sometimes by an evil mother. Sign In Don't have an account? Contents [ show ]. Categories :. Cancel Save. This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia view authors.
Thou shalt not be aware : society's betrayal of the child
Alice Miller born is a psychologist noted for her work on child abuse and its effects upon society as well as the lives of individuals. She was born in Poland and in migrated to Switzerland. She gained her doctorate in philosophy , psychology and sociology in in Basel. She has two adult children.
Alice Miller (psychologist)
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