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Daniel Mackler - Crackpot Psychologist? Or Children's Advocate?

Here is a copy of a post I found online in which the author of the post calls Daniel a "crackpot psychologist." I feel very sad to read this. It hurts me to see someone labeling Daniel like that.

I don't understand why the author of the article feels so much pain from what Daniel says, or why he feels so threatened, unless he is a parent. I say that because the author seems to feel threatened by what Daniel says about parents and therapists forming what Daniel calls a "fraternity" which helps defend them against any suggestions or accusations that parents are damaging children and teens.

What Daniel says, though, makes sense to me. Throughout his writing, Daniel basically says that your parents have the biggest impact on your mental health and if you have mental health problems, they are mainly the ones to "blame." (I don't really like the term blame, but I agree that they are the primary "cause" in the cause/effect equation.)

Daniel also says that many if not most therapists will take the side of the parent because they are also parents. Daniel calls this a "fraternity", a term which makes sense to me.

I would add to this that they are also being paid by the parents. So if they say or do things which the parents don't like, the parents can stop sending their child/teen to that particular therapist, or to any psychologist at all.

What Daniel says fits with what I have concluded myself after many years of listening to teenagers who tell me that the school counselors and the parents nearly always are on the same side. So I would even extend the "fraternity" to include school counselors, school staff in general; and police, who will forcibly return a teen to their "home" if the teen's parents (aka the "owners") ask them to.

Below is the article I found.

S. Hein
October 14, 2013

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Daniel Mackler and the evil fraternity of parents

Just when you thought it was safe to forgive. A new FDR member actually asked if it was OK to forgive parents if they apologized and possibly re-unite with them.

(Oy! Those newbies…)

Anyway, a couple of True Believers set him straight, of course. One of them pointed to some advice from FDR’s latest crackpot psychologist—Daniel Mackler. Turns out Mackler has his own Philosophy of (un)Forgiveness ! About 8 minutes in to his video on Forgiveness and Blame (shown below), you get such gems as “For most people, the people they need to blame most of all are their parents.

But forget trying to get help from any therapist—unless he’s named Mackler! Why? Because…(Quoting Daniel)

“…most of the people in the psychology field are parents also, and there’s a fraternity of parents. Because most of the psychology field people who are parents actually have done a lot of very wounding things to their children—the exact things their patients are trying to come in and blame their own parents for. A lot of therapists can’t handle that. They can’t handle sitting with their patients who are blaming parents for the very crimes that the therapists themselves have done. So, the easy way around it is ‘Let’s not look very closely at what your parents have done at all. Let’s move past it.’“

Yes. Don’t believe any therapist who tells you to forgive your parents because most therapists are evil members in that dastardly Fraternity of Parents. (There’s got to be a whopping big fraternity house somewhere…). You can only trust the special therapists…like Daniel.

Molyneux and Mackler. These two cats are like peanut butter and jelly. Molyneux says “never forgive your parents.”

And if a therapist suggests that you do, Mackler says it’s because they’re abusers, too.

You can’t make this stuff up.


Some more comments on this....

- I have read this three times and I cannot find any real clues as to why Daniel's position bothers the author so much. To me, the author is just mocking Daniel and being sarcastic. This reminds me of the saying "Sarcasm is anger in disguise." But I like to think of anger more as pain, as I discuss in my writing on anger. So I am back to wondering what exactly is causing or "triggering" the author's pain so much that he felt a need to try to discredit Daniel.

I place a high value on understanding, at the same time, I feel too intimidated by this author to write to him and ask him to explain his feelings. I am afraid he would judge and label me, too.

Notice by the way that he never actually used any feeling words in what I call an emotionally literate way. When I read his post about Daniel I was thinking about the author's feelings and needs. I realized I am not sure what he needs, and I really don't think he knows either, though I am afraid he would feel offended by my saying that. Anyhow I wrote something about how it is hard to help someone when you don't know what they need. I put this on my home page yesterday and I have copied it below since I will move it from the home page soon.

I have read other writing by this same author and I would describe him as an intelligent person. I value a lot of what he has to say. But this piece of his writing, to me, is an example of what I would call the dark side of emotional intelligence.

- Another thing is that it seems clear that the author is not showing any attempt or desire to understand Daniel's statements. Instead it seems the author is simply judging Daniel. So this reminds me of my thoughts on understanding and judging, which include the idea that they may be mutually exclusive.

- By the way, the first time I posted this, I didn't add these comments and I had the author's name and the website listed. But then I thought about something I wrote today which also is on my home page today. (I have a copy below) It is the quote about how using someone's words against them may be the most personal type of attack. I was afraid of being called a hypocrite and deservedly so for the way I had first presented this page. So I feel better about it now, but still afraid I am going to be attacked myself. But oh well I guess. I feel a greater need to express myself, and defend Daniel, than I do to protect myself right now. Another need is to help raise people's awareness. I feel satisfied that I have done what I can towards that goal for now.

Thanks for reading.

S. Hein
Oct 15, 2013





Oct 14- "It is hard to help someone when you don't know what they need." more - S. Hein
Oct 15 Using someone's words against them may be the most personal form of attack, with the exception, perhaps, of using someone's feelings against them. S. Hein


Hard to Help Someone.

"It is hard to help someone when you don't know what they need." S. Hein

I thought of this when I thought about the person who wrote an article which was very critical of someone I respect. I don't know how the person was feeling, except sarcastic and judgmental, or what he needed. In other words, what his unmet needs were when writing the article that he was trying to partially fill by writing it.

So I thought, "I would like to help the person, but I don't know what he needs." Then I thought, "It is hard to help someone when you don't know what they need." I also thought, "it is hard to help someone when *they* don't know what they need.

So this is another reason it is very helpful for us all to become more aware of our feelings and our associated unmet emotional needs.

S. Hein
Oct 14, 2013
La Paz, Uruguay