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Daniel Mackler
Daniel's website


I first heard of Daniel when I was searching "Alice Miller." I decided to create this page on Daniel for several reasons. I will list them later probably as I get to know Daniel more.

Recent Items:

November 2015 update - I was a pretty big fan of Daniel till around May or June of 2014. I explain why my feelings changed in a section of this page where I critically review a video of a British guy talking about depression in basically the mainstream, commonly accepted way.

May 11, 2014 Film of Fred Timm | Protest Psychiatry Film

Previous Updates

My "Daniel Mackler Journal" - Last update Nov 17. My thoughts, feelings about Daniel

List of Daniel's articles about the mental health system: http://wildtruth.net/on-the-mental-health-system/

Selected Qutoes from his review of Alice Miller's work

List of Daniel's Articles About the Mental Health System:

Ten Ways to Revamp the Mental Health System (On wildtruth.net)

Some Observations of Soteria-Alaska | Copy on madinamerica.com | Copy on Soteria Brighton (UK) - Comments from the UK copy here


Finnish Open Dialogue: High Recovery Rates Leave Many Psychiatric Beds Empty  (On beyondmeds.com)

Components for a Good Neuroleptic Withdrawal Program (On madinamerica.com)

Therapy Without Force: A Treatment Model for Severe Psychiatric Problems (Also on mindfreedom.org)

A Few Pages from Daniel's book: A Way Out of Madness: Dealing With Your Family After You've Been Diagnosed with a Psychiatric Disorder by Daniel and Matthew Morrissey

How I Want Daniel to Feel

Daniel Mackler Quotes from Reflections on Being a Therapist

EQI page on Alice MIller

Here is his radio interview from his stop in Alice Springs, Australia 2013 http://youtu.be/k8ONqG34Ffg

Other DM Quotes

I hold to the “attraction rather than promotion” philosophy.  I try to be as honest and vocal as I can about where I stand, and hope that the right people see it (Source)

EQI.org Core Topics

Respect | Empathy
Caring | Listening

Other EQI.org Topics:

Emotional Literacy
Invalidation | Hugs
Emotional Abuse |
Feeling Words
Depression |Education
Emotional Intelligence
Parenting | Personal Growth

EQI.org Library and Bookstore

Recent Updates/Additions

Nov 17 - Journal entry with some emails.

Nov 1 - I am feeling pretty depressed tonight. It is about 2 AM. I read some of Daniel's writing about psychotherapy and why he left his practice. I wish every young person who really wants to help people and is thinking of jumping through all the hoops to be called a "licensed psychologist" could/would read it. Here is the article again and here is my page on psychology students. BTW this page on Daniel is now number 13 on google, according to the search I just did. - S. Hein

Oct 20 Copy of Daniel's article: Some Observations of Soteria-Alaska

Oct 16

Some of my emails to Daniel

Oct 15

Daniel called a "crackpot psychologist"

Daniel's and My Values

Daniel Mackler Quotes from Reflections on Being a Therapist on the Mad In America Site

One thing I’ve learned about myself is that if I’m not learning a lot, a real lot — whether the learning is exciting or painful or both — I get bored. DM


I always felt it was questionable to work with children. Although I love children, some deep part of me felt that children didn’t belong in therapy. I felt it sent them a bad and incorrect message: that somehow they, and not the people who hold the real responsibility over their lives, are the problem and they are the ones who need the fixing. DM

Backup copy of full article

From: http://www.madinamerica.com/2013/09/reflections-therapist/

How I Want Daniel to Feel

I want Daniel to feel understood by me and respected by me. I'd like to keep track of how he feels using my "zero to ten scale."

Reasons for this page

One reason is because Alice Miller is one of Priscilla's favorite authors. We have spent a lot of time reading her writing. We have also read some criticisms of her, and we have some mixed feelings about her and her work. In general, we believe her work is some of the best in the field of understanding children and parents, especially abused children and teens. But we also see she had some problems in her personal life and the way she handled conflicts, criticism, relationships etc. So when we found Daniel's extensive critique we read it with interest and found it to be of value.

Another is because I believe Daniel is exceptionally emotionally intelligent. I believe he has very signficant potential to make a difference in the world. And in fact, I believe he already is. But I predict he will do much, much more with his life. I would like him to think of me as one of his mentors, colleauges, friends over his career.

Another is that I agree with a lot of what he says, and it is rare for me to find someone I agree with so much. At the same time there are some things he says or believes which I don't fully understand and I hope to use this page to get clarification directly from him. And I'd like to motivate him to take an interest in my work and incorporate some of my ideas into his movies, books etc.

Also I want to support his work and his personal growth.

And I want him to come spend some time with us in Uruguay.

Another is because he is in Couchsurfing, and in general, anyone who is in CS instantly has a lot in common with me, as I have been an active member for several years. Being a member of CS says a lot about a person. I haven't read his profile yet, as of Sept 30, 2013 but I expect one day I will. And of course I will share mine with him.

I am going to try to create a summary of his long essay about Alice Miller, putting it more in terms of feelings and needs, along the lines of NVC, Non Violent Communication. I have asked him how he feels about the idea and his ok with it and seems to be looking forward to seeing what I have to say.





Selected Qutoes from Daniel's Review of Alice Miller's Work

These are from http://wildtruth.net/alicemiller/.

Daniel wrote a condensed version of his critique a few years later.

A total exploration of one’s childhood history is the very thing we all need in order to free our true self. (SH - No one else has quoted this on the Net, as of Oct 1, 2013)  
I believe that even a parent who has abused his or her child can heal, but my experience has shown me that once a person becomes a parent the road to healing becomes much, much, much more difficult.  
People can heal. I believe even Hitler could have emotionally healed from the horrors that he committed in the Holocaust – given the right healing environment, which, I admit, is hard to fathom, yet of which I am convinced exists at least theoretically. I believe we all want to heal more than anything in the world, because the true self is irrepressible and full of only one desire: to become conscious and manifest.  
Alice Miller seems to think it is a mother’s right, regardless of her level of emotional resolution, to have children. And it is not. No one has a right to abuse anyone else. That is a crime against humanity. I probablhy will comment on this later...SH
As a therapist myself, I have seen many adult patients who are parents – often parents of grown children – who, in the process of studying their own traumatic childhood histories and connecting with their ancient, repressed rage and sorrow, suddenly make the connection that they have symbolically acted out or replicated all that was done to them by their own parents onto their children. This is a horrifying moment for everyone in that position, and honestly, few can consciously tolerate it – and this includes the most intelligent and most insightful. It is a horror for a parent to realize – but worse yet, to feel – what they’ve acted out on an innocent being over whom they wielded total control, and whom they still believe they love. For many patients this realization is a turning point in their therapy. There are several options they face.

The first option is that they simply quit therapy. They quit their own exploration process, bury their own history of childhood trauma, and forgive their own abusive parents – because they now realize that every further step they take toward appropriately incriminating their own parents also incriminates themselves. All too often it is easier to just bury everything, call it quits, and drop the smothering veil of denial-laden forgiveness back over everything. Of course, this false forgiveness has nothing to do with real forgiveness, which, as Alice Miller notes, comes ONLY as a consequence of resolving one’s own traumas, because a person who has not resolved a trauma cannot emotionally forgive his perpetrator. But that doesn’t stop many from believing they have forgiven anyway. They just delude themselves into believing they have forgiven – and often blame or reject the therapist to cement this false forgiveness into place. Whole religions and philosophies – and schools of psychology – are based on this false forgiveness, and I thank Alice Miller for clueing me in to this, even if she unknowingly does some of it herself.

The second option available to traumatized parents who awaken in therapy to the realization that they too are traumatizers is to own up to it honestly. This, by the way, does not just apply to parents, because I don’t wish to single them out. It goes for all of us, parents or not: we are all traumatizers at some level until we resolve our full history of trauma. We cannot help but replicate our traumas onto those over whom we wield power, and that includes ourselves. This traumatizing process, however, becomes most heightened and magnified when one does become a parent, because (as Alice Miller noted from the beginning of her writings) of the incredible power differential in the relationship due to the dependency of the child. It is a Petri dish for unconscious parental abuse, one far worse than anything an abusive and manipulative primal therapy can dredge up. No parent can avoid it – unless they have fully healed.

... the second option for the parent in therapy is the full healing route. This is the painful path – and risks driving some people crazy, especially when they open the doors to the horrors they themselves have perpetrated. This is why it is so vital that a therapy method not be manipulative. Patients must proceed at their own speed, and on their own motivation alone – and even so this route is hell. There is a reason that so few people enter therapy with a desire to end their perpetrations against others; most instead enter therapy because they acknowledge to themselves just how much they feel like trapped victims in their own lives – which, incidentally, perpetrators also are at the level of their unconscious dynamics.

It comes at no surprise that so few would want to acknowledge their own traumatizing behavior and fully admit the extent of their worst perpetrations. In this modern society, where healing is so criminal, where telling the truth about who one’s parents really are and what they really did is the greatest crime of all, where placing blame – that is, laying honest responsibility – at the feet of traumatizers is considered a betrayal of all that is good in the world, and where traumatizers are not given love and healing but instead given punishment and sometimes even death for their unconscious replications of what was done to them, who wants to admit even to themselves that they are a traumatizer?

It’s amazing that anyone tells the truth at all. We live in a society so hell-bent on denying the buried traumas perpetrated on us by our parents and the traumas we perpetrate on others that we take glee in punishing external figures, which Alice Miller partially notes: we start wars against other cultures onto whom we project our hatreds, we murder criminals who did things similar to that which we can’t accept our parents did to us and that which we unconsciously do to others, we despise people of other sexes and races and cultures and sexual orientations because they look so different from our parents yet act so much like them, we psychiatrically medicate and numb and restrain and electrically shock anyone with upwelling symptoms of their traumas, and perhaps most of all we go on blindly having children – to keep ourselves well-stocked with a fresh fodder of moldable human beings with few rights, little voice, and no power to fight the projections being foisted on them behind closed doors.

So when parents flee therapy when they realize what they’ve done to others, I understand. And when they stick around and try to figure out the truth of what they did, and why they did it, I give them amazing credit. Few can. They are rare...Full healing is ...terrifying, exceedingly painful, protracted, at times misery inducing, and ultimately extremely humbling – and in this disturbed and health-hating era practically impossible.

The third way that parents in therapy deal with the growing realization that they have traumatized their own children is a combination of the first two ways. They partially accept it and partially deny it. They compartmentalize. They often stick around in therapy in body but really abandon much of the deeper emotional process. They find ways to rationalize what they’ve done, and this allows them to keep on processing what was done to them and all the while not have to look deeply at the comparable horror they replicated onto others. I find this perfectly acceptable for a therapy patient, because it is heading in the right direction, and I stick with the maxim from Shakespeare that sooner or later if you work hard enough and long enough, “truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long; …in the end truth will out.”



Many traumatized children really do become better parents than their own with little or no overt therapeutic healing beforehand... I think many parents who have never healed much from their childhood wounds do better than their own parents simply because of the naturally healing direction of the human spirit. We have a natural and spontaneous urge to evolve – and we do, often by no conscious will of our own.

Alice Miller, is correct, however, in pointing out that non-parental enlightened witnesses can help, and sometimes can help dramatically, though at times she radically overestimates their potential, such as with the following:

The fact that every perpetrator was once a victim himself does not necessary mean that each person who was himself abused is bound later to become the abuser of his own children. This is not inevitable if, during childhood, he had the chance – be it only once – to encounter someone who offered him something other than pedagogy and cruelty: a teacher, an aunt, a neighbor, a sister, a brother. [Banished Knowledge, p. 193]

Can she truly believe that a single understanding person who witnesses a child for his truth one mere time is enough to make up for a whole childhood of abuse and stop its replication in adulthood? Then again, we must remember that she wrote these words in 1988, within the backdrop of believing herself already fully cured by Stettbacher and his method. Regardless, it is comforting wishful thinking for a “sometimes careless and neglecting” parent to believe that others might spare her child his inevitable place in the intergenerational trauma cycle.




Quote from Alice Miller:

Countless conversations with my son, Martin Miller, played an equally important role in this learning process. Again and again, he forced me to become aware of my unconscious compulsions, internalized during childhood and stemming from the upbringing common to my generation. His full, clear account of his experiences is partially responsible for my own liberation from the compulsions, a liberation that could be achieved only after I had developed an ear for the sophisticated and minute nuances of the pedagogical approach [that she addresses in the book]. Before writing down many of the ideas developed here, I discussed them thoroughly with my son. [p. xvii]

I found myself truly surprised to read that Alice Miller, perhaps the greatest writer of her generation to hear the child’s hidden truth behind his manifested behavior, had not considered the possibility that her own son might have some motive to protect his mother. Clearly she was looking to her now adult child for support and rationalization of her own denial. This to me is like the slave-owner of a pre-Civil War plantation asking his slaves if they like their lot in life. What are they supposed to say? His question might sound nice and caring on the surface...

SH -This reminds me of a quote from Frederick Do