first mail to barbara
Oct 14, 2013
Martin Miller, Alice Miller's son, has published a book about his mother's life and their relationship. It just came out in German; here is a review which I have translated http://screamsfromchildhood.com/martin_miller.html
So I have been for a while, and still am, in the
process of dealing with what I have learned from Martin
about his mother it's terribly painful, and it
breaks my heart for both of them and trying to
write about his book.
Oct 21, 2013
Thank you for being so open and sharing honestly with me your reasons to have my "escape from the fog of admiration" on your website. How much do I appreciate honesty and openness! I understand your reasons, they make sense to me, and your website deserves to be supported. When I wrote "spirituality cements childhood blindness," it was Alice who read it first and encouraged me.
I did not know that it is illegal in Thailand to criticize the king, and that you can go to jail for it. How frightening! [SH - I had told her about my trip to Thailand]
Alice very much disliked the Dalai Lama; when I found
the book by Colin Goldner, which unfortunately is only
available in German, it supported me very much in finding
and sharing my insights. Colin has a link to my
spirituality essay and short synopsis on his website.
A couple days ago I wrote Barbara, saying I could use a hug if she felt comfortable sending one. She wrote a long reply, which also addressed some questions I had asked in other mails. The reply is below, but first, here is my reply to her reply. Sorry it is out of sequence, but at first I just posted my reply because I wanted to edit hers to take out some personal info she shared.
|Date: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Subject: it's all about change
you get a hug from me; I like to give hugs and appreciate them when I get hugged.
Yes, I can only reply at my pace, which sometimes can take days, a week or more.
I also read emails, especially long ones, at least twice and think about it; questions that I get asked stay with me, on my mind, until I kind of know what I want to answer. As I teach piano and work with clients, I also have only certain times when I feel free to write.
So I can only write and respond when I am ready for it, have the time to do it, really want to, and have somewhat thought about what I want to say. Why were you banned from outofthefog? Without an explanation? I took a brief look at the website .
You wrote in a previous post that you and your partner have been suffering a lot lately and you both think about suicide. It is difficult to live when we are in so much pain; therapy has helped me, and still helps me, through difficult and painful times. So I do know all too well that, yes, an enlightened witness is very, very important; although I often write therapy by myself and can help myself in that way, too the times I can have a session with my therapist bring this enlightened witness powerfully into my inner world; then, my therapy work unfolds more focused and clearly, often in deeper ways. It certainly is not Alice Miller alone who talks about it. Good therapists ARE, and have been for many years, enlightened witnesses who accompany their clients with compassion, respect and understanding.
This Will Change Everything is a
wonderful book which talks about the power of
relationships and the changes which feminist
psychotherapists brought into the field of psychotherapy;
how they changed relating with clients to a caring,
respectful, supportive and compassionate way. Here is the
It is my experience that, in the USA,
there is the most advanced, humane, enlightened
psychotherapy movement. Although there are terrible,
destructive liars that promote and fight viciously for
denial, there are many therapists who support the truth
to come out and people to get to know themselves and get
closer and closer to their selves. They empower their
clients to be true to themselves. Certainly I owe my
therapeutic journey to therapists in the USA, and I know
that in Germany, it would never have happened in this
I have also written about her first
book on my website in the war against the
Yes, a lot of healing needs to be done,
and it takes time and a lot of patience and dedication to
bring love into our inner world and our lives and
relationships. I do understand you and your insight
"it is hard to heal when i keep getting
wounded" so well because it is so discouraging when
we get wounded again. And when we say no, we loose the
relationships, friendships, family relationships. All
this has been excruciatingly painful for me. After
Alices attack and this profound wounding, it took
weeks and the help of Richard Schwartz, my therapist
then, to get out of that abyss, help the suicidal parts,
help me feel better and later be able to speak up for
myself. The repercussions of this malicious attack I can
feel until today because it still discourages me from
writing. Amazingly, the exchange with Martin and learning
what his mother did to him has put it into a new and
helpful perspective: that the dissociation in Alice was
so profound and enormous I was powerless against
it and it was NOT my fault. So I have continued to help
those parts of me that believed that it was my fault;
that believed that something was/is wrong with me; that I
should have known better etc
groundbreaking and wonderful therapist Richard Schwartz,
though, thinks that painful challenges like this are
opportunities for us to get to know our parts better
and to help them in deeper and deeper ways, which
I have found to be true. And that has been of great
benefit in continuing my therapeutic work, and at times
have some courage again to write something. It is really
about building loving inner relationships with ALL our
feelings, beliefs, agonies, thoughts, longings
The idea that god I might call it well-meaning goodness is in all of us is certainly a much nicer approach than the religious madness I grew up with where parents believed that a child was bad, evil, even a devil and needed to be beaten, punished, degraded, etc. They believed firmly that I, any child, was full of badness. So for a while, in contrast to my insane religious upbringing, I felt close to spiritual ideas that see goodness in us. And I still like this concept, although I would not call myself a spiritual person. Richard Schwartz approach that we all have a self inside that gets crushed and has to withdraw because of traumatic experiences has been helpful and true for me. Especially as it means, that we dont have to see ourselves only as broken people who need to be fixed by someone but that the self can be reached and become an active participant in our therapy work and lives. Together with what he calls parts who need understanding and healing. Here are some of his thoughts about the self:
and the video is also worth watching:
When we do have destructive or
self-destructive feelings, beliefs, thoughts, or violent
impulses we can communicate with them in IFS
therapy also respectfully and with compassion. Only then
will they open up, share where they come from and
can we then help them heal.
SH - as I explained above here is my reply to this