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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.
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.
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/
List of Daniel's Articles About the Mental Health System:
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
Here is his radio interview from his stop in Alice Springs, Australia 2013 http://youtu.be/k8ONqG34Ffg
Other DM Quotes
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
|Daniel Mackler Quotes from Reflections
on Being a Therapist on the Mad In
One thing Ive learned about myself is that if Im 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 didnt 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
|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 ones 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 mothers 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 theyve 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
ones own traumas, because a person who has not
resolved a trauma cannot emotionally forgive his
perpetrator. But that doesnt 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
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 dont 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.
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
ones 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?
So when parents flee therapy when they realize what theyve 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 theyve 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.
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:
SH -This reminds me of a quote from Frederick Do