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Alice Miller in a Nutshell: A Brief Critique Posted on by dmackler58 [Written in late I have finally done so—and have gone in a few new directions too… Before I begin the new essay, I want to make a few background points.
I wrote the longer essay in A few months after I wrote it someone passed it along to Alice Miller herself, and she read it—and criticized it harshly on her website.
However, by putting my name on her website she generated a significant amount of attention for my essay, because within hours a horde of people googled my name, found the essay, and read it for themselves.
Several wrote me complimentary emails. She offered people an enlightened witness to their pain and horror, and confirmed what so many felt to be true: I feel she started a psychological revolution into the exploration of the causes and consequences of childhood traumas, and she set the bar several feet higher for the whole psychology field.
Why then is Alice Miller not more well-known in the psychology field? She avoids silly theories, she avoids confusing jargon, and she avoids making the hordes of irrelevant footnotes that so easily become the hallmark of small-mindedness. This begs the question of why people want to defend their parents.
And so many people, and the psychology field in general, are simply pain-avoidant, at all costs. Whole therapies and psychological theories and of course psychiatric medications are devoted to avoiding and bypassing the very pain, the necessary and healthy pain, that Alice Miller leads us right into.
As such, they dismiss Alice Miller. But how do they get away with dismissing her? In short, they attempt to render her irrelevant by ignoring her—with the most cruel tool of all: You say that her works repeat themselves?
She came up with one great idea, and then repeated it over and over with only slight variation. She originally wrote and published a version of that first chapter in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, and then re-crafted it for publication in her book.
Many of her books read like repeats of earlier books. Well, to get the basic essence of her point of view.
It also has a far-reaching philosophical and psychological point: She took a lot of heat for writing that chapter—especially since she is of Germanic origin and originally wrote it in German. Very politically incorrect stuff—yet vitally important.
So what is your criticism of her—what is your perspective? My main criticism is that Alice Miller does not adequately apply her point of view to herself—and does not take her point of view to its logical conclusion.
Let me start again by stating her point of view as logically as I can: She points out that in most cases abusive parents are the essential cause of these conflicts.
This is the essence of the repetition compulsion, a Freudian concept which she respects highly. She fails to take her theories to the next appropriate level.
And the next level is? Throughout her work she gives her tacit approval to people to become parents—to have children—before they have healed their traumas. In this way she considers it inevitable that people will abuse their children.
And to me that is a major cop-out—and a major flaw in her logic—because it goes against her whole point of view. Instead of siding with the child she sides with the parent.
She tacitly says that a certain amount of child abuse is acceptable. In various places in her books she writes about having had these children, and in other places she writes about having not delved into her childhood history until decades after raising them.
And by not facing it she cripples the application of her own theory. And what are the consequences of this? Well, one big consequence is that it makes a lot of people feel much safer reading her work! There are many parenting websites that love Alice Miller. And my mother was a very abusive and inappropriate mother in many ways—an alcoholic, a drug user, and a subtly and sometimes not-so-subtly sexually perverse woman.
It gave her support. My mother spent a lot of time criticizing and critiquing her own inappropriate parents, but was infinitely less assiduous at criticizing and critiquing her own inappropriate parenting.Please limit your motivation paper to words (one A4 page) and show it to others to check for you.
Your professors in the university and your english teachers will help you improve your essay, and correct your grammar and spelling mistakes.
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