Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Ignorance
Friday April 13, 2007

Dear Alice Miller,

I hope you don't mind when I express myself in the English language. I am Jan-Dirk Wildeboer ( 51 ) and I'am Dutch/Netherlands. I'am working for 30 years with children by an organisation for youth protection.
Possibly you wil receive al lot off letters or mails so I' wont take too much time . Before I ask you a question I'd like to tell you that I am still, for many years a great admire off your work and specially your vision about the ignorance off feelings off children through adults.

My question: After all these years you make clear your vision to the people, do you think things have changed in the treatment off children ? In the area off family or by the professionals?

Mij experience is that in my work there is a kind off mechanical way off helping children. Diagnosis and so called effective threatments are in my vision a kind off Black Pedagogic wich you write about it. They ignore that problems are in the relationship between parents and their children. Just working in that relationship is in my opinion important. It is not a question of blaming eatchother ( children and parents) but to show the parents what they do or what they have done with the feelings off their own child and how they give projection on their own children. When parent are consience about what they'are doing then I think that is the only way they can help the children in finding back their own identity.

I think that many off my collegues don't listen carefully to their client but only hear their own feelings talking, the feelings of fearness wich is related to their own childhood. So, indeed ( I read for the fourth time you' re 80 years of pschoanalyse, the passage about Flaubert ) there's no creativity in their threatment off children and parents.
It helps me to understand my own childhood and the problems that I have been confronted with through my parents. Also helped the contextuel therapy from Ivan Boszmormenyi-Nagy. He died a few months ago. He is related to youre ideas. I 'll hope you don't mind these hypothesis.

My question is importent for me but the answer is more importent for me. I'll feel standing alone in my point off view and I am not so sure things already have changed in a good way. Am I old fashioned?
I really do hope that with this writing I am not not only pleasing myself but that you like to hear from us, the people that try to see what is happening to the world and its people on it. To increase te amount off torturing eachother but to understand eachother in the pain we all have . One person more than the other.
Just the people who understand what you say have the possibility to give something to those who don't know yet, the things that can help them to live a good live.
I'am sorry. I take too much time I think. But I had to write this.
Thank you and goodluck, J.-D. W.

AM: I agree with you when you write that there is not enough creativity in the way parents and children are treated by therapists who are afraid of their own feelings. And I may add that these feelings are often the fears of a beaten child who was forced to suppress them. The adult is not free then to listen and to see what happens to children in general and what happened to his/ her clients in their childhood. Creativity means to be free from fear and to dare to make new experiences.

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