Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Denying the inner child?
Wednesday April 18, 2007

Dear Mrs Miller,

Your reactions on the readers' mail in which you side again and again with the helpless little child in us, are an enormous support to me.
I am fifty-nine years old now and one and half a year ago I discovered your website and I think that saved me.
Some time ago I told you my story, and since I could experience and integrate your siding with the little innocent child in me, life has a different colour for me, because my selfhate is not there anymore as it was there before, and I deeply thank you for that.
As a psychologist and abused child I am especially interested in reading psychotherapy-literature that pretends to investigate the little child that we once were and that is still suffering in us.
In Holland where I live, Past Reality Integration - therapy is a booming form of therapy.
Ingeborg Bosch, the developer of this therapy, says that her therapy is based on your ideas and that is why I (and I think many people) buy and study her books.
However more and more I get the impression that in PRI-therapy there is not a real and fundamental siding with the wounded child and that the fourth command and fear of the public moral are the reason for that.
In the PRI literature I cannot find and feel the real compassion with the abused child that I do feel in your books and on your website.
In the Dutch version of her first book "Rediscovering the true self" (also published in English), Bosch writes in capital letters on page 220: "There is no inner child".
"We do not have a child within us that can be healed, loved or consoled".
"Looking at ourselves as a "me" and as "the child in me" may result in disintegration instead of resulting in integration".
"Loving and consoling the inner child, listening and respecting the inner child only makes our false hope stronger".
"We can only heal the effects of the past when we admit ourselves to feel the old pain, while we are conscious of the present reality".
How do you think does this go together with your ideas? What is the value of a therapy that denies the inner child? Can we heal and at the same time deny the inner child?

Many thanks for the insight and respect you gave me. W.

AM: I am sorry for the confusion; there were many letters at the same time with similar questions concerning the philosophy and practice of Ingeborg Bosch so that my team made a mistake.
It is possible that most of us do not have any experience with the existence of the inner child because the fear of their parents didn't allow them to listen to his voice and to understand his language, not even in their body symptoms. Finally they succeeded almost in killing it. But to declare then that NOBODY can listen to the inner child and that it DOESN'T EXIST at all is like saying that everybody must be blind because I have been made blind. This position is tragic but can be found very often. For that reason, our discovery of the tormented child that gives us messages through our bodies (illnesses) and speaks to us about the suffering he had to endure AND to witness is still not shared and not understood by so many. It is covered up by the self-blame. But you seem to see through this mechanism, and once you do it, you will find out much more.


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