Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Ferenczi's prison
Tuesday June 12, 2007

Dear Dr. Miller,

I am a childhood abuse survivor from Hungary. I went to seek help in analytic therapy and psychoanalysis in this country.

First I was amazed by the intellectual activity and richness of the therapeutes. It took me a long time to realize the intellectual web they spinned me in to numb my feelings and rage against my parents. Then I got rather disillusioned...

In particular, I felt that when I raised feelings against my parents, they implicitely defended them and remained neutral. They tried to quench my rage with their beautifully polished intellects. They put me into their intellectual (and lifeless) prison.

I have experienced on my skin what you have already explained in your books about Freud and Ferenczi. They were indeed prisoners of their heads. They well cemented their childhood feelings with the help of their intellects and rather compex theories.

How can an analyst stay neutral when witnessing the suffering of her patient and his/her need for support (in regression)?

For me, their neutral attitude in such situations aggrevated my childhood pain and abandonment. And they remained neutral even after my several [verbal] attemps to win their support.

Ferenczi simply called the childhood abuse 'Language inconsistency between the parents and the child', thus pulled the tooth of agression out of the question and raised the whole problem to an intellectual level. With this cunning move, apart from neutrality, he built one more big obstacle into his 'therapeutic' process that blocks true healing.

It is rather sad that followers of Freud and Ferenczi can still practice in Hungary [and probably in other countries as well] as 'healers' misleading and hurting those who seek real help. I consider such people dangerous and harmful to humanity.

Thank you very much for your attention and for providing a clear insight.

Sincerely yours, T. K.

AM: Thank you for your letter, I totally agree with you when you write: “They were indeed prisoners of their heads. They well cemented their childhood feelings with the help of their intellects and rather complex theories.” I hope that you eventually find a therapist who is free to feel indignation. Have you read my article on this topic? Once you can FEEL the torture children so often have to endure from their parents, you can no longer be fooled by ridiculous theories. You know that they are nothing else than cement to keep the fear of the tormented child inside. Most people do the same all the time. Fortunately, not all of them pretend to be healers by selling cement.

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