Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Denial in psychoanalytic circles
Tuesday August 07, 2007

Dear Alice
First I want to say that I am so grateful that I have read your books because they have literally functioned as survival kits in many tricky situations.
Some time ago I ended up in conflict in a Jungian organisation when I defended the child within each of us. One man said that "we should not stay stuck in childhood" and when I again strongly and aloud emphasized the importance of childhood some of the Jungian members rose up and left (as though they feared the debate!, as though I had ruined their nice sunday afternoon!). The ones who stayed said that the whole purpose of Jungian organisations was to promote Jung and his spiritual thoughts. I answered back that this sounds like a sect defending their father/guru, well then the Jungians defended Jung even more! The whole situation just illustrated what you've written during the years.
Maybe I have never really, until that moment, understood how deep the denials are within psycho-analytic circles.
Now I know. I also know the terrifying feeling of standing with an experience/feeling/knowldege in a circle where there is no human mirror whatsoever. It feels like the ground has been withdrawn under my feet (since I was partly trained in the Jungian tradition) if you have a second; please just mail that I am on the right track cause now I have to re-orientate my whole life.
I will Not, to gain acceptance by authorities, betray the truth I know (or my clients) but I feel a bit shaky.
best regards L., singer and voice and movement-therapist

AM: I can feel with you because the same happened to me, too, but I never regretted that I stayed true to my knowledge. And like you I learned from these experiences a lot about how denial works, how the FEAR of losing acceptance of the group (the mother?) brings "intelligent" people to support nonsense, so that they will not be abandoned. I learned recently that both Kohut and Ferenczi died from blood-cancer, an illness that seems to be very rare. Both of them tried until their end to remain psychoanalysts and to be recognized as such, although what they found out was clearly OPPOSED to Freud. They found the suffering of the child that was not given mirroring, empathy or understanding. However, they did not find the courage to see that psychoanalysis denies this reality and to clearly separate themselves from it. Both suffered a lot from their isolation in the analytical community and Ferenczi also from the cruel rejection by Freud whom he loved like a father.

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