Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Message from S.Z.
Thursday September 08, 2005

I am currently enrolled in a doctoral program in clinical psychology . I have been in therapy for a number of years and it has completely changed my life. My therapist is very good and completely believes in attributing psychological difficulties to actual childhood trauma. My therapy has progressed well and I have learned a tremendous amount about myself and my upbringing. I was physically and emotionally abused as a child (it's still a bit difficult for me to express that) and I still mourn the loss of the child within me that had no real childhood. I came upon The Drama of the Gifted Child as part of an assignment for graduate school. In it I found confirmation and support for all the work I have gone through and continue to go through as part of my therapy. It is difficult to really believe something is true when your therapist is the only one saying such things and everyone else, including other therapists, are denying it. Your book showed me that there are others out there who see things the same way and empathize with what children such as myself have gone through. I am extremely grateful for your works of which I continue to read and gain much support and insight from. Your have done the psychology field a wonderful favor by taking a stand and publishing books about what you believe. Moreover, you have greatly helped humanity with your insight, empathy, willingness to share, and advocacy. For all of the above I thank you.
However, I am faced with a dilemma, I entered graduate school hoping to be trained in ways of thinking and providing therapy with the notion of actual childhood trauma and how parents inflict it in mind. Unfortunately, most of my classes are either very behaviorally oriented and ignore a lot of the emotional components of pathology or they are analytically oriented and focus on unconscious conflicts and drives. The supervision I receive when treating my clients is also focused on unconscious conflicts and drives. I would love to gain more knowledge and training in the areas of psychology that you have addressed in your books and articles and I have worked through in my therapy. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions you have for study, supervision, etc. Thank you in advance for your consideration and assistance.
S.Z.

A.M.: You are lucky to have the right therapist. My last articles (esp. on Indignation) and interviews (on this site) can also be helpful, as well as my other books, especially the last one: The Body Never Lies, the lingering effects of cruel parenting, Norton 2005.

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