Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Buddhism & Your Work
Monday March 20, 2006

Dr Miller,

I have written to you once previously and I appreciate that you put my email up on your site even though I mentioned not only your work but the work of other writers who have helped me a lot.

I wanted to ask your opinion about something but need to provide a little context. I have been in therapy with a psychosynthesis psychotherapist. I was prompted to enter psychotherapy after reading 'The Drama'. As I had spent four years or so in AA and had subsequently had a relapse and experienced a severe breakdown during which I cut myself for the first time, I was extremely anti-spirituality in my early engagement with my therapist. I made it clear to her that I wasn't interested in spirituality at this point at all and that I wanted clear feedback and information. My therapy has remained focussed upon the abuses and neglect I experienced in my childhood.

Independent of that however I have found that there is much that is similar between the teaching of certain buddhist teachers and that which is found in some of your work. While thanks to your work, I am able to perceive areas in which a teacher may be a little blind, I have also found that the deep listening of the Vipassana tradition of buddhism has helped me to begin a dialogue with very deeply split off voices. Have you in your personal life found any use for certain buddhist practices.

Kind regards, A.

On Politicians - "Charles Kennedy's admission should be considered as an opportunity to consider the question of the mental health of all politicians. Many politicians show symptoms of personality disorder - extreme defensiveness, denial of external realities, narcissistic disorders, grandiosity - and may be suffering from these less socially visible and more socially acceptable disturbances whilst going on their merry way. These dangerous disturbances are only made public in retrospective biographies when it is too late."

AM: If you found peace with the budhist philosophy it is OK. But why do you need my confirmation then? I can only say that I don't know of any budhist who said or has written that hitting children is a crime and the cause of human misery. Or do you know of such an author?

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