Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Your opinion on C.G.Jung
Friday May 19, 2006

Alice Miller

I wanted to tell you that your books, particularly "The Body Never Forgets" have been an invaluable resource for me in discovering the root of my anxiety and insomnia. Your writings have contributed a great deal in my long, difficult healing process. Thank you. I also was hoping you'd field a couple of questions.

1) I am 40 years old and in weekly therapy with a very effective "enlightened witness". However, my challenge, and I'm sure you've heard this a million times, is getting in touch with the injured child within me. Your work makes a lot of sense at the cognitive level, but for me to really heal, I suspect that the "realization" of the trauma I underwent must be understood and accepted at a much deeper level. I know the psyche works at its own pace, but do you have any practical tips, beyond reading your material, giving up medication, and working with an "enlightened witness" on achieving this realization so that I can move along on the road to recovery. I'm guessing you will answer that "everybody's different, go with what works for you", but surely there are some practical techniques that have been more effective for you and your patients in assisting in breaking down the barriers our body's have created? For instance, writing in a diary, meditation, hypnosis, confronting your parents, etc . Any feedback would be very much appreciated.

2) There seems to be lots of overlap between your work and the discoveries of Carl Jung (particularly on the concept of trauma and dis-association). I have seen you cite and dismiss Freud on many occasions, but I haven't seen you comment (positive or negative), or reference Carl Jung's work. I find his work interesting and was hoping you would briefly summarize your views on him.

Thanks and feel free to post my question.

D

AM: I wrote several times about Jung in my books (Thou Shalt Not Be Aware and Banished Knowledge, I think). Many of his theories, especially the one on archetypes I regard as a way of escaping from the reality of his childhood, from the trauma of being sexually abused by his father. I wrote among other things that it is easier to fear the archetype of the mean but abstract goddess Kala than to feel the pain of being exploited by the concrete person of the beloved parent. If you read my FAQ list, maybe you will understand why I insist on questioning the future therapist about what he may know concerning his own childhood and how he worked on it.

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