Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Permission to use the "12 points"
Saturday September 16, 2006

Dear Dr. Miller,
First of all, please know that as a parent and a psychotherapist, your work has been critical to my life. I first came upon “Banished Knowledge” when my oldest daughter was 3 (20 years ago). It took me 6 months of picking it up and putting it down before I recognized the unconscious forces in me that were resisting your message. I realized at that time that I had already damaged my daughter’s little soul by not recognizing the forces in me that were transferred to my soul through my own childhood experiences. Since then I have been on a long journey with you always by my side and your writings like oxygen to my lungs. As a psychotherapist, I continue to be astounded by the lack of support around your theories – but I understand that it is the blindness you address that keeps society, schools, parents, athletics and psychotherapy models from changing the very systems that perpetuate abuse and neglect of the whole child.
My husband played professional football here in the U.S. for 13 years and attended seminary in his off seasons. He too was greatly damaged by a system that neglected and abused his soul and taught him that his only worth was dictated by his performance on the football field. He was ordained as a minister and for years we were committed to work in the inner city addressing issues of poverty, racism and child neglect/abuse. During this time I completed my education and started building my private practice as a therapist. We have been on a long journey together and have struggled deeply with our relationship to the church. I tried for so long to work within the system to implement changes but something happened to me as I neared the age of 50. Suddenly I realized that the same system I spoke against in my work with clients was operating inside of me and I carried the shame and guilt of not being who the church was telling me I needed to be. Turning 50 has been quite freeing – I don’t care anymore about soft stepping the message.
My husband and his “radical coaching theory” are the subject of a recently published NYTimes Bestseller “Season of Life” by Jeffrey Marx. Because of this book that Jeffrey wrote, Joe has been speaking nationally to a multitude of groups/organizations/school systems,etc. Parade Magazine then did a cover story on Joe, calling him “The Most Important Coach in America.” Within days, he received over 5,000 emails from people in pain who were themselves neglected and abused and/or were watching their children suffer at the hands of abusive coaches. HBO followed with a segment on Joe that opened even more doors for him to speak. Together we have formed an organization called “Building Men and Women for Others.” We have started doing seminars together ranging from coaching clinics, teacher training, and parent training to corporate management. It has all happened rapidly.
As our message and audience continue to grow, I want to protect the integrity of what we are teaching. As we put our “Beliefs” on paper, it is critical to us that we stay on target with your teachings. With that in mind, I would like to use the 12 points that you outline in the Appendix of Drama of the Gifted Child. Certainly, they would be appropriately cited to your work. If this is something that you would be willing to consider, you could check out the following::
Google “Joe Ehrmann” – to review some of the articles written about him and his work
Read “Season of Life” – though it appears to be about football, it’s not really about football – but it certainly grabs the attention of many because of the sports draw.
We are currently getting our website together and should be available in another 30 days.
I could also forward to you some of the material we have put together, i.e. copy of the book, video of HBO special, Parade Magazine, feedback from seminars, etc.

This has been a long email and I greatly appreciate you taking the time to consider. I can’t tell you how much respect I have for your unapologetic, unwavering, relentless commitment to advocating for children. Your work has been a great gift to me and I hope to play even a small role in carrying your message forward.

With great respect,
Paula Peach Ehrmann

The flyers are free and you can use them wherever you want to as long as you respect the copyright.

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