Alice Miller: A Critique of Her Limits & Strengths (1 of 2)

Author: Alice Miller
Book: For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence

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A two-part exploration of Alice Miller, my favorite psychology writer and the best well-known writer on the causes and consequences of child abuse and childhood trauma. Here I explore her strengths, which are many, and her limits, which, unfortunately are significant as well. For those interested, I go into much more detail about this on my website in my essay on Alice Miller: http://www.iraresoul.com/alicemiller....

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Bonnie S.d. Iraresoul has made a valuable contribution, celebrating and summarizing Alice Miller, but I think he is "off," saying one of her main points is that we will "all" have a bit of Hitler in us if we don't deal with the parenting we received; that is for those who received cruel parenting (most common, yes, but possibly not universal). I think a most important point that was not covered here is the main element she identifies in deficient or cruel childhoods that sets a victim on a better path, primarily, receiving some kindness or defense when one is a child, showing the learning child that wrong is indeed being done, and that there are better ways of being. Without that, young dependents gradually still their own inner voices, accept that meanness is OK, and proceed to spread it around.


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