I recently read an interview from OMNI Magazine with the late Swiss psychologist Alice Miller (1923--2010).
This lady is amazing. She went against Freudian theory, which promotes a self-centered and destructive view of children, and instead focused on the reality of the abusive events in children's lives. She says adults need to talk about the original pain they experienced in order to heal. Miller is the author of many books on the treatment of children, including For Their Own Good, about the childhood of Adolf Hitler and how he came to destroy millions with heinous crimes against humanity.
Miller states that "good therapy" helps the patient evolve from the "silent child" to the "talking child." She said the therapist is really an advocate for when you experienced your pain for the first time. "Therapy exists to help you find the wordsto tell your mother and father how you felt at that time when they hurt you, or how you felt when you could not talk - even that."
OMN asks, "What do you meanby advocate?: Miller responds: "One who sides with the child. Always. The therapist must not say the parents were disturbed but well-meaning, because he is then siding with the grown-ups. If the child thinks that the parents who behaved so strangely and humiliated him were well-meaning, he cannot feel his pain, and he sympathizes instead with his parents. It is a crime to beat a child because the beating is a damage, and you can never change this reality.
"A battered child feels humiliated, confused, isolated; and he is made to feel guilty because he is told he is bad. We are afraid to say that child abuse is a crime because we want to protect the parent from his guilt. But we really fail to help them when we support their blindness, because in this way we also betray the child in the parent. "
DISCUSS!! What do you think about Miller's views? Have you been able to realize and talk about the pain you experienced in childhood? Does it make a difference in your parenting now?
Check out my recent blog post at http://www.familyfieldguide.com/. The mom who left her one-month-old baby on the roof of her car got caught. Most messed up parents don't.