Alice Miller Dies at age 87

I am saddened to learn of the death of Alice Miller, a pioneer psychoanalyst in the field of child abuse. Fortunately for all of us, she ended her therapy practice in 1980, which helped a limited number of survivors, to write books which has touched millions. Though I have not read all of Ms. Miller's books, from what I have read, those who study the area of child abuse will learn much from her writing. While some of her writing is controversial, as a child abuse survivor, I have not found much that I do not agree with.

Her critics such as psychologist and author Carol Tarvis characterized Miller's "Prisoners of Childhood" as a bible of the "parent-blaming, recovered-memory culture of victimization,” which I  find disturbing coming from a psychologist who comes into contact with people during their most vulnerable time.

I have found people in the professional helping fields can do far more damage to abuse survivors if they are not knowledgeable about the subject and effects of child abuse. Survivors who are coming to terms with their abuse are most likely to feel shame, minimizing and hiding what happened to them. It is at this point that they need someone to believe their reality, as when the child abuse was happening, the facade of living as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening is exactly what made the child abuse survivor bury their feelings and hide their experience from the rest of their world.


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