Welcome!

My name is Daniel Mackler and I am a filmmaker, writer, and musician based in New York City.  I also worked for ten years as a psychotherapist in New York, though I ended my therapy practice in 2010.  My writings focus on the causes, consequences, and radical mackler photo 1 smallersignificance of childhood trauma.  I see childhood trauma as ranging from the extreme, which is common, to the mild, which is so much MORE common that few even notice it at all, much less call it by its proper name.  I view the norm in our culture as being highly traumatized and I view the average, and even above-average, childhood as being extremely traumatic – and the average parent as lacking both awareness of this and deep empathy for the child.

I see our world growing more pathological, confused, polluted, overpopulated, and disturbed by the day – and I feel that to stand by and say nothing while we destroy our planet is irresponsible and even criminal.  Yet I write with great hope – both for individual healing and for the collective healing of our world.  I seek to offer a new perspective – on relationships, on manifesting the best of ourselves, on the potential value of celibacy, on parenting, on the pathology of the family system, and on the future of our species.

192 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. Open Dialogue. Well done and thought-provoking. Thank you. Have a son who is very concerned about drugs as a requirement for the cure. His brother and I made “A Fortunate Son”; we are investigating our next project in mental health. In truth, I am a new NAMI Williamsburg, VA Board Member. Have gone to NAMI Support group since February and finished Family-to-Family. I am in a learning mode. Have an open mind, settled on no answer, but considering alternative approaches that make for low stress living, learning, caring, on-site work communities. Couple of years ago I looked into the cohousing world and met with Charles Durrett and Katie McCammant. Their story would make a good documentary. Will explore your site more. Thanks again for your work.

  2. Hi,

    Wonderful work here… I’m a writer and musician myself and have been tackling these topics regarding my own childhood traumas for the first time in my music and writing. I went and did a search on google looking for to see if there were others doing something similar that might help in getting through the kind of honesty required to put these subjects to song and writing and came across this site. I’ll be catching up on your films and music the next few days and wanted to say thanks for all your work here. I’ve included my site in the website section of this comment box and would love to share it with you if you have the time to take a look, it would mean a lot.

  3. Hi Daniel

    Your voice is filled with shock and anger at and heartfelt empathy for the horrific, unbearable suffering of very child.
    This sweet song has affected my deeply during the horrors of my deeper recovery. The mirroring and validation flowing through your soothing words has provided me with vital succour and holding during the moment-by-moment torment of many suicidal episodes and helped me pull through.

    To show my deep gratitude, let me invite to be open to a highly effective healing process I have been successfully and safely practicing on my own.

    My cruel family murdered my soul so mercilessly that the blossoming of my unique, wondrous humanity stalled abruptly in early childhood. A few years ago these buried traumas violently erupted into incessant emotional anguish, psychosis and incapacitating bodily illness.

    The Whole Human Protocol has been a life line for me.

    This straightforward process has enabled me to integrate a massive amount of deep-seated trauma within two years.
    I now experience far less emotional and physical pain. Every day I feel more solid as a person, balanced, calm, confident and present. This means I get my needs met much more effectively than in the past, when I was too terrified and confused to stand up for myself.

    So how does it work?

    Step 1 – Identify toxic childhood beliefs

    Parental neglect and abuse engenders many self-denigrating, unconscious beliefs for children that run and ruin their adult lives.
    Step 1 uncovers these debilitating unconscious beliefs, common ones being ‘I am unlovable’, ‘I do not exist’ and ‘I am worthless’.

    I know that you are aware that traumatic childhood events produce strong emotional responses such as terror, fury and grief that the child quickly learns are too life threatening to express without fear of deadly parental rejection or harmful reprisal. To safeguard immediate survival these feelings pass into the child’s unconscious and remain trapped, circulating around the nervous system.
    In adulthood, whenever someone feels a present day stimuli such as noises, voices, smells and sights that are evenly minutely similar to those experienced in the childhood environment where the trauma happened, these intense feelings from childhood are immediately re-experienced through flashbacks and the person mistakenly believes it is a response to the present. This is why people constantly have such enormous emotional overreactions to most life experiences – violence, greed, paranoia and submission – because it is always a reaction to the chaos, agony and danger in childhood and not related to the present.

    For step 1, one senses where in the body the intense feelings from a childhood flashback in the present are located. Then one uses the Eugene Gendlin body focusing technique to uncover the exact words for the unconscious belief that generates a pronounced bodily release of tension once identified.

    Step 2 – Connecting with unconscious beliefs using self empathy

    One sits with the unconscious belief so one’s present consciousness can connect with it.
    This involves realising the huge impact this belief about self has had on the course and quality of one’s life.
    For example a belief that ‘I do not exist’ can bring shock and grief at how a complete lack of self, assertiveness and having no boundaries has meant one’s needs have never been met and interests not protected. For one’s present awareness is consumed by the childhood feeling one is going to die if one asserts one needs and normally immobilisation and submission is experienced as protection against the past.

    Self empathy in the present is the key to really getting the enormity of what happened in childhood, it’s devastating effects and facilitating the grieving required for healing. One normally feels deep shock and devastation at this stage as well as anger that one’s nurturing should have been so much better and really getting that it is not a reflection on oneself but the callous parental treatment received in childhood that is responsible for their mental and physical symptoms.

    Step 3 – Releasing the frozen traumatic feelings

    One imagines being back in a childhood scene (at home or school) with the unconscious belief and re-experiencing the feelings that came up in this past situation. The autonomic nervous system will think that the feelings are happening now and start to metabolise them to be felt in the present as it cannot differentiate between one’s imagination and the now.

    Over the next couple of days one feels these frozen childhood feelings coming into one’s present consciousness and the limbic/emotional brain can start to continue its development as the emotional blockage from childhood is finally cleared.

    For example, I have experienced lying on the hall floor of my childhood home as a toddler, where my mother threw me when I was ‘difficult’. To keep me routed in the past and focused on feeling the appropriate childhood emotions I imagine feeling the coarse green fibres of the carpet and my woollen shawl against my child body as I thrash around in fury or lie rigid and motionless in hopeless despair.

    One also provides plenty of self-empathy from the child in the past to the child in the past over the chaos, pain and terror the child feels. This is vitally important to help one connect deeply with oneself a precursor to connecting with others and our precious planet, and helps dissolve the self-hatred engendered by parents.

    Step 4 – Evolving into a brighter future

    One then imagines what life would be like if one did not have these unconscious beliefs.
    One might feel much calmer, grounded, courageous and connected. This step helps with building new pathways in the emotional brain for expanded consciousness, in order to access the levels of awareness (blocked and distorted by trauma) such as intuition, creativity, body connection, feelings, energetic system and soul consciousness, that will lead to better decision-making, learning to give and receive true unconditional love and deep, purposeful connection with oneself, others and the natural world.

    The speed and depth of healing will depend on the amount of trauma one is carrying, the proficiency with which one learns and applies the protocol steps effectively and the frequency of practice.

    Two years ago my awareness was so consumed with incessant, multiple flashbacks with associated feelings of terror, fury and despair/suicidality that I could not leave the house or communicate properly with people. By conscientiously processing at least two flashbacks a week, I cleared a huge swath of trauma and never thought I could publicly tell you some of my story with my extremely high levels of anxiety gone!

    The Whole Human Protocol has been distilled from over 35 years of neuro-biological research and psycho-therapeutic experience by Andina Seers, an amazing, courageous, and highly intelligent woman. I believe that Andina has been in your network of allies over the years.
    Coaching is recommended to learn the protocol process and accelerate proficiency in the early stages.

    I have been very fortunate to have had Andina as my coach and am eternally grateful for her exceptional mentoring.
    I do not have much contact with her now as I am forging my own path, but her website link is:

    http://www.andinaseers.com/the-whole-human-protocol

    I will provide my second gift for you shortly.

    With warm wishes

    Philip
    London, United Kingdom

  4. Hi Daniel,

    One of your essays asks ‘where is the proof for my point of view?’
    My second gift is to offer living, verified proof that rich, caring, loving child rearing is our evolutionary blueprint and nurtures humanity’s true nature to be totally loving, peaceful, calm, balanced and respectful.

    Jean Leidloff spent some years living amongst the Yek’uana Indians in Venezuela during the 1960s and set out her observations in her book ‘The Continuum Concept’.

    She describes a society at total peace with itself, where there is no violence or major disagreements.
    Each individual is fiercely independent and all leadership roles are consensual and people are free to follow their leaders’ decisions or not at they see fit. However everyone is innately social and instinctively realise that everyone’s welfare and the balance and harmony of the community rests in respecting each other, being honest and peaceful co-operation and sharing of resources so all are looked after.

    The Yek’uana play games for the social connection, fun and physical exercise and competition is just not in their vocabulary as they have such a strong sense of self there is nothing to prove!
    The children are well behaved and live harmoniously with their parents and siblings.

    Why are the Yek’uana so different to our sick species in the industrialised world?

    The reason is because the Yek’uana INSTINCTLY and NATURALLY fulfil each and every of the growing child’s developmental needs required by our evolution.

    The adults have such a strong sense of self and love for themselves and others, that they truly see and accept every child as a unique and special miracle.

    During their first year, the infant never leaves the mother’s side and experiences his people’s life cradled snugly to his mother, which helps him discharge his energy.

    The human infant is naturally very robust and has an internal compass to navigate his new world safely. From the earliest age, the child is encouraged to explore and adapt to the world at his own pace and with great freedom to grow his sense of independence.

    The parents are always and constantly available PASSIVELY to the child to console him and give the loving attention required. The child learns from the start that if he requires parental support, he can initiate contact at any time and the parent will immediately and affectionately respond to meet his needs without question.
    The parents always respect the child’s uniqueness and understand that learning is best done by the individual under non-intrusive and helpful guidance. Children are never ever shamed or rejected for erroneous behaviour but just calmly shown the correct way. The children feel deep love and respect and are therefore keen to be social and follow parental examples. Siblings behave lovingly towards each other as everyone gets their childhood needs met, so there is no reason to be jealous.
    Older children love looking after the younger ones which produces a virtuous learning schedule to prepare them for parenthood.

    The Yek’uana have been very fortunate in having had nearly no contact with and not corrupted by westernised cultural ‘family’ trauma imported to the Americas by Spanish, Portuguese and other European colonial powers to South America since 1500s due to their isolation deep in the Amazon jungle.

    One of Jean’s observations shows the Yek’uana’s evolutionary advancement. When visitors from another village arrive, they sit peaceful on the ground for an hour before being served refreshments. They are taking that time to start to feel, bath in and attune to the rich consciousness of the village, so they can deeply connect lovingly and respectfully with their fellow man!

    The Yek’uana symbolise the rich, caring, loving nurturance we should all have received in childhood. I grieve every day over the loss of this birth right and the Yek’uana help me mourn deeply over this.

    Sending my warmest wishes

    Philip

    PS – You may be interested in Jean’s YouTube video where she describes her time with the Yek’uana and a link to her website

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA4HGXeMgCU

    http://www.continuum-concept.org/

    PPS – See the British Nature Documentary on You tube about the Yek’uana, I was struck by how open, friendly, calm, balanced and present the Indians were against the traumatised, reacting, fidgety/nervous westerners.

  5. Hello Daniel,

    I’ve just watched 2 of your films (Take These Broken Wings and the critique of becoming a psychotherapist). I ‘enjoyed’ both and was in particular amazed (though not surprised) at the research on recovery from schizophrenia i.e. drugs seemed to be less than helpful.

    I live in the UK and am nearing the end of my first year of study on a 2 year part-time course in Person-Centred and Experiential Counselling and Psychotherapy. This leads me to question some of your comments in the critique of the process of becoming a therapist. There are a series of therapies listed on-screen (at 41 minutes 15 in the film) when you are talking about supervisors’ responses to the way you use your of lack of certainty about what to do with clients during sessions i.e. there is a suggestion that you should study other orientations so you have a better idea about what to do.

    Person-Centred Therapy (PCT) is listed and while I am not blinded by PCT I have to say it holds great meaning for me, it seems deeply honest. I assume from the film that this was lumped in with the rest as ‘more of the same’ or having little to offer? I therefore find it strange that later in the film you go on to talk about what you feel to be most therapeutic or helpful for clients. What you seemed to do was list some of the fundamental aspects of PCT i.e. being present for clients in an authentic way, treating them with respect and recognising their capacity for insight and change.

    In the film about schizophrenia the key moment for Cathy is when Dr Dorman comments that ‘Reality can be pretty scary.’ This is received by Cathy as highly empathic and therefore therapeutic. This process (of recognising Cathy’s experience) is what she states as healing her. Surely this is Person-Centred Therapy?

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the ideas you were expressing about what therapy is (should be) in light of Person-Centred perspectives. More generally I’d also be interested hear what your theoretical training / background is.

    By the way I really appreciated the two films and, in particular, your openness in the critique.

    Warm regards,

    Keith

  6. Daniel – Hi! I would like to get some information from you about a problem I am facing about whether I should become a BFRB coach. I have had trichotillomania for over three decades. I am currently writing a book. I will need someone to help me edit my book because I don’t have much experience in writing, but I think my book can help a lot of people like me. Also I am considering becoming a holistic coach for people like me. I have mastered this disorder and I know what it takes to heal from it. I use many different methods that are more alternatively based. I have started a local support group in my area because Trich is not well heard of. I don’t want to waist 9 years before I can help another, I really need to be able to make a living as well. I know these people. I understand them better than any clinical physician would. Maybe you could be my coach? I want my book to be a hit. It’s going to be more of a short story about my experience and how I healed myself. I want to self publish. You are so great! Please e-mail me back. I am thinking of going to Institute for Integrative Health to learn to coach others and become more marketing savvy. What do you think?

  7. I just finish seeing your Outer Dialog documentary film.. GREAT !! question, i there a list of ‘Outer Dialog ‘ practitioners in the US…Also, can a US citizen travel to or contact the therapist over at Western Lapland Finland, for help??
    Your help in this is GREATLY appreciated…

  8. Hi-Daniel,

    I feel so fortunate to have discovered your films and musings on Youtube. I am a counselor who is vehemently opposed to the medical model of mental illness who wishes to engage with people who are challenging the mental health system.

    You are helping others with your passion and thoughtfulness,

    Regards,
    maureen

  9. Hi Daniel,

    I am currently in my first year of Mental Health nursing at university and I have had a growing interest in your work.
    Whilst most of my facilitated work is based on care plans and medication ect.. my real interest shines when I watch or read about helping and healing psychosis through alternative therapy and without the use of drugs.
    The University talks about being a nurse and wanting to make changes for the better and this is where I want to improve the system. I want the future to be about people and not about drugs.
    We have an elective placement coming up in our second year, and I would really appreciate your help and guidance in where would be a good place for me to look for my placement?

    I want to be where I can gain knowledge and experience from people like yourself who have similar goals abut the future of treating people with psychosis. I can travel anywhere in the world.

    If there are any recommendations from you, that would make my year :-)

    Thank you for being an inspiration in my studies.

    • good for you, Kryssy! Hmm….a second-year placement. I can’t think of anywhere off the top of my head except Western Lapland in Finland, and it MIGHT be possible to do some placement there–I really don’t know–plus a placement there without a knowledge of Finnish, which I’m assuming (hopefully wrongly!) that you don’t speak. I don’t know if you’ve seen my film Open Dialogue — free here: http://wildtruth.net/dvd/opendialogue/

      Perhaps you’ve seen it already. Several of the characters in it are mental health nurses — they are key workers in that program….which gets the best results for first-episode psychosis in world. But this is the best place I can think of, though again, I don’t know how they deal with things like foreign placements.

      Meanwhile, I’ll email you backchannel as well.
      Daniel

    • HI Kryssy,

      So good to hear of your search. I wonder myself what is out there that is neither fully ‘the medical model system’ or fully ‘peer run and operated’ – and would be interested to hear what you find.

      Afiya (http://www.westernmassrlc.org/afiya) is one of 13 peer respite centers in the USA and perhaps you could be helped along in your search via that network? Their category of ‘peer’ is very broad, so depending on your life experience you might qualify on those grounds.

      Open-Dialogue now has a USA group institute of Dialogic practice (spokesperson Mary Olson) with some places operating already – New York?

      Also, I am subscribed to the Australian and New Zealand branch of ISPS – the international Society for Psychological and Social Interventions in Psychosis. Through the branch in your area of the world, you may find some help.

      All support to you,

      Ela Linwood

  10. I wanted to say how well you depicted schizophrenia in your documentary, “Take Your Broken Wings”, and what a gift it was for you to unleash it; thank you for making it available to me. Last year around this time my cousin was diagnosed with schizophrenia while I was taking a university psychology class. I was earnestly reaching for explanations and what I got, I am afraid, was a great scooping of hopeless pathological explanations which I spread to my family. Recently I found, in the past 4 months, what Dr. Faye Snyder calls “The Causal Theory”. I found you from freedomainradio.com and just read your new book, Breaking From Your Parents, which gave insightful anecdotal and very relateable maps to which, after first glance, I think I will be referring back to. I look forward to reading more about your work and watching more of your films. Thanks for your work.

  11. Hi, have just finished reading Breaking from Your Parents — thank you for writing it — and would like to email you about it if that’s okay but I can’t find an email address for you. Can I email you through your facebook account?

  12. Hi all. Perhaps we could network a bit. Most of us coming here have a lot of experience and insight into the current mental health system, and are critical of it. We could benefit from exchanging ideas.

  13. Would really like to buy ‘Breaking from your Parents’ but I don’t have kindle.
    Will you be publishing it in book format?

    • hi — hmm………i don’t think i’m going to be publishing it in book format. it is in PDF……. also, it’s pretty easy to download a kindle app for free. i downloaded the kindle app for the first time when i created this book — it’s pretty easy to use….. sorry though that it’s not in book format……ugh……..erg…… daniel

  14. Daniel, everything you said in that you tube video entitled ‘ Childhood Trauma and the Process of Healing’ is correct and I’m very grateful you made it.
    I’ve been on a journey for 18 months now after a very long period of denial. Things fell apart for me – it was like a stack of dominoes one by one falling. When certain life events occurred it was like a match had been lit and dropped on a petrol soaked floor.

    Having the belief that you can fix yourself is proving to be challenging. I suffer from anxiety and complex trauma based symptoms. I want to be like my friends who were raised in supportive and loving environments. They are successful and doing well and a part of me feels I can never be like them. My past means I can’t have a relationship and I struggle in public speaking at work. I’ve bought your book – hopefully this will help.

  15. Hi Daniel,

    My name is Matt Estrada and I am a schizophrenic. I was diagnosed a couple years ago as my general condition has continued to decline. I very much appreciate your two films “Take These Broken Wings” and “Healing Homes.” Thank you for putting them on YouTube so I could watch them for free. They were very helpful. I do not take medication, because I find it to be worse than actually having this. I guess I could be considered high functioning because I have held a job throughout my illness. It is said that this problem is incurable and I simply cannot accept that. I have tried so many different things to only come up empty. I know what works but it is simply to hard to obtain. I really want a quick fix but realistically it’s going to take time and I would like to counsel with somebody. Do not mistake this as me asking you for counseling. Since you made the film I thought you could simply refer me to a psychotherapist or to someone you know who could refer me to one. I figured you have connections. If not I planned on contacting some of those in the film to see if they could refer me to someone in my area.

    • Hi Matt,
      good to hear from you. I’ll reply to you backchannel — i might have some ideas, but it depends on where you live. i have very few therapists to whom i can comfortably refer clients, but sometimes it works out. all the best, daniel

  16. Could SSRIs cause brain damage, or is it all in my head?

    If so, is there any way you could direct me to reports/documents of SSRIs (possibly specifically Celexa/Citalopram) that show evidence of brain damage?

    I took Celexa for only 3 days, and immediately had a major crisis (could I have had a mini stroke or something?). I’ve been having major complications from this drug ever since, it seems as though I’ve been deteriorating. I’ve seen many doctors, and they don’t seem to believe that this is a real issue. It may be psychological, but it seems as though something very real and physically damaging has happened.

    I’ve been having complications such as cognitive impairment, motor function impairment, severe memory problems, other physical issues etc., and all the psychiatric drugs that I’ve been on since the incident have not helped the problem.

    Is this purely psychological? Or is there a chance that something very real and damaging has happened? Should I get CT Scans, MRIs, EEGs, etc.???

    Thanks much
    Chris

    • Chris,
      You are not crazy! Your symptoms are real and true side effects of psych drug withdrawal. The iatrogenic effects of psychotropic detox can be nasty. I am copying a link for you to use as a good reference point for your research into this process…somewhere within the website is a free, downloadable, e-book. In that book you will find extensive lists of (not so often discussed) side effects of a myriad of psych drugs…and the side effects of withdrawal from the drug. Mad In America is a non-profit, advocacy organization funded by donors and spearheaded by “traditional med” non-conformists. Best wishes to you on your healing journey.
      https://www.madinamerica.com

  17. Dear Daniel,

    Your film “ Take These Broken Wings” was awesome. It was inspirational, encouraging and reaffirmed my beliefs all along, in regards to medications.

    My son, is 29 and was diagnosed with Schizophrenia when he was 19, but I think his symptoms started at round 15 or 16, because that is when he really started on a downhill slide in school. (In 4th grade was reading at 8th grade reading level. His writing/spelling was 12.9th grade, while his math scores were below 5th grade. Both he and I agreed that we would fight the forces together regarding forced medication, in spite of Psychiatrists, therapists, counselors. However “they” finally won out with by starting him on the injectable med, as a condition for him to be released from the psych ward on his first -rather traumatizing experience. In addition, he HAD to be complicit in order to get County services, SSI, supportive housing, etc.

    However I am now on a quest to promote my son taking control over the voices, and negative sensory experiences he feels on an on-going basis. He has been in torment daily for the last 10 years or more, and he is desperate for recovery.

    I am working through a group that is most prevalent in Europe -actually the Ukrain. It is called “Hearing Voices” Are you at all familiar with their work? I attended a 2 day conference this weekend, in which I was paired with someone that hears voices. I questioned her with the , techniques used. Unfortunately I had to leave before the session was over, but fan planning to complete the second session this Tuesday. The woman I was working with seemed very bothered by the fact that I was sort of abandoning her, but I will be following up with her, since I previously knew her from a parent support group.

    Currently, I hope to get the facility, the Psychiatrist and others on board, where my son lives, to look at seeing the HV techniques as an alternative therapy, while at the same time tapering him off the medication. Although I have encouraged my son to confront the voices, he is still very fearful, reluctant to talk about it to professionals, because he’s been told the same old stories that is prevalent today about Schizophrenia, and he feels, guilt, shame, and remorse for having to live such a dreadful life.

    He feels that he has no control, no power, and no future. My dream is to change that for him, as well as other parents whose loved ones are suffering too, that they will be able to feel like there is hope for them..that they CAN look toward recovery, through learning how to cope with their auditory and sensory experiences. To not view their experiences as “torment” but instead make it a part of how they can cope and thrive, within the structure of WHO they are. The symptoms may never go away, but they can be “controlled”..like the professor, played by Russell Crowe in film “A Beautiful Mind”. The belief of the HV therapy is to allow the person to “cure” themselves, by giving them the tools they need, for regaining their own recovery.

    • hello motherbrown — thank you for your comment. yes — i have a great respect for the hearing voices network and the hearing voices movement in general. i hope it spreads more and more — and it’s certainly starting to catch on in the USA. much bigger in the UK!!
      wishing you all the best,
      daniel

  18. I really appreciate your taking the proverbial ball of love and running with it. I understand that many might see your viewpoint as too radical. Quit populating the planet? Slander!
    I love and agree so profoundly with the essence of your argument. When we bring a little soul to this planet we owe them their birthright. But how can we give what we really do not have?
    Deep and loving respect for ourselves that bubbles up like a well spring to nourish and cherish.
    We all deserve it.
    I did get a lot out of J. Konrad Stettbacher’s ideas about the primal reality and found it helpful.
    To be honest I never tried the therapy. I no longer take someone else’s opinion more seriously than my own, so am safe from too much influence.
    Thanks so much for all you do.

  19. Hi Daniel,

    is your book in print? Eric Berne moved his first book in a porno publisher house, because no psychology-publisher wanted to print it :-) I love Berne! Maybe I’ll write a book in Germany where I feel the following content.

    Schore: „Positive affects are key to early development, they’re key to growth, they’re also key to not only positive psychological states but physical health. So now as much of my work is now not only swinging around trauma and negative but also the positive emotions of interest, excitement and enjoyment. Joy has something to do with the quality of life and the pole or opposite of joy would go to shame.“

    http://www.thinkbody.co.uk/papers/interview-with-allan-s.htm

    That’s the first thing (!) in context: „Cells that fire together, wire togetehr!“ JOY and FUN, not only on christmas. I do not mean directly the gifts, I mean the „Gleam in the Mother eyes“, also about a third object!

    I think that’s the „next level“ of books respectively Childhood „synchronous excitation“ mother / child and not only Attention and Affectregulation! Üeter Fonagy: „The creativity of the mother is in demand!“

    Example?

    I sprayed my daughter every night a different perfume on the pillow. She was really “wild” to go to bed. I was of course until she fell asleep. At age 4, she was perfume product professional. It’s called synergy :-)

    okidiko. wishes to New York.

  20. Thanks John for the reference to the British Medical journal article ” in the Shadow of the Ancestor”. Was able to read the first page on-line and it is highly relevant to the info I’m looking for. Old school mind-set and assumptions around ” mental illness” though ( eg having other people in a family with a pattern-description of schizophrenia = a genetic link… ( which to my knowledge has never been found and neither has it for people with a bi-polar pattern description, despite ample research $ and decades spent on it). But hey! I ‘ll take what I can get at this point on the subject. If you would be wiling to email me the rest of the article I would appreciate that. . If you don’t have it or not willing to send, I will check out the online payment procedure.

    Wolfgang thanks for the Peter Fonagy reference – inter-generational transfer of trauma from grandparents and further back is a big subject and I couldn’t find direct references to this as related to psychosis from this source.

    • I just did a quick web search and found what I gave you.

      I remember Dorothy Rowe quoting a Fonagy lecture in a book she wrote, but I can’t remember which one. Basically it was on the subject of refugees who put pressure on their children to be successful and make money as that is the only way they know of keeping safe. This creates trauma in the children that could be then expressed in the grandchildren. Sometimes the distress is quite large.

      Sorry I cannot find the book ref or the original lecture. You could try contacting Fonagy if you can find a contact for him on the web.

  21. Hi Daniel,

    Super news from Denmark. In a two week period there were 640 negative reports in the media about psychiatry … and of course drugs.

    http://www.meinungsverbrechen.de/etwas-ist-faul-im-staate-daenemark/

    „Meinungsverbrechen“ is a friend of me – wishes to Normen. Stuttgart. The place of Porsche and Mercedes :-)

    @ daniel. off topic.

    If you write your book with apple – I think you do it vs. „pages“ – warning – do not upload the newest version. Many „features“ are no more available!

    okidiko.

    your old friend. embrace you.

  22. I just wanted to let you know that we mentioned your YouTube video on Childhood Trauma and the Process of Healing on our Facebook page today: http://www.facebook.com/PDAN

    Personality Disorder Awareness Network (PDAN) is a non-profit organization is dedicated to helping children and families affected by personality disorders. As you might know, one of the risk factors for children to develop PDs is to have experienced childhood traumas.

    PDAN offers a children book to help children recover from traumatic experiences: In My Corner On The Moon, see http://www.pdan.org/bookstore/

    I’m not sure if you knew about our group. We’d be happy to have a
    conversation with you or just email additional information. We find
    your work very helpful and important, and would like to quote your
    work from time to time, as well as mention any live presentations.

    Thank you,
    Frederic Bien
    http://www.PDAN.org

    • Hey — very cool, Frederic.
      Thanks for sharing this! I look forward to keeping in touch. And thanks for the links.
      Daniel

  23. Thanks Daniel -would appreciate your keeping an eye out for research on the inter-generational trauma aspect vis a vis psychosis.

    Jen thanks for your suggestion – though couldn’t find anything on the inter-generational issue on that link.

    Ela

  24. I will make this short:
    Have some kids and after that you can teach and preach. Yes is hard, yes is difficult and you cannot expect any rewards. Nothing is or should be more important than your kids. Sorry for your childhood…
    You learned soooo much. Your can have smart, healthy, happy children if you try; teach us a lesson, write a book about your kids….are you afraid to make mistakes? Easy to judge when you on the other side of the wall…

    • hello. (feels weird to write “hello Mom.”)
      Well, i’ve replied to this criticism before — that i don’t have a right to say what i say until i become a parent. but i don’t agree… first, and most importantly i was a kid — and i had parents. also, i was and still am friends with a lot of children. i relate to their lives — often more than their parents do. also, i have a lot of friends who are parents. i’ve spent a lot of time with them, seeing what they go through, and also seeing their difficulties — and their frailties…their weaknesses….the things they do that hurt their children.
      also, am i judging…..or just using my judgment?
      all the best,
      daniel

    • also…..i forgot to add: i’ve spent a lot of years raising a child — the child that my parents rejected in many ways. i’ve put in a lot of work — and learned a lot about child-rearing through that.

      as for my childhood being bad, it was in many ways, but was better than most people’s. most people just deny the deeper realities of their childhoods.

  25. Hi Daniel,

    I’m writing to ask what you know about intergenerational family trauma, (especially as related to psychosis), and could point me in the direction of resources on this subject?

    I have heard that children express the Secondary or marginalised/shadow aspects of their parents. Supposing a parent internalised the trauma of their own parents and didn’t actively traumatise their child… what are the chances that child would at some point experience the intensity of extreme distress as occurred in their Grandparent’s generation?

    If there is such research to confirm this, then I think that it would be helpful to know about it, as with a degree of focus returning to the issue of family trauma in psychosis, parents have again become targets for blame.

    As well as what went on in the grand-parent’s generation, there is also the social dimension of trauma, such as war, racism, homelessness, poverty, the dispossession of First People’s, etc. (For example, new immigrants have a higher rate of psychosis than the people in either their home country or their new country).

    This is not to gloss over the impacts that abusive and neglectful parents have had on their children – rather I am seeing benefits in diffusing the trauma-based ‘causation’ factor. Not only to help the peace of mind of quite good enough/average parents, but because as the perfect defence to their innocence, so many parents become firm believers in the biologically-based illness of their off-spring and ardent supporters of the psychiatric-pharmaceutical industry.

    good to be in touch with you again,

    Ela Linwood (NZ & Aust.)

    • Hi Ela,
      greetings! good to connect again. hmm………good literature on intergenerational transmission of trauma as it relates to psychosis? i’m not really sure. john read of course writes about trauma, but not really in this way, as far as i remember. alice miller? she doesn’t really write about psychosis too much — nor judith herman, from what i recall. i really don’t know…. most of what i’ve gathered and learned is from listening to people’s stories — and i’ve heard the same things over and over…….the intergenerational stuff…….so intense, real and present. lots of heavy stuff — and often so denied by families — and by the mental health field….. not politically correct, for a variety of reasons…..
      anyway…..i’ll keep thinking on it, and if i come up with some stuff i’ll send you a message!
      all the best,
      daniel

  26. Hi. I’m a psychotherapist here in Encinitas, California. I am a musician, recording artist and composer. I believe in the healing power of music and nature as well. My album is The Music Of Yosemite and has done well worldwide, solo piano. it seems very difficult to stop being a therapist and just earn money as being a musician for me even with a very successful album. I’d like to figure out this transition you seem to have successfully made. I’m ready for a change. I’ve been a therapist for 35 years. Please check out my music if you like. Hope to hear from you. Thanks a lot.

    • Good to connect, Rick. I went to your website and read about you and listened to your music. It is fantastic. I have never been to Yosemite myself, but I felt it through your music. And now…I have an urge to go.

      Switching careers for me has been a journey. I actually worked more as a musician before I was a therapist — and now work (or make my living) more as a filmmaker. (I do the music for my own films, though.)

      But I myself am in transition — not quite sure what’s next. I have no new film in mind.

      all the best,
      Daniel

      • No new film in mind???

        As said Louis Leakey, the famous anthropologist: “the key to our future lies in our past!”

        So Daniel, come to Belgium to film about the past, at Geel.

        And I will be delighted to be your translator between Flemish and English.

        Have a look at this insight into the History, the time of pre-Open Dialogue, pre-Healing Homes:

        http://aeon.co/magazine/living-together/the-town-where-the-mentally-ill-get-a-warm-welcome/

        Geel is a town a few miles North of my home and Brussels, on the East of Antwerp.

        Think about it.

        Kind regards,

        Luc

        • very interesting offer, Luc. thank you!! i hope i will be in europe for a bit this late-spring and summer, and if i am near belgium then, at the least, i would like to meet you! all the best — and thanks for the link about geel. daniel

  27. Hi Daniel,

    I wanted to share major experiences I made, during my life trying to heal what my parents destroyed in me.

    First, your points are eye opening. I read a couple of books 7 years ago from Josef Giger Bütler, a swiss therapist who has been similarly eye opening for me. He talks about similar things and went diametrical against the common therapeutically beliefs.

    He helped a lot of people with this new approach. I recommend taking a look into his works. He has similar points of views like you. One is the depression is not a sickness. It instead is a wrongly learned way of thinking and behaving that origins in one own family.

    I have seen many of the things in real and know that what he is saying is the truth.

    As you I thought, in my early 20s, I was on a great path of healing and conquered the heaviest stuff by understanding how and why I am like I am. I thought I know all there is to become fully recovered.
    I saw the results immediately.
    I became well respected at work and made true friends during this 2 year period of initial healing. I felt true to myself for the first time in my life and it was the best feeling I have ever had.

    I automatically began including things like no masturbating, healthy sleep (min 8 hours a night), great relationship with god, being in the present all of the time (helped the most of all and breathing exercises accommodating and supporting being in the present).

    And it worked wonders. I have never ever felt so alive as I have during that phase.

    I also capped the contact to family, especially to the parents to an absolute minimum. That was a big helper as well.

    So all the things you are recommending, I did out of listening to myself, to what my body was saying. That is why I know these things are true and somebody who says something different has no idea.

    I am in and out of phases of depression since I had been 17.
    You made the movie “Take these Broken wings” because you wanted to show people who had not much luck with their parents, that despite of their destructive childhood, they can heal and can live a life that is worth living.

    I hope this is true to people like me as well.

    We have to hear it over and over that there is hope, Daniel, otherwise we don’t believe it, that there is a different live for us.

    The media and everybody tells you that when you have a disorder, you have to live the rest of your life with it. When somebody comes and says no, it isn’t like that, it gives new hope to recover from the shit.

    I have been out of this initial healing period since 5 years and these last years were catastrophic. I have chosen the wrong major and made the big mistake going back to the parents, because I though I could heal the wounds my father did to me when I was in my childhood. It turned out to be one of the nastiest experiences I ever had. I flipped out in the beginning, because I could not accept that I had been so wrong in thinking we can work through all the hurt, the wounds and horrific things he did.

    What we need are more examples of people who worked through their abusive childhood and now live a life that is pleasant for them. I know you portrayed people in your movie “Take these broken wings”, but I have not been able to purchase it and watch it by now.

    All the best,
    Brian

    • dear brian—
      thank you for posting — and sharing. i find what you write interesting — and i suspect that others will too!
      wishing you the best,
      daniel
      p.s. i also just sent you a backchannel email — in part to let you know that soon (in a few months???) my films will be available for online streaming (not just in DVD form) for less money. i am looking forward to that!!

        • hi brian,
          interesting that you mention this video with liz mullinar. i was recently in australia and spent some quality time with her (as she lives there). she invited me up to hear healing center — and we share a lot of common ideas.
          all the best to you!
          daniel

      • “http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=svX3fEdVTLQ”

        Deeply stroke a cord within me. Enjoy this great video and let’s pray that trauma is spoken about someday the same as we speak about cancer today.

  28. What was that song,” I’d like to say a word for the farmer”.. Well my version is ” I’d like to say a word for the parent”…..
    Have no idea Daniel, what you went thru with your parents… Going from your photo though.. You look clean/ healthy/ non psychotic…
    Not sure if you really have much of a notion what effort it takes to have a child.. The pregnancy, the birth( painful as hell)… The yrs of a little persons total dependency.. School yrs.. Issues with adolescence..
    Have you really looked at the structural issues, re the nuclear family? A closed system .. So little support from the community in the raising of our young..
    Ok. You’ve decided not to have children. Understand your reasons. Accept your rational…
    Maybe your parents are closed off.. Stuck in old ways. But they did put the yards in.. Didn’t they? You are a healthy young man. That didnt happen from your side…

  29. Hi Daniel, there’s two brief messages I’d like to pass on to you.
    First of all, I notice that your manuscript for the breaking up with your parents book is as of yet unpublished. I am concerned that with your busy schedule it may remain permanently unpublished. That would be a great loss. There are many people who, after confronting their parents with past abuse and denial, find themselves rejected by their families and hitting a brick wall. There is currently nothing on the market that covers this topic. Your book on the matter provides much needed guidance and is a pioneering debut in this area. Please publish it.
    Second of all, I would like to thank you sincerely for putting up your earlier youtube videos covering topics such as confronting parents’ denial, denial in the family system, cults and the family system, and forgiveness and blame. I have found them very helpful for working through my issues and putting my situation in perspective. I am sure others have too.
    Keep up the good work,
    cheers B

    • hi Bas–
      cool! thanks for your comments. so — i’m actually basically done with the manuscript for the book on “breaking up with parents,” and it should be coming out shortly. weeks at the soonest….a month or two at the longest…. that’s my plans. wishing you the best at this end-of-the-year time. and happy soon-to-be 2014!
      daniel

      • hi daniel.

        your message has even reached Germany that you’re writing to a hard „stuff“ – but dont forget to sleep – take your time because amazon there are also in 6 months :-) I buy the book – distributed in amazon ? and before I forget: a happy new year and all the best for YOU!

        embrance you wolfgang.

        PS. I found a new Slogan in context monster-parents or toxic people: „If you are talking with people over the right brain, just back away!“

        :-)

      • Hi Daniel, that’s very good to hear. Well done on getting the manuscript finished and off to publication. Looking forward to reading the book.
        Best wishes for the new year

        • Hi Daniel, have you read Margaret Heffernan’s book on Wilful Blindness? See her TED talk video on youtube to get an idea. I can recommend it.
          cheers

      • Hi Daniel, saw that your manuscript has been published. And it looks great too! Covering all the right topics. Very relieved to see it and can’t wait to start reading.
        I do have a question: I didn’t see it on the Apple iBooks store -will it be sold there? And if yes, do you have an indication as to when? If it won’t be available through iBooks I’ll get it through Amazon Kindle.
        Well done on getting it published,
        cheers B

    • Hi Daniel, I managed to get the pdf version of the book from your website just now. Looking forward to reading it :)
      cheers Bas

  30. Hi, Daniel. Do you ever do speaking engagements? How could I get in touch with you to get some more information and talk with you about my event? Thank you!

    • hi becca,
      greetings from san diego. yes, i do speaking engagements sometimes. i just did a series in australia for a month, and florida before that, and i was in europe doing all sorts of speaking stuff and film screenings from a few months before that. right now i’m more or less off the grid, just traveling — and having some fun and doing a lot of introspection. i’ll send you a backchannel email. wishing you the best!
      daniel

  31. Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for the reply!!!
    I’m currently in Chch, NZ but am planning to move to Melbourne in about a year or two. So any of these places is good for me if you have any ideas
    :D

    Thanks so much Daniel!!

    • hi RHN,
      i don’t know where Chch is exactly — i assume that’s christchurch?? i’m not too sure of stuff going on there, but i know more people in auckland. i’ll email you backchannel. i might have an idea or two….
      daniel

  32. I like what you have to say and I believe what you say as well as agree with it and have been attacked because I have told my story of childhood trauma and my dad and his side of the family very angry with me.
    I would like to speak more with you!

    Thanks a million, Jewelee

  33. HI, Daniel

    I would like to buy your book ‘Toward Truth’ but I need a credit card to pay for it via amazon…and I don’t have that. Can I purchase it directly from you?

    grtz Jim

    • hi Jim,
      greetings! Alas, I don’t have copies myself — they’re only at Amazon, I believe. So I don’t know how else to pay for it….. Hmm…….I’m sorry.
      If you can’t figure out another way just post here and I’m try to help you… There must be a way!!
      Yours,
      Daniel

  34. hi Daniel thanks for the info. just an additional comment on the potential backslash consequences of dealing or confronting your parents…. mine are ..the father schizophrenic aggressor. my mother …..my protector….so I tought …until this week ..and more after your youtube..she is a 6 years old narcissic child…and I realized that my two of talking to her was in emptiness…so my today comment is; to confront parents denial may have an overall effect on the victim overall sense of reality . to confront disconnected persons may disconnect you of your overall life. (sorry for my English . ) please send me your post address so I can send you a cheque donation for your youtube .

    • thanks Paul. I appreciate what you say. It sounds…..quite difficult. I often think to myself that I wish life were simply easier — but it just so often is not…… I am of course wishing you the best!! And I will email you backchannel.
      Greetings from Portland, Oregon.
      Yours,
      Daniel

  35. Hi Daniel, I have seen trailers for yours movies and been thinking about writing you before – I’m glad you’re on the Soteria/Diabasis idea. Do you know anywhere in Scandinavia where they have such houses?

    I’m currently in a place where they don’t have that understanding, and have been put through electric chock therapy – it sounds like I’m on my way out in the near future, but I would like to know if there are soteria-like houses or places in Denmark, Sweden, Norway or Finland – or perhaps a country on the European Mainland. OR – is it possible to obtain more than a months’ visum for the United States? Then I’m going to go.

    At the place I’m at right now they are sweet but they view psychosis as an ilness, a mental ilness that should go away, while I say it’s more like soul/mind journey to the core or a meeting with the grand existantial – God, life, love – forces.

    Thanks I hope you see this. If not, I hope it doesn’t bother you too much that I write you an email.

    Anywway have a good time.
    Christian Wei

    • hi Christian,
      Greetings from Portland, Oregon. Good to hear from you. My reply will be short because i’m on the road right now!!
      I’m glad to read your message — thank you. I have heard of a house in Norway that might be like Soteria. The woman who runs it (i think she runs it) emailed me some time ago. It’s non-medical, from what she said, and is focused I believe on art therapy. I really don’t know a lot about it, though, having never visited.

      apparently it’s “a small house in the countryside 7 Norwegian miles north of Oslo in a small community called Hurdal.”

      the website is: http://www.livil.no

      and it’s in norwegian… but it might be worth checking out…..

      wishing you the best!
      daniel

  36. Hi Daniel, the world of open dialogue was brought to my attention through the film that you made and your blog. Thank you! I am currently training to be a clinical psychologist in the UK and am considering writing my thesis in this area. I was wondering how you made contact with the centre and what your links were? I have tried to find people’s email addresses online but I’m not sure if they are up to date etc and just wondered who to contact to enquire about conducting research over there. Any info would be greatly appreciated! Kind regards, Sarah.

  37. you don’t seem to have a way to send an email to you so I’ll skip leaving my email address as I am required to post in public. I would like to ask where your privacy policy is since we can’t watch this streaming in iTunes or on netflix and have to receive a DVD – can’t tell if this means we will receive more paper mail later. I would prefer to stream it and get only email marketing or followups and not paper mail (because if paper mail is involved in marketing, i have to update you every time i move). So I’m interested to see your video but I only see this physical disk method. Maybe sometime you might get it into iTunes or Netflix or some streaming way or tell us the privacy policy on our postal addresses so we know what happens if we buy it through you. If you have it on amazon.com I don’t have to worry about that too much because they never send me marketing. I do see a book by a similar title on amazon but not the video.

    • Hi M.,
      greetings. People’s emails don’t show up publicly on my website if they post — only I see them, as I am the sole administrator of the site.
      Also, I’m sorry I don’t yet have my movies available for streaming. Soon, I hope — I am slowly working on it, because it is important, including for the reasons you mention.

      Meanwhile, if someone buys a DVD or DVDs from my website, I post the DVDs — which is the only reason I need a physical mailing address — and I do no marketing. I never promote anything and I don’t use people’s addresses or emails for anything else, and of course I don’t share people’s private information with anyone.

      And a big part of the reason that I don’t make my email public is that I was getting so many emails it was becoming a lot of work for me. Although I really like replying to people, I was finding that I simply didn’t have the time. But sometimes there is good reason to exchange emails with people, so I often do reply backchannel to people who post here. But many things that people were asking in private emails were things that I think they could ask in public here — and other people could see the correspondence and thus the messages (be they complimentary or critical of this site) could reach more people, and be useful to others.
      That was my reasoning for switching my website to a blog format.

      Wishing you the best,
      Daniel

  38. Mr. Mackler,

    I don’t even know where to begin or really even what to say.

    I am thirty years old and just now realizing that I have endured childhood trauma, thanks my husband who is trying so hard to heal himself from his childhood traumas with the help of yourself, Stefan Molyneux, et al. I always thought I had a great childhood, but now that I think about it I don’t remember much of anything before adolescence. I know that most of my decisions stems from what happened in my childhood even though it is locked away, buried beneath the glass house. I just read the book, “The Drama of the Gifted Child, The Search for the True Self”, by Alice Miller and I realized that I have repressed so many feelings in my childhood that I do not have any actual real feelings from my true self. I have been living in this false self for as long as I can remember. I do not how to love, be happy, sad, angry, or even rage. I am living with grandiosity by trying to excel in everything I do to mask the true feelings of my true self. I am always meeting the demands of others and not the ones of myself. I am a caregiver or think so, but do I even know how to appropriately care for others when I am leading a false life. I have two young children ages, 7 and 4, I feel like I have already passed my traumas onto them. Not letting them be who they are, not letting them have emotion because I do not have any of my own. I hope that it is not to late to reverse the trauma. I know that I need to heal myself first and find my true self, but how? I am scared to death to see a therapist that will only use my experiences to make them feel better or one that will not allow me to fully find those repressed feelings because they are scared themselves. I want help, but not if it is going to make me worse than I already am. Do you have any tips or advice that you can give me as I begin my journey to finding my true self. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    • hi Jessica,
      very intense posting. hmm……i guess if i were to give tips or advice to you, which i’m hesitant to do because this is such personal stuff, i would suggest being very very gentle with yourself. this stuff can easily become overwhelming, and as far as i see it pushing oneself usually doesn’t help at all. i think trusting one’s own feelings and respecting one’s own level of anxiety and one’s own comfort level is very important. going to therapy was not a helpful part of my journey, so even though i was a therapist myself i am hesitant to recommend therapy, unless you can find someone you deeply trust — someone who respects you deeply and honors your feelings and your process. so……i don’t know if this is helpful, but i wish you the best on your journey.
      –daniel

  39. Dear Mr. Daniel this has been a very hard time for me the mental health system has abused me we have a broken mental health system and I a underserved young adult cant get her needs met I am a adult who cant get her needs met this has been very hard for me I am a person who society ahs thrown away and I am a person with depression and a person who the mental health care system has failed this has been so very hard for me we need a better system in this country I cant get my needs met as a underserved young adult I have tried to advocate for my needs on many levels but I am my only advocate I need some supportive people to help me to get my needs met so I can be a successful person in are society I have been left behind as a person with vast needs. Jessica thank you for your time

    • dear Jessica—-
      thank you for writing. your words are intense — it sounds very difficult and painful. i am wishing you the best — and i will send you a backchannel email. i’m not sure where you live, but maybe i have some contacts of good people in your area (such kind people who have also been through the mental health system — psychiatric survivors) who you might want to connect with, if, of course, that interests you. yours, daniel

  40. Daniel, I want to thank you for your efforts and honesty. You’re an example for me. Your videos, website and your book Toward Truth have given me a larger outlook on life and what is possible. Thanks to you I know it’s possible for me to be healed. Again, thank you for your work and please keep it up!

  41. I feel like it is only appropriate to share this with you, because it was your recent essay on being lost that reinforced aspects that struck me as similar to what I have been going through.
    I’m in a very similar phase. I guess I’m still lost but still young, maybe how you were in your second stage of growth. But nonetheless, I am currently lost, but also gaining clarity about my family of origin, and the horrible things my brother and I have to go through, the manipulation and the screaming, in their household.
    I guess I’m more scared, and a fear, a fear that I just can’t shake off, of shame I believe. Of not being able to just leave and actually start my life. Freedom is still just a fog for me, not sure how to attain it for myself.
    And when I read that you have been biking and hitchhiking, I really felt scared as almost that I wanted to do same to find myself, but in that moment I also felt like a copy, like I was trying to copy what you did to find my path. Shame, it just reoccurs.
    It’s been on my mind though, these sort of adventures, where I am free and I don’t seek the security; the false security that it is. I wonder if you have any words of advice, about the need for security? I’d be all ears.
    I’m really glad that you exist Daniel, because sometimes without having the openness that I have experienced from you and a few others on the internet I would not be able to strive for my freedom.

    Thank you, Thank you

    • hi alexandru—
      i have no advice to give, except maybe to keep trying to be true to yourself!! it’s a hard and often lonely road — that’s what i’ve found. and i don’t know anyone who does it perfectly. i haven’t, that’s for sure. lots of mistakes — and i keep trying to learn from them.
      i am wishing you the best on your journey through life!!
      and greetings from australia-
      daniel

  42. Hi Daniel, I read your article on psychiatric treatment without force. Can you please suggest to me how to about treating my wife who has not had bath for over 100 days now! She does not change her clothes for several days. I have been trying to convince her to come to a psychiatric unsuccessfully. Is there any method other than force in this case?

    • hmm………..Greetings Resh. I can’t say I know what to suggest. It’s very hard to suggest things from a distance… There are so many possibilities. Psychiatrists generally just prescribe drugs and that has many dangers. Maybe a therapist is better? Or maybe someone else who has been through serious troubles and has come through them could talk with her? Maybe there is something that she wants or requests that might be helpful to her? Maybe a friend? But I think force usually has many negative consequences…especially in the long-run. Maybe somehow there is a way to engage her in dialogue… Wishing you the best—-Daniel

  43. Hi Daniel, I am Mindaugas, I am from Lithuania. Schizophrenia became ill 2010. July is already sick 3 years. I hear voices who asks to suicide, I felt as if someone harassed. I am very scared, I watch at night, plagued by stress. I take medication for schizophrenia, as well as allows the anticipated medication Xeplion. Highly desirable for help because they are conscious of what to do, it seems at once the head explodes. Even experienced post-traumatic stress syndrome, now I feel like I would be empty head, I should not news. I graduated from the computer science master’s degree. Thanks for your understanding. Wait for an answer.

  44. hey daniel,
    My name is KB and i find myself over thinking my past and now that i see it, it is more for the help of me. I am a 15 year old kid that seeks help for my traumatized life. i write my story over and over in my journal that has continuous stories about my life. i mean i think it helps, but is it enough…? How can you help me please contact me form my email…

    • hi KB — i’ll reply to your email backchannel. all the best to you——daniel
      p.s. tough to be 15. not the most fun time in my life, i can assure you of that!!

  45. THE DRAMA of the gifted child.

    Hi Daniel.

    Alice Miller hates YOU and love ME. roll on the floor. okidoki. Her son Martin Miller wrote in germany a book about her mother. See my site.

    http://citisite.wordpress.com/alice-miller-das-wahre-drama-des-begabten-kindes/

    Translated in english: „The real drama of the gifted child.“ Not available in english, but I know that you speak german. BUY IT!

    One message, too. On my citisite wordpress site I publihed some VIDs (own production) about Early Childhood and NeuroScience. If your readers (from your site) are interest, please click …

    http://citisite.wordpress.com/citisite-vids-cells-that-fire-together-wire-together/

    embrace you.
    wolfgang

    PS. Yesterday I was at a place where Hermann Hesse wrote some ideas. In Würzburg, Hofgarten :-) nice place.

    • greetings Wolfgang!!
      I have heard about Alice Miller’s son’s new book. I wish I could read German. I hope it comes out in English soon—-
      Daniel

  46. Hi Daniel,
    I googled child trauma and found your site today. First of all, thank you for your transparency, sense of openness, and your focus on important subjects. I’m happy I found your supportive community.

    I experience my relationships right now as mirrors most of the time. As triggers of healed loving places of peace within myself or unhealed places in need of validation, self-love, and forgiveness. And I can also see now when I am the mirror for someone else. For instance, I can stay calm if someone feels afraid and angry and starts projecting. That happened last night and I felt like a child. I admitted to feeling shaky and experiencing the projection of fear & shame, but was also aware enough to say to this trusted person, “I am calm, you are projecting.” Own your emotions.

    John Bradshaw introduced me to the idea of carried rage. That’s what he called projection of emotions: “Carried”. He also helped me understand the reason why adult projection of emotion onto a child is so harmful. The emotional body of an adult is so mature, developed, and strong that it literally overwhelms the child’s underdeveloped, immature and weaker emotional body.

    So, for instance, in a situation where a child is being molested, raged on, or physically hit, the emotions of the adult are imprinted onto the child’s invisible emotional “body”. That imprint must be released in some way. If not, it could possibly result in the child repeating the pattern onto someone else in the future in order to “get gotten” on the experience. I have seen this over and over and have experienced this phenomenon firsthand. The child can become a perpetrator as an adult- or even right away- unwillingly in an unconscious attempt to rid him/herself of the overwhelming overlay of the carried emotions of shame, anger, fear, and all that was projected during the act of boundary-breaking non-love.

    Thanks again for your forum here. I am committed to healing and appreciate the ability to write about it.

    • hi OpenHearted—-
      thank you for sharing! I find what you write interesting and useful. I haven’t read too much John Bradshaw but I have heard a lot about him over the years.
      Wishing you the best!
      Daniel

  47. Hi Daniel, i am Erminia Colucci, a researcher in the Centre for International Mental Health at The University of Melbourne and also an ethnographic film-maker and psychologist. One of my colleague informed me about your work and I would like to get in touch with you, please write me when you can. thanks and congratulations for your interesting work!
    ciao
    Erminia

    • cool Erminia,
      I’ll reply to you backchannel. Sending you best wishes from Florida, where I am now. Now that I think about it, if you superimposed Australia over the United States where I am in the USA is more or less the same as where Melbourne is in Australia….. Just my brain’s thought for the moment….
      Daniel

  48. Daniel,
    I discovered your blog after marathoning videos on the Open Paradigm Project website. I am a therapist who spends my days at an “alternative” high school (society sees my students as “castaways” I see them as survivors). I resonate so strongly to your questioning of the efficacy of psychotherapy (I stopped believing in psychopharm long ago [actually the biomedical model never resonated with me] so that’s not even an issue of evaluation) and find myself questioning it also. There is no “technique” I could use with my kids that would ever prove of greater benefit than my being present for them, my serving as witness to their suffering, my validating their experience of childhood trauma, my depathologizing those experiences for them and my loving them. Which is what I do, in spite of what my field expects and trained me to do…I love my kids. My point is….thank you. Thank you for your work. Thank you for your voice in the field. Thank you for advocating for wounded kids and thank you for allowing me to know that there are others out there who see childhood traumatization as I do.
    Humbly,
    Jennifer Aleksic

  49. Hi Daniel,

    I have a question about the Open Dialogue documentary you made and wondered if you could drop me a quick e-mail?

    Thanks very much,
    Corrine

  50. Hi Daniel, how you doing? Have just read your ” lost”, post.at 62, I still feel like I’m connecting to the wounded and unheard child within.
    Guess also, I’m in a slightly
    ” lost” phase of my life. Given, I still have a 16 yr old in school, and other family connects.. But my inner self is dancing thru and around a lot of stories. Maybe this time of life, reflection/ solitude is called for.
    Had my marriage/ children..
    Now. Finding a purposeful direction for my energies… Is my aim. But
    Taking my time, relaxing in the quiet… Take care, Daniel

  51. Hello Mr. Mackler, I’m writing from İstanbul, Turkey -near Taksim exaclty :)- and very glad to learn from the comments that you were recently been here, shared with us the great days of protest. I’ve studied political sciences and in the light of your work, I can see a parallelism between the individual healing from the childhood parental trauma and what we are collectively experiencing right now in social level; let’s call it healing from social trauma caused by the state, the existing political system. Everyone says “nothing will be the same”, “now the fear has changed its place, it is no longer in our side but in their” etc. We once broke free from the lies, abuses and manipulations of the government, ‘we don’t talk to them’ and we know it is impossible for us to be fooled anymore. Likewise, maybe don’t know where to go exactly or how but we deeply feel the charm and the confidence of social enlightenment on our road, our hearts are now wide open to each other, we are nurturing each other, we finally feel truly free and united, cherishing resistance, uprising, sharing, altruism and solidarity. I used to know the saying like “every moment you resist, every moment you uprise you live truly and every moment you comply, every moment you give way you die truly” but now we are really experiencing what it means. And this social healing process is largely expressing itself in boosted collective humor and creativity.
    Well, I came here to thank you personally, indeed. I’m right now reading your book, Toward Truth – I’m at page 97 exactly- and it is saving my life. I am also a victim of a narcissistic and alcoholic mother, suffered long from many sorts of self-sabotages, self-deceptions, addictions, you know… And unfortunately I also reproduced helplessly while I was unenlightened. But in my case it was thanks to the relation I’m trying to form with my child that I first faced with my own dissociation. And started my journey toward healing with deep grieving and all the stages you know. Now that I’m away from my mother –despite her serious illness and all criticisms I receive- and feel the true inner peace and happiness of being on my journey toward enlightenment, two things saddens me: First, have made a child; as when I woke up and started to truly love him and becoming able to truly nurture him I also paradoxically started to really regret for given birth to him. I don’t know how much pain and damage I caused him till now and how much I will maybe cause further, despite all my presently conscious efforts and real desires to be the parent he deserves and I feel very sorry for him. And my second sadness is, as far as I go toward enlightenment I feel lonelier. As you describe very well in your book, there is very few people who surpassed their dissociation. I have good friends, real comrades to die for but unfortunately they are far from understanding… Well, I’m also writing my own history — and maybe one day I can also have the chance to be interviewed by you, as you expressed your intention to interview people about their childhood traumas 
    Sorry for being too long and sorry for my bad English but lastly: When I’ve read on the comments the interesting questions about the origin of the parental abuses over generations I thought that two stages of human history can be more deeply investigated: The period of passage to modernity, as modernity is also defined by the creation of the what is private (private sphere), dissociated from what is public (public sphere). Also by the creation of the ‘modern atomic family ‘ (mother+ father+ child) instead of traditional communities and bigger memberships. And also by the individuality. Or maybe this is more ancient; this is started at Neolithic’s, when matriarchy ceded its place to patriarchy? Anyhow, this question also intrigued me, I will also think and research about it.

    Dear Mr. Mackler, I’ve read Alice Miller, Joanne Greenberg and others before I come across your work and I can appreciate its value in the light of these readings. But I can much appreciate it with the genuine inner feeling and cognitive conviction about what is correct, true and well said. You are giving a great service to humanity; I would like to express my sincere gratitude and wish you all the best in your journey. Thank you.

    • wow!! Refika — thank you!! lovely message. very powerful. especially in light of my time in turkey, which was……to be frank…….EXTREMELY powerful for me. i got so much out of it. i have always avoided collective protests. i’ve seen a lot of them and somehow they never called to me. what happened in turkey (i was in izmir) was different. i was CALLED to be there, and to be part of it. it was extremely special to me, and i felt changed by it. people were also utterly welcoming to me. all that you write about the protests and post-protests is what i felt there. i knew something deep and profound was happening, and while i was in the middle of the protests i cried every day — it touched something so deep in me. and when my new turkish friends (whom i met at the protests) saw me cry they understood, and they hugged me and cried too. it was amazing. it was on a group level very similar to what i am writing about on this website and in my book “toward truth.” a little different, but still……quite parallel in some ways.

      i like what you write about the shift to modernity. i agree and i think it needs more research. most of my life experience is in very modern cultures. it is a limitation of my point of view. thankfully i have traveled enough, though, to know that all the world is not (and certainly WAS not) just like it is in our modern ultra-tech cities…… and i also grew up a lot in the woods…….sometimes without running water or toilets. so that helps………

      i am glad to connect with you, and i thank you for coming here and writing this, and also for sharing about your life. i wish you the best and i hope to keep in touch,
      daniel

  52. Hey Daniel,

    I just read your newest article “In a Lost Stage of My Life” and I must say it’s rather incredible!
    I was always wondering what you where up to in daily life. Giving up stability, comfort and structure for uncertainty and freedom must be nerve wrecking.
    But I really salute that kind of decision. And I kind of wish for a life like that full of experience and freedom, but I am just too scared of the consequences.
    I am kind of concerned for you though, will you always be living like this, or are you planning on going back to a more structured life? What if you run out of money etc.?
    Isn’t it just enough to live according to your true self? Wherever the location or whatever situation in life?

    And what are your thoughts about trying to enlighten other people, I sometimes get discouraged when people still keep denying, I explained to myself that the truth is a matter of choice. People will only truly change once they deep inside want to and decide to, regardless of anything or anyone external, and I think depression forces people to look inwardly at their true feelings.

    So I think the world will keep being like this for a long long time. I thought to myself that this could just be a new stage of human evolution you know, maybe in the future we become more evolved to become more conscious of ourselves and our feelings. As you could see with more and more people getting into depression and having to make a choice whether to live according to their truth and stop the self denial in almost every country.

    Thank you Daniel.

    • hello john doe,
      greetings from new york. aaaah — no need to be concerned about me. i put a lot of energy and preparation into taking care of myself. and i can always work a regular job if i need to. also, i am confident of my life path — that it is taking me in the right direction. just a bit lost now!! but lost in a healthy way, i feel — having the confidence to let myself be lost and not forcing myself to choose the “right” (or “right now”) path. just to be where i am…….

      about trying to enlighten others: well…i don’t really try that. i just share my point of view, mostly in writing, and if others are drawn to it then that’s great. and if they’re not……well………..there’s not much i can do about it. i don’t try to force my point of view or opinions on anyone. half because i don’t like people forcing stuff on me and half because it doesn’t work anyway!!!

      wishing you the best,
      daniel

  53. Do you know of any good therapists around Seattle? I very much look forward to if you are starting the show you talked about when you hosted on freedomainradio.

    • Hi Landon,
      I don’t know anyone off the top of my head, but I have some contacts and I’ll send you a backchannel email.
      all the best,
      Daniel

  54. Hello. I am a registered nurse at a residential treatment facility and I recently started a blog called drugthechildrennurseblog.com. I wanted to know if you would check out the site and maybe post a link if you like it. Thanks

  55. Daniel,

    Your website is provocative, compelling, and thought-provoking. Even in places where I disagree with you I must admit you’ve made me think.

    I invite you to check out my blog, The James Bulger Murder Revisited, at this address:

    http://www.jamesbulger.net

    If you don’t remember, James Bulger was the toddler tragically murdered by two ten-year-old boys in Liverpool England, 20 years ago. I recently became fascinated by the case and after doing a bit of research, I became increasingly disgusted and finally infuriated by the misrepresentation and sensationalization of the facts by the disgraceful British tabloids.

    If ever there was a violent crime committed by juveniles that had clear causes in the abuse and neglect of the perpetrators by their own parents – as well as neglect by various other adult authority figures (school teachers, school administrators) – it was this one.

    Rather than look at the clear roots of this tragedy in ADULT neglect, abuse, and indifference, the British tabloid media chose to demonize these boys as bad seeds and “freaks of nature” (an exact headline phrase) and seem bound and determined to this very day to instigate vigilante violence against them. A scenario straight out of Alice Miller has instead been turned into a freak show. None of the lessons about childhood trauma and parental abuse that should have been learned, were learned.

    I invite you to read my blog entries and leave comments – I really value your point of view – and I hope to add new entries as frequently as possible.

    • thanks Pariah Dog. I was recently in England for a bit and was reading about the James Bulger case when I was there. Intense stuff. Wishing you the best, and thanks for posting. Daniel

  56. The investigative report on this site concerns a Tulane University student attacked by a Tulane psychiatrist during the period when Tulane was actively participating in the CIA project MKUltra. The student was tortured for seven years. This historical; record should be of value to investigators seeking information on Louisiana hospitals during this period.

    louisianastatehospitals.com

    All documents are free

  57. Hello Daniel: I am called Carolina am from Chile. To they diagnosed Theirs Esquizoafectividad, and I want to cure myself and since I cannot travel for there I would like to know the web direction of the documentary recovering in house for some day to take this therapy and to leave this crutch. Very grateful. Carolina

  58. Hi, I was just wondering if you are going to be releasing your new movie “Coming off of Psych drugs” or are you just going to be doing screenings? Just because I don’t think I can make the screenings but I am very interested in seeing this movie and having others with mental illness see it as well.

    • hi Jessica,
      greetings! well…the DVD for the movie is for sale on this website (i mail it out): http://wildtruth.net/dvd/psychdrugs/
      it’s a bit expensive…..i’m sorry about that……..but that’s one way to see it. but it would be cool if you could come to a screening – those are always fun!
      all the best to you,
      daniel

  59. Hi Daniel,

    I was hoping you might still be available for correspondence by email. I am interested in meeting with Jaakku Seikkula in Jyvaskyla and wanted to ask you a bit more about your films and interviews with him.

    Thanks so much,

    Maria

      • Hi Daniel,
        Sorry to tag in on this reply but I did not know how else to ask you this question;

        Is there Open Dialogue in New Zealand? or Australia?

        Would like to know as I am currently on abilify and i want off, maybe open dialogue may help me?

        • hi RHN — well, there’s no open dialogue in australia at present. i doubt it in new zealand. some of the open dialogue folks from finland are giving a presentation in australia — brisbane, i believe — in february. but open dialogue is not really geared for helping people come off medication, though i’m sure it could help in some cases. maybe there are other local resources that would be more useful……. if you reply here — maybe your location? — i might have some more ideas. of if you prefer a backchannel email just note that and i’ll email you.
          all the best,
          daniel

  60. Hi Daniel, Just got directed to your site whilst looking up Alice Miller… Just my sort of content. But,
    I’ll read thru some blogs before
    Joining the conversation. Hi from
    Queensland, Australia…

    • hi sofus,
      i’ll certainly try to answer your comment. and i find value in writing my answers publicly — then i feel i can share my thoughts more publicly — not always so privately.
      all the best,
      daniel

      • Hi Daniel,

        “wild truth” is a good “positioning!” My Marketing-soul answers you :-) See Steve JOBs: “stay hungry, stay foolish!”

        Your critic of Alice Miller is right, and in my communication with A.M. I notified: “of course, Miller split some things”, but over all … Miller is unmatched, and NeuroScience gives Miller right!

  61. This all is starting to make perfect sense now, the denial in the family system is extended into the world through society. I think ‘narcissists’ are the perfect example, they need people to take care of them and their unresolved needs to maintain the fantasy of who they are, to maintain the denial of their internal pain.

    And I am trying to be careful to use the term ‘narcissists’ hence the quotation marks. Because my belief used to be that it is about ‘normal’ people vs ‘narcissists’ out in the world, but now I after reading your articles and watching your videos I agree that we are all born with a narcissistic need to be taken care of. And that ‘narcissists’ and also ‘normal’ people simply haven’t got their needs met. Basically this is your theory, that it is not about ‘normal vs narcissists’.

    But that everyone is born this way and has intense internal need from their parents. So in a way you could argue that ‘narcissists’ and ‘normal’ people are one and the same, children who have had to deny their true self to survive in the family unit.

    I kinda feel stupid now because there are a lot of blogs out there that are so anti-narcissism and antagonize them, that I deep down felt that it only distracts you from the real problem, and that problem is of your unresolved internal needs and traumas.

    I used to be very much like this, absolutely blaming narcissists for all the evil going on, and not going any further or deeper than that. But after reading your articles and watching your videos on youtube, you kind of opened my eyes now.

    And if I may, can I ask you what your opinions are about psychopaths and malignant narcissists, I mean these people can do very nasty things and I felt that this started my journey to get to know what is really going on with myself. As I felts used and manipulated by these type of people in a very one sided relationship. My role was for me to meet their needs, and to keep things short I know that this stems from my childhood role, safety etc.

    But I want to stop harassing you know and I want to admit that I am asking about your view about narcissism, psychopathy etc. Because I am at a crossroads now, I absolutely relate to and believe your theory, but because I have read tonnes and tonnes about narcissism, I want to see which side of the story holds more truth, so that I can pick a side and make sense of it all sort of.

    And as you hold some really valid points of view, I want to see how what your views are about this subject. And as a side note I have already read your article “So what the hell is narcissism anyway?” , but I felt that because it wasn’t specific to my experience that I kind of wanted to know more about what you think about both malignant narcissism and psychopathy, basically these two bad guys, the bad guys of society.

    And what do you think about these blogs that antogonize narcissists and psychopaths so much? Is it just easy to scapegoat narcissists and psychopaths and view yourself as normal and not narcissistic? I feel like it is some sort of cop out, to say that you are normal and these people are sick.

    I’m sorry if I am bothering you and you don’t have to answer it if you don’t really want to.

  62. Hey, I feel like I have discovered a gold mine with your blog here, excellent articles, you have no idea how much I need this. I decided to be on the path to healing and I need reaffirming articles to remind me that Im not alone and that my feelings are true indeed. Thank you very very much Daniel Mackler, if only todays media was filled with more spiritualy valuable content like this, I was on a witch hunt on google to find content related to my problem. Again thank you very much, we might not know each other, but as a fellow human being I am very thankful!!

    • John Doe,
      I am in the process of reading a book by Alice Miller, called “The Drama of the Gifted Child”. It has a lot to say to help one understand childhood (and adult) “narcissism”. I recommend it. – Ramacita

      • Hey I already have that book.
        But thank you for recommending though, very much appreciated.
        It’s a wonderful book and made me tear about 8 times, very intense and sometimes I had to stop when reading because it was too overwhelming and I had to digest what I read.

  63. Hi Daniel,

    Good to get your answer on the question of peer involvement in Open Dialogue and learn more about your views and experience with peer participation and peer run services.

    I wonder what the Finnish people would say was well! Perhaps the new Open Dialogue training in the USA will take this on? But it’s not going to happen if people don’t take this issue up with them. Which gets me to the point in writing to you here – its’ a request really.

    Would you be willing to simply mention peer involvement as a question or as an important unknown whenever you are speaking publicly on Open Dialogue?

    In my view, to omit even the question is to accept, collude with and give strength to the status quo –where all but in exceptional circumstances, non-peer professionals run the services whilst peers are essentially absent or included with so–called ‘consultation meetings’ and token roles in a system that they didn’t design.

    I don’t ask if you would be willing to take time and energy over this point yourself, but simply to put a ‘?’ in where there hasn’t been one in evidence before in the promotion and advocacy of Open Dialogue.

    Also I don’t need a direct answer to this. Perhaps you won’t know until you are in front of the microphone next!

    appreciation for your time in writing on this,

    Ela

    • hi ela,
      i think your “request” (i’ll take it as a suggestion) is a good idea. i’ll try it.
      greetings!
      daniel

  64. Hi Daniel,

    I’m resending your post before my reply, as I’m so delayed in getting back to you.

    dmackler58 on June 26, 2013 at 8:11 am said:
    hi ela
    greetings from london. sorry for the delay in replying — traveling!! i liked what you said about wanting to be careful that people not just replicate open dialogue as-is. hmm…as to your question i’m a bit confused about how to answer some of it, in part i think because i am not sure i understand all of it.
    i’ll note the parts i dont understand…
    you wrote: “I am wondering though if those who experience radical altered states become ‘normalised’ by the warm, supportive communication extended to them in Open Dialogue – but are not actually being ‘met’. [not sure exactly what you mean by normalised...] A person can really on their own with very intense uncommon experiences, if these kind of experiences aren’t validated with the deep recognition and appreciation that can come from involvement with peers. [i got confused by this sentence.] And is ‘success‘ measured quantitatively and superficially in terms of social adaptation…. (omitting physical heath as usual)…. ‘getting a job’ a relationship etc? Rather than valuing people who don’t fit in, aren’t adapted, but are prepared to do the work of personal and cultural change?”
    my reply: as to the last part, yes, i think for research purposes — that is, to compare their ‘results’ with those of other psychiatric programs, they do measure ‘success’ in terms of social success, that is, in pretty conventional terms. of course that has its major flaws, though in terms of making some comparisons i guess it’s pretty useful — at least for speaking the language of psychiatry and in so doing pressuring psychiatry to change from within, if one thinks that has value. i definitely see that value, though i am very clear in knowing that it’s not the whole story, nor really the most important thing for people. but it certainly creates quite a fly in the ointment for psychiatry.
    as to Open Dialogue practitioners not meeting people where they’re at, yes, i suppose it’s possible. i think they would probably agree with this, because i found the practitioners there quite open to doing better work and to meeting people better. in that vein, i would say the same goes for myself — i had and have my limits in meeting people, and try to improve. but i’ve never met anyone, ‘peer’ or otherwise, who can meet everyone where they’re at in all cases…though some definitely do it better than others!!
    greetings again,
    daniel

    Hi Daniel,

    Some of what I wrote, I realised afterwards was more my own musing, rather than really expecting it to be in your business to answer – and as you found, it wasn’t too clear either!

    My meaning of normalised; When a person re-assembles after a ‘break-down” in ways that are no longer disturbing to self or others…but possibly still suppressing (via addictions, ill health etc) the parts of self that were trying to come to awareness. So falling short of ‘break-through’/transformative experience to be different and live differently. Not necessarily going along with consensus reality to slotting into the system, to keep the unsustainable, quite mad culture going as it is.

    The sentence you didn’t understand is missing the word ‘be’. “A person can really be on their own with very intense uncommon experiences….”

    Thanks for sharing on what is measured in the research and how it is still useful but incomplete.

    The only part of your reply that I have questions about still is the last paragraph. You wrote: ”but I’ve never met anyone, ‘peer’ or otherwise, who can meet everyone where they’re at in all cases…though some definitely do it better than others!!”

    I certainly agree. Often it’s not a matter of whether a person has been through a similar thing, or if they haven’t, but how perceptive, empathetic and/or skilled, they are. Peers like the rest of society, can have all sorts of barriers to communication, and being present for someone else… and lots unquestioningly promote psychiatric beliefs.

    But they can still provide something unique and needed. For example, years ago I entered a peer group for healing addiction. I met people who had been where I was and I come out the other side pretty much. I am certain that the compassion, generosity and the shared experience helped more than any amount of ‘service provision’ by non-peers possibly could have.

    For me the word ‘meet’ is a relationship of equals, in a way that ‘care-providing’ usually isn’t. When you said that service providers don’t ALWAYS meet a person, and nor do you, and nor do peers… then whilst true enough, this answer again, misses the opportunity to show any support for peer involvement.

    I don’t remember anything you have said in our correspondence so far that is remotely supportive of peer participation, or peer based services. Given your public role with Open Dialogue, then I think it important to ask…. …WHY?

    My best guess is; i) you don’t know enough about it to comment, and/or ii) your hands are tied in a way, and that it would be difficult to take up this question or come across as too positive on peer support as it could be perceived as critical (disloyal, ungracious?) of your kind Open Dialogue hosts and the wonderful work they are doing. (?)

    Rather is it enough for you to say, “this seems to work for 86% of people who come into contact with the system, service users and the wider society is happy with it…,and that’s really all that it is my job as a public speaker and film maker to communicate to people in the rest of the world… how the system might improve or be taken up in other places is outside of my domain”.

    If so, then that’s still really something worthwhile – and I can accept that and stop asking you anything further about this on your blog!

    Cheers,

    Ela

    • hi ela,
      greetings. i’ll do my best to reply to the last part of what you wrote: “I don’t remember anything you have said in our correspondence so far that is remotely supportive of peer participation, or peer based services. Given your public role with Open Dialogue, then I think it important to ask…. …WHY? My best guess is; i) you don’t know enough about it to comment, and/or ii) your hands are tied in a way, and that it would be difficult to take up this question or come across as too positive on peer support as it could be perceived as critical (disloyal, ungracious?) of your kind Open Dialogue hosts and the wonderful work they are doing. (?)”

      my thoughts: well, i actually often am quite supportive of peer participation in many contexts, and i imagine it could be a useful addition to the open dialogue project in finland. i think part of why i haven’t written about it in the finnish context is that i actually haven’t put much energy at all writing about how to make the finnish open dialogue project better. and maybe it’s also true that i don’t know a huge amount peer support, at least compared to some people that i know. i’m actually not sure how much i do know. i have visited a lot of places that have peer participation or are peer-run, but when it comes to integrating peers into a system that previously lacking in peer participation i haven’t seen that happen, not in real time at least… afterwards i’ve heard about it more, though. it would be valuable for me to witness. i’d probably learn a lot.

      as for me being disloyal to the open dialogue folks — i wouldn’t say that. i think they’d welcome the critique. actually i wish they themselves had a blog where you could write this. i’d be curious to know what they’d say.

      meanwhile, i was just recalling an article i wrote about on madinamerica.com about components for a good neuroleptic withdrawal program, and there i wrote about how i thought peer participation (though i didn’t use that phrase) was important. here’s the entry if you wish to check it out: http://www.madinamerica.com/2013/02/components-for-a-good-neuroleptic-withdrawal-program/

      wishing you the best,
      daniel

  65. Hello, Daniel. Are you still available for contact via e-mail? I couldn’t find a contact link on your new site here. I wrote to you a couple of years ago but have since lost your address. I just have a few questions for you about your opinions on therapy for a specific form of childhood trauma: extreme social isolation in childhood. If you have the time, you can reach me at the e-mail address I submitted. Thanks!

  66. I finally feel like someone really understands the childhood and human psych. You are very very wise and knowledgeable. I am dealing with a lot of anxiety from childhood sexual abuse. It has taken my unconscious and has blurred my views of my fully conscious mind. It’s very difficult to try and keep my conscious in reality because I get so anxious and scared of things I can still consciously see are not anything to be scared of, but are reminding me of my past. I am a dancer and I realized the only was I can dance, and express everything I feel is if I only allow myself to deal with every single part of my traumatized childhood. I completely blocked out my entire childhood as I was to afraid to look at it. But like you have said in your videos, your unconscious deals with it and makes our conscious mind in ways deal with it as well. For some people in a more or less drastic way. In my case it completely paralyses me. Sometimes I can’t understand why I feel like I can’t breathe, or speak, or move. My childhood unconscious is intertwining with my everyday world. It’s a very frustrating and debilitating thing to go through. I love dancing so much, and want to express my story so much that I want to heal and will do anything to heal. Even uncover those dark truths I never wanted to look at. It’s sometimes very overwhelming to do it on my own. If there is anyway I can have some more insight and help from you, it would help a lot. I feel like you are the only one that understands.

    • hi peleg,
      thank you for sharing — and i’m wishing you the best on your journey. right now i am traveling around the world, and not on the internet that much. i used to be a therapist — and devoted to that, but now my energies are elsewhere. i’m still engaged in my own healing process, though its external form has in some ways changed from what it was a few years back. well, i hope my writings and videos continue to provide some use to you. i wish i could provide more, and hope to do more writing and videos and other things in the future. meanwhile, i really am wishing you the best!! daniel

  67. I just happened by, Mr. Mackler (or should I say Daniel?) because I watched a few times some of your videos on You Tube, especially the one called ‘Schizophrenia- Therapy promoting full Recovery’, now also to report a link of it for a second italian writing competition around mental health recovery stories.
    I left a comment over there too, for I myself recovered in North Italy with the help of a long psychodynamic psychotherapy and wrote my autobiographical story about it too (can be found on Amazon with the title ‘Healing from schizophrenia – a personal account’ by Lia Govers. I know of course of many other type of recoveries, like the one Ronald Bassmann or Rufus May (UK) had. I was asking myself: has this film ‘Take these broken wings’ also been translated in italian…?
    Best regards, Lia Govers

        • Hi Daniel,

          you fly around europa and never landing in germany? …. just came from turkey, from the wonderful protests there …

          ooops. You were in the land of Ayse Kok ? If you had told me earlier, I would have made ​​you known to her. search google … ayse ist great -:-)

          Incidentally, I have moved my suicide because there is still much to do. Who writes these lines ?

          wolfgang
          embrace you

  68. Hi Daniel,

    Much thanks for your full reply 21 May. All of it making sense and useful to me.
    Further two questions that are being asked by others besides myself;
    Firstly, where is the peer voice in the Open Dialogue DVD? You said in the Beyond Meds article that you weren’t permitted by Finish confidentiality laws to film patients at the hospital – and it seems fair enough too not to be filming vulnerable people in the midst of their crises in their home environments either. However what about after a person has come through their period of Open Dialogue intervention? Were you discouraged from, or unsupported to find such people to interview?

    Similarly – it would seem that the support that is offered in the Open Dialogue system is 100% staffed by ..well…staff. That there isn’t room for inclusion of people who have experienced radical altered states themselves in the support of others. Are they there but not shown on film?…..or, are peers intentionally marginalised or passively marginalised in the ‘trained-professionals only’ mind-set? ???

    Thanks,

    Ela

    • good questions Ela. i didn’t actually talk with anyone there who had fully come through a crisis, so there was never even an opportunity for me to ask them questions, let alone make an interview. it would have been great had i had that chance. i think the reasons i never met anyone are varied. one is that the people who come through the crisis don’t stay in contact with the psychiatric system or the providers there — because they move on with their lives. another reason might be that if they do stay in contact in some way with the providers there the providers didn’t feel comfortable giving out their names. but then again, i suppose the providers could have asked the former clients if they wanted to get in touch with me, and the people could have done that voluntarily. on the other hand, when i was there, some people in the community did get in touch with me (near the end of my stay, which was only 2 weeks — short!) because the local newspaper wrote an article about me in the paper. but none were people who were former clients who had fully come through crisis.

      about the second question — that they don’t include peers in their work. as far as i saw, you’re right there. it’s probably something they could consider — or maybe they have begun to do this in the past three years, because i was there almost 3 years ago. i don’t know that peers are intentionally marginalized. but i think they do have a “professional” mindset with the workers there, but not necessarily in a bad way — because to me they redefine being professionals in many ways, because they actually do a good job and are respected by the community and by the clients they serve, as opposed to most professionals elsewhere… but another thing is that many, or at least some hefty percentage of, “peers” i meet in places where i travel, even small communities on par in size and geographical isolation with western lapland, are people who to some degree or other have been inspired to work in the system as “peers” because of negative experiences they had while in the system at the hands of unempathic, incompetent, or simply dangerous professionals. i didn’t meet anyone in western lapland who spoke in this way of the professionals working in the open dialogue system.

      just some thoughts. someday maybe i’ll go back and spend more time there…and learn more.

      wishing you the best
      daniel

      • New comment on Wild Truth

        Hi Daniel,
        I was trying to wriggle out of acknowledging your reply, but here we go.

        Why I am bothering to write again, is that I read your explanations with a sinking heart – reading Defence and Justification as to the omission of peer involvement in Open Dialogue.
        As a professional rather than a psychiatric abuse survivor yourself, then this is ok too on some level – as professionals do need to wake up other professionals to better ways, (and that’s maybe your primary job).

        Thanks for your explanation as to the missing Peer/service user voice in the DVD. Understandable in those circumstances.
        My second question: as to whether peer/service user involvement was actively or passively suppressed: you wrote “i don’t know that peers are intentionally marginalized. but i think they do have a “professional” mindset with the workers there, but not necessarily in a bad way — because to me they redefine being professionals in many ways… etc “

        Yes my use of the term ‘mindset’ was dismissive and not really respecting the fact that these professionals are evidently a cut above and beyond what we see in mental health systems elsewhere…

        “i didn’t meet anyone in western lapland who spoke in this way ( ie negatively) of the professionals working in the open dialogue system”.

        Well that’s significant AND as you note, there is still the 15% that still go onto chronic drug dependency or whatever “not able to help” really means.

        I am wondering though if those who experience radical altered states become ‘normalised’ by the warm, supportive communication extended to them in Open Dialogue – but are not actually being ‘met’. A person can really on their own with very intense uncommon experiences, if these kind of experiences aren’t validated with the deep recognition and appreciation that can come from involvement with peers. And is “success” measured quantitatively and superficially in terms of social adaptation…. (omitting physical heath as usual)…. ‘getting a job’ a relationship etc? Rather than valuing people who don’t fit in, aren’t adapted, but are prepared to do the work of personal and cultural change?

        You wrote; “some hefty percentage of “peers” i meet in places where i travel… have been inspired to work in the system as “peers” because of negative experiences they had while in the system…”

        When someone says or implies …‘well nothing to stop people training as a mental health professionals’, I think this glosses over the paradigm difference and the system’s power-over relationship with us. I don’t think that a lot a lot of people with the really heavy psychiatric survivor experience can or will undergo mental health system training – though people with less stigmatised diagnoses can and do.

        My concern is that Open Dialogue will be taken as a model to replicate in this form – despite the injunctions to do it differently in different places. So the professional class will still get the jobs and the funding support, and it will be justified (by the evidence of ‘success of Open Dialogue’), to continue to put obstacles in the way of psychiatric abuse survivors from re-defining who we are and caring for our own.

        At the risk of being too generalized and dividing people into separate camps – I want to see the day when those who experience radical altered states make the decisions as to the support options, and decide which professionals to employ, call in, and on what terms – rather than as it is now, when professionals decide who and how many of us they want in their system and on what terms.
        Ela
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        • hi ela
          greetings from london. sorry for the delay in replying — traveling!! i liked what you said about wanting to be careful that people not just replicate open dialogue as-is. hmm…as to your question i’m a bit confused about how to answer some of it, in part i think because i am not sure i understand all of it.

          i’ll note the parts i dont understand…

          you wrote: “I am wondering though if those who experience radical altered states become ‘normalised’ by the warm, supportive communication extended to them in Open Dialogue – but are not actually being ‘met’. [not sure exactly what you mean by normalised...] A person can really on their own with very intense uncommon experiences, if these kind of experiences aren’t validated with the deep recognition and appreciation that can come from involvement with peers. [i got confused by this sentence.] And is ‘success‘ measured quantitatively and superficially in terms of social adaptation…. (omitting physical heath as usual)…. ‘getting a job’ a relationship etc? Rather than valuing people who don’t fit in, aren’t adapted, but are prepared to do the work of personal and cultural change?”

          my reply: as to the last part, yes, i think for research purposes — that is, to compare their ‘results’ with those of other psychiatric programs, they do measure ‘success’ in terms of social success, that is, in pretty conventional terms. of course that has its major flaws, though in terms of making some comparisons i guess it’s pretty useful — at least for speaking the language of psychiatry and in so doing pressuring psychiatry to change from within, if one thinks that has value. i definitely see that value, though i am very clear in knowing that it’s not the whole story, nor really the most important thing for people. but it certainly creates quite a fly in the ointment for psychiatry.

          as to Open Dialogue practitioners not meeting people where they’re at, yes, i suppose it’s possible. i think they would probably agree with this, because i found the practitioners there quite open to doing better work and to meeting people better. in that vein, i would say the same goes for myself — i had and have my limits in meeting people, and try to improve. but i’ve never met anyone, ‘peer’ or otherwise, who can meet everyone where they’re at in all cases…though some definitely do it better than others!!
          greetings again,
          daniel

  69. Good morning Daniel,

    Just a little note from Belgium to tell you how grateful we are for your reports and your four DVDs relevant to the Finnish OPEN DIALOGUE.

    We have now watched the first two DVDs that you sent us, appreciated your personal hand-written word of encouragements accompanying them, and we are really moved by the content.

    So moved that for holidays, we are on on way to Tornio, to see and feel by ourselve, to reproduce that feeling that you lived when visiting it yourself and described so well on a webpage of beyondmeds;com.

    You did restore hope in our family and friends. With our words circulating out of our own network, I may be wrong, and if I am, the future will put me right back, I guess that you will progressively get more and more requests from the little Kingdom of Belgium for your wonderful DVDs.

    From the little Kingdom of Belgium, with our profound gratitude, we simply want to encourage you back:

    Keep up your fantastic communication work!

    Very, very gratefully yours,

    Luc

    :-)))

  70. Dear Daniel,

    Writing to introduce myself and our company virtually for now. I am founder and CEO of a boutique production and distribution company based in Toronto, Canada with sales offices and production partners in New York City and Los Angeles.

    Currently writing you while on holiday to find out if your films are available for television distribution. Are rights free in English-speaking countries and other international global territories? Please let me know what rights are available and if you have an agent.

    I came across your website while doing research for one of our television series in development. Your films are vitally important and have made a profound impact on viewers, myself included.

    Our distribution division has licensed programs in over 140 territories and we represent third party and original content in all major markets worldwide. Our most recent factual docudrama production, HERO DOGS OF 9/11 will be airing on Discovery/ Animal Planet USA this September. The program previously aired in Canada, Italy, France and Spain to highest ratings since 2011-2012.

    In addition, I would like to find out more about your upcoming projects and to find out if you have any interest in hearing about one of our internal projects that covers some of the sensitive mental health issues you are exploring in new ways as a series concept. We are currently gearing up to pitch Discovery Fit & Health Channel in early June. Hope you are checking posts here.

    Would be delighted to connect and look forward to hearing from you within your earliest convenience.

    I am checking emails twice a day and I will be in the office on Tuesday after the long weekend holiday. Hope you are enjoying your weekend too!

    Kind regards,

    Tanya Kelen

  71. Hi Daniel,

    I bought and viewed your DVD ‘Open Dialogue’ and thought it quite amazing. In other words it fits and confirms my understanding (!!) of the purpose of Radically Altered States and how they can be better worked with. Wondering if its just too good to be true? ?I don’t want to be advocating something if I’m not totally convinced its the complete story and then later on I find it wasn’t quite so. One concern in the back of my mind is that one person’s name (Jaako Seikkula I think it was), had his name on just about every research paper published. Could you say more about this please. Also wondering about follow up material to the DVD and where I could read or hear more about it that you would recommend. Congratulations too by the way!

    • hi Ela,
      good questions. Jaakko Seikkula is the one who has been the main researchers on most of their studies, but also I wasn’t the BEST one to compile info on them, because I didn’t have a comprehensive list of their articles when I was making the movie. I actually got the list of articles on Open Dialogue from his personal web page at his university. In hindsight I realize that he was putting in Open Dialogue articles by him or co-authored by him. I know there are many other articles on Open Dialogue by others, but….when I was making the film I didn’t know how to find the resources and I had very limited internet access. (I was doing the editing in a cottage in Ireland that had no internet, so I had about ten minutes a week on the web, and no one to translate Finnish for me!!) I actually just watched Open Dialogue last week in Croatia, with Croatian subtitles, and I thought about all the Seikkula, Seikkula, Seikkula articles too…. Had I had more time I would have done more research!!!!

      About Open Dialogue being too good to be true — I think it is great, and many of the principles are universal, but it just hasn’t been replicated too well in other places because it took over a decade to develop their system…in their context. That is important. But over the last fifty or so years other places have done good work in other contexts…based on some of the same principles. I think that is key — making a place work in a certain context. Sometimes people want to export Open Dialogue exactly as-is into a different context, and it might not work so well. Those people were locally based, and many of them from that exact local place — so they worked with what they had. I think that makes a big difference.

      here’s another article i wrote on open dialogue: http://beyondmeds.com/emptypsychbeds/

      it has some other ideas in it….

      as for open dialogue being imperfect…i think it is. the fact that they ONLY get an 85% recovery rate says that there are a lot of people who still end up chronically medicated with lots of unresolved issues, and in the system…. i talked about with folks in finland when i was there, folks who work in the system and with some clients, and they agreed — they still are trying to improve their system…

      but i made the film as an example of a system that is radically BETTER than the norm….. just to show what might be….. but not as a holy grail!!

      meanwhile, all the best to you, Ela!!
      daniel

  72. Hi Daniel,
    I greatly appreciated your long-ago and astute review of the work of fiction called Roots, on amazon.com, and that is what led me to your interesting website. Your comment about Haley not condemning people having children just to have them is quite important; that is something of course done far more in other societies such as in India where parents want more hands for work. And in fact, for all their problems, Americans are rather mildly traumatized when COMPARED with people in many other countries…
    So here are my experiences in Mali, West Africa (since you mentioned someone’s notes on the San in East Africa- seemingly a glowing portrayal). I’m married to a Malian and have spent many months living with his family which now consists of his elderly mother, his brother, wife and 6-7 kids. The average number of children in Mali is 7 so they are right on average, with an age span of 24 years between the oldest and youngest…anyway, the interesting aspect of this culture is that the kids are almost totally ignored.
    Just how traumatizing this is by itself, I don’t know, since kids are “free” to run around (and there must be some value in that), but being ignored, coupled with the fact that often the households comprise one husband and his 3-4 wives makes for real trauma.
    There is no warm-fuzzy aspect of this life, as Westerners who have only a superficial visit may think (“all the wives cooperate to share the chores”). Malians worry about who will think what and will go to great lengths to fake happiness or a semblance of cooperation…These co-wives really hate each other, and will do most anything to make their own children look better to the father. There is ferocious jealousy between wives, even more so when a new younger wife joins the courtyard.
    Oh I forgot to say, they usually all live in the same compound so everyone knows where the mutual husband is spending his nights…The co-wives regularly put ‘bad spells’ on each others’ children, and sometimes the children die, perhaps from meningitis or malaria, but people definitely believe the spell is what made the child die. Naturally this creates more discord. Nothing is analyzed in the psychological sense, everything is glossed over. (My husband talks about all this often; he was severely traumatized by his father marrying three more wives after his mother, the first wife.)
    Children wake up on their own, show up when called for a meal, go off to school on their own, with perhaps an older sibling in charge (depriving that one of his/her carefree childhood). At night, they fall asleep in place, in the clothes they have worn all day, and when the adults go to bed, kids are carried off to their sleeping mats.
    All day, the toddlers and the pre-school kids wander around the courtyard, out into the street, and around to neighbors, with nothing to play with. Poverty is only one small part of the problem. Nobody rigs up a simple swing in a tree, or plays ball or a game with them. It is a rare child who is held on a lap, is ever read to, or told stories to, despite our Western myth of everyone in “Africa” sitting around cozily together in the evening telling stories–about anything, let alone about their ancestral heritage or geneology!
    Instead they ALL sit around at night and watch crummy programs -French news or Malian politicians arguing on TV. Teachers are forbidden to teach French in the elementary schools, yet the Bambara being taught is about as useful for later education or a job as Cherokee would be for American kids.
    When I bring toys for them, the parents put them up on a high shelf, saying they fight over them–instead of instilling some sharing lessons.
    Yes, mothers carry babies on their backs which we in our ignorance think is “bonding,” but it is really to get the kid out of the way. Babies have very little contact with the mother; she swings them around a few times a day to nurse and tosses them backwards again, out of the way. Furthermore these women pound millet in big wooden mortars, thumping hard with those tiny heads bobbing and whacking against their backs….talk about shaking the baby! Yes it “Takes a Village!” — because it takes the whole village to give any one Malian child the same amount of attention that one of our kids gets in a day.
    So traumatized Americans, with all their unused possibilities, their lack of self-control and their many bad choices….just seem spoiled.

    • wow — thank you for your comment! i just read it with great interest. thank you for sharing this, though it was painful for me to read. i have never been to west africa…only north africa…a very different experience. i wish you all the best, Cindy Lou.
      Daniel

  73. Hi Daniel,
    I greatly appreciated your long-ago and astute review of the work of fiction called Roots, on amazon.com, and that is what led me to your interesting website. Your comment about Haley not condemning people having children just to have them is quite important; that is something of course done far more in other societies such as in India where parents want more hands for work. And in fact, for all their problems, Americans are rather mildly traumatized when COMPARED with people in many other countries…
    So here are my experiences in Mali, West Africa (since you mentioned someone’s notes on the San in East Africa), seemingly a glowing portrayal. I’m married to a Malian and have spent many months living with his family which now consists of his elderly mother, his brother, wife and 6-7 kids. The average number of children in Mali is 7 so they are right on average, with an age span of 24 years between the oldest and youngest…anyway, the interesting aspect of this culture is that the kids are almost totally ignored.
    Just how traumatizing this is by itself, I don’t know, since kids are “free” to run around (and there must be some value in that), but being ignored, coupled with the fact that often the households comprise one husband and his 3-4 wives makes for real trauma.
    There is no warm-fuzzy aspect of this life, as Westerners who have only a superficial visit may think (“all the wives cooperate to share the chores”). Malians worry about who will think what and will go to great lengths to fake happiness or a semblance of cooperation…These co-wives really hate each other, and will do most anything to make their own children look better to the father. There is ferocious jealousy between wives, even more so when a new younger wife joins the courtyard.
    Oh I forgot to say, they usually all live in the same compound so everyone knows where the mutual husband is spending his nights…The co-wives regularly put ‘bad spells’ on each others’ children, and sometimes the children die, perhaps from meningitis or malaria, but people definitely believe the spell is what made the child die. Naturally this creates more discord. Nothing is analyzed in the psychological sense, everything is glossed over. (My husband talks about all this often; he was severely traumatized by his father marrying three more wives after his mother, the first wife.)
    Children wake up on their own, show up when called for a meal, go off to school on their own, with perhaps an older sibling in charge (depriving that one of his/her carefree childhood). At night, they fall asleep in place, in the clothes they have worn all day, and when the adults go to bed, kids are carried off to their sleeping mats.
    All day, the toddlers and the pre-school kids wander around the courtyard, out into the street, and around to neighbors, with nothing to play with. Poverty is only one small part of the problem. Nobody rigs up a simple swing in a tree, or plays ball or a game with them. It is a rare child who is held on a lap, is ever read to, or told stories to, despite our Western myth of everyone in “Africa” sitting around cozily together in the evening telling stories–about anything, let alone about their ancestral heritage or geneology!
    Instead they ALL sit around at night and watch crummy programs -French news or Malian politicians arguing on TV. Teachers are forbidden to teach French in the elementary schools, yet the Bambara being taught is about as useful for later education or a job as Cherokee would be for American kids.
    When I bring toys for them, the parents put them up on a high shelf, saying they fight over them–instead of instilling some sharing lessons.
    Yes, mothers carry babies on their backs which we in our ignorance think is “bonding,” but it is really to get the kid out of the way. Babies have very little contact with the mother; she swings them around a few times a day to nurse and tosses them backwards again, out of the way. Furthermore these women pound millet in big wooden mortars, thumping hard with those tiny heads bobbing and whacking against their backs….talk about shaking the baby! Yes it “Takes a Village!” — because it takes the whole village to give any one Malian child the same amount of attention that one of our kids gets in a day.
    So traumatized Americans, with all their unused possibilities, their lack of self-control and their many bad choices….just seem spoiled.

  74. I’ve watched your talkes with great intrest and thank you for doing this. It moved a lot of things in me, I’m trying to write but it’s difficult.
    There was one thing you said that hit me pretty hard, that if you had to take meds in your life, you cannot have children. I still believe even after through (self) therapy one can heal & be a “good” parent. What are your thoughts on this matter nowdays?
    els from belgium

    • hi els,
      greetings. good to hear from you. hmm….i think i wrote that it would be inappropriate for people who take meds to create children….but in the bigger picture i think that it’s basically inappropriate for everyone i’ve ever met, meds or not, to have children. i feel it would be inappropriate for me to have children… about the meds part in specific….i do know some parents who take psych drugs who are much better parents than other people who take no psych drugs.
      all the best
      daniel

      • Hi Daniel,
        If everyone would follow this philosophy, don’t you think the human race would become extinct? I mean, how many people are there in this world that would qualify as “perfect parents”? Maybe extinction of the human race wouldn’t be the worst thing for this planet :), but since it is very unlikely that people will stop reproducing voluntarily, don’t you think it is important that people who are at least partially healed and aware of their trauma and are truly working hard on themselves have children, since otherwise the children of the ignorant masses will take over?

  75. Great website…I am wondering about one thing…if people pass on trauma to their children from generation to generation, it must have started somewhere? At what point did humans start to abuse and traumatize their children? I cannot imagine the first human beings who were on this planet beating up their children and misusing them? Where did this all start? What are your thoughts on this?

    • great question Cori…. hmmm…………..I have thought about that question some, and maybe I’ve even written about it before…… I think it deserves some good thought…….. I want to write more about it……… Yesterday I heard a talk about the San people (Kalahari Bushmen) from a Swedish filmmaker who lived with them for some time, and he spoke about them in the most glowing terms (no traumatizing kids, etc.). But was he just idealizing them? Perhaps…..I don’t know. I really do not know the answer to this. I think a lot of gorilla mothers are much less traumatizing to their infants and children than human parents are…. But I also wonder the historical origins of trauma…… Hmm………

  76. Hello Daniel,

    my name is Tim, we met in Lithuania, together with my girlfriend. Remember? I was (am) the “toy” developer. Hey, me and my girl got into a real painfull situation, and I truly need advice. Can not speak in public about this…Would you please contact me, if you would have the time? The questions that I have, and the need for it, are unfortunatly on the level of your proffession…Thanks in advance. Hope to be able to communicate with you as soon as possible.
    Greetings,
    Tim

  77. I am the former director of NAMI Montgomery Co Ohio,I also served 4 years on the board of directors of a large mental health center. I am also suffer from PTSD. So far I have got off 90% of my meds the last 1 is Klonopin. The only help we have here is to lock you up for 3 days and pray you heal,I no lol. Well anyway Im here and Im well informed. glad to be a part of this page.

  78. Hi Daniel,

    Very enlightening website. One question: In your essay, “Why are gay people gay” you seem to suggest that some or even many transsexuals are actually repressed homosexuals. (The sentence about how the most self-hating would get a sex change to achieve society’s sexual ideal.) Do you believe this is true? I don’t believe you are implying that there aren’t transsexuals, but I was hoping you could clarify this statement.

    Thank you for this site!

    Jon

    • hi Jon.
      thanks, and good questions. i just re-read the few lines that i wrote that i think you’re referring to, and i see that they are rather provocative. i do believe there are transsexuals — i’ve known many. actually, around the time i wrote that essay (seven years ago) i was working with a few transgender folks as their therapist. i don’t think i would say (in that essay or here) that transgender people are repressed homosexuals — at least i wouldn’t use those terms. but i have known several transgender women (MTF) who defined themselves as gay men before they became or called themselves transgender. some felt they were gay and hated being gay, and just wanted to fit into a more accepted cultural role (as straight women). (it also depended on their cultural context — black, white, Latino, etc.) the ones who “passed” as women often found this worked pretty well. others who didn’t “pass” sometimes found that their lives became even more stressful after becoming women… i think others (males and females) were simply pretty confused about their sexuality and gender — or were just exploring. and this includes transgender people i’ve known outside the therapy context. at that time i was pretty curious about transgender issues, and was reading a fair amount of literature on the subject — some of it given to me by my clients. but given what i heard people tell me in therapy, i had my own point of view. but i don’t think that essay does it much justice — i never really expanded upon that POV in there. and i also never feel i really explored it enough to write in a way that i felt was particularly definitive. and i think as the years go by there are more and more nuances to this subject — so, all things considered, my few sentences in that essay are probably not all that valuable…….

      all the best to you!
      daniel

      • Hey Daniel,

        Thanks for your response. sexuality and gender issues are so complex so bear with me with this: for the individuals you knew who “passed” and their new identity worked out for them, did they not feel a loss of their “maleness” (if there is such a thing!?) This question just came to mind. I can understand an individual preferring a “straight” label to a “gay” label due to social stigma, I just wonder if they would feel a loss of their “true gender” (again if there is such a thing…) I believe gay men and women feel very comfortable identifying as men or women although their sexual orientation differs from their gender peers.

        Thanks again and best to you also!

        • from what i remember, for the folks who “passed” as women (MTF) they were thrilled to pass and no longer to be men. i think the loss of their “maleness” — and more so of being seen as males by society — was not such a big deal. some even didn’t have sexual reassignment surgery, and their male genitals didn’t bother them. i think the most important thing for them was that they were accepted as women, or at least as objects of desire, by the straight men they were romantically interested in…

  79. Hello Daniel -
    Just had to share that I’m very concerned for you. I also worked as a therapist for many years and spent 20 years working through childhood trauma and what I hear in your videos, bio, essays and blog are strong underlying threads of fear….of the past? of not being “normal”? Or of the deeper pain that still hasn’t found it’s way out yet? Often we see clients intellectualize their pain (and past) away or rationalize to finally see themselves in that “I’m normal now” perspective. Reality check – no one is “normal” and we will never have perfection in this life – we will always be perfectly imperfect and there is joy, peace and freedom in that. Is that hard for you to sit still with in your life? I know its been a tough one for me yet freedom has come with that truth. I hope that comes for you too. Also, I’m concerned with your rigid views and critique of Alice Miller. Her balance of wisdom (from mistakes), education and grace in spite of the poor parenting in the world has reached so many that may not be able to hear her if they felt condemned. Remember that abusive parents are hurt children inside…would they be able to receive the message YOU have for them in a book?? Would they feel shamed?? Is that the answer? No. The heart has to speak to the heart if it’s going to be healed. Lastly, I wonder if you understand the pre-verbal shame development in many traumatized adult children and how it impacts the whole life span…this is something you appear to have no connection to and that makes your words seem harmful to those who are working through that trauma – as I did for many years. Teachers must always be teachable too.
    I wish you all the best in your continued healing and growth and peace…just where you are.
    God bless you.

    • hi Steffanie,
      hmmm…….i think i’m doing fine, no need to be concerned for me. as for the “reality check” — i think this website by and large is a reality check. yet i was never under the impression that everyone would be able to absorb its message. it quite realistically can kick up a lot of unpleasant feelings in people, including, as you note, shame.
      all the best,
      Daniel

  80. I experience your evolving…into Wild truth. As always the vibration of truth emanates from your writing, DVD’s and presence.

  81. Hello. Very nice to learn about your blog (from BeyondMeds). I enjoyed one of your videos (about Healing Homes in Sweden) very much. I wish there was an opportunity like this for in the USA. We truly need this and it needs to be free and/or affordable. I hope I live long enough to see these kinds of Healing Homes in the US.

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