My name is Daniel Mackler and I am a musician, filmmaker, Youtuber, and writer based in New York.  I also worked for ten years as a psychotherapist in New York, though I ended my therapy practice in 2010.  My creative work focuses on the destruction of our natural environment and the causes, consequences, and significance 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, at the least, irresponsible.  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.

Of note:  I recently made a page for older comments from this welcome page to my website, because the hundreds or perhaps thousands of comments were making this page terribly slow to open!!

18 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. Hi Daniel. Im curious. We have tons of mental health people come in store. Mft phd psyd etc. They all claim they are forgoing traditional methods in practice to treat people with tarot astrology and crystals yet touting mft phd or lcsw. Somehow crystals bypass the work. Have you noticed? Isnt that disturbing??…as a psychologist

  2. Dear Daniel,

    My interests, channeled through the algorithm(s) of YouTube, recently revealed your videos to me.

    I grew up Catholic, the religion of my parents, but now live my life on terms that make more sense to me than Catholicism does. As a result, I can sometimes see more clearly not only the bad but also some good aspects of the religion now that I am no longer bound by it, at least not bound in the way that I was as a child, teenager, and young adult.

    One good aspect can be found, I think, in the Prayer of St. Francis (who to some extent broke with his parents to become a friar), particularly as sung by Sinead O’Connor (who like me has “broken away” from Catholicism). That is, the idea of being “a channel of … peace,” I think is a good one, notwithstanding the song’s imperfect way of communicating this idea (i.e., in the patriarchal language of Catholic theology).

    I mention all of this because I just listened to your very peaceful song “I Wanna Find a House” wherein you sing of being a “channel of sincerity to all.”

    Do you feel, as I do, sincerity in O’Connors’ rendition (link posted below)? Or do you find its insincere of her to sing the prayer of a religion that she has on some level left (which I think is a risk that she has taken)?

    With the above in mind, is there a place in the house that you want to find for imperfect language/belief, if it can fuel a critical but friendly form (such as a prayer fueling a singer’s performance as its content)? Or would the house only function with a certain quality of input?


    Peace and sincerity, H.

  3. Hey Daniel,

    I watched your video on going to prison, the video where you drank from the cup.

    At the start you said prison can be a complex place for some people, well I was one of those and after being falsely imprisoned with the intention of defamation by the ‘victim’ and police.

    Do you know of a resource library I can see to filter in some of my experience in the right terms as right now it’s just a jumbled mess of thoughts and experiences.



    • Hi Cameron,

      Sorry to hear this. Hmm, unfortunately I don’t know of any resources like this — it’s not really my area of expertise. I just looked at a few websites and they didn’t seem quite right to me… Either very religious or very technical, or rather harsh… I wish you good fortune on your search — I wish I had more to offer. And I hope my video was of some value. Daniel

  4. Hey Daniel,

    I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on Soteria houses? I know you did that documentary in Finland, right? Was that a Soteria house? Any thoughts on the one in Vermont or others in the U.S.?

    Thank you!!

      • Wow! Many thoughts I see!

        You mentioned that at Soteria-San Jose there might be “disruptions”/disruptive behavior from the residents, but usually would last days or weeks, as opposed to Alaska where it would might last much longer. I wonder if you noticed any pattern there with the amount of sunlight, if the darker months seemed more difficult or the opposite or whatever.

        I hope that Soteria-Vermont were able to apply some of what you’d learned in Alaska. I think I’d like to work for them or another Soteria house or somewhere like that someday. Maybe even try to start something new, who knows!

        Thank you, I now have many ideas in response to your writing!

        • I don’t know if it was light-related. I think more likely it was because so many people were going through heavy psych drug withdrawal at Soteria-Alaska.

          • Yesyes, that makes sense, and your work in Scandinavia would probably give you some idea as to whether that seemed to be “a thing” or not. It’s probably just my bias as someone born and raised a little closer to the equator!

    • Hi Sarah,
      Rethinking Psychiatry recently invited Voyce Hendrix of the original Soteria House to talk, and the recording of this excellent presentation is at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDLCAeReWEKv8zMaKwACUtQ. Our next talk with be with the Soteria Vermont folks (a Sunday in April, I believe–sign up for our occasional newsletter at RethinkingPsychiatry.org to be notified about our talks), and we plan to have Susan Musante (of the now no-longer Soteria Alaska, and where Daniel and I met) and folks from Soteria Israel talk at some point after.
      What’s your interest in Soteria Houses?

      • Grace,
        Thanks so much for your reply!
        I’m about to graduate a masters in counseling program, and I am looking for work!! I think my dream has been for a few years to work at something like a Soteria house. I’m acquainted with some of the GIFRIC folks and had a fantasy of moving to Quebec City and working at the 388. I thought I should probably know French for that though, and I do not know French..hah. I stumbled upon Soteria-Vermont in my googling fantasy of living in Vermont and just searching for jobs in the field there. It looked perfect! I only found out about a month ago from my mentor that Soteria is a whole international network. I am in Chicago and will probably have to stay here for a couple of years, but I will watch the video you’ve shared, sign up for the newsletter, and attend the next talk you all are giving. Thank you again so much for sharing it all!!!

  5. Hi Daniel,
    Thanks for your website and videos.
    There’s one mystery I can’t quite figure out and that’s how to experience my true self. I have experienced it a few times over the last couple years. As for grieving, I find it near impossible to grieve. Is there any other way you can help us understand how to shed our false self and experience our true self on a more permanent basis?
    Many thanks for any suggestions.

    • Hi Richard,
      Greetings and thank you. I actually recently recorded a video on this very subject. It’ll probably take me a while to edit and feel comfortable enough to put up in public, and maybe I’ll have to re-record it, but I very much like your question!! Sending warm greetings — Daniel. P.S. in the meantime all I can suggest, potentially, is more journaling…more self-investigation…

  6. Hi Daniel,
    I have known your essays and videos for a long time and there is a question I’ve been wanting to ask you. If I understand you correctly, a key part of your philosophy is remembering childhood traumas and grieving them, and yet you hardly ever talk about how it – the remembering – is to be done. I don’t remember almost anything of my life before around the age 12. I have tried journaling but so far it hasn’t been very effective. I have brought back a few (very few!) memories, but I still don’t know all that much about my relationship with my parents, aside from the very general stuff. I could ask them, but they are dishonest and I wouldn’t count on getting to know the truth from what they tell me. I think my lack of knowledge about my childhood is preventing me from grieving properly, and yet I have no idea how to go about remembering more. Is there any advice you could give me?
    PS Thank you for your videos and essays, they have been very helpful to me despite my lack of memory.

    • Hi Mateusz,
      Hmm, I’m not sure what to say. A few thoughts: perhaps continuing to journal might help. Sometimes it just takes a lot of time, years even… Also, if stuff is blocked from memory, often, from what I’ve seen, that suggests that there are a lot of painful feelings attached to it. Sometimes forgetting keeps the pain away. So that’s another reason that it can take a lot of time — time to build up inner resources, a stronger, more stable inner world. I think I’ve talked about this in various videos over the past few months, and I recently made a couple that addressed it more, but it might take me a while to edit them!! But I’ll keep thinking about it. Warm greetings! Daniel

  7. Hi Daniel,

    I am currently studying psychoanalysis (it is a part of the college degree in my country with clinical psychology) and I was wondering if there was a time in your life where theories stripped the “life” out of you. When studying a concept, like the Imaginary, Symbolic and Real from Lacan or some defense mechanisms like projection, I start noticing patterns in my daily life that make me very uncomfortable. I used to be extremely emphatic, but now I seem to see things from a “mathematical and rational” perspective, taking the “humanity” away from daily life. It is not a black and white thing, but a good part of it is being blocked.

    • Hi Daniel,
      Well, I have no problem studying theories if I feel they are connected to reality and are useful to me, but so often what I’ve seen with psychoanalytic theories is that they don’t qualify as that!! Sometimes they just strike me as downright wrong. And I have found Lacan undecipherable, and I felt stripped of life after reading about five minutes of him, so I can hardly imagine being forced to take him seriously in an academic program where I’m being graded!! Wishing you the best!! Daniel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *