My name is Daniel Mackler and I am a musician, filmmaker, and writer 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 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.

518 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. Hello
    I am now a student in a Master program in europe for clinical psychology – on my way to be a therapist. My current dilemma is that on the one hand I feel a desire to create all kinds of stuff (recorded songs, drawings and even video skits) and put them out there (facebook, soundcloud etc), with their content not always being very agreeable or mainstream. On the other hand, I don’t feel I can be out there like that as I need to have a therapist persona, meaning that if clients see my stuff they will see me acting stupid, or expressing in ways which might seem not so soft, or accepting. Its a big issue and I find it hard to even verbalize what is the problem. But it is essential the feeling that i cannot simply put my art out there because I need to maintain a more sterile public persona, as to give my clients a feeling of safety.
    I might have lots of false beliefs here about the world and about the field of therapy, and I am aware that it is changing and that therapists are not the aloof, mysterious figures they tried to present themselves as, like it was in the past. And yet, there IS some real dilemma here.
    Any perspective will be appreciated – even one that only strengthens my concern.

    Thank you

    • i’m curious what others have to say about this. me, i started putting stuff out publicly (unconventional essays, then later videos) after i’d been a therapist for five years. it was freeing to be able to be my creative self, but very stressful many times. and sometimes i lost clients over it….. and sometimes colleagues were very critical. i didn’t like that. but mostly, many clients i had appreciated the fact that i was a real person — even some who strongly did not agree with what i was saying. at least they knew who they were dealing with, and it raised my credibility in their eyes, because they knew i was much less likely to lie to them and be a fake person….. daniel

      • Hi Daniel, I have been viewing some of your more recent YouTube videos – Why I quit Being a Therapist, Breaking from Your Parents, Healthy Versus Unhealthy Love, 20 Predictions, On Anxiety. It takes a lot of courage to speak out so forthrightly and truthfully about your experience, and I have to say I totally agree with “everything” you share on all of these topics. I have been on a healing journey for over 25 years, and have been in therapy for at least 15 years. I recently participated in a Trauma Program at a hospital that focuses on Women’s Needs, and I have to say, I almost got re-traumatized by the experience. They really do not know what they are doing, and lack any substantial understanding on how to heal trauma. I have cultivated a lot of awareness and understanding through my own research and self-education, and self-understanding of my own experience and feelings, and I have to say, what you share is completely true in all of these videos, and as a result feel validated and legitimized in mine, which makes me feel sane and that I can trust myself. As a result, I feel that I am becoming clearer of what has happened to me, and clearer about what I need to do to help myself. I experienced a lot of what you share about the therapeutic relationship, and I understand that what is needed is the kind of presence and support that you say you provided to your clients. I feel like you are a trailblazer, and that your speaking out and sharing what you have learned honestly without censoring really helps those of us who have had similar experiences and feel so unsupported, invalidated and pathological zed by the medical system, and many people in mainstream society who are still in denial of their own trauma. This has caused me to feel helpless, powerless and not in my right mind (insane). I turn to your videos often for ongoing support and validation. Please continue as you are. Of course, a lot of people who are still in denial in the psychological system are not going to like it. But you already know this. I hope to be such an advocate as I reclaim my own personal power, and ability to assert my truth, and become more of an activist for the Truth.

        • I can echo Francesca’s sentiments. Thanks Francesca for putting your thoughts on paper. And Daniel, keep up the good work. I frequently go back to your youtube videos. They have been, and continue being, extremely helpful.

      • Hi Daniel,
        I’m in a similar predicament as Iftah. I got my master’s not too long ago in counseling and am currently looking for work. However, I do comedy on the side and am concerned about posting anything related to it on social media for fear of not having boundaries and for being seen as a fake. I would like to work on my license, but fear that it’ll be difficult for me to pull off comedy and counseling at once. I love doing it, but I don’t know. I’m concerned that I may eventually burnout. I give you credit for doing what you do. 🙂 Any advice would be appreciated.

        • hi M.
          you know, i think the world needs just as many good comedians as it does good therapists. and maybe more of the former than the latter…hmm….. i have actually put up some humorous videos and essays — perhaps not exactly “comedy,” but in the realm of it — and i’m so glad i have. they leaven the bread, as it were. the thing is, i felt much more free to share other sides of myself publicly after i quit working in clinics with colleague and went into private practice..away from their judgmental and stuffy eyes. and in my early years of putting stuff on the web i did for a while use a pseudonym on my website so i could feel safer putting stuff up. it did help, though eventually i said “screw it” and i just used my name. meanwhile, i don’t know what kind of comedy you do — but maybe something of what i said applies…. sending greetings–daniel

    • Hi Daniel. I’m a trained psychotherapist and faced a similar dilemma of how public to be with my own struggles with life and limerence (addictive romantic infatuation) after setting up a self help forum and making some videos for suffers of this condition. The forum has grown in 3 years to 1500 members plus a lot of lurkers. I felt my initial resistance was partly due to the shame of my addictive behaviour. I had also been taught in my training to hide behind my credentials so I could be a blank screen for the projections. I then decided there was value in others seeing that even a trained therapist grapples with these very human dilemmas and no one has all their stuff sorted. I prefer a relationship with my clients that is more equal, although continually grapple with when is it appropriate to disclose something of my own struggle and ensuring its always in the client’s benefit whenever I do disclose something relevant and personal.

      I admire and respect the courage you have shown with the openness around your own story. I regularly link to your videos and blogs on our site as I feel the origins of limerence lay in the early life attachment trauma and poor parenting.

      • Hi David, I suggest you check out Pia Mellody’s work. As I understand, addictions like yours are indeed the result of childhood trauma, which often leave people dependent on external resources rather than internal ones, for emotional balance. Maybe you’ll also be interested in my videos.

        This is one of my major gripes with the training of psychotherapists, that so many, despite all the proper diplomas and licenses, do not even know about the basics, and thus end up continuing to suffer for years themselves, along with not having the tools to be able to effectively help the people they want to help.

        All the best.

  2. Dear Daniel,

    I have seen your documentaries about open dialogue and “take these broken wings” and I am absolutely fascinated. It’s full of hope and good sense.

    I have a brother who’s paranoid schizophrenic, he is 32. I would like to find someone sharing the kind of ideas Open Dialogue or Dr Breggin team does. He doesn’t want to take his drugs anymore, and I understand that, but it’s very hard for us to find therapists that are ok to follow him without the first condition of being medicated.

    Thanks to your work and your sharing with the therapeutic community, would you have some places or people to advice in Belgium or France ?

    I thank you for your work and your help,
    All the best,

  3. Dear Daniel,

    I just saw your critique of Alice Miller on YouTube and thought it was brilliant. There are a few questions I would like to ask you.

    Which is the best book of Alice Miller’s to read regarding her criticism of psychoanalysis?

    Why do you no longer practise psychotherapy?

    How do you know if you are seeing the right/wrong therapist?

    I would really appreciate your views on these queries. Thank you for your time. Keep up the great work.

    All the best,

  4. Hi, Daniel! I need a book recommendation.

    I’m currently doing self-therapy for my mental health problems and what I need to work through is my childhood. What I’m doing now is reading different books about trauma and abuse and trying to find what would resonate inside me so I could remember. However there are many books concentrated on spanking and sexual abuse. And I believe that my abuse were mostly emotional (with sparks of sexual and emotional) so I need to be pulled into right direction.

    My context:
    Dad – weak man, alcoholic, with split off anger concerning his wife, submissive, passive-agressive
    Mom – major abuser and tyrant histrionic features, neediness, insecurity, severe anxiety, domination, manipulation, grandeur stuff.

    So if anybody remember cases like that described somewhere – it would be a great help for me.

  5. Before I proceed with my question, I would like to express my gratitude for all the great work you’ve done for the children of the world, and the child within myself. I would consider myself a childrens right’s activist and I’m also a big fan of Stefan Molyneux, and Steven Fransenn/Summerstone was my therapist for a time.

    I seem to be stuck in a dilemna of whether to go hitchiking and explore more of the world whilst I’m still young, or get some consistency and qualification, achieve my musical/theatre/acivism career ambitions and maybe go hitchiking later once I’ve got some savings, mental stability and health. My parts are stuck in a heavy dilemna about this, and I am stuck in a state of indecision, unable to commit to ether extreme, moving from place to place with lots of stuff in my car. different parts are attached to different visions for my life…

    I currently have very little money, but I have a car and music gear, which if I sold could get me close to 3000 AUD.

    Then with just a bag of clothes, and an acoustic guitar. I could then hitchhike around australia wwoofing on organic farms in exchange for food and accomodation. or I could go out and busk and try and make some money with just an acoustic. Seeing more of australia could inspire my songwriting, help reduce my OCD over hygene and my attatchment to my music gear, health suppliments, essential oils, which at times can be a hassle since I tend to float around unable to commit to anything at the moment. I often lose things and it sucks living half out of my car.

    I’m still pretty minimalist by conventional standard. I can fit all my possessions in a station wagon. I’ve already explored the countryside and done some wwoofing, I’ve even flown to melbourne twice, lived off busking etc. have I explored enough for now? I’ve always had my music gear with me, which is both my biggest love but also a massive hindrance to lug around… it may feel good to let go for a while, But I’m quite attached to my music gear and dreams. If I hitchike, I might feel like I’m floating around achieving nothing, even if it might be theraputic for a time…

    I always end up coming back from my travel adventures running out of money, and have to rely back on my traumatic family or hippie drug using friends.

    My main concern with hitching is that I have allergies, and I need a good night sleep.
    Staying in hostels, dirty bugalows, and random peoples houses may not be good for my health. I’m also super traumatized, I have an ACE of 10. I tend to be very suggestible to the habits of others… So if I’m hitching with someone who smokes, I’ll probably smoke too.

    I will be relying on potentially traumatized people who may bring me into their world, and due to lack of finances, I may have to stay and live with people who I may want to simply run away from…

    My teeth are in need of fixing, and I have gut problems and I need to stay away from certain foods. I’ll just have acoustic,no music gear or band. so the songwriting will be limited by the lack of layers in the sound.

    If get a consistent job, study for a few months to become a sleep technician (piss easy overnight job where I have plenty of free time to write, produce music, play videogames and do some yoga.

    I can get my own super flat up in the hills away from traffic and noise. establish a home recording studio. have all my health supplements and dietary needs in place. get a good doctor and therapist. Get all my indigo velvet suits made (I will only wear my custom made suits), start an 80s night and get an awesome band together, play at jungle love. My Studio, The Perfect Zen healing space.

    Then once I have decent savings, some recordings and have done a lot of self work. Then I can hitchike around the world. Only staying in clean, pristine hotel rooms alone. I can find a beautiful part of the world that I think is “perfect”. I can start my own self therapy/healing retreat and invite young soul searchers like myself to come stay and detox from all the trauma of the world.

    What do you think? there’s so many more factors and possibilities, parts and considerations that I haven’t yet gone into, but I don’t want to write 100 pages.

    Thanks again Daniel,

    William Wyatt

    • Just like you I had fear of contamination, along with many other problems. And I also used to admire Molyneux. Have a look at my YouTube channel (click on my name), the videos from 2017 go into exactly what was causing my problems, along with what helped resolve them. Basically, the work of Peter Levine, Pia Mellody, Stephen Porges, and a few others, and then support from friends and family. I hope this helps you too!

    • hi william,

      i resonate with some of what you write here. i am a 24 year old with musical/activist/art aspirations as well. i am also quite traumatized. i travelled/explored for the past few years since i graduated from college and from my experience i will tell you that for myself, it was something i was making myself do because i thought it was interesting, “the right thing” “good for me” etc… whereas i did not actually enjoy it at all. the only thing i got out of it was the knowledge that it was a bad idea which has now led me to therapy where i am trying to get in touch with the emotions and bodily self i’ve disconnected from my entire life due to my relationships with my parents.

      i don’t know you, but i have the sense that you might be in a similar situation. the way you talk about your future plans in such exact detail tells me that you might be planning your life in a kind of ego-oriented way without considering what your body wants and needs.

      i would recommend staying in one place and doing self-therapy work. however, i don’t know you and i could be wrong. also, no one can give you advice on these matters. you need to figure out which of your ideas and desires are yours and which came from outside sources and will not actually benefit who you are.

      i hope this helps


  6. Hi Daniel,

    Found your youtube videos very insightful. My journey of truth seeking and maturity has been very similar to your own . I looked up your name and it did not surprise me to learn of it’s Hebrew Meaning: The meaning of the name Daniel is: God is my Judge.

    I have no idea if you consider yourself “Christian” but it doesn’t really matter because you are a disciple of truth and therefore you *ARE* a disciple of Christ. One does not have to participate in modern Christian institutions to be a follower of Christ . The true body of Christ is found in people who are committed to living a life of growth and truth.

    I reside in LI New York and it’s nice to make your acquaintance through YouTube. I appreciate your virtuous nature as a fellow human being so I just thought I’d say hello and send you a high five!

    May God continue to guide and bless you.

    Warm regards:-)

  7. Dear Daniel,

    I am a mother of a Son diagnosed with substance induced psychosis…….was clean for a year and relapsed once again in MARCH, 2017… We live in Mumbai city in INDIA…….i happen to see your video and looking for therapy for my son in Mumbai…….Can you guide me… he is already under a psychiatrist who insists on conventional therapy…..in fact i had to institutionalize him…..where can i find help in mumbai…who do i go to…..is there someway you can help……..

  8. Hi Daniel, long time fan here, particularly of your films to raise awareness of the far better treatment options than psych meds. I’ve been an occasional critic of some of your views as well.

    Here is a mini-series detailing what I learned in healing my childhood trauma:

    I hope you’ll enjoy it, and I’m interested in any comments you have!

  9. hello i keep been repercented with the same pattern. i suffer from abandant unloved and unwonted. now i am 24 and has happed so many times in y life., i need this childhood trauma healed or its going to keep replaying in my reality now. it has happed again n now in same situation> its bringing this up so i can b healed. now i hasve the conscious awarness what is going on,. but i feel like i dont no what to do next. i am so connfussed. what are my next steps in changing this so i can create a reality with is alined to my higher self ?

  10. Hi Daniel,

    What a fresh of air to find your videos by a complete happenstance.
    You seem incredibly a gifted human being even with your extreme views of not having children until people healed.

    I find you fascinating.

    I also came out of one of the worst childhood trauma: spitting, biting, pinching, hair pulling, yelling, name calling, brute physical beating…you name it , I had it but yet with a long, honest, deep self-therapy of 20 plus years, I can honestly say I am grounded on planet earth. My spirit was not broken or as you said, I had extremely strong motivation to heal…so strong that being brutally honest with myself did not freak me out…if anything, I love knowing my dark side…and I revel of course on my light side.

    You mentioned you live in NYC. I live in Toronto. I was born in Africa. I am visiting NYC with my husband the Easter weekend (Apr 14 to 16)….I am gonna throw it out there…but I would love to meet you…I am free the whole weekend except Sat (April 14, 2017) we have tickets for Sleep No More. I do not know why I need to meet you…but I think just talking to you will be amazing. I do not do this sort of thing. I am not into gurus or crazy retreats. I am a normal person who saw your message and thought wow! If I could just meet this man once …and I already planning of visiting NYC and was surprised you may live there…
    I am considering of going to Psychotherapy school…midlife career change (I am 46). I found your videos while I was researching. I have not been to therapy much at all but I feel I like to reach out to people to teach (if I can) how to self-therapy…how to mirror and get out of the loop.

    You touched my life…I watched a lot of your videos on YouTube and read a lot of your blogs over the years…I am such in awe of you. All the best to you Daniel. You are gifted and I am not saying that as compliment…just a plain statement.

  11. Hi Daniel,

    I want to thank you for the work you have done with regards to your understanding of childhood trauma and what is required to heal it. I often listen to you video on Denial of the Family System when I need support and reassurance that what I am going through (i.e. pain and grieving) is necessary for me to go through in order to heal. It provides me with the courage I need to continue, and reminds of how to approach my healing process with greater understanding, kindness, patience and opportunities of goodness by practising good self care. Lately, I have been experiencing a lot of pain associated with the neglect that I experienced growing up. I am trying to refrain from medicating myself through the use of sugar and coffee (which seems to take the edge off my pain). I have been well for quite awhile but today the pain was unbearable. It’s incredible to know that this pain has been lying submerged in my unconsciousness for my whole life, and that there was no way I could have endured it as a child. So here I am surrendering tot he fact that I need to grieve my losses of not having my childhood needs met, and also needing for learn how to have these needs meet through myself and other healthy relationships. Would really love to be part of a network associated with your work so that we can support each other through this sometimes gruelling process. Kindest regards….

  12. Hi Daniel, I saw you on a Youtube video and I was profoundly touched to see how caring and courageous you are. Persons like you give me hope that one day all of humanity will be awake and empowered. The conventional behavioral health system is broken by design. As long as Big Pharma and Big Agra (it’s really just one big industry) continue to be allowed by our governments to further their self-interest agenda, we shall have little hope for a free healthy world. But you are right, the change must come from the people, not the professionals. If more professionals provide testimonials, the balance scale will inevitably tip towards justice as the majority (We The People) will rise in true freedom. Keep up the great work and may God always keep you safe and happy!

  13. Hi Daniel, I saw one of your videos in which you said that nobody who is ever truly healing commits suicide a while ago and I have found it helpful through my journey and I thought it was a brave statement to make and probably very accurate, I drew a diagram that I wanted to post but don’t seem to be able of a human trauma cycle and what I think creates suicide….ill see if I can explain it, it’s like a triangle and so bottom left being birth labelled happiness and truth > (going up) parental trauma and false lessons > sadness and depression > dissociation > (at the top) the appearance of ‘happiness’ (then back down) > getting real > sadness and depression > processing of trauma and unlearning of false lessons > happiness and truth. Then arrows diverting as the medical model from the second sadness and depression back to dissociation…Pretty simplistic I know and you may have already something similar in your book I shamefully have yet to read but it’s clear to me that the desperation and confusion of repeating that top section of the cycle is the cause of suicide…I doubt that anyone truly following through with the feelings of sadness and depression to their cause and conclusion ends up this way….anyway hope that made some sense, keep on being awesome, much respect and I hope our paths do cross some day 🙂

  14. Hi Daniel,

    I’m hoping you can confirm something for me.

    After several years of essentially devoting my life to healing and growth, I’ve come to the realization that many people in the world (who haven’t committed to healing) are operating primarily as false selves/masks, while their authentic selves are completely buried in the unconscious (along with lots of emotional pain from childhood and possibly adolescence).

    I’ve also come to realise that in order to reclaim our authentic selves and begin the lifelong journey of growing into who we really, the main thing required is finding ways to feel and process our unconscious pain.

    Do you agree?


    • I’m doing something similar to what you describe Jay, in terms of devoting myself to healing fully from emotional trauma and growth. I have also come to the similar conclusion as you in that most people are still trapped in various degrees of unconsious emotional pain cycles/patterns. I say this as someone who was also one of those people for many years! I agree 100% with your post and it resonated deeply with me.

      • Hi Natasha. Thanks for your reply to my comment and for sharing your thoughts and experience. I actually find a lot of solidarity from reading your comment! Knowing that you have reached the same conclusion with regard to people is very affirming for me. So is knowing that you too are walking the path of healing and growth. It’s quite rare that I meet or interact with anyone who has this awareness. Nice to make your acquaintance! 🙂

        • Thanks for the reply Jay and good to meet you too! Yes it can be a lonely path to tread at times and I’m also glad to interact with someone else on a similar path. I would be interested to disuss in more detail with you what methods you are using etc. I will not put my email address on here due to the nature of it being completely public, but I am happy for it to be passed on to you, if possible, for future correspondence.

            • Hi Jay, I sent you an email a few weeks ago to this address. If you do not wish to reply that is absolutely fine. I wasn’t sure whether the email got through as I didn’t get a response. I simply wanted to know whether you got the email or not.
              My best wishes.

              • Natasha! Thanks for this message. I didn’t see an email from you in my inbox so I assumed you didn’t send one. I’ve just checked my spam and there’s your email!!! I’ll read it and reply asap. Thanks again for this follow-up. Talk soon! 🙂

  15. Happy new year,
    I am sharing with joy and hope a new law in France.
    Finally, parental educative violence physical and psychological is forbidden by law.
    Some scandinavian countries took the lead in 1979…
    I am aware about the huge work requested now to apply this law especially for parents. In fact, I witness too often cruelty from parents toward their children.
    The book 12 steps from trauma to enlightment is a good way to heal for me. I wonder how to share this with the most french parents as possible?

    more details of french about the law link https://www.oveo.org/

    • good to hear, Arnaud. thank you for sharing this. hmm, i also wonder how to get the message out more — to french people…hmm….i’m not sure. greetings from new york! daniel

      • I guess Arnaud is a “colleague” of my husband at OVEO, Charles, who also helped on passing this law :-). But I must say, France is really bad among the developed countries in respecting the kids, at the same time, worse than under-developed countries where there are still some good traditions left. Most of the French kids experience severe abandonment at 3-4 months old in their child-care system, as a life starter. It’s quite a nutcase to work on as a population.

    • I am sharing the update about this law against educative violence, which triger sadness, anger and despair of the little child within me expecting to be rescued by laws and please the autority. In fact the article was censored because state lawyers in charge thought it was not relevant with the main goal of the law which very briefly was to reduce fanatism, terorism temptations of french youngs. Obviously, people in charge are unconscious of the origin of violence. From my experience, the roots of violence are deep in the family, all cruelties from parents to their children.
      Anyway, deep change olny come from within…

      more details see

  16. Daniel,
    I recently finished watching all four of your films. Marvelous and beautiful. Thank you so much for creating and sharing them! I have some questions, though.
    1) How did you train the ducks to swim just so? ; )
    2) How did you have my fluffy orange cat without me missing him? (I notice he wasn’t in Take These Broken Wings, so I imagine you miss him and I’m sorry for that.)
    And, most importantly,
    3) Where is MY healing home? I have been trying for years to find a residential place in the States that does good trauma healing work and found crap. Any ideas?
    Thanks again so much, love!

    • greetings eddy—-ah, the ducks were wild…but i quacked nicely at them and hope they swim in a good way for the camera. the orange fluffy cat is franklin — and he went to cat heaven five years ago. he was a great cat!!! warm greetings — and i wish i knew where your healing home is…. i am searching for mine too!!! daniel

  17. Hi Daniel,

    I just stumbled on your video about psychotherapy. Your insights were so on point, and you immediately struck me as a gifted observer of the human condition. As a survivor of multiple severe childhood traumas, I agree with your thesis that the world is awash in trauma and the echoes of it reverberate through people’s lives and is usually unnamed, unanalyzed, and misunderstood. I also see the pathologies in our culture that perpetuate this cycle of trauma.

    Anyway I look forward to exploring your work, but I have one question for you:

    What is your take on the rise of the SJW, safe-space, trigger-warning, victim olympics culture among Millennials? I am deeply troubled by the way the left is eating itself and simultaneously committing intellectual mass-suicide. My guess is that this phenomena is directly related to your thesis about trauma; it seems that a lot of middle-class Millennials were raised in such micro-managed environments that they never learned to cope with ego-blows or conflict, as there was always an authority figure nearby to come to their aid. The way they are trampling freedom of speech and thought with the PC speech codes and other more troubling behavior is mind-boggling. The Yale Halloween incident apparently was only a prelude of what was to come…. Anyway I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    Richmond, Va

    • hi mark — glad to read your post. hmm, i am not sure what to make of the super politically-correct modern world. personally i am not so called by it, though in some circumstances i can be polite if i fear offending people. for example, i just came back from traveling pretty much off-the-grid for six months in south america, and made my share of faux pas — in ways i never expected. i tried to be careful, though — though sometimes it was just hard, especially in another language…… i think the sentiment behind political correctness can often be good, though i think sometimes it can get blown all out of proportion, especially if it’s mixed up with people’s unconscious hurts from childhood. i didn’t hear about the yale halloween incident, but having gone to a very politically correct college (swarthmore) i got very tired of having my thoughts and speech monitored by people whom i thought were pretty stupid much of the time!!! interestingly, i was in colombia for halloween and went to a halloween party where a light-skinned colombian woman (white? mestizo?) was dressed in blackface. it was the first time in my life i had seen someone go in blackface and i was horrified — even scared. people were taking group photos and i did NOT want my picture taken with her. (my background and history have influenced me…) however, i had friends who are very socially conscious who were with me there — people who fight for the rights of indigenous people, are part indigenous, etc. — and they said dressing in blackface for costume parties is pretty normal in colombia and not considered offensive. also, they said that there are parties and festivals where lots of light-skinned people dress in blackface and where black colombians dress in whiteface — and it’s fun for everyone. that was a surprise. big world we live in, lots of diversity and unique perspective. for me, i think it’s good to get out of the little box and see the world, live in it, learn new languages, make friends out there!! greetings—–daniel

      • Hi again Daniel,

        Thanks for your interesting reply! That’s a fascinating story. I think it goes to show that the so-called regressive left’s constant hyper-sensitivity ought to expand its awareness beyond the confines of the narrow evil western colonialism and American slavery narrative that dominates the conversation.

        I will be sure to share this interesting story as proof that blackface isn’t inherently racist. (Recently a law professor was censured for hosting a Halloween party in blackface (btw, that’s such an emotionally loaded term) as an esteemed black medical doctor that was a personal hero of hers. The outrage over this incident was so misdirected and confused as usual.

        Anyway, I’d ask that you keep an eye out for this SJW phenomena as a form of collective Munchausen syndrome or M.S. by proxy. The virtue-signalling, the constant outrage, and victim-narratives seem to be an expression of a diseased mentality that’s got to be reflective of some deeper problem with the way we are raising our kids.

        Another voice in the battle is Jordan Peterson, who is resisting University of Toronto’s forced use of trans pronouns. I think he stands on the side of free expression and freedom of thought. His assertion that the trans-rights movement is riddled with radical Marxists seems on point to me also.

        Anyway, I find it interesting that psychopathology seems to be so prevalent that it creates entire political movements!

  18. Hi Daniel,

    I’m a producer for BBC World Service radio’s flagship news programme Newshour (website below)

    We are talking to Susie Orbach on Monday, because she has just published the series of short radio plays she made for the BBC (which you can listen to here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b071c4cy) and I’m trying to find another person to come on with her in discussion. So I’m looking for someone with interestingly different, well-informed views on psychotherapy.

    I would be very interested in hearing your point of view – but two things could rule this out immediately: 1. you’re not interested and/or 2. you’re in the western hemisphere on Monday, as the only time we can do this is 10:00 GMT.

    Is there any chance?

    Best wishes,


  19. Hello,
    I came across a nice song that I think shows perfectly a relationship with a narcissistic mother. I thought I would give the link here, maybe you will enjoy it. It’s from the Disney’s Tangled movie.

  20. Hi Daniel,
    i,ve just recive your DVD with your handwriting wishes. I’m happy about it. Thank you very much 🙂
    I would like to inform you that you are good known person in Poland. A lot of people watch your movi. I’m psychiatrist and i.ve got a link to your website from my patients and family of them. First i’ve seen was “Open Dialog”. My team (Community Mental Health Team) have gone through a course of it and then we use to practice.
    Take those broken wings i bought in purpose to show it during our event concerning The World Mental Health Day. I hope that you will not be against this idea because I found note on your web that: UWAGA: Zdecydowałem się umieścić wszystkie moje filmy na Youtube bezpłatnie, ponieważ chcę się nimi podzielić z ludźmi na całym świecie. W dalszym ciągu można je kupić na DVD, nie chcę jednak, aby pieniądze przeszkodziły komukolwiek w odebraniu przesłania. Niech się upowszechnia rewolucja w sektorze zdrowia psychicznego!.
    The show i would like to organize, I would imagine in way like a workshop: with emission and discussion to inspire to reflection. It would be obviously free, no for business.
    Would you like to send a few words for participants? I could translate and read them as a letter from you.

    • hi ewa — sorry for my delayed reply!!! (i was just traveling in south america for a while!!) very happy to hear all that you write!! warm greetings from new york city. dziękuję, daniel

  21. Hey i just found a little part of an interview you did 6 years ago with Joanne Greenberg on your Youtube channel. Right now im writing a seminar paper about her book “I never promised you a rosegarden” and wanted to ask if you have more video material of this interview.
    I would be very grateful if you could reply.

    • hi lisa — alas, i just have that little snippet and my movie ´take these broken wings´—-joanne greenberg is a big part of that. if you go to youtube you can find it — it is free there! wishing you the best, and p.s. joanne greenberg is super-cool!! she also has a website http://www.mountaintopauthor.com i think you can send her a message there — though i dont know if she gets them, hmm….. greetings—daniel

  22. Hello Daniel!! thanks for all your works!!!
    Do you think it is normal that I get soo angry when I hear someone talking about psychiatry, or calling the psychological problems as “medical conditions”, or when people label everyone who has a psychological problem as a “sick person” or when people talk about the relation between genetics and depression, even the idea of “diagnosis” make me all very angry when I hear about them. Do you think it is normal for a person who is in a journey inside himself, to feel angry about these stuff?? don’t you think these that these thoughts are totally wrong and totally unhumane and totally different from what the reality of the psyche is, and that it is normal to get angry towards them?? I feel like these thoughts want to make people crazy, take their feelings and humanity from them, they are just like convincing a monkey that they have to eat meat and that mopnkeys don’t have the natural urge to eat bananas, it makes the monkey crazy and lose himself, especially when all the other monkeys are against him!!! I always feel a loooots of peace when I come to your page or read your books, or read anything “real” and humane and not labeling the human psyche as a “scientific matter” and pretend that we understand it by understanding its chemistry!!
    well I would like to hear your opinion, and thank you very much!!!

  23. Hi Daniel,

    Its really refreshing to see someone with such insight speaking out on these issues, it is an incredibly difficult thing to go deep inside and find truth and begin to flow against the current of family systems and society and an incredibly lonely and arduous process and I commend your bravery. I have personally broken free from my family system and been working inwardly for some years but have found on a larger scale the ‘cult’ of society and mass belief is something I equally need to break from though this is proving to be a little more difficult, I want to break from all these mass concepts that feel so terribly life limiting from money, ownership, religion, all the ideas of relationships, breeding and sex, a multitude of idealizations, mass dissociations and denial, and ultimately I would hope to practice a reversal of the minds desperate need to translate all sensory experience into verbal language, I feel that this desperate translation process stems back most probably to our deepest original trauma of being born to ‘foreigners’, people that do not understand our sensory and emotional native language through deep disconnection of their own child selves and who make no attempt to learn and so begins the process of translation, we forget our own natural language in favor of communication with those whom we are reliant for survival and this I think leaves us very out of touch with ourselves on some deeply profound levels and this perpetual translation driven by such deep sense of desperation is a state in which we live out entire lives. I find it amazing that even within my own mind I communicate in a made up language imposed on me at my earliest life stage rather than my native sensory, emotional language. In practicing letting go of thoughts formulated in this secondary language I feel I can touch the surface of some much more meaningful life experience. I’m studying bush-craft and foraging skills and hoping to locate someone with claim to some land who feels a sense of validity to this type of work. I would love to get enough distance between myself and society to really see the truth of it just as I had to with the family system. Have you on your travels met others distancing themselves from society for these purposes? I feel like there must be groups of people out there working inwardly, have you come across any communities of people dedicated to this kind of work? I would be very interested to hear any thoughts you had on these mass concepts, do you personally struggle with them or have you found a way to make some peace living in these systems and concepts? Do you feel a need to break from society as much as from family systems or do you view them differently? sorry quite a few questions.
    Thanks again for your bravery Daniel, not only doing the incredible work you are in your personal life but for putting yourself out there and speaking the truth to a larger audience.

    • thank YOU gaz 🙂 hmm, breaking from society — well, to be honest society and its damages make me feel sick and sad so often… but…i live in it, and keep exploring it. a tough journey….sometimes i think my job is just to witness how it all unfolds….painfully… daniel

  24. Hello Daniel,
    Thanks for your work that gives us some hope.
    I also have a son diagnosed wiyth psychosis and would need your support to contact in Bs As, Argentina, someone who knows or is appliyng this type of therapy.
    I really appreciate your answer in this sense.
    Best regards and thanks.

    • Hello Mariana, I am from Brazil, can you please tell me if in Argentina you know of a program like the one in Sweden? If not, let’s form one?

  25. Hello Daniel

    I am glad to have found your site. I must say that your perspectives are helping me a lot and I find them very useful, but of course I have too much work to do in order to recover from my childhood trauma and growing spiritually. Unfortunately, I am at this very moment stuck in a difficult situation, regarding the oppression of the family and society system, and I hope to come out of it someday. Of course I may be wrong, but sometimes I think that my country (specifically, Spain) is very conservative and family-oriented, and thus makes it harder for someone to identify children abuse and to make difficult decisions such as burning bridges. Never been to the US or Canada, so obviously I cannot speak empirically, but I assume that confronting “toxic” families (and even calling them by this name; could it even be a quasi-pleonasm?) is never an easy decision in any society of the world, whether it is, generally-speaking, more individualistic or collectivist.

    Best regards and keep on the good work (by the way, excuse my English grammar mistakes).

  26. After reading: Therapy Without Force: A Treatment Model for Severe Psychiatric Problems it is clear that you have no idea how inpatient psych really works and the risk involved. I see that article as a tremendous disservice to the people we treat.

    I am glad to see that you are working on trauma issues, and I look forward to familiarizing myself with that work.

    Just saying.
    Brooke Cooper LICSW

    • hmm, cant say i agree, especially considering the people who published it originally—mindfreedom.org—have quite a little bit of experience inside of mental hospitals themselves…and know what theyre talking about. but thats an aside. i hope we can just agree to disagree. hope you find some value in the rest of my work—daniel

  27. Hola Daniel,

    Soy Alejandra, vivo en Buenos Aires, Argentina. Me gustaría saber si venís a nuestro país para dar tus charlas. Yo también deje las pastillas psiquiátricas porque me hacían sentir mucho peor, lo hice sola fue muy duro, ademas de sufrir abuso por parte de mi ex psiquiatra. Espero tu respuesta. Saludos.

  28. Dear Dan,

    I am a Social Worker from an Early Intervention in Psychosis Service based in Wandsworth, London (UK).

    I have seen your documentary regarding Open Dialogue and I was very impressed. It really helps to shed light on this wonderful new approach!

    As you may be aware we in the UK are trying to promote the Open Dialogue approach as much as possible. And many of my colleauges would love to see this approach implimented in our services. As part of trying to raise the profile of Open Dialogue and promote the approach amongst people in our area, we would like to have an Open Dialogue evening, part of this will include people speaking about Open Dialogue who are already attempting to impliment it here. We would also like to show the doucmentary that you made, but we wanted to get your permision before doing so. Would that be okay with you? And also do you think it would be best to use the film as it is on Youtube? Or for a larger screening would it be better to use a version with higher digital quality.

    Thanks for any help your able to give.

    Kind Regards,

    Joe Jackson

  29. Hi Daniel,

    Some time ago I bought and read your book on separating from your parents, and found it really interesting.

    I’ve become critical of psychotherapy over the years, and befuddled by the fact that so many people cling to the notion that therapy is effective, rarely, if ever admit that it can be damaging, and state that if it doesn’t work for someone, it must be because the client doesn’t have the right attitude. I’ve also been befuddled by how people can be stuck in therapy for decades and yet proclaim loudly how independent they are and how well therapy is serving them, when to me they seem to have been broken down to the status of children.

    I returned to your book a little while ago, and that’s when the light bulb went on for me. Reverence for the psychotherapeutic profession is like a widespread case of transference occurring at the societal level. People identify with the ‘parent’ (therapist) and blame the ‘child’ (client) for failed therapy. People believe in the power of therapy much like they want to believe in their parents. This is how therapy persists in spite of a glaring evidence gap for it being of much use in so many cases.

    It seems to me that almost any relationship which replicates a parental one, or, as in the case of therapy, fetishises and elevates it, will be met with support because it taps into that deep seated need in every human creature to find a safe mother or father figure.

    Thanks for the writing and videos you’ve done. They’re awesome. I hope you do more.

  30. Hello likeminded person. My mind is a little blown finding your works and your philosophies as I am a practicing clinical supervisor and licensed professional counselor who has recently ‘come out’ as a survivor of complex, compound trauma. I’ll be speaking at a conference this Fall on resilience-as myself.
    Currently I’m writing anonymously due to agency policies-I’m still happy to be doing the work, despite all the faults in our service delivery, but there is so much opportunity for growth and change. I’ve been advocating for trauma-informed care within my organization while simultaneously writing my own big, bold truths-and then I found your work.
    I loved reading all the comments of people who thank you for being a fresh and honest voice-it validates the need for transparency from mental health care providers. We are a nation in need of an emotional education. Maybe I’ll see you in the teacher’s lounge 🙂

  31. Dear Daniel,

    when I told my husband about your website today, his thrilling comment was: “And he is alive, man!” We’re so glad to know that we’re not the only ones sharing and living the exact same beliefs you unfold on your website. Your work is impressive. But most of all: It is important.

    Last week, I went window-shopping. I headed for my favorite book store downtown and made an unbelievable discovery. Alice Miller’s works had appeared in the psychology section right at eye level! Highlighted even! It totally made my day. I wish I had come to know her sooner. It was not until September last year that I could find my deepest feelings printed in black and white. And it was not until today that I found you.

    To me the whole desaster is not about blame at all. I do understand my parents and just because I do, I can’t be with them anymore. Actually, I never wanted to. I don’t love them. But I don’t hate them, either. I don’t even believe it’s their responsibility to make a change themselves because they can’t. They can’t process this and even if they could, they wouldn’t want to. And they wouldn’t want to because they couldn’t understand why they should. They are irreversibly shattered ever since they had been children. The happy childhood they were able to imagine for me included a “happy” that could never be enough for me in order to become a healthy adult.

    They did the best they could which wasn’t best for me, but they will never understand. It’s just so sad and pisses me off at the same time. I’m sorry for them in a way, but most of all I’m sorry for myself. I was the one to suffer from a severe psychosis, I was the one to go through a personalized hell of painful feelings, I was the one to face and bear the thruth. I was the one to walk away. Even though they were the ones who abandoned me as a child in the first place. This is the sickest part of all.

    Nevertheless, I am grateful. I can see. And I really want to make this world a better place. Just like you do.

    KeppKeep up the great work!
    Love from Germany

    • thank you!!! and greetings from patagonia in argentina!! i am down here hitchhiking in the winter. cold but lovely… daniel

    • Wow I really connected with what you wrote here, sounds like our stories are very similar. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing this and I know how it feels so hang in there!

  32. Dear Daniel,

    Your candid words balm the soul and your explanations of how you have learned to heal lift the spirit.

    You have cited in your videos the importance of the singularly unique and eye- and heart-opening work of Alice Miller (with caveats) and perhaps Carl Rogers and D.W. Winnicott. (I know it’s not about the individual theorists but their contributions to wellness that is of the greatest import, as few clear-sighted folk would discount all the contributions of Freud though he was, in addition to other things, a startling misogynist and regrettable classist). However finding those shining humanist lights (like the pioneer Alice Miller and the more recent work of Gabor Mate) who have or are in the main embodying wellness does prove inspirational and accessible for those yearning for healing.

    Could you provide other wellness writers who have both influenced you in the past (on your journey to healing from abuse/neglect/abandonment) or the present and who you see as perhaps moving into positive directions (i.e. nature therapy/narrative therapy)?

    Deepest thanks for your contributions to wellness, wishes of sustained growth on your journey of self-exploration and in your recovery of the true self and kindest regards to you.

    • hi mark
      greetings and thank you. hmm, i think fred timm has probably influenced me the most next to alice miller. he has a lot of good writings and is also a friend, so that helps!!! his website is http://www.visionaryman.net aside from that i have been helped along the way by a lot of novels. i have read a ton in my life…probably none are so direct as alice miller, but in there own little ways many and many have inspired me…to travel, seek, explore, get to know the world, strive…. sending you warm greetings from south america, where i presently am—daniel

      • Hi Daniel,
        Wondering if you can help with any contacts for psychiatrist or good programs in Australia? My husband is having delusions, refusing medication or anything at the moment but he is definately not into medication but it seems urgent I get him help.
        Any suggestions would be welcome.
        Thanks so much. Sam

    • Gabor Mate is wonderful, his book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts is an incredibly compassionate exploration of the way childhood trauma leads to addiction. There’s a lot of great podcasts with him out there as well. I also recently read Judith Herman’s Trauma and Recovery, it’s a classic and I suspect much of it would be in line with the kind of ideas on this website. Also, a while ago I really got into Stefan Molyneux, his libertarian stuff turns me off but he’s got some fascinating podcasts on the effects of childhood trauma and the ways people become trapped by corrupt family dynamics.

  33. Hi Daniel,

    I make it short, don’t know if you want to answer this: My therapist tends to get sleepy during the session. All in all, she’s not bad, and things were developing in a right direction, I feel, but her regular sleepiness makes me question if I should look for another therapist?! She says it’s because of my suppressed anger (she writes that in her book too!), but I’m not sure about it. She gets sleepy almost every session….

    Best wishes

    • hmm….i would trust your instincts on this on, and not trust hers!! sorry to be so direct, but i dont like it that she gets sleepy and then blames you for it. i mean, everyone has repressed anger, and it’s normal to be annoyed at a therapist who gets sleepy a lot during sessions… i would be bothered by that. but maybe you can talk about all this more directly with you. if she’s getting sleepy in session with you i would guess there’s a fair amount she’s not saying. i mean, i dont really know what is going on, but its just a hunch… all the best, daniel

  34. Hi Daniel!

    I hope you’re keeping well.

    I have a question for you if that’s okay:

    What are your thoughts on the subject “blame” when it comes to healing from trauma?

    I seem to recall you discussing it either in your videos, articles, or books – but I can’t remember which.

    Would love to hear your thoughts.



  35. I was really impressed with your youtube video you describe the issues very well. I also sent a copy to my ex he probably won’t listen to it but hey, worth trying…anyhow well said about the childhood issues most people don’t want to face due to the fact basically they are brainwashed by the desire of the parent not allowing them to have a voice. It is very deep. Like with my ex, he thinks his mother’s opinion is his opinion, but it might not be. It is a good way to do things to look at it as the original child. We create the false self in order to survive. I agree that dreams are very important. I def. never say ‘this was just a dream-meaningless, it always has meanings and messages in it. Great what you do!

  36. I am wondering if anyone or if YOU replied to the last comment I posted. If yes, HOW do I retrieve those responses, because I haven’t gotten any.

    I need to know if there is a Healing Home place/places -preferably in southern CA, that take into account both childhood trauma and ethnicity of individual, diagnosed with Schiz., who has been only on Risperdal Consta for last 11 years. Reason, adamantly refusing to take any other meds, says “they are ALL bad and don’t like what they do to my memory.” Person also has been experiencing severe unusual sensory experiences -bed being shaken at night, walls being banged, eyes being pressed into mattress when trying to fall asleep; negative & mean people saying things -“They” KNOW where ever I go and whatever I do, “They” use it against me. States difficulties in the following: “Can’t breath at night -but no obvious signs of breathing difficulty; Clothing, sheets, towels, etc, “replaced; being poisoned by staff; filtered water has laxative in it & gave me severe stomach cramps and caused swollen stomach”;
    People are saying “you will die tonight”; Insomnia; “Can’t move hands and arms at times, especially at night” -fears death while sleeping; Shadow of right hand is a major problem in the sun; etc “Staff at facility are all in collusion -can’t talk to them. Reason: “Unable to defend myself due to chemical castration, at last faciitly” etc.
    For the most part “not comfortable ANYWHERE in the place of residence -stays in room -which is devoid of anything, anywhere,..Refuses to accept anything, like radio for comfort. (However DID accept a plant, which “will help with my breathing”)
    FEARS SEEING DOCTOR,..”can’t stand the word. They just want to give me more medication.. and make me even worse!!”.

    Where might such a place be? . Note: Individua age, only 31, highly intelligent, wants desperately to have have a bright and happy future, but all he can think about now is being “raptured”, and going to heaven where he can “get away from the torment here on earth”. I want him on earth…not in heaven. He is my son. I love him dearly and want him to be happy -on earth NOW. Twelve years of torment is enough for anyone.
    Thanks for your consideration in replying and for letting me KNOW your response or anyone that has a positive reply,

  37. Hi Daniel,

    I found your film Coming Off Psych Drugs (doing a search related to my own “coming off”) and it is amazing. I have watched it several times; it is comforting and motivating and inspiring. I am fortunate to have good support, but if I didn’t (and even though I do) the film almost makes me feel part of this retreat, this community.

    I once put together a one-minute video and it took an hour!! So I can only imagine how much work went into making this amazing film. I will either buy the DVD or more likely make a donation to your site and keep watching the film on YouTube. Thank you so much.

  38. Hi Daniel,

    I stumbled across your work through the wormhole of the Interwebs – the closest link being Will Hall. I have begun the process of tapering down the meds and have begun a journal. I’m nervous but I have a good support network and shit loads of hope 😉

    Thanks for all the work you do. It resonates with me greatly.
    More essays and videos please :)))

  39. Daniel,
    Thank you for making your experience and understanding available. I appreciate the time and effort you have lent as a contribution to our collective.

    I am especially grateful to have found another voice echoing the concerns I have carried yet didn’t have my own words for. As I began my journey to becoming a therapist a strong urging grew withing me that I might be more effective in helping others heal if I abandoned formal training and embraced a more sincere and less hard science approach.

    After going through the majority of your material, I have a few questions for you. I’ve been encouraged by your journeys and am myself inspired to manifest the same in my own life. I’m curious, have you considered offering your talent for communication with clients to those who wish to participate in therapeutic relationships from a different approach than is available in the traditional setting?

    We have established that there is a problem with our current form of popular clinical therapy, yet I know deeply, within my core, that the need for therapy-related services are relent now more than ever. Have you entertained any solutions that you can participate in as an educator? How do you feel about stepping beyond presenting the issues to participating in lending towards solution?
    I’m moving forward and would love to learn from you in the aspects that you appreciated and found value within your years as a therapist.

    Thank you,
    Alisa Burnham

    • hi alisa,
      greetings and thank you for your comment. i definitely like the idea of contributing ideas of value…. hmm, although i did work “in” the system in some ways, in many ways i did not — especially when i was in private practice. that’s where i found my work to be of the most value in being useful to others. i also have made some films about alternate forms of the therapy that were/are/have been useful to others……mostly others going through that thing called psychosis. not sure if you’ve seen them, but they’re less a critique of the present system and more an offering of healthy viable alternatives, some that are pretty different. (open dialogue and healing homes are two of those films) as for returning to being a therapist…..i don’t think it’s for me…..though in some ways i still retain some aspects in my life of being a healer….it’s just part of who i am. however, i’m all for self-healing, self-therapy……i think it’s so under-explored and under-utilized……just takes a lot of work. i’m curious what kind of work you do. wishing you the best——–daniel

      • Daniel,

        Thank you for your generous response. I regret that I didn’t see this sooner, my lack of Internet skills has caught up with me.

        Yes, I am very familiar with the majority of your work. I have watched your films, read your written word, watched your various YouTube videos and listened to your music. After “hanging out” with you and making myself familiar with the work you’ve shared I felt compelled to contact you. Your approach towards the sensitivity of others has resonated with me. I feel as though you have a gift of speaking to others in a way that allows them to feel safe enough to share.

        My work as a freelance research/writer along with my unique individual life experience has carried me on a colorful path. My current research work involves metaphysics and spirituality (understanding the dynamic between the divine feminine and masculine) as an intuitive.
        I stay grounded and relevant by constantly making myself familiar with the works of other great minds in the field of psychology and therapy as well as spirituality.

        Through my work I have become convinced that I don’t know anything. Actually I do know one thing, that we all desperately need each other. Meanwhile, our capability to communicate and be available to others is fading at a time when we need it most.

        I sense that people like me, those of us who currently work with clients (performing therapy as an art form) could benefit from a gift I believe you have. I appreciate your consideration of others and your delivery of information. I respect the role clinical, scientific therapy plays in our society today, but I know it can also be performed as an art form, as an alternative. There is a lack of educators willing to travel down this creative and possibly controversial path. But I believe we are desperate for a more satisfying drink. Specifically, I’m curious if you’d be interested in teaching effective communication to other practitioners as an art form?

        Thank you for making yourself available to others.

        Alisa Burnham Foy

        • hi alisa — hmm……teaching others. i guess i’d be into it, but it would be a question of context. i wonder what context i might work in…. i have trouble imagining a school hiring me (i’ve never had any luck with a grad school offering me work), and freelance….hmm…….i’m not sure. but maybe someday. it would interest me, yes…. greetings, and thanks for this nice message——-daniel

  40. Hi Daniel! I thank you for your wonderful website which provides me a sence of hope and clearence of my life journey. I have 2 questions:1-Are meditation, music(peaceful one) and spending time with nature helpful for healing our psyche?(I mean when we focus them on our selves and emotions, not onto delusional spiritual feelings)?….2-Do you know anything I can refer to, to heal my body from the results of extreme psychiatric medication for 4 continuous years? I wish you the best and hope that we all of us meet someday when we become better creatures

      • thank you very much!! and there is something VERY VERY IMPORTANT that you made me realise after I thought deepely of all what you wrote, wich is the difference between the peace of healing, and the fake peace of dissociation and the fantasies that I create when I imagine a fake and peaceful world which is full of love and delusional stuff and I dissociate my traumas in them, and live in it that world(especially after listening to emotional music which I decided to stop listening to it, because it is really delusional), and the same idea applies to meditation. I think meditation should be used to think deepely about our traumas and imagine we’re holding them in our hands and becoming the master of them who chooses to control them and consciously make them become “true”. You don’t know how much you’re helping me, I wish to show it to you someday. Thank you!!

  41. Hey Daniel,
    I am planning on getting off my medicine (abilify, fluoxetin and valporat-‘accid’), and I was researching a lot coming across your youtube video ‘healing psychosis.
    I would really be grateful if you could give me some tipps or anything of information or further books i can read in preperal of my further process.

    thanks so much for putting up information, furthermore, it’s nice seeing that there are people being so truthful to themselves making you be able to get to such conclusions 🙂

    Lieben Gruß!

  42. Hi Daniel. I read a post on here for finding support for med withdrawal in Melbourne, Australia. I am in a similar boat and would be very grateful if you know anyone who can help in this part of the world.
    Kind regards, John

  43. Hey Daniel,

    Hope you’re keeping well.

    I’ve just published a video titled “how keeping a journal can change your life” on my YouTube channel. Perhaps you or anyone who reads this might like to check it out.

    My reason for posting it here (apart from raising awareness of my video/channel!) is that you have been one of the main people who influenced me to keep a journal for personal growth. Through your videos and books (and the handful of messages we’ve exchanged) I see you as a mentor. My study and observations of you also helped inform several of the points I make in the video.

    Here’s a link if you or anyone else would like to watch it:




  44. Thank you for your comprehensive reply. I feel responsible for vetting false/weak ideas that produce false hope and your points are well heard.

    I think my next step is to tell him about the video and let him read this set of messages. If he is not ready to consider the implications made in the video or he wants to do his own research that would be understandable and your reply provides much information which will benefit his personal, targeted research.

    Thank you again.

    Warm regards,


  45. Hi Daniel , here Jeremy, a careful reader and viewer of your publications , I am 24 years old and I was diagnosed schizophrenic for two years , I am followed by a good psychiatrist who has prescribed me of Abilify , but for me it is a solution in the medium term . I am interested in the progress of psychiatric medicine , you talk about structure in Lapland , which has trained staff to this new therapy , the Open Dialogue . Is there similar structures closer to France, and if not, is it possible to make a stay in this hospital , In order to stop this medicine too heavy which is the abilify ?
    Thank you and keep up the blog, many people listen to you

    Best regards


    • hello jeremy — hmm, unfortunately i don’t know any really good stuff going on in france. i wish i did!! and as for visiting finland to stay in their hospital, unfortunately their services are only for finnish citizens who happen to live in their local area….. wishing you strength on your journey — and thank you for your comment. daniel

      • Hi Daniel,
        Thank you for your answer on Jeremys very good question. It helped me. It is also a fine documentary I hope to watch completely tonight, with my parents. I can see therapy of Open dialoge is one solution in my case as a brother
        (im 27), to a younger sister with the condition, much alike Jeremys. We live in Sweden though. The system of healthcare is depends much on three entities, the Landsting, Municipality, and State. However, the system has its flaws, partly because of bureacracy with the Landsting and cost-mindset without funds from the state. Having said that, my sister suffers from schizofrenia and psycosis according to the doctors here. Therefore, have been thoughts that my sister should attend the open dialogue, maybe during the summer in Finland, somehow. I understand from this, that we cannot, but I will look into this therapy more now.

        Forgive me my english is poor sometimes… Kind and many regards,

        • dear sven, greetings. i am not sure where you are in sweden, but i made a documentary in gothenburg — and actually have it (and two of my other films) subtitled in swedish if you want. but the program i filmed in sweden is in many ways better than open dialogue in finland. here’s the film about it: http://wildtruth.net/dvdsub/sv/homes/ if you like the film and want me to put you in contact with them i could do that. they do fantastic work and are simply good people too. (they also know people all around sweden, not just gothenburg.) i’ve spent quite a bit of time in sweden, actually. (and when i’m there i start speaking swedish, though not very well 🙂 ). anyway — greetings. daniel

  46. Hi Daniel! I emailed you a while ago about therapy issues. I’ve decided to hang in with my therapist. I just found out my liver is end stage and I need that support.
    I’ll continue reading and watching your videos as they have opened my eyes to where I know what I need and want from therapy.
    I thought being cured from Hep C four years ago was a done deal. Truth is it destroyed my liver over 25 years.
    It has given me an urgency to find peace like never before. Isn’t it strange that it would take a terminal disease to realize how precious time is.
    I’m very grateful to have found your website.
    It brings me comfort. Please keep inspiring other folks as you have done me.
    In gratitude…
    Diane Conklin

    • Diane,
      wow — that’s intense. life sure throws some real curve balls…… thank you for your message, and i’m wishing you STRENGTH AND VISION on your journey forward. i sense your journey is an inspired one. gratitude back to you, daniel

  47. Thanks on your quick answer! Y es I believe my family enables him, me too maybe, only I don’t live with him and my parents, I’m being the bad guy lately, my mom gets stressed and sad, my dad doesn’t want to see… It is complicated, sometimes I want to punch him in the face, sometimes I get really scare when thinking about his future, sometimes I’m just as sad as my mom, but lately I’m mad, and I don’t have enough energy…then I feel really guilty… He’s a very sweet guy, and loves my children , I try to be here for him as much as I can, but maybe it’s not my role… I would like to understand him, to see things From his point of view… I’m too structured maybe…
    Thanks so much for reading and for helping so much…. I think yoga could help… I may turn him to it…

  48. Hi Daniel;
    It’s been a while since I wrote to you, but follow the posts here, and still feel like we are at square one, muy brother had a good yeat, but as the end came, he started again feeling …not good, the problemas is he doesn’t want help, he’s convinced he is not ill, and the truth is he gets everyone really tired, mad sad … My mom is always down… That makes me really sad/angry, and also tired, what to do? i know you can’t give me a magical solution, I want him to be happy, I want him to finish studying, or to decide he wants to work, but DO something!
    Any advice? Maybe there are some strategies to help him… Here there is no open dialogue…. Only drugs… And traditional psychiatry….and he’s not going to take Any…
    What do you think about yoga? Or mindfulness?? I’m starting to loose it….

    • hi Mar,
      well, if he doesn’t want help then that kiboshes most of the best ideas anyone might have…. all the ideas in the world might be great, and are to many people (mindfulness, yoga, open dialogue, therapy, whatever), but if a person isn’t interested in them then no one can force them to do them…. these situations are always so complex. a few things i might challenge you with (in the spirit of hopefully being useful): that he’s ill….and that he doesn’t recognize that he has an illness. i wonder what he thinks he’s going through, or how he conceptualizes it. maybe he conceptualizes his experience in a way that is more useful to him (and perhaps more realistic) than illness. illness….can be such a demoralizing way to look at a situation….maybe a different way of looking at it (whatever it is) might be more helpful? also: sometimes parents/families enable people. i’m not saying you’re enabling him, but maybe he’s not in a position where he has to make any changes — or maybe making changes is scarier than just doing whatever he’s already doing (or not doing). but i do often see families who enable their family members who get labeled with the problem. also, maybe others in the family can seek help for themselves if he’s not interested in it. sometimes one person in the system changing can change the whole system in unexpected ways. perhaps you’ve already considered all this….but i figured i’d just chime in a little….. daniel

  49. Hi. We’re from Mexico and we’re doing a project for cultural and arts sector and is a project of antipsychiatry theme. In April we will start with a permanent exhibition of antipsychiatry. The exhibition is called: “Analectics release.” We begin with a performance of art utilitarian object (Souvenirs) And in turn, give talks and lectures in the history of antipsychiatry, development, growth, today’s antipsychiatry and how is, of those thoughts that gave the initiation and training in their movement, thoughts: postmodernist and poststructuralist twentieth century.

    We’re dedicated to the visual arts, but we’re in the antipsychiatry 20 years ago (Biomnémica) Know the dark side of psychoactive drugs, the marketing of psychopathology, etc.

  50. el me puedes indicar un contacto, correo electrónico para comunicarme con un Psiquiatra de filandia programa diálogo abierto. Es para un familiar que vive en Noruega. gracias.

    • hola gloria,
      voy a escribirte un email privado — pero no pienso que las personas en finland peuden leer español…

  51. ….oh yes, unfortunately he can not take a plane = fly (gets panic attacks, is just too unwell) otherwise i would send him to Finland for the Open Dialog program…

  52. Hi Daniel
    sooo refreshing listening to your youtube talks and short films you made !! they confirm what i have been thinking all along. i am so glad i found you.
    I have been put under so much pressure to act against my intuition and put my son (24) into hospital, who is suffering from ‘schizophrenia’ as a result from childhood traumas. he has been very very unwell for quite a few years and has been hospitalised a few times without any positive results, more the opposite – it traumatised him even more and he refuses ‘professional’ help/ medication since these admissions (i would too) do they think ‘popping the magic pill’ is a solution ???
    do you know anything or anyone in australia/sydney who does ‘alternative’ treatments for psychosis??? i am very desperate to help my son. i have been looking after him for years but need help from someone. thank you so much.

    • hi barbara — off the top of my head….i can’t think of anyone specific in sydney, but you might start with ISPS in australia — http://www.isps.org.au. also the hearing voices network australia: http://hvna.net.au/ the people in those groups, if you can connect with them, would know local folks (both professional and so-called peer) who might be helpful. also, i think staying local is usually best. going halfway around the world usually isn’t a great idea anyway, in my experience…. wishing you the best!! daniel p.s. i went to melbourne uni for a semester in 1993, studied zoology and traveled all around australia then…

    • Barbara,

      Check out Paris Williams at Mad in America. He’s From Australia, but more importantly think about the fact that Skype is an excellent tool to communicate with psychologist nowadays. you can have a lot of sessions through that medium.

  53. Hey Daniel,

    Happy New Year my friend. I hope you’re keeping well (same goes for everyone who reads this comment!) I’m just writing to let you know that I recently published a video on my YouTube channel titled “What is Personal Growth?” In it, I give a pretty comprehensive breakdown of what the term “personal growth” means to me. Perhaps you or some of your readers might like to check it out. Here’s a link:


    Best wishes,


  54. Hi Daniel,

    I am very interested in your writings since I discovered it 2 days ago. 🙂 I also bought your book and red it all to have an idea of it, and find more ideas to go on with my own process. (I’m not really a step by step following person). And I would like to talk to you about it.

    I would prefer to contact you in private, but I couldn’t find any contact link, so I share it here.

    All your theories are making sense with what I have experienced myself. The text of what is a good shrink, the video “broken wings” and many articles of you, it touched me, cause it goes were I’m going, and it’s very hard to find people that are real adventurers of the Self on that earth.

    I am in a process of finding myself in a conscious way for 5 years now.

    Before, in a way, I was searching for it too…But I didn’t know I was searching for my inner truth, I was just hoping to cure of my depressions and intrusives flashbacks and thoughts, I couldn’t understand what was happening to me, despite many therapies and psychologics and spiritual readings.

    I have tried everything, even going to a jungle to take ayahuasca, a powerful drug that breaks all your defenses and makes you access to your trauma in the hard way. But then, again, I didn’t know what was happening to me. I just wanted to get rid off my horrible state.

    Then, I discovered Alice Miller and she changed my life forever. I can say she saved me. In fact, only a sentence that I found on a website was like an electroshok.

    She said: “This is not a homecoming, since this home has never before existed. It is the creation of home.”

    I could describe it like a powerful wave of some healing water on my brain, and I my heart was beating so hard, I was thinking “That’s it, that’s it!”

    Then I started to cry and grieve for 10 days without stopping. Staying in my bed and grieving. I lived experiences of my childhood that didn’t even remember, like it was happening right now.

    Then, I went on reading more and more, and discovered that what I was doing was primal, as Arthur Janov describe it very well.

    I have made the decision to go farer and farer in that direction. Going for my truth. I was allready not talking to my family on my father’s side (included my father), and then I decided to break with my mother, and little by little, with the whole family, in order to follow what was the best for me.

    Taking distance with all of them was the best decision ever. I was scared at first that I would regret it. But it was the opposite. I discovered that their toxicity was poisoning my blood for years, and the result was like for a desintoxication: I was feeling better and better, more joyful, allowed to act like they would never agree, and also allowed to feel everything, free to feel, free to be.

    For me the cure process doesn’t follow at all the steps you are advising in your book, despite I understand it.

    It helps me with the questions, so I an go deeper.

    But there are things that I want to say, cause I don’t think it’s possible to really cure with the behaviors advises.

    For example:

    “It is easy to revert to old attitudes and
    behavior. Often we do this in subtle and
    insidious ways. For this reason we continue
    to monitor the events of our day…”

    I don’t agree with that. As my experience teached me, the old attitudes are naturally desappearing as you don’t need to use it. The attitudes that you talk about, are defenses of your body against the old trauma imprinted in our body cells. Once we grieved the trauma, it’s gone. THe body doesn’t need to act like this anymore. We don’t have to be careful of not having the behaviors, we just don’t feel like doing it.

    For example, before, I was smoking a lot. I could empty a packet of cigarettes in a party night. Not mentioning the fact that I was drinking a lot. To relieve the pressure of the traumas inside me.

    But now that I have grieved this traumas, I just don’t like to drink or smoke. I don’t have to make any effort not to do it.

    So I am not at all in thoses theories of “going out comfort zones”, cause comfort is the zone I was when I was drinking and smoking, comfort is still the zone I am now without doing it.

    I think that self-therapy can be a good help, or a good start, but the thing is that the repressed feelings and traumas doesn’t go out by deciding it. It has to be lived completely, deeply, in order to free the body of it. And the problem of defenses, is that they foil the process, by making you believe that you are grieving, while you are going in a more comforting place in your brain, to cry instead of be scared, and relieve a pressure like a masturbation of the brain, instead of really going deep.

    And even today, whereas my process is advanced, and that I am very able to know when I don’t go in the right direction, I need from time to time, someone to push me in it, cause my body just don’t want to go there, never ever.

    Also, you are talking about “finding someone that is enlightened enough” to understand you and your process. For me, that’s called a shrink…Cause no friend can be enlightened enough so he or she wants to follow you in your own process. Everyone has to deal with it’s own traumas, and even people that want to be helpful cannot play the free shrink for you.

    Also, you are aware that there are people without any friend, absolutely isolated, and doing a self-therapy could harm them more than helping them? There are people who access to some very painful feelings and without help, they are suffering so much that they better want to kill themselves, than having to stand it.

    I think this document is more for stable people, who are not isolated, knowing something about the process, so they won’t jump out the window when they will access to a memory of rape or murder.

    I was thinking for a long time to write a self-therapy book, as I thought I cured myself alone.

    But I have to recognize that even if Alice Miller gave me the key to finally open an allready very used door, I had many therapists and “helping witnesses” that supported me for years.

    Even after, while I was grieving most of time by myself, I regularly ask to differents therapists to help me go when I have a difficult recovery that happens.

    I would really, really enjoy to meet you and to talk with you. Too bad, I was in New York or the first and only time in my life just 2 months ago. 😀 If you travel to France, I would be glad to be in touch with you.

    Have a nice time!

  55. Hi Daniel

    I have had psychosis for the past year and now on medication. I have seen you uploaded videos on people who were recovered from schizophrenia without medication. My question is how are they dealing with relapses by taken off their meds? I’m from Australia and am looking support group that help me recover without medication. I wonder if you have any information i could follow.

    • greetings Manus. hmm — some people have no relapses. others have really intense ones — though often it is drug withdrawal. you’d probably like my film “coming off psych drugs” — you can find it on my website. it’s on youtube for free. also, i would recommend the website http://www.madinamerica.com — and maybe through there you can get connected with some like-minded folks in australia…. wishing you the best! daniel

    • Hi Manus,
      I commented on Daniel’s thread a very long time ago so I am always “dinged” when someone else makes a comment. I hope you don’t mind that I chime in here.
      There are two communities of think that I’m aware of that offer non-medicating assistance (and are both voice affirming if that’s something you feel would be helpful to you): Hearing Voices and Internal Family Systems.

      Hearing Voices has support group chapters in many different countries.
      Internal Family Systems is a therapeutic model, their website will allow you to search for qualified therapists by region.


      I hope this is helpful…and I hope Daniel can offer some more guidance.


  56. Hi Daniel,
    This week I completed the Intentional Peer Support training, and on the last day, today, we each had to do a 5 minute project. I sang the song “I Went to a Shrink” along with you on your CD. I explained that I think this song explains why IPS is so needed, and I shared that the song is basically my story. It was very well received, and many people in the class now want to get a hold of the CD. I enjoyed doing it. It was nice to perform it for people instead of simply sing along with you when I’m in the car. I just want you to know that I feel very connected to you and I am very grateful for all of your work. What are you up to these days?

  57. Hi Daniel,

    I just want you to know that today I completed the Intentional Peer Support Training with Steve Morgan and Eva Dech. Today, we had to do a 5 minute project, and for my project I sang along to your song “I Went to a Shrink”. It was very well received, and people want to get a hold of your CD now to hear more. I just want you to know I feel such a connection with you, and I am so grateful for all of your work. What are you up to these days?

  58. hey daniel! im avi and diagnosed with schizophrenia. your movies changed my all prespective about mental health sysmtem and opened up new horizons really got me thinking.

    i only had one psychotic episode that ended 10 yrs ago.obviously was hospitalized and on meds through all this time.

    i was in therapy with a clinical psychologist for 4 yrs and it really helped me to understand the root of my illness and how to change the destructive path i was walking in so i could regain my health again.

    my question for you is how am i supposed to get off meds cuz there isnt much knowledge about it here in israel… could you adress me to some place where i can get good advice?

    btw i got to think that there is a similarity between weed and psychiatric drugs.

    what i mean is that for me weed was the trigger for the eruption of my illness and i thought that maybe the meds or drugs were the trigger for my recovery….

    maybe my recovery was supposed to begun anyways without meds.

    and society is just built like that when a mentaly ill person would have to end up in a mental hospital at least the majority of us.

  59. Hi Daniel.

    I´m shure, I´m telling you not new news about childhood. Alice Miller give me a thanks in 2008 to my «concern» about NeuroScience (Danke, dass Sie sich darum kümmern) … you remember .. and you can smile … Miller held Shonkoff as a failure.

    German is far away from USA (NewYork) – ok 7 hours 🙂 but I found a cool video on the Internet with SHAKIRA / SHONKOFF from the UNESCO in NewYork: Meeting the Minds. Really good.


    Other VIDs available. Shonkoff speaks right words. Childhood is a old story but new is NeuroScience in the contect. Shakira speaks NeuroScience at the point … with the advantage – Shakira is singing better than Shonkoff 🙂

    I hope you going well. Best wishes from Germany, the land of Herman Hesse 🙂

  60. Mr Mackler

    Almost all “new” psychology is based on an unobserved century old paradigm. Please look at the site anewpsychology dot com. If you like it I will send you a copy of the book. You can start at chapter 8. You will know within a few minutes if it holds interest.

    Regards John David Klein

  61. Hi Daniel,

    I recently read two of your books – “Breaking from Your Parents” and “Toward Truth”. I really enjoyed them both. The engaging content and fluid writing style made them very easy to read in my opinion. I read both in less than a week and have posted a positive review on Amazon.

    I think what resonates with me the most about your work is the warrior spirit you advocate when it comes to one’s healing and growth. The discipline, dedication and “whatever it takes” attitude you’ve applied to your own growth really comes across in the books and I find this very inspirational. I’ve been dedicated to my own healing and growth for just over a year now and I completely agree with the perspective that it takes a LOT of space, time, focus and life force energy to truly heal and grow.

    Ultimately, I see you as leader in the realm of healing and growth. It takes a lot of courage to stand up and say many of the things you say and do many of the things you have done. And so I just want to send some acknowledgement and appreciation your way for being somewhat of a trail blazer and for helping guide and inspire folks such as myself along our journeys of healing and growth.

    A question that springs to mind as I write this post is in relation to the term “true self”. While it’s clear from your books, videos and website that you see “growth” as the process of becoming one’s true self, I’m curious – how would you define the term “true self”?

    In gratitude and respect,


    • hi conor,
      thanks for your words. appreciated!! i’m going through a complex period right now — lots of growth. i find it gets easier in some ways, and yet not in others. always a new challenge. funnily enough, i was wondering how to define the true self the other, and wondered if i had defined it in the index of “toward truth.” i thought i might have but couldn’t remember. i just looked it up and see that i did. i always defined the false self, so i’ll paste both here:

      The True Self: The best of who we really are, based on an enlightened self-awareness of our core of inner truth and our connection with it.

      The False Self: 1) The mistaken identity by which an unenlightened person defines himself; 2) The part of us so lost in unresolved traumas that it does not know who we really are and what really motivates us—and yet lacks awareness of our internal confusion or mistaken identity; 3) A person’s identity based not on an enlightened connection with himself but on an identification with his unresolved, traumatized sides and with his traumatizers; 4) The persona, not the person.

      all the best,

      • Good to hear you’re going through a period of growth! It would be great if you lived near me. I’d love to meet you for a cuppa tea and talk all about it!

        Isn’t it so special when you can actually feel yourself healing and growing? I’ve been going through a few growth spurts as well recently. So empowering. More and more I’m looking at life as a hero’s journey. I now see all of these challenges and struggles, both internal and external, as an inherent part of the process in discovering and expressing the True Self – and ultimately becoming the heros of our own stories.

        Thanks for those definitions. I love that definition of the True Self you shared. Reminds me of the idea that we each have an essential nature – just like a tree or an animal – and when properly nourished and supported we will grow into the full expression of our essential nature – the deepest truth of who we are in full blossom. And because many of us didn’t receive that nourishment and support as children, it’s now our job as adults to give it to ourselves.

        I also find it very helpful to look at the definition of the False Self you shared. It reminds of me of the idea that living as a False Self is similar to being in a hypnotic trance. All of that unconscious pain drives a person to behave in a way that is totally out of alignment with their essential nature – the truth of who they really are.

        I’m curious to hear your thoughts on something else actually. I recently heard a guy (who has also been big into healing and growth for a long time) say that as children, it’s not so much what happened to us that causes the wounding, but it’s actually more to do with our perception at the time of what happened to us that caused the pain, e.g. “Dad criticizes me, which means there’s something wrong with me”. The guy makes the point that taking responsibility for the fact that it was our perception which created the wounding is ultimately the most empowering approach to healing it because we are then in a better position to change the story we created at the time. Hopefully I’ve explained the point clearly enough.

        Do you have any thoughts on that, and if so, what are they? Is it something you’ve considered before?

        • hi conor,
          i enjoyed reading this. i like the idea of this being a hero’s journey. i agree — and see it as a great but very difficult journey. i also like what you wrote about the false self being a sort of hypnotic state. as for the guy who says that our perceptions of what happened to us are more important than what happened to us, i don’t agree. i think that is an argument that too easily leads into dissociation. first, i’ve seen people that hold to this argument, and it hasn’t panned out in their personal lives. also, i don’t see it as making sense theoretically. there are some things that are simply harmful to us no matter what our perceptions of them, especially things that happened to us when we were kids. we were too powerless then, too vulnerable. alternate perceptions weren’t going to save us, though they did certainly save some people some pain. lots of traumatized people dissociate in order to spare themselves pain. also, there are many things that happened to us when we were very young that we don’t remember — and thus don’t even have a perception of. for instance, circumcision. it was a horrible thing, yet most men who had it don’t remember it at all. does that mean they’re more empowered over this? also, in the example you gave, the statement “Dad criticizes me, which means there’s something wrong with me” is itself a false story — a protection against an even more painful reality — that….”my father, the most important male role model in the world, the man who created me and whose job it was to love me and provide me the model for male love in my life, doesn’t love me and in fact rejects me.” that is an even more painful reality for children, i believe…easier to believe that i’m the problem…. that protects dad and thus keeps me feeling safe… also, what about a child who got raped? why should they take responsibility for this in any way, and how could taking responsibility for this in any way empower them? better just to know the reality of what happened and work to grieve the loss and not replicate it. hope this makes sense, all the best,

          • It certainly does make sense Daniel. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I suspected you might have some strong opinions on it! And I’m inclined to agree with you. I especially like your point about the child believing that they are the problem as opposed to the father, in order to protect the father and keep themselves safe. I hadn’t thought of that before.

            An example from my own journalling work this morning even supports your point. It occurred to me that as a young child (younger than 5), there would have been many incidences that my parents would have been furiously angry with me. I now realize that I would not only have been absolutely terrified by this but would also have believed that I was defective in some way – to make mom or dad so livid like that. And I think it’s fair to say that reaction of absolute terror in a child (to furious anger from an adult) would be more of an automatic and instinctual response, rather than a result of a perception. And, similar to what you said, I can now see that the resulting belief of “I am defective, I need to change” is likely a protective / survival mechanism.

            Having said all that, the guy who made the point (about our perception playing a key part in our wounding) is pretty knowledgable and open-minded and I’m sure there is much more flexibility in his way of seeing all of this than I could do justice for. I reckon he might even agree with the points we made as well. I may end up speaking with him in person actually and now, thanks to your message and my own reflections, I’ll be able to have a more informed opinion and conversation about the matter.

            Thanks again Daniel. It’s really good to connect with you 🙂 It seems our heros journeys, deeply challenging as they can be, have led us both to a similar passion – healing from the pas, growing into the best of who we really are and sharing our lessons with others along the way. It’s likely I’ll post another message in the near future if that’s ok!!!

            Talk soon,


        • Interesting reading and yet sinc e I applied to Criminal Injuries compensation adn this means that I have exposed the horrendous truth that my life was utterly derailed by a ‘dark night” of sexual assault,I have been flung too far into the misery and housebound with a broken arm at the same time!!!I fell that I need human comfort and presence so much right now and no one come s to visit.I cannot do this on my own.The years of trying to live with “no support” has caught up with me.I live in Canada.

  62. Hi Daniel,

    I am writing to you from India, and how lucky I am to chance upon your YouTube video. It was simply BRILLIANT. The smug fraternity of psychotherapists deserves to be called out on their ineptness, it was high time. You are very articulate and I applaud you for calling a spade a spade, without mincing your words. You seem to have a very deep grasp of human nature, and I appreciate your incisive understanding of the attributes that must necessarily be present in anyone who wants to call himself or herself a “healer” (and charge money for it). It was uncanny watching your video, as it seemed you were vocalizing verbatim, every thought I have had about therapists for the past few years.

    I have been at the receiving end of countless such incompetent therapist, which has been very damaging to my self esteem and trust, not to forget, financially draining. In my personal experience I do not know of a single therapist that is good. Apart from not being good, frustratingly, they even lack common sense. I have met more ‘regular’ people without psychology degrees, such as, friends, strangers, bloggers, other clients, who are more empathetic, have a better understanding of problems and offer some practicable solutions- minus the arrogance and heavy fees one has to endure for trying out these self proclaimed ‘experienced’ therapists.

    I must add, that in countries like India, the quest for finding a therapist who is reasonable enough (not good, but even slightly reasonable) is way more difficult, as our culture teaches us to unconditionally respect and bow down to authority (doctors, therapists etc). So much so that even asking them any question is considered effrontery. This undue privilege given to them by Indian society makes them even more arrogant, and they feel no need to be open to learning, let alone admitting their mistakes (‘because they are the ones with all the answers, how could they deign to learn from us’). The bar for therapists in India is very low, and it boils down to a simple case of demand and supply; since beggars can’t be choosers, we are forced to endure the least shitty therapist, with all her flagrant flaws in thinking, just because others are even worse. The emotional and financial cost of searching for a new therapist every time are just too high.

    Mental health services in general are dismal all over the world. Since you are in a country where the system is slightly better than in India, I urge you to show your video to authorities in hospitals who are in charge of hiring psychotherapists. There should be ways of testing people for empathy and common sense, apart from looking at their degrees. Secondly, since the fees are so high, and majority of therapist so inept and irresponsible, there must be a way to hold them accountable for the emotional damage they inevitable cause their clients when a relationship is severed. I am not saying that one must go on a suing spree, but these irresponsible psychotherapist who directly harm their clients with their behavior, MUST be held accountable. The least that can be done is, the clients must write a written memo of why he or she decided to leave a therapist, and submit that memo to the higher ups in that hospital. At least, this way, data points can be collected on that therapist, and some reality check can be done showing that he or she is not as great as he or the hospital think them to be.

    Unless they go out of their way to help someone, I consider doctors and therapists no different from a service provider like Comcast or Verizon, hence there should be a ‘yelp’ for rating therapists, where clients can rate and review the bad therapists (I am not sure if such a portal already exists?) These measures will force them to pull up their socks and get their act together. Mental health services need to be jolted out of their complacency…this is the first step, I know a lot more work needs to be done. Thanks again for posting this video.

  63. Hello Daniel, I’ve saw your video about open dialogue of Finland.

    I would like to ask you a favor, can you please give me an email of any member of that open dialogue team. I have my brother who suffers from the same problem and he’s tired of psychiatres and their medicines we want to try this. I’m currently living in Finland, I searched on the internet but I cant seem to find any contact infos of those people please help me out it is very very important to us as my brothers situation is getting worse.

  64. Hello everyone.

    I wish everyone a great day.

    I am glad to have a place to write.

    For me from my nurturing family experience, I feel personality splitting is a primary function of society. Thank you.


      • Hello.
        I was born with a learned inadequate response to life (gwc/sfhelp.com) .

        There are no facts just opinions and perceptions.

        On a daily basis, to the best of my ability, I choose wholeness, to harm none and to abstain from the psychosis of the collective mind. Psychosis is to make insane through the hypnosis of social conditioning.

        In my opinion from my perception, society does not have a mission statement on wholeness nor provide an accessible path to it.

        In my opinion from my perception, society does permit and provide many many paths to maintain and enlarge personality splitting.

        Thank you Alice Miller, Daniel Macker and eveyone else.


    • I’m in the somewhat unique position of having been told by my mother what happened to me, “There was one night when you were an infant when Daddy nearly scared you to death, and you were never the same.” She told me this on the night he died, and later denied it, so I could never get the details. After years of self-therapy and primal therapy in L.A., some of the details have emerged but the trauma is still unresolved. This is what has come up – crying for her brought him instead, and he stopped the crying by yelling, “Stop it, stop it, stop it…” and putting his hand over my nose and mouth, smothering the crying (me), a mortal threat. The key to accessing this event is through needing her again, but that need equals death for me so it’s extremely well defended. I’ve recently begun practicing total celibacy in an attempt to coalesce that energy and make it palpable. You mentioned “the potential value of celibacy” above. Could you expand on that please?

  65. Daniel,

    So, the only good therapists are the ones you like – hmmm.

    In a decade or so, when you have had time to grow a bit more, please reexamine that sentiment, and see if you can figure out the error in your thinking.

    Be well,

    Licensed Psychologist

    • hi george,
      yes, i continue to reexamine, though i can’t say i’m that drawn to your belittling (and anonymous) style.

      • It is certainly easy to understand that individuals see the world from their own perspective, and often assume this is the way everyone else sees things. But, there are many, many different styles, and many, many types of people and therapists. Seems you are assuming that your perspective is the best or RIGHT one. For instance, I have every right to communicate anonymously, but you have some judgement about that.
        Sorry if you find my critique belittling! I’ll be more direct: It may help if you took things less personally, less from such a strong, egocentric viewpoint.
        You are not drawn to my style – so, I guess I have been eliminated by the judge, from the pool of GOOD therapists! That is very funny.
        Your anti-therapy rant is not helpful to people who need help!
        Signed, Anonymous

            • i think everyone who has anything to do with therapy — that is, therapists and clients alike — judges what makes a good therapist. it’s human to judge — that is, to make assessments and come up with conclusions. i would assume that you do too — but just that in some way you don’t agree with me. though again, i’m not sure exactly what “rant” of mine you’re commenting on — so, frankly, i don’t even know what specifically to reply to here… –daniel

              p.s. about me quitting therapy. well….i gave my clients at least a year’s notice….not that it made it much easier for them (or for me). it wasn’t a fun process, that was for sure. it was very painful. meanwhile, are you really troubled by the fact that i quit being a therapist, or are your just arguing for a sake of arguing? i ask this question genuinely. meanwhile, i never claimed that my blog was a more powerful tool for change than individual therapy. that said, it’s reached a LOT more people — and so have my films — for what that’s worth.

        • Daniel,
          If you really are a good therapist, why did you abandon those who need you. If you know how to be helpful, it would appear that you did a mis-service to humanity to stop your practice! The concept of quitting on your clients troubles me. One-on-one therapeutic contact is far more powerful and potentially life-changing than blogs.
          PS You can tell I am not pleased with your rant about therapy. We should probably communicate off line. Feel free use my email address, if you so wish.

          • I would disagree that someone who is so convinced that homosexuality is a fantastic thing could ever be a good therapist.Also he has problems asserting himself in a mature way with women.Not indicative of a functional adult is it….

        • hi george and david,
          i have mixed feelings about the anonymity thing. sometimes i feel it can be cowardly to remain anonymous, other times not. i actually kept myself anonymous on this website for a while, about nine or so years back, because i was afraid of getting in trouble somehow for being too real. that lasted about a year. i now much prefer to just stand behind my point of view with my real name, though i defend your right, george, to be anonymous. i just am not drawn to the anonymous critique that puts your title out front. that is, i (and others) cannot see what you stand for as a therapist past the little bit you’ve written here. i also am not drawn to your teaching style, as if you’re here to instruct me on the right way. of course, others might say the same thing about me — i recognize that. but one difference is what i perceive (i think correctly) to be your sarcasm in “teaching” me — that is, that you enjoy it, find it funny. meanwhile, i’m not sure exactly what you’re talking about in terms of an anti-therapy rant. perhaps a video i made? i do have one critiquing therapy. if that’s the one, i have a few things to say about it. first, it seems a lot more people find it helpful than don’t — as least as far as the youtube voting goes… and the second thing, i challenge the idea that anyone “needs” therapy. i find that insulting to people. i grant that a lot of people do find therapy useful, but i don’t see that they actually need it. there are so many other things that might help just as well — or better! so i definitely challenge a therapist who says that people “need” therapy. that can be very self-serving. all the best, daniel
          p.s. george, i’m not sure if you’ve poked around my website and looked at other stuff i’ve written or made videos about….. some of it happens to be pretty pro-therapy. maybe you’d even like it…?

          • Daniel,
            I am going to bow out now. Yes, I was referring to the YouTube video about what is wrong with therapy that you made.
            Yes, I really think that therapy can help a lot of people in very profound ways; so I am bothered a bit by your video–but not too much. People will find what is right for them, in any case.
            I personally try to live in the moment, as much as possible, and don’t read much anymore, including blogs. It is all way to black and white for me, in a world that is so full of shades of grey!
            Good Luck, as the years then decades roll by. I hope, you will find it interesting to see how there is less and less judgement and more acceptance as the decades pass.
            Dr George A Aiken

            • hi George,
              okay. i don’t know about more acceptance for me, though. the older i get it seems the more screwed up the world is….and is becoming.
              meanwhile, i see you went to saybrook. i know some good folks who went there. do you know tom greening?
              all the best to you,

              • Tom was my mentor at Say rook for 6 years and was the chair of my Masters Thesis. He is still a great friend!
                Do you get his emailed poetry? You might want to get on his email list. BTW: Tom is a master of acceptance. Acceptance doesn’t mean you approve, just that you do not have any attachment or aversion. Then you can be more effective.
                All best,

  66. Hi Daniel
    I know that you are right about childhood trauma. I was a drug and alcoholic for years and it took me nearly 10 years to find the source of my pain because therapists and other “healers” misled me . When I found my truth, I wrote a letter to my mother. I would like to share the content of this letter with you, but I don’t want to post it on you website.

  67. Dear Mr. Mackler,
    I came across your your you tube about psychotherapy when I was (and am) in the process of stopping being a psychotherapist. As you know, it is a struggle. I have been at it a long time and it seems none of my friends have any intention of retiring and have little patience for listening to me. Your voice is so welcome and helpful.
    We share many opinions about psychotherapy. I few years ago I wrote a loving critique of the field which I believe you would find interesting. I would be happy to send you a copy if you give me an address or if you prefer you can get it on Amazon: “In Praise of Psychotherapists – how change occurs despite baffling theory and bureau”
    All best wishes,
    James McMahon

  68. Hey Daniel,

    I’ve been working on recovering from Childhood Trauma seriously for about a year and a half since I found a legit therapist who sides with the child. Her practice puts 98% of the work into my hands with individual therapy that I tend to nightly through journaling and dream interpretation. I’m starting to pick up the fragments of my life following a complete collapse, doing a career I now realize wasn’t authentic. As you portrayed in your YouTube video, this shit isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination.

    I sat in my room trying to feel my brothers death, and hop back into reality. Helpless to feel genuine feelings, but I now realize that the later trauma of my brothers death that happened when I was 21 wasn’t the root trauma that occurred. I split his death off and powered on with ease, disguised as mental toughness and false courage. I feel the burning sensation and heat rising from my abdomen from time to time, but in small increments. From what you explain, it comes up at once. I know I’m close to feeling that hell, knowing that truth and genuine healing is on the other side.

    On a scale from 100 being dissociated and 0 being not, I feel like I’m at about 10%. This last stretch is hell and feels like the mountain I’ve climbed for the past 3 years has this final vertical cliff I have to get up.

    How did the process of healing the trauma through the body unfold for you. Were you expecting it as it came up? Or did the process unfold on it’s own naturally.

    Thanks for everything you’ve published.


    • hi alex — it’s been a long process for me, and is DEFINITELY still ongoing………… long and slow, but things have shifted….and continue to. not sure exactly where i’m at now…..but growing i suppose……..
      greetings ——

  69. Hello.


    I am writing to thank you for you writings on Alice Miller. I am almost 66 years old. In 2013, I decided through my inner guide, did not know that at that time, to stop everything and find my true self. I had no idea how. I had all kinds of problems all my life. I came to realize that I was the problem. I did not know the problem. I did not know the solution. I was one lost broken person and still am, when I am left to my own desires.

    I was presented with all kind of information. I am familiar with all self-help groups, religions, social groups, etc. Some how things that were hard to grasp was easier. I saw that I am a grown wounded child (sfhellp.org), dancing a dance of a wounded soul (Robert Burney), co-dependent(Mellodie Beattie), living an illusion(The Four Agreements). I went to page 118 of the Four Agreements and knew that was my path. The more I wanted to be whole and healthy, the more I was put upon and most of the good things that I wanted and thought needed to be part of were unavailable to me always. I realized that as I reached out I was not helped. I realized that I had to reach into myself, find out how to use the mind rightly, find my true self and love and live it to the best of my ability.
    I read your critique of Alice Miller and I was validated that I have to walk my path to wholeness alone for now but to keep moving forward. Thank you.

  70. Hi Daniel (and all), I am wondering if someone out there can give me a couple tools to help me process what I’m going through. I first became interested in self-therapy a couple years ago, and had been doing a lot of introspection but not really getting anywhere until a few weeks ago. I then had a serious breakthrough, and will never feel the same again. My emotional life has been a real roller coaster of crazy highs and lows since. I spend a lot of time working alone, probably 60 hours a week, during which time I can make a lot of progress and have profound insights into my past and present life. Along with that comes a tremendous amount of grief, pain, as well as positive emotions happiness, even ecstasy. I just feel like a damn broke and I’m really having a hard time processing all the emotions I’m feeling. I do have a yoga practice and do some meditation, but I’m having a hard time concentrating. Last yoga class I attended I broke down into tears several times. I’m wondering if anyone can point me towards any useful tools, techniques, anything really (other than drugs) that can help me process what’s happening without being overwhelmed. Thanks for all the work you’ve done on trauma Daniel, I really appreciate it.

    • hi pat
      greetings. hmm. i’m not sure what to say. it all sounds good as long as you’re not overwhelming yourself. i find that when i’m more emotional in a way i think you’re describing it can help to interact more with others — get others’ feedback, participate in their lives. if i’m too alone i can get overwhelmed. but i’m not sure in your situation. walking is also good for me. and being in nature. but being around friends is really important. all the best, daniel

      • The breaking down in tears in yoga practice should be viewed positively, your body is releasing the pain that we hold in our bodies. Have you tried a yoga practice that includes Kirtan, my yoga teacher gave me mala beads and I do these every day. Having someone to talk with is essential, be it a friend, etc..

  71. toby , since i don´t believe nuch in the positive benefits of haldol at least i get the 50mg depot injection every 60 days because my behaviour and work performance have been stable , i would be dying if I got every 30 days like the interval it is supposed to be used. i plan to continue with the cbt therapy and hopefully find an alternative to psych drugs which make life a complete hell and in my point of view only cause cognitive damage and terrible side ( or main) effects. bye

  72. thanks toby, still one day I would like to stop the psych drugs and substitute it maybe for cbt, thea haldol causes me such terrible akathisia and I have been getting involuntary body movements of diskinesia , it causes me terrible anxiety the whole day and I don`t see it brings any benefit other than having me drowsy and dizzy the whole day. thanks for your advise. I will talk to my psychiatrist about seroquel. Bye

    • Watch out for the (tardive) dyskinesia Fernando. I am sorry you got this (relatively) uncommon side-effect. I hope your psychiatrist is understanding and good with meds. Cheers T

    • My original message was too long so I am re-posting it in bits. Sorry I have not replied to people I have been away from computer!……………………….

      Hi there. I came across your website/blog by accident and was impressed by the ‘more-than averagely’ thoughful things said here (whether I agree a lot or a little in their content!?!).
      I wish to say some stuff really overall to say – >JOLLY GOOD< – in a umbrella sort of way to most of what people are trying to do here.
      Having been myself a psychiatrist (psychotherapist sort of) for the NHS for 20 years and seen a lot of really good 'therapists' and some really crappy ones, I do believe that 'childhood trauma' is not very well dealt with – and as budget-lead reconfigurations, and faddy trends are latched onto, that things only seem to get worse – at least here in the UK.
      Therapists (psychotherapists, counsellors – whatever) are only as good as their ability is to understand, guide, and sometimes – yes – even treat their patients – with compassion (sorry I am not going to call them ‘clients’ or ‘service users’ or other trendy terms). CBT – though seemingly effective in already well-motivated, ’thinking’, ‘middle-class’, worried-well’ types, is almost useless in helping deep-seated problems (of which ‘childhood trauma’ is a part) – it just adds another coat of paint of ‘got to be better’ – ‘follow a programme’ cracks of whatever negative feelings a patient has for themselves. Though some people have sworn bu it – I have never met someone who has actually got better (dealt with stuff) with it – and I was trained in it! It helped be to understand some processes and stuff, but I only occasionally using bits of it in a more ‘ecletic’ style of therapy, when people wanted a ‘programme’. CBT therapist sometimes seems to enjoy being a surrogate ‘school’teacher’ and enjoy the control, homework etc in me right (teacher) you wrong (pupil) sort of way? – or is that just me!?
      Because of my job I met a very large number of folk who had been referred because they were ’depressed’ and pills did not work – or they were out of control ‘crazy’ fucked up (professional diagnosis – rubbish though it is – is Borderline Personality Disorder). I would say that a very large proportion turned out to be having problems with relationships – parents, partners or lack of them – or what I term ‘shit-life-syndrome’ – by what I mean is ‘misery’ – whether imposed from outside or from within. Of course anti-depressants weren’t going to work to change that (or rarerly). – nor was CBT! UInderneath it all though (and their behaviour often lead people to run a mile) was rather nicem caring, sensitive souls who had just got to the end of their tethers and felt helpless (exactly what their ‘clinicians’ felt too, and resented them for making them feel useless!),
      Preceeding ‘where they are now’ problem was so often a ‘devalued’ experience – not receiving enough care emotionally – in their upbringing. Emotional abuse or childhood trauma so often emotes images of physical or sexual abuse or being locked in a cupboard or whatever. What I found really sad is that frequently the patient had not got a shocking childhood history of ‘ab’use – just chronic neglect driven by busy parents, not enough time, etc. who replaced parenting quality/quantity activity with ‘stuff’. An overall feeling of being deprived and somehow responsible for their deprived expoeriences and having spent a lot of their childhood trying to parent their parents! Typically the ‘you have a roof over your head, what’s your problem’-style put-down from behind the newspaper. This progressed into their adult relationships, and lead to real ‘ab’use from demanding unreasonable partners pretending to be the ‘knight in shinind armour’ (or female equivalent) parent fix-all’ needs person, but actually a child demanding you to be a parent ( AGAIN!) and a skilled liar (even to themselves sometimes). The patient had ‘mug…abuse me…I’ll be nice’ written in big letters across their foreheads!
      At best the patient would go from inadequate relationship to inadequate relationship in a rather unsatisfactory way; at worst they would stay in one being controlled and mistreated until they were discarded for someone else.
      Mainly this was women being ‘ab’used by men, but not the vast majority – and only in the extreme situation of a psychiatrist office where they were deemed ‘ill’ (as in diseased’ – not just ‘a bit fucked up’).

      • …..(continued)…….

        Widely simplifying it – women turn in on themselves when damaged (hence their over-representation in depressive-style mental health situations) and men outward (aggression, alcohol, crime). I saw many ‘well’ men (and women) behaving as they were ‘expected’ and being controlled by damaged women/men in their need for acceptance, unable to trust and enjoy intimacy, love or whatever except by control.
        Less inaccurately some men are rather feminine in their ‘reaction’ to life and DON’T ‘chase women’, turn to aggression or whatever….ditto some women are mpore ‘man-like’ in their behaviour when emotionally damaged. They REALLY struggled because they didn’t fit the moulds of behaviour imposed by society – the ‘stereotypes’ if you like.
        I am the first to admit that I felt dumped on – as the most senior ‘clinician’ (doctors are slagged off but when the chips are down the problems are always passed to you!) I had either to try to care for these folk myself or discharge them (which having met them I felt really bad about doing – GUILT!). Worst still I could label them as ‘treatment resistant depression’ (or other misery label)and give them larger and more interesting combination of drugs or refer to psychotherapists who would often refuse to see them because they were ‘too risky’ (suicidal behaviour – overdoses etc) or didn’t have a ‘goal of treatment’. All rather rejecting and convenient for the therapist.
        Not that pills sometimes were helpful (and one occasionally diagnosed something really weird like a missed endocrine problem, sleep apnoea etc), but generally I and others had to deal with it. Discharge was relatively pointless anyway because they would just be re-referred back ! That’s the NHS for you!
        Necessity being as it was – and a certain amount of compassion and trying to be ‘good enough’ myself when presented with misery, rather than blaming the patient for failing to ‘comply’…..what to do – after a lot of mainly fruitless research into ‘what to do’ (this was the early 1990’s – no computers, blogs, etc!) – all pretty rubbish – no one seemed to have a clue, but all sorts of ‘claims’. Nothing much scientific (by which I mean provable/evidence-based NOT anecdotal) and a load of charlatan crap about crystals and auras and guru-abuse type abuser culty nonsense – e.g. the DREADFUL Dialenics – the mental health cure-all from Scientology – and less worrying more well-meaning stuff like Primal Scream Arthur Janov stuff.

        So – common-sense set in………
        The patients were given boundaries that were reasonable, and their aberrant end-stage’ behaviour of overdosing and threatening and fury and rage (or the opposite – coquettishness) were accepted but not rewarded (or punished) as their way to cope now. Several furiousness activities later – no one died etc….
        I started asking the patient the simply question – ‘what do you want’, in the context of relationships/happiness etc. These were very needy but usually decent, caring people who just kept on falling into traps laid by abusers (also desperate for a controllable love). They all felt empty and devalued entering adulthood – even if they appeared successful/pretty/handsome/clever/nice to others.
        What I found most shocking 9but so boringly sad and boringly obvious) was the common trend that these patients (and far more apparently well people I met ‘out there in the ‘normal’ world) could not cope with being alone. They would be straight into another relationship within weeks or months of another ending.. They could not be alone. Having ‘loved’ someone’, they would have a brief ‘crisis’ and then be straight into another with someone who said all the right things (lied) …for awhile and ‘loved them’ too. I would often joke that they must have gone to a shop for a new relationship.
        Without further babbling….the biggest things I found to help these folk:
        Obviously developing a trusting therapeutic relationship (not that easy if I was seen as the abusive ‘man’) – unsurprisingly they had VERY low expectations of what a trusting relationship was– basically I just had to be consistent, nice, obviously not cross any ‘love’ boundaries despite a regular flirtatious tendancy (– not towards me per se me – I was just a parent figure!), and tell the truth, kindly, and be available within reason when they asked. To point out that just because I wasn’t always available I did care. Often the partners could not cope with their over-demanding need for attention. Caring for someone is not the same as always being there. So handing back their feelings of rejection projected onto me – in a kind fashion….etc etc etc.

        • ………..continued )…..last bit!..

          Firstly – to suggest to them that they don’t go out with anyone for at least 6 months (or longer) and just do stuff with friends or family for its own sake.
          Secondly – during this time they were just to observe as best they could their ‘alone time’ and see what it felt like.
          Thirdly – I asked them to consider how they could be ’in love’ with one person and then after such a short time be ‘in love’ with someone else. Those that could manage these things became REALLY aware of their search for someone ‘NOW’ who would fix the ‘THEN’ – and how unlikely that was as they would ACTUALLY end up with someone LEAST likely to be capable of that.
          This was no easy fix, but it started them on a road to notice their attempt to fill an unbearable hole of ‘something’ (neediness, lack of love, self-loathing, unlovability) that they struggled to confront – instead to paper over the ‘cracks’ (gapping hole!) with frantic avoidance of being alone – what they called ‘being in love’ temporarily seemed to work……. ditto addictions, workaholics, exercise freaks, fame-seekers, etc (though I rarely met these more hidden damaged folk at work – I met them frequently ‘out there’ and even failed to help a girlfriend I was deeply in love with who was trapped in her neediness and went on into a ‘status’ relationship – I wasn’t ‘cool’ enough!
          What was really amazing and heart-warming was that these very damaged people started to fix themselves….sometimes…..and many went on to happy and kind lives (so often they were nicer than ‘normal’ people) and certainly did not need so much ‘therapy’ thereafter.
          You may ask why I talk in so much detail. I too came from a ‘traumatic’ childhood without really understanding it all (or wanting to fix it – despite my training!), but more by luck than judgement (unwittingly – maybe subconsciously) tried to use my bad experiences for the good of others. I did a pretty good job, so I have been told, but I too fell into the trap that others who had a crappy childhood. In my case my abuser was my employers – my relationship – the NHS. I tried TOO hard to prove my worthiness and allowed myself to be treated pretty awfully by those who professed to ‘care’. It lead to my own profound depression and rejection by my ‘partner’ (employer) when I no longer ‘did what they wanted’. Certainly it contributed to my ‘not entirely successful’ sense of worth in the girlfriend department too. I so much wanted to distance myself from what I call ‘hunter-killer-shag-king’ male predatory stereotypes (what I saw aa abusers0 and sold myself short.
          Depression (and shit life syndrome as I call the misery that sometimes seems to occur in life) is a wake-up call. I have spent 5 years beginning to do stuff differently – I am not fixed, and I am still the same reasonably nice caring guy (like most of the abused patients I saw) but am much better able to notice and distance myself from ‘takers’. Whether they be obvious criminals, bosses, prospective girlfriends, friends or clients.
          I am much happier, and don’t care that I no longer earn £100k+ ( I never really did – but it DID help to pay off my mortgage thank goodness!). It is more important to still care for my ‘community’ independent of a abusive ‘institution’ (whether it be a relationship or work-environment or family), and able to choose who I have to ‘look after’ – and feel less urge to do so TOO!.
          I do odd jobs to supplement my income as an artist, still do some ‘gratis’ ‘life coaching’ and give advice to doctors/chums unofficially who are pissed off with the crap advice they get elsewhere. I CHOSE who I deal with whether personally, or professionally.
          —– > And that is the point…when a person has be starved of the ‘appropriate’ care (and that is really difficult to define – what is ‘appropriate’/good enough?) they will go out into life and be more vulnerable to NOT get what they deserve because they exude a ‘desperation’ (often well hidden) that others – predators (even if very needy themselves) spot as easy ‘care-givers’, to be abused in turn. OR alternatively don’t ask for care when they deserve it because they feel undeserving, so are handicapped in expressing love or whatever, Double whammy! <—————
          I certainly don’t(nor did I ever) have all the answers…..
          Whatever the ‘therapy’ – the road to recovery from ‘childhood trauma’ (or whatever it is called) – involves an individual being helped to recognise they need to first stop what they are doing – retreat to a ‘safe place’, think about stuff, accept the ‘hole of need’ (or whatever it is called), learn how to be with oneself first (love oneself – whatever). Only then will one be able to trust the RIGHT people – not the best at telling one what one wants to hear – and thus recognise appropriate love from others and give and take appropriately – ‘innate sociality’ I think were the words Jean Liedhoff used (mentioned elsewhere – which is in her Continuity Concept book) to talk about accepting and being within a community of respect and stuff  . ‘Give and Take Appropriately’ is often talked about in the ‘Human Givens’ movement (can’t nb authors), which I don’t necessarily agree with as a theory or a ‘cure-all’, but has it’s sensible ideas in amongst the ‘we are REALLY right more than anyone else’ silliness.
          What is so irritating about these ‘pop psychology’ guru types ( and more scary Scientologists etc) is they get rather over-excited about how amazing they are and get all cult-ish and otherwise absolutist. Then end up shagging a load of people (girls usually) or getting really rich and generally take advantage of the vulnerable and gullible – which is rather NOT the point of ‘therapy’ – enlightened ways etc.
          Good therapist are good enough (though imperfect)– bad ones are bad, but are SO good at appearing amazing! – the first hurdle for the abused is to tell the difference – OUCH!
          Hope this has been helpful to you …It has been helpful to me to think about it all again!  and Regards

          (originally cropped post – a week or so ago!)

      • As one in the Psych field, I am wondering if you or anyone else know of any Therapists in the Central California Coast area that share your thoughts and ideology in working with clients? I would love to have one that is caring and a bit sensitive to the unique challenges faced by ethnic minority individuals with mental health issues.

        • As I am over here in the UK – I am sorry I can’t be of help – knowing no one in California – though a couple of my pictures are near San Francisco!. Having worked in a city (Gloucester, UK) with a large South Asian, ‘black’ (British/African/Caribean) and Eastern European populations – sorry there are so manyconflicting and confusing ‘PC’ terms I have fallen back on census terminology (that makes me ‘white British’ instead of the old ‘caucasian’ – I am ‘pinkish’ and ‘blacks’ are multitudinous shades of ‘brown’ and aubergine-ish – but there you go) – you are right that people of different cultures need to be sensitive to each other in mental health. Even the terms ‘client/patient/service-user’ causes upset, but no one quite knows what anyone should call each other anymore – or rather are told what to feel outraged about. I was discriminated against as well for being white and ‘posh’, male, heterosexual, single slim…etc. SO I gave up being PC and concentrated on trying to get people better. Unfortunately my ‘PC’ bosses did not agree! Hence me doing something else now outside big organisations – who quite frankly and generally awful. I DO hope EOB that you find a therapist who is effective, whether they are an ‘expert’ on you culture or is (more importantly) willing and able to see you as an individual by nature of who YOU are and also how you were nutured – within the culture of family, community and wider ‘tribe’/race. I think this is more important. Though I came from a ‘posh’ white background, I did not fulfil the stereotypes of those that saw me, beyond the shallow stuff. I certainly didn’t sit around drinking sherry and listening to opera, which is what I kept on having to say! Discrimination – and understanding and respect – goes both ways. BEST OF LUCK EOB. I would imagine that your tapping into sites like Daniel’s means that you will have the confidence to find the ‘right’ therapist for you – looking beyond the certificates and the superficial. 🙂

          • Hi Toby, could you help me? I was diagnosed with many different things- have been on ‘anti-psychotics’ for many years, 13 in total. Aged 31 I am now suffering muscle spasms- I was diagnosed with indifferent schizophrenia- abroad- that was my latest diagnosis abroad in 2007- 23 years old..at the time I remember them saying to me that it was organic, was that their way of saying I had suffered brain damage which was impossible to cure.. that I was retarded.?..I had been on olanzapine, quetiapine, clozapine, haloperidol, etc.before this. I was born perfectly healthy, no brain damage whatsoever…..or any accidents, I was bilingual, spoke 2 languages from a very early age….. I enjoyed music, playing the piano since the age of 6, violin, guitar. Looking back I was shy at school… was studious, never took drugs, enjoyed my music, and studying….I have been tapering off since 2013 from these psychotropics.. they have not been monitored since 2007 because quite frankly I did not want to see anyone..and just saw someone briefly in 2013 so that I could be prescribed the lower doses of drugs…since I would say 2014 I have felt paralysed from the neck upwards,, my neck seems to twist to one side…and having gone various times to my GP since 2014 without any help, I decided to do my own research…and heard about dystonia…do you know of any therapists apart from mind charity rethink, sane etc… who would be able to help… I am based in London..in the UK.. and am really desperate for help..

            • Hi Samantha, Sorry to hear of the many difficulties you have experienced, and the lack of clarity. Your brief story is depressively common….multiple drugs, side-effects, inevitable discrepancies as you seek help from different sources. It SOUNDS as if you have developed a quite rare side-effect. Tardive dystonia. I never saw a case in 20 years of psychiatry. It can happen bizarrely when you REDUCE antipsychotic medication. If you get it in the neck (a more common site for it) it resembles torticollis – a spasm of the sterno-cleido-mastoid muscle ( I think), causing twisting of your neck to the opposite side and upwards and restriction of movement …etc. THAT used be treated with botulinum toxin injections (botox – used long before its use now for wrinkles removal), though I am not sure whether it works for tardive dystonia or whether there are now more modern treatments. It is really unlikely that GPs would know about it as it is REALLY rare and specialist knowledge stuff. I am actually surprised that I remember it! I will go and look it up to check I remember correctly! You do the same. ‘Indifferent schizophrenia’ is probably something that losses something in translation from a foreign language. I SUSPECT it is – or sounds like – ‘undifferentiated schizophrenia’ OR ‘schizophrenia – not otherwise specified’ (different disease classifications (DSM 4 (USA) or ICD10 (UK) have a ‘specifically vague’ way or saying – “….well it sounds like schizophrenia (or depression or anxiety disorder etc) but it is NOT a ‘classic case’ that easily fits into the other types we’ve just listed…..so we’ll call it…’undifferentiated’, ‘atypical’, or ‘not otherwise specified’…….”. ‘Organic’ is another ‘specifically vague’ confusing word (whether you are buying foods or the medical use of the word for a mental illness!). ‘Organic’ suggests that there is a ‘physical’ abnormality. I have never used the term as far as I remember for a mental illness UNLESS there is a clear history of a physical trauma (such as head injury etc) and even better an MRI/CT scan evidence of a lesion to back up the ‘physical trauma’ – that precipitated the mental illness or ‘personality change’. I didn’t use the term because it just causes confusion as the patient goes and looks it up (as you have done) and understandably gets the impression that their doctors think they are ‘brain damaged’ or ‘retarded’ – as you have done. Jargon can be used for good but also can be VERY confusing and lazily used. Unless you have forgotten something you clearly were not born with nor acquired brain damage. No wonder you are confused! Though you have probably got sick of psychiatrists and understandably want to avoid them, I think it would be sensible to ask to be seen again – via your GP – I’m a little surprised they have not suggested it. I would have been concerned if a patient of mine had not been reviewed at least once a year and had access to a team of mental health workers, who could answer the questions you clearly have. It is imperative that you discuss this (sounds like) tardive dystonia with someone really on the ball about it. I am no longer practicing as I got sick of being told I was a trouble-maker for highlighting bad practice and laziness, while being wildly overworked. I have on occasions been happy to review someone’s medical notes for free, but only for people I know (e.g. a friend’s girlfriend’s son who I suspected had side-effects – akathisia – and got them changed to a better drug) as both they and I felt comfortable with it – and it has to be documented in the nhs or other official records that I have done so. IF you can be courageous enough to go and get reviewed but a psychiatrist and you are still unhappy….do get back to me. However before you do that….for your own peace of mind – check me out via google/GMC to make sure I am (or was kosher!)…..also tell the psychiatrist/GP that you are unhappy and want a ‘second opinion’. I could probably find a still practicing psychiatrist who you could check out to do that too….but I would suspect that they would reasonably want to charge for the several hours it would take to read through your medical notes and make suggestions. If you have a relative or trusted friend do talk to them about your frustrations and concerns. I really hope you get some answers and don’t feel desperate enough having taken further action to have to contact someone like me to get what you really should deserve to get from the nhs. Really best wishes for the future.


              • hi, toby,
                thank you for your response. I have been a victim of psychiatric malpractice.. A bit of my medical history: In my medical notes it stated from one psychiatric consultant that his intention was to harm my brain and give me brain damage.. but this I read after he had told me one of the many myths that schizophrenia causes brain damage..to justify giving me psychiatric drugs I suppose..that sent me into a fit of tears and sobs. All this happened in 2005. I ran all the way to the hospital the following day…When I went to confront him, he then spoke to me like a nonentity and shouted at me.This sent me into a panic attack in front of him. Next thing I know is I am accused of kicking him and punching him, and he tried hard to institutionalise me. One consultant then writes back on my behalf and supports me. I was very underweight, and being forced to take drugs 20 mg of olanzapine by crisis teams. I refused, was told that it was my right to stop and suffered withdrawal effects. I lost my memory, did not know where I was and went to A&E in my pyjamas I would spend days on end sitting not knowing where I was..what time of day it was etc. Anyway I was sectioned for 28 days against my will and is an experience I will never forget for all the wrong reasons… horrible.. prior to this I had a wonderful memory which I miss and healthy brain… my teachers always commented that I learnt quickly and I would say I could remember many things.. I could sing.. I could compose,,,I look fine once you see me but this has debilitated me so much… my parents tried to write letters to consultants.. these were ignored..they were practically barred from any information…. . I don’t know…..I went abroad to a clinic and they said that I had suffered from the zyprexa.. quetiapine…etc etc and the many other drugs which I cannot remember had been very potent.. I was diagnosed parkinsonism… headaches.. and I had a brain scan MRI… anyway I was just thinking that maybe the abilify that I was prescribed may have even been a worse offender than the olanzapine, Seroquel etc..as I have been on it for over 7 years now.. they probably thought that I had brain damage from the drugs.. I could hardly vocalise anything… it is after 10 years that I am having to ask my self questions: why? why did they bear a grudge on me so much as to cause such harm..i internalised this grudge and hated myself…. now that I am confronting these questions. However the older I am the more I suffer and the more it hurts….I was relieved by your response, would you happen to know if dystonia is permanent.. I think it resembles what is called cerebral palsy.. .yet I was born perfectly healthy, and there are no genetic illnesses in my brain or in my family…how could they justify this I do not know.. anyway I will try to see a psychiatrist via my GP. I really need help.. and am quite desperate for answers. I would be prepared to see anyon e if they could give me any indication of hope.. I cannot change what happened but I would like a good quality of life…given my circumstances… thank you for responding to me once again..I can see you are one of the few, psychiatrists like you are in short supply…thanks Toby..

  73. Hi there. I came across your website/blog by accident and was impressed by the ‘more-than averagely’ thoughful things said here (whether I agree a lot or a little in their content!?!).
    I wish to say some stuff really overall to say – >JOLLY GOOD And that is the point…when a person has be starved of the ‘appropriate’ care (and that is really difficult to define – what is ‘appropriate’/good enough?) they will go out into life and be more vulnerable to NOT get what they deserve because they exude a ‘desperation’ (often well hidden) that others – predators (even if very needy themselves) spot as easy ‘care-givers’, to be abused in turn. OR alternatively don’t ask for care when they deserve it because they feel undeserving, so are handicapped in expressing love or whatever, Double whammy! <—————
    I certainly don’t(nor did I ever) have all the answers…..
    Whatever the ‘therapy’ – the road to recovery from ‘childhood trauma’ (or whatever it is called) – involves an individual being helped to recognise they need to first stop what they are doing – retreat to a ‘safe place’, think about stuff, accept the ‘hole of need’ (or whatever it is called), learn how to be with oneself first (love oneself – whatever). Only then will one be able to trust the RIGHT people – not the best at telling one what one wants to hear – and thus recognise appropriate love from others and give and take appropriately – ‘innate sociality’ I think were the words Jean Liedhoff used (mentioned elsewhere – which is in her Continuity Concept book) to talk about accepting and being within a community of respect and stuff  . ‘Give and Take Appropriately’ is often talked about in the ‘Human Givens’ movement (can’t nb authors), which I don’t necessarily agree with as a theory or a ‘cure-all’, but has it’s sensible ideas in amongst the ‘we are REALLY right more than anyone else’ silliness.
    What is so irritating about these ‘pop psychology’ guru types ( and more scary Scientologists etc) is they get rather over-excited about how amazing they are and get all cult-ish and otherwise absolutist. Then end up shagging a load of people (girls usually) or getting really rich and generally take advantage of the vulnerable and gullible – which is rather NOT the point of ‘therapy’ – enlightened ways etc.
    Good therapist are good enough (though imperfect)– bad ones are bad, but are SO good at appearing amazing! – the first hurdle for the abused is to tell the difference – OUCH!
    Hope this has been helpful to you …It has been helpful to me to think about it all again!  and Regards

      • Hi Daniel – I left a rather TOO long post – and it got shortened (maybe understandably) by about 2/3. Did you receive the whole thing and cut it down? That’s okay I suppose. The result though is the post is a bit disjointed and rather misses the point of me writing. I copied and pasted so have the original…..await instructions. 🙂

        • hi toby
          no, i didn’t cut it down. probably there’s some built-in limit to word length, but i don’t know. maybe you can break it up into parts and re-post?

    • Hi,

      I really became puled towards your post, and I wanted to ask you, what do you think makes a bad therapist so bad, AND gives them what quality of being so good, and likewise with the good psychologists? Where have you learned and what gave you this type of understanding?


      • Oops – Hi Sergio – I wrote a VERY long post and it was shortened by about 2/3! I wrote quite a lot about my experiences and personal stuff. Maybe Daniel would allow me to place the whole post (in sections if necessary – I spent a couple of hours writing!) that might go some way to answer your query? It’s ‘a little late’ (UK time 2.30 a.m.) and I just got up for a snack and noticed I got a response as forgot to turn off computer – but will return tomorrow, when brain in full order! ::

        • Hi Sergio – sorry It has taken so long to reply….life sometimes gets complicated (fortunately this time – mostly GOOD)…

          I could be criticised for making the destuinctionbetween ‘god’ and bad’ therapist too black and white, when of course they are on a spectrum – and I do not believe that any therapist is ‘perfect’.

          By the way my post of the 11th was too long for the site programme to cope with…..and I have now reposted it in full following advice from Daniel (thanks)

          A ‘bad’ therapist is someone who could EG – blame the patient/client for not ‘ fitting’ the type of therapy that the therapist is using (a common one for purists which can be a trait of e.g. rigid CBT-ers) – whether consciously or otherwise….so when the therapy doesn’t work – it is the patient’s fault – thus perpetuating the ‘it’s my fault’ mind-stet that is so often part of the abused person’s ‘problem’.

          The other issue is that therpists bang on about keeping a therapeutic distance and non-self-disclosure etc, which CAN be an excuse (and is certainly easier) for not getting ‘involved’ in the emotions of the patient.

          I have found that the therapist has to MEET the patient/client ‘in the middle’ and engage them in a safe healthy therapeutic alliance where the patient (child) experiences how ‘it should have been’ with the ‘parent’ (therapist) and is de-sensitised from ‘good/bad’ shunting, that so plagues their adult lives. All meaningful relationships (and people) are actually somewhere between perfect and 100% awful…..

          • …..(continued)
            The patient experiences the ‘intimacy’ of the therapist withpout the therapist crossing a line into ‘abuse’. Id you think about it most abusers have to groom their victims. The victims fear the grey of intimacy and affection…but paradoxically the only people they end up trusting as adults are the people most able to persuade them that they are ‘believable’ -ie the best liars…..who tell them what the want to hear….
            SO the role of a therapist is to allow the cclient.patient tolearn that ‘care’, love’ etc is also about telling the truth, being able to be angry without being rejected (or worse), and NOT big dramas, emotional extremes, or trying harder and harder to be nice so the abuser will love them….

            Sorry if I have waffled on….I did have to deal with people who were really traumatised and were self-harming, threatening and being rejected by mental health services as ‘untreatable’.

            Hope that’s helpful in a specifically vague sort of way.

            • It was, and I’m just seeing it now. Thank you. It makes me think I have an excellent psychologist at the moment. I work with Dr. Ann Louise Silver, and it wouldn’t have been possible without Mr Mackler. So thank you for your response and thank you Mr. Mackler for showing me the door towards my recovery.

              • sergio—you’re welcome. and i’m glad to hear you’ve connected with ann silver. i like her very much. she’s been very helpful to me over the years, and i am grateful to her. daniel

                • sergio,
                  it all started in 2005, when i wrote a paper critiquing gail hornstein’s book on the german psychiatrist frieda fromm-reichmann. it’s here, actually: http://wildtruth.net/frieda-fromm-reichmann ann silver was one of the first to read it, and was the first to see its value. i actually wrote about ann here on this website, and on how she helped me: http://wildtruth.net/commentary-on-fromm-reichmann-essay/

                  but even beyond this little essay, ann has been someone who is very generous of spirit with me. she saw my value in ways that almost no one in the mental health profession did up to that point. she became a sort of mentor to me in my growth in the field, especially around my writing and filmmaking about that thing labeled as psychosis. she was one of the first people whom i told i wanted to make a film on psychosis (back when i knew nothing about filmmaking), and she was very supportive of the idea (and many people were not — many thought i couldn’t make a worthwhile film that would reach a lot of people). she also was instrumental in getting me connected with david garfield, a psychiatrist with whom i wrote my first book, which got published by routledge: http://wildtruth.net/beyond-medication/ it was on her recommendation that he took me on as co-writer. and she was very helpful in getting another of my books published: http://wildtruth.net/a-way-out-of-madness/ ann also gave the main blurb for my film “coming off psych drugs”. you can see it here, at the top of the image: http://wildtruth.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/psychdrugs_image_larger.jpg basically, i like ann silver very much. she’s a kind, generous woman whom i respect highly and whose heart is in the right place. she’s also willing to take brave stands — publicly. i admire that. if more people in the mental health field thought like her it would be a totally different mental health system………… all the best!! daniel

    • I have been writing a series critiquing the psychology industry for Psychotherapy Australia and enjoyed your rationale for quiting therapy. One critic uses the lovely term ‘the psychological industrial complex’ and warns against the excesses of of over-pathologising individuals to create demand for therapy. Create demand increase profit. Have you come accross the work of Tana Dineen Canadian psychologist who wrote Manufacturing Victims. Very succinct analysis of the psychology industry.

      • Hi Maurice – sorry it took awhile to reply – got side-tracked with life! I have not read Tana Dineen’s work but I will certainly look it up. Though I am no longer work (salary anyway!) in mental health/psychotherapy I still am interested in it all! Thank you for the suggestion. I thoroughly agree (loosely) with the ‘manufacturing illness’ concerns. It certainly is going on now in the NHS – now that it is being morphed into a ‘business-model’ type outfit of generating demand. That’s why I had no option but to leave my job and do something a little more morally coherent! Cheers T

  74. Hi Daniel!
    Just finishing to read “Into the wild truth”, author: Carine McCandless: starting from the title, i think it’s a perfect example of the fact that there is just one truth, and people, before or after (or never), converge to it.

  75. Hi Daniel , I am your fan Fernando, I am receiving an Haldol 50mg/ml depot injection every 60 days which gives me terrible negative effects. My glucose blood level is very high at 130, I`ve gained a lot of weight and my general health is terrible. With my psychologista we have been doing CBT and I have been having very good progress and I am in therapy with him for four months. I like cbt a lot . The psychologist sent me to a psychiatrist so I can be changed to some softer or milder tablets. I am going to talk with the psychiatrist about it so what can I suggest to him or if you could give me a suggestion of what the medications with the least negative side effects are. The haldol gives me terrible anxiety and nervousness the whole day and I can`t concentrate and work well. Are benzos, antidepressants, SSRI`s, antianxiolitics, mood stabilizers, typical antipsychotics or atipycal antipsychotics more recomendable? Which type of medication is the least potent and powerful and won´t cause me so much anxiety and will let me be alert and concentrated so I work well and cause the least long term damage? Maybe you know a drug or type of that is soft or mild and is used at the end of the process of tapering off drugs? My father forces me to take psych drugs and they cause me a lot of problems and are a terrible burden. He and the doctors have forced me to take medications and given me ect and have never asked me for an informed consent. He is abusing my human rights. Thank you Daniel

    • Hi Fernando, Though I have given up my medical practice within the NHS, and it sounds as if you are American (?) and so things are a ‘little different’ there…could I make a few suggestions? Please feel free to reject them all as it is not brilliant practice to comment based on limited information. These comments are about medication generally rather than you – the individual’ who is taking medicine……

      It sounds as if someone has decided that you have to take medicine as you weren’t ‘very good’ at taking pills. This restricts the types of medicine you can take and unfortunately the depot meds CAN give people lots of side-effects – sounds as if you have akathisia, which is a deeply unpleasant restless feeling that drive people crazy. It is a little strange that you are on the injection only every 60 days, which means you are likely to experience variations in your levels (and thus the effectiveness) of the medicine… Why?
      Because we don’t know the exact reason for you being on the Haldol (it can be used to ‘calm emotions’ as well as for schizophrenia or other psychoses) it is a little difficult to give specifics about alternatives…however – again writing about drugs in general…..each individual and the drug that suits them varies enormously (in the same why as one person might love marzipan and someone else hate it – I am the latter!). I would hope that the psychiatrist you see would at least consider a drug such as Quetiapine (also called Seroquel in the UK). Though it comes in slo release form the vast majority of my patients did not like this version and preferred the ‘normal tables. The good thing about them (among others) is that though it is recommended to take twice a day, it can of course just be taken at night. It has a calming effect (it can even be taken to help anxiety and sleep in depression in lower doses of 100-200mg at night). Though it TOO can cause side-effects (including the blood-sugar problems you have) it seems lesslikely to cause the restlessness (akathisia) that you have mentioned. It can (in the UK at least) be given WITH Haldol, and if it suits you, then the Haldol can just be left to fadeout of your blood-stream (takes about 2-3 months). The problem you have is that your father will be suspicious of you changing to a pill as it seems you don’t (or at least didn’t) want to take medicines in the past….so there might be a lot of negotiations to have with them! Another point…..IF you are taking Haldol( or ANY anti-psychotic) for a psychosis – then it is REALLY unlikely that you will be able to come off medication entirely. As a trained CBT therapist (too) for psychosis (and other conditions) I would be really careful to stop medications – certainly not after 4 months of therapy. I would like to add at this point that NHS doctors have no motivation to prescribe medications as we our salaries are unrelated to what, when, how much, we prescribe. Of course there are some dubious people in every profession who get bribed to peddle stuff, and the same is probably true of doctors (I went on a couple of nice conferences paid for by drug-companies in the past – but was not swayed by their ‘optimistic’ stories of how amazing their drugs were!). SO I am not saying that because I like it – or benefit from it – it is just the reality.

      If however you are being prescribed Haldol for other reasons (such as for ’emotional dysregulation’ – jargon for – being all over the place with your feelings – a common consequence of childhood trauma or part of the diagnosis of ‘borderline personality disorder’ – then that is another matter. alsorts of medicines can (or cannot) be helpful, but it is rather hit or miss – so I can’t add anything more useful.

      Best of luck Fernando. You really need to communicate really well about your fears and concerns, which is likely to be difficult.

  76. Thanks for sharing all your work. I’m so encouraged by your idea of self therapy. I had to recently terminate my therapy with an amazing analyst due to overwhelming feelings for them. Oh well…So now instead of feeling distraught I’m feeling empowered!! Will be checking back often during my times of weakness.
    I do feel bad for all the therapists out there though having to deal with people like me falling in love with them left and right!! 🙂

      • Ive sometimes wondered if erotc transference occurs when a therapist hasn’t done enough of their own healing and are still projecting unconscious needs of wanting to be liked or even loved. Then again, repairing our attachment wounds feels like a lifetime’s work and perhaps there is no such thing as a therapist that is so clear, he/she does not attract any projections. Just a hunch of mine.

        • insightful thought, david. i think that in a lot of cases you’re probably right on the money. i think therapists can induce ALL SORTS of things in their clients because of the therapists’ own unresolved and unacknowledged needs…..

          • Absolutely…..the REALLY important thing is for the therapist to be aware of what they are feeling/experiencing and don’t get the wrong idea – or appallingly – take advantage (despite what some tosser therapists thinks – it is NEVER appropriate to have a sex relationship with a patient/client) – if the patient (client) starts ‘flirting’. This is VERY common in abused people and should ALMOST be expected. If the flirting is recognised (it does not even have to be addressed ‘head-on’) and used to convert into a trusting professional emotionally ‘intimate’ alliance, the patient will hopefully learn that they do not have to flirt (or conversely – reject) to get a response of ‘being cared for’ (loved) as they learnt very confusingly and form care-givers who used ‘love’ (‘grooming’) to get their evil ways. Sorry I have honed in on sexual abuse, but the same sort of thing applies to neglect, physical abuse etc too)

  77. love your work Daniel – you’re way ahead of the curve and maybe in a few centuries/millennia people will laugh at how defended and resistant folk were to your concepts. Sadly, i think it will take that long for humanity to wake up and get more conscious. Like you I am plagued by somatic symptoms as i break away from my father – a holocaust survivor, and heal my attachment traumas. If you ever come to the UK id love to meet up and talk more.

  78. Dear Daniel,

    I would appreciate your take on my therapy situation.

    I have been working with my therapist for almost a year and a half. This has included regular email contact. He is a fairly new therapist and not yet licensed although working towards it.

    We finally uncovered that all my emails will be held as part of my permanent therapy record. He says he has to hold onto all emails with clinical content. I was unaware of this when I wrote all those emails.

    The content of the emails is very raw and vulnerable and the idea of a court being able to subpoena those emails makes me feel sick to my stomach. My therapist says his hands are tied and he cannot delete the emails.

    Is it legitimate for me to be worried about this? I am really mad that I didn’t get a warning that my emails would be part of my record. I would have been much more cautious about what I wrote if I knew this was the case.


    • hi angela,
      hmm, that is something i hadn’t thought about before. when i was a therapist people (clients) emailed me sometimes and i never told them those emails were part of their permanent record. but i guess it would depend if you emailed him at a private clinic email address, or part of a sort of encrypted email system that is connected to your medical records. for instance, i go to a regular doctor (for my physical health) and i communicate with him via a private encrypted messaging system where all our messages are retained as part of my record. i knew that going into it and i have no problem with it. however, if you are just sending him emails to his gmail or hotmail account i don’t see why he can’t just delete them….unless he really is very new and naive and is following every rule that he has heard to the “T”. also, if he’s still a student or intern he is probably being supervised by someone, and maybe somehow the supervisor is tying his hands. but it still sounds strange. but it does sound like your confidentiality is at risk, and when i was in situations like that (as a client) it didn’t make me want to engage much more in therapy. but i don’t know your situation. it may not be serious at all. all the best, daniel

      • The emails were through his therapy website where he has a blog and advertises himself as a therapist. I don’t know if that is a private encrypted messaging system or not. I do know that the emails are redirected to his Gmail account because sometimes he answers me from that.

        He says he has to follow the law. He didn’t even know about the law until a few weeks ago when I was wanting to quit therapy. I was at a really low point of trusting him and said I wanted to see my notes which he put up a fight about. I still never got to see my notes.

        I then asked him to delete all our emails and he said “I don’t know if I can do that.”

        He asked his supervisor and then found out that in fact he could not delete the emails because the law says any emails with clinical content are part of the record.

        Neither of us knew about this law but now he says it applies retroactively to our work. That hurts a lot.

        I have been flip flopping for a while about whether to stay in therapy with him. There are a lot of really positive aspects of our relationship but a lot of hurtful things have happened too. It is my understanding that if things go well I will be getting angry and challenging him which is the point I am at now, so I am not sure if it necessarily means I need to quit.

        • well……that sounds like no fun. i wish i had a good answer for you. best thing i’d say is that i hope you can trust your gut and follow your heart…… daniel

          • Apologies for reading and adding something here. First I agree with Daniel (as a therapist – ex one – myself, and psychiatrist in the NHS – ex), that ti doesn’t all make COMPLETE sense. That said, the general rule (good practice) here is that any correspondence is better to be recorded. Based on such law as tarasoff (sorry for the spelling – where a client disclosed his murderous intent to the therapist and nothing was done and the client went on to attack (?kill) the victim) – the therapist also has to act if the disclosure might put others at risk. The same rule also ap[plies to the therapist’s emails (or other correspondence),which protects the client/patient. That said it is a shame that the therapist was not explicit about the records – especially if emails are a normal part of ‘therapy’. It was a occasional exception in what I and others did – but maybe that is a sign of ‘pre-technology explosion practice’ (I’m getting on a bit at 51!).
            Another thing – you are ‘right’ to expect some pretty unpleasant feelings to come out in therapy and often anger, hatred (and more positive feelings too) can end up being directed towards them (and felt FROM them too!). It is hopefully a sign that you are processing the feelings that you were ‘not allowed to have’ in the past and have not been able to ‘use’ effectively in your more recent relationships (which may have lead to you getting therapy).
            Honest communication with your therapist is important and might be difficult. I would hope that if is he is as ‘good’ as you hope him to be, then he will accept his part in the ‘miscommunication’ and you will both gather benefit from the adult’ ‘row’ that you have had (if you get my drift) and been able to get through as a sign of a mature, development in the therapeutic alliance.

            If he gets all defensive and – ‘well of course I had to do that….’ type ‘parent talking to a child’ (but actually the opposite) way, then you may have to think again. Trusting someone involves the possibility of loosing trust with them, and ‘crises’ of confidence like these either strengthens the ‘trust’ – by revealing the willness to say ‘sorry I was not perfect but you can trust me’ or or reveals the lack thereof – i.e. you must trust =be because I am perfect and you are the one who is wrong’ (abuse relationship)!

            Wild generalisations here, but I hope some use…:)

            Best of luck

            • Hi Toby,

              It is many months later and I just saw your response to what i wrote here. It has been a few months since I have taken a “break” from therapy.

              I am feeling really grossed out by the fact that I spent thousands of dollars for treatment that was supposed to be for me, and it turns out part of what was happening was against my wishes.

              I had no desire for my personal emails to be part of my record and I had no warning that they would be.

              My therapist finally claims to have printed off the emails and is keeping them as a hard copy rather than in email “as a memory aid of all the topics we have discussed.”

              Part of me thinks he is lying and they are still part of my record. I feel really gross about it. I didn’t sign up for this. There are hundreds of personal emails and I’m not sure why he wanted to waste so much ink and paper printing it out unless he is doing it for legal purposes.

              Thanks for giving me your take on it though.

    • Lieber Wolfgang,
      dank Dir für diesen Text. Intergenerationelle Traumtas sind auch für meine eigene Geschichte ein grosses Thema.
      I don’t know, wether Daniel is able to read german 😉
      but for this article about alice Miller I think he should try to…

      • Liebe Andrea,

        ich vermute du sprichst perfekt Deutsch und hast nicht google translate benutzt:-)

        Daniel kann einigermassem Deutsch. Leider gibt es das Buch von Millers Sohn nur in Deutsch. Daniel kenne ich seit zig Jahren, leider noch nicht bei ihm in USA gewesen. Miller kennt uns beide ! Ein längere Geschichte, letztendlich zum schmunzeln.

        Bei mir bedankte Sie sich öfters, Hammer Texte. Hier einer davon. Miller 2008: „Sehr geehrter Herr Krapf Sie haben recht, es wird sich nichts ändern, wenn die Fachleute, die Hirnforscher, Vorträge vor ihren Kollegen halten, aber die breite Öffentlichkeit nichts darüber erfährt, wie die Kinder unter dem hochgeachteten Vorwand der Erziehung in den ersten vier Jahren zu Monstern oder / und Schwachköpfen zugerichtet werden. Es ist gut, das Sie sich darum kümmern wollen. Ich kopiere Ihnen einen Artikel den ich neulich in diesem Zusammenhang geschrieben habe…“

        In dem Artikel macht sie Shonkoff (Harvard) nieder. Zwischen Ihren 13 Büchern und ihrem Privatleben (mit ihrem Sohn), liegen Welten. Deswegen heisst der Artikel: Sie hat ihre Fehler nie eingesehen. Leider kann ich nicht perfekt englisch, aber vielleicht kannst du dieses obige « grausige « Zitat von ihr übersetzen. Letztendlich gab ihr NeuroScience recht, denn der prefrontale Kortex hat normalerweise « Affekte » etc. im Griff, respektive das Kontrollzentrum, das auch für Decision Makings zuständig ist, weist seit frühester Kindheit ein neuronales Desaster auf: cell pruning.

        okidoki. Will Daniels Blog nicht ellenlang mit Deutsch vollmüllen 🙂

        liebe grüsse.

  79. First time I heard about you was when I watch croatian TV show and you were guest there. I was very interested in your work and view on mental health.

    What is your opinion about institutional education because you don’t think that (even) parents are capable for raising children without any form of abuse?

    I’m writing a book about educational system in Croatia. I work as a kindergarden teacher and I don’t like situation in which I am. I expect to get fired after publication and some of my colleagues have the same opinion.

    I watched several videos on your youtube channel, you are very radical, but I like it. It is a blasphemy in Croatia to tell someone that he or she is incapable to be a parent. Having children is like breathing – normal, almost compulsory. There is some kind of saying here about having children, I try to translate it to you. Almost exclusively, women are rationalizing motherhood. They say that women are giving birth to a child to themselves. It is normal to say ’She birthed a child to herself’. This is regarded as a success, especially if mother is in late thirties or in forties. Even single mother, even mental health patient, ex addict, no matter what.

    • Hello Bojan,
      greetings — and thank you for your message. i enjoyed reading it. my experience on the educational system — not good!!! i think it’s in general a terrible system. i see it as preparing people more work factory work and prison than for a creative adult life. i was very good in school but i hated it. i also tried for a few months to teach music for pre-kindergarteners. that was in 1999. i loved the kids but found so many of the rules of the school idiotic and also many of the parents were totally backward. and many of the teachers were good people but burned out — and they would never speak up. they were making good money and had accepted the misery of their situation. i never returned to that job, and became a therapist instead. at least i could work independently as a therapist! wishing you all the best on your journey. to speak the truth is not easy!! daniel

      • I am a primary school teacher in Italy, i understand so well these words!
        I think school is in a strategical position for help parents and sons, but fails daily because is an expression of the insane social system, the same that Bojan describes.
        Me, too, i’m fighting every day for trying to protect kids, at least at school, but i am lonely and don’t know how long i can resist. Helps reading that others are passing by that right now, Bojan, thank you.
        I don’t know much about you, but saying you are comfortable with the radicality of Daniel makes me think our stories are similar.
        Kind regards

  80. Hello Daniel,

    By way of “spreading the word,” do you (ever) do book endorsements? If so, how might I entice you to (even) consider endorsing mine?

    • hi Dan,
      well, no….i don’t do book endorsements, or never have. i get asked from time to time but it’s not really for me. but out of curiosity, what is your book about? all the best to you!! daniel

      • Sorry to hear that. As for what my book is about, “it’s” actually a series of five books. As they are full of new material, controversial, and are pre-publication, I’m reluctant to elaborate to any degree here. That said, the five go under the “constellation” title of,

        “The Unutterable Theft—the Histories, Horrors, Parenting, Politics, and Religion of Frankenstein.”

        1. Revolution
        2. Prisoners
        3. Escape
        4. Stealth, and
        5. The Suburbs of Utopia.

        —which in themselves tell something of the run of the series. Suffice it to say that in discussing concepts like the “War between the Generations”—between the “Pandemonizing Parent” and the “Pandemonized Child,” the series augments the work of Alice Miller. Roundly, “Theft” is, “about power—how it used, abused, and (where necessary) overcome.”

        The second book in the series (“2. Prisoners,”) focuses on the conflict between Zeus and Prometheus. One beta reader, on foot of a string of “OMG”‘s described it as “beyond eloquent.”

        Are you by any chance a member of Goodreads.com? If so and given that your question hints at a possible reconsideration, then and if your further interested I can PM you there and tell you more.


  81. Hello Daniel
    I am a fan of your films, music and your ideas. I am 45 years old and I am from Quito Ecuador in South america My father in an attempt to abuse me in his interests has followed me and persecuted with psychiatry in an exagerated way. He forces me to have Haldol depot injections which cause me terrible effects and harm not with the intention of helping me but to control my life and to to tke advantage of me and keep me drugged wit psych meds like a moron or an idiot . He has even forced me to have aproximately 25 ECT treaments. My father thinks he is the person that knows the most about mental health in the world. He wants to use exagerated diagnostics and tells exagerated stories and lies to the doctors. We had a coaching session with Chaya Grossberg and he never wnted to talk to her again and said she was crazy. He immediately says any body that doesn´t believe in psych drugs is crazy I ´ve made him watch your films and he gets very angry. He is a firm believer of psychiatry and and psychaitric drugs. I wanted to know if you know of doctors that treat with psychotherapy and not psych drugs here in Quito,Ecuador like in your films. I also wanted to know if you know of any antipsychiatric a or human rigths groups here in Quito, Ecuador to contact if they could help me. Do you have an idea what I cuuld do against my fathers iron grip over my rights and my life even though I am an adult.
    Congratulations on your compasionate , progressive and efffective opinions and concepts of mental health.
    Thank you for your help
    Hernan Quito Ecuador

    • hola Hernan. greetings from new york! Yo tengo un contacto en Quito. El es un hombre que estudiando psicoterapia hace unos años y el ha comprado unos de mis peliculas… es posible que el puede hablar con tigo y tambien posiblemente ayudarte.

      i will send you his email backchannel. all the best,

  82. Dear Daniel, landed on the ward, with the full package of your song of pills … Haldol, Amisulprid, Akineton…..
    BUT I’m still on the way! Believe me.Watch on, think of me!

  83. Hey Daniel,

    I’ve recent been watching your documentaries and listening to your thoughts and ideas on psychosis, and it has given me some hope on my struggle that I hadn’t have before. I was wondering if you could give me some advice, I recently talked to Mr. Bob Whitaker, and I feel you could perhaps know a bit more about this. My mild psychosis was brought about after a panic attack on marijuana. I had done some drugs prior, (LDS, shrooms) a few times, and had been smoking marijuana for a whole before this. I quit and for 2 months I had terrible ocd thoughts of harming others, sexual stuff, etc, and then I began having very paranoid thoughts about my family and just more and more delusions differing in theme, its been 20 months since all this started, and somehow, I have always been able to retain my insight about all this. It’s very scary not knowing what is exactly wrong with me, who to go to, or even if I’ll recover. I have taken no drugs since then, and I was one a neuroleptic one day and things were exacerbated. I know it was drug induced, all of this, but I don’t know which way to go about it. Is there any way I could hear your thoughts on this? It might give me some idea into what I should do next.

    Thanks Daniel.


    • hi sergio,
      greetings. well — it’s hard for me to tell from a distance what’s going on, but sometimes i have seen with people that some really wild stuff (the stuff called “psychosis”) can come out when people take drugs. but it’s stuff that was in there — i think the drugs just lubricate its appearance. also, all that stuff is usually metaphors for other stuff — so it’s a question, if i’m on the right track here, to figure out what that stuff means and where it is coming from. i personally tend to focus in my own life on the childhood trauma stuff. sometimes a therapist can help — if they’re good — but also self-therapy might help too. and support from others who have gone through similar wild experiences can be very helpful. but that all depends on where you are located and if you are able to find others. some people are able to connect with others online — as there are a lot of people who go through similar things and have come through them fairly successfully or very successfully. i write a lot about self-therapy — not sure if it would be helpful to you, but you can feel free to check it out if you wish. http://wildtruth.net/on-self-therapy/

      you might also like this site, though perhaps you’ve already seen it: http://beyondmeds.com/

      however, with stuff of the intensity you’re describing it can be overwhelming for some people to face it alone in self-therapy. it’s just a question of finding one or more good people for support. not always easy — but perhaps quite possible. wishing you the best on your journey! daniel

      • Thank you so much for your response Daniel. I majored i psychology from University here in the U.S in Austin, Texas, and I think that I studied it because I wanted to fix myself and all my problems in my family, I guess I have been failing quite miserably at that lately then. I have a question for you about what you said in regards to recovery and that its something that its already there. I watched your open dialogue documentary twice, and your healing childhood traumas video. I eel as if you believe that psychosis can be fully healed, but you also seemed to say that people ave come out through them quite successfully or very successfully. Do you mean to say that they fully recovered? I try really hard to uncover why this is happening to me but I feel like I don’t have huge traumas anymore, and at the same time I do. Its hard to explain. One thing that has been impossible for me has been to find people who have gone through what Ive been going through and have recovered. Drug induced, etc. I haven’t found anyone really. Some people say im not suffering from delusions and its obsessions, etc. Idk whta to think. I live in San Antonio, Texas and I’ll be moving to Colombia for 6 months quite soon. I truly and deeply appreciate your help.



        • hi sergio,
          i think there are tons of people everywhere who have gone through psychosis and come out the other side — but they just don’t talk about it so people don’t know. in my past i’ve had some pretty paranoid times on drugs (marijuana) and came out of it. but mine weren’t too intense and didn’t last long, thankfully. i’ve known others for whom the intense times lasted a lot longer. i think some people also pass through psychosis and come out the other side without really healing their traumas. others can heal them. sometimes i think healing the traumas can make the journey more intense. perhaps some people bury the traumas in some ways — and that makes it easier to heal. these are just my ideas — i think it can be really different for everyone. but healing traumas is hell, that i have seen. i don’t personally know anyone in san antonio who’s gone through it, but have you looked up john breeding? he’s a psychologist who talks about healing psychosis, i believe, and i think he’s somewhere in texas. all the best to you — y buen viaje a colombia. no he ido a sudamerica y quiero ir…. i guess you saw colombia mentioned in “open dialogue.” it also gets a mention in “take these broken wings” (another of my films, which i think you would really like) — better recovery rates there in colombia than in the united states 🙂 daniel

          • Daniel,

            I really want to know what you mean by “come out the other side” and “recovery”? For me, I mean fully healed, no paranoia,no crazy thoughts, no fighting for my sanity, just waking up and not being afraid of how the Day is gonna go anymore. Yeah I saw that, that’s what gave me hope. I’m going to find John breeding and ask him what he thinks. I’ve been dealing with a lot of traumas since all this started happening.. You think that’s why it might be taking so much longer for me to recover? I hope you go sometime, esta hermoso!

            • well, to be honest i’m not really even sure what i mean!! what you write sounds so much more clear and real. for me sometimes it’s just words to cover so many different experiences of so many people. i don’t know why i even use the word recovery. i don’t like it myself. yours words are more clear.

              anyway, i’m exhausted — bedtime. gracias 🙂

        • Hello Sergio:
          You are not alone. There are other people in the world going through something similar. I see from what you write that you want a solution, but from my own experience I learnt to live day by day, and make the best of it. Faith is very important in healing, so never lose hope. Things that have helped me are exercise, meditation, proper nutrition, vitamins, sunlight. If you want to read about other people’s experiences there are facebook groups you can join. I like The Icarus Group in particular. From what You wrote I understood you were not medicated and that it’s been only 20 months. I am no expert but there should be hope. The other thing is you mentioned the word “Recovery” many times. What do you mean by recovery? Going back to the old You before the psychosis? Being free of psychosis? Or being able to function and work in Society despite the psychosis? ……..i am from South América. Daniel, should really consider visiting South América!! Wish you the best. A.

          • Adriana,

            thanks for the support. By recovery I mean fully healed, not having these thoughts and needing,to discern fact from fiction In my head.ita so painful, especially thinking I’m losing my mind,more and more rather than heading towards the light of sanity. I wish I knew. Thanks for taking the time to write about this. I function relatively well in this world, its just that I feel sad and in despair a lot because of what goes on my head. It impedes ne from,moving forward and making decisions to live a fully realized life.

  84. Hey i was wondering if you want to team up to help fight against Spiritual People being forced into Psychewards ……..Thats Bullshit hahah let me know! I was forced atleast 5 times and I have had enough! Have a great day! Bless!

    Best Wishes,


  85. Looking back more then a year now, Daniel…it’s kind of odd and strange…your music helped me very much opening up to a deity (and later deities)………………while………….you are an atheist ! ….. or I am wrong here?

    • i don’t know. i don’t worry too much about labels. i guess you could say that i’m an atheist, though i don’t really use that term for myself. i have faith in a lot of things that are rather unusual, based on my experience.

      • Daniel, on your beautiful website, I want to share my honest and true love for you as a hero, a beacon of light, somebody who has a beautiful most splendid place in my heart and in my soul, who is a keyfigure of spreading love on this beautiful planet. And through you I want to say thank you very much to Peter Breggin. I’m not exagurating and asking for a rescue-call. Through theses words I want to express my honest and deep eternal love to you both…thank you very much.

  86. Dear Daniel,

    I just broke from My parents – or better: started to do so. Thursday. Three days ago.
    I had help from my Shiatsu therapist and friend – teaching me a Ritual, which now has to be repeated till the boundaries are Finally Cut.
    It Feels Like it will take time, But it Is working! Strongly. And I am ready to go. Finally after Years of Schizophrenia diagnosis and escapimg into Madness…..

    Just thought it would be good to let you know – I’m on the way!!!! Watch me!

    Thanks for being who you are – and sharing that gift

  87. Hello Daniel. I wonder what is your opinion/point of view about diet/veganism. What is your perspective on strict veganism, do you consider it ethical choice not to eat animals? Are childhood trauma and disconnection from your feelings contribution to being meat eater, or opposite, you project your inprisoned child onto animals and try to protect them from what you experienced.

    • hmm, well — i eat meat. i can’t say i feel it’s 100% ethical (cruelty to animals), but i’ve noticed that my body feels better when i eat some meat — though not too much. i used to hunt when i was a teenager (small game — rabbits, things like that) and i felt in a way that was more ethical, more honest, than just buying factory meat. but now i really don’t think i have the heart to shoot animals anymore. but maybe i’m a bit of a hypocrite by buying meat, hmm… daniel

      • It seems to me the same. Hunting is more honest. But what is happening in factory production is horrible. I eat meat from time to time too, but I struggle with it. Thanks for your response.

  88. Hi Daniel. I enjoyed your video on psychotherapy a lot and I share a lot of your views. Would you be able to recommend a good therapist in the Santa Monica/Los Angeles area or somebody who does online sessions? I would appreciate that.

    • hi carrie — off the top of my head i don’t know anyone in that area. but maybe i have some other ideas. i’ll send you a backchannel email.

      • Hello Daniel~
        I luckily fell upon your blog madinamerica- really appreciate your story. I am a therapist working towards my LCSW and relate on many levels- already. It frightens me how draining our work can be. It frightens me more that my body reacts to it as it has and I wonder just how much I can absorb. Your story inspires me to think bigger as far as how I may be able to do such rewarding work in a more flexible and creative way.


  89. hi Daniel! I am interested in the work in Finland, for my son. I couldn’t get their address, though. Would you kindly pass it on to me? It is quite urgent now… thanks very much, & congratulations for being at the front of this struggle! it is such a poignant need, and there are just so few people that we can ask for help! nice to count on you! I just would not be able to live in NY!

    • hi sonya,
      unfortunately, i don’t think they can do much, if anything, for you in finland. their program only accepts local people–from that part of finland. even if you have a lot of money you can’t take someone for treatment there. also, i read of your situation earlier on this blog and i didn’t have any easy answers. that’s probably why i didn’t post anything until now. so, one important question regarding your situation is about how much money you have. it’s a sad reality i see in the world. if you have more money you have more options. but regardless, lots of money or not, i think it is best to try to stay local if you can, find local support and local help. the question is, what is available in brazil near you……i am not sure. i might know some therapists there, though, who have ideas. all the best, daniel

      • dear Daniel
        schizofrenia, for me, relates to a main loss of faith, of trusting in ourselves & others & the world. And I have been strugglin’ all these years for keeping the flamme on. It may be part of the game. Brasil now is very chaotic, we’re undergoing a big crisis on politics, social attitude, water, rainforest, and so on. I have spent, I guess, all resources available. Mental care is downhole, and I am/ will still bel struglin for my son… if he does not recover completely, I am sure that he still can lead a simple but more meaningful life. It is not easy. I need to find help. If you do know any therapists down here who can do it, please let me know. I can work and pay for his treatment, as I always did. So, please give me your hand, if you can. Have you ever heard of Dr. Nise da Silveira?(Jung) Dr. Eliezer Mendes (Psychotranse). Bispo do Rosario? They’re very special people, from Brasil, they dedicated their lives to deal with this stygma… and did a good job. I guess I will be giving my contribution, as simple as it may be, before I die. That’s all I can do, and, as you know well, it’s a hard job. Give me a hand, and I will do the best from it, I promise you. Thanks a lot, all the best

        • hi sonya
          i have not heard of those doctors in brasil. what is their opinion on what will help your son? and what does your son want?

          • Hey Daniel.

            You know what would say Alice Miller to the following text: Spiritual practices such as meditation, prayer, yoga, as well as finding meaning and purpose in life are considered vital to optimal wellness, etc.

            I always say. If it works, everything is OK:-) But overall: The best therapy is a safe bond.

            • Dear Daniel,

              I watched all of your documentations, and watched all the youtube-videos from Sean Blackwell.
              In my very humble opinion they are the best about psychosis, that I’ve watched so far. I’m only missing a documentation made by you about the actual work, that Sean and friends do with their clients. Such a documentation would be a great addendum to your Open Dialogue/Soteria/Healing Homes-Series … 🙂
              Best regards! And thanks a lot for your work

  90. I really enjoyed your video about schizofrenia/depression featuring the Icelandic woman and man. I would like to help a friend of mine and I’m wondering if you have any info about healing bipolar disease without medication? Thank you very much!

    • hi marisa — you’re welcome. hmm, healing bipolar. well, most of my films are technically about that thing called schizophrenia, but really i think a lot of things that help in distress apply to lots of people, regardless of diagnosis. my other films are here if you want: http://wildtruth.net/dvd/ my film “coming off psych drugs” has a couple or more people with a history of the bipolar diagnosis. meanwhile, some of these essays might be useful to you: http://wildtruth.net/on-self-therapy/ also, check out the website madinamerica.com — might be good stuff there. all the best, daniel

  91. Hanna Lundblad-Edling is not on Facebook. I have sent a message to Karina, already. Thanks, I am chasing The Caring Home in Finland, now, & want to know if there’s more of them, & where they are… thanks, anyway

    • Hi Sonya, are you on facebook? Then get in contact with Carina Hakansson or Hanna Lundblad-Edling. They are both working with the familiy care foundation in Healing Homes.
      I think you can send them an Instant message there.

      Maybe Daniel is traveling and not able to answer….

      Greetings from Switzerland

  92. Hi Daniel,

    I have read your books and watched your videos and i am well aware of the wounds parents can inflict on their children and that got me doubting and questioning whether my parents really loved me. but what if some accident happened and my body gets paralysed, in such a situtation i cant even imagine then anyone in this world would look after me and take care of me other than my parents. does that mean that my parents really love me? is this an unconditional love?

    • hi ravi — good questions. hmm, i want to try to answer as best i can. i think parents can love their children but often some part of the love is sick. sometimes part of it is not sick. for instance, i think my parents loved me in some ways and really did not love me, or love me properly, in others. they were wounded people and they acted out their wounds on me. and they also shared some gifts with me. as for whether or not your parents “really love you”, i do not know, because i do not know your situation. sometimes i am not even sure how much my parents love or loved me. and was their love to me unconditional? my experience, unfortunately, showed me in many ways over many years that it was not. all the best, daniel

  93. I am very interested to contact the Healing Homes for a treatment for my son. I am from and live down in Brasil, and have been taking care of him for the last 30 years. Now I am alone, have no close family or friends, and it has become very difficult to be by myself in this journey, as it is a lifetime journey, and I am getting old, worried abou what is going to be with him, when I am not here anymore.
    I went to Sweden when I 1st married, many years ago, when I was pregnant of Sereno, and we spent a whole summer in Stockholm, working and saving money.
    The life history of my son is a very moving one, as he was such a luminous child, very talented and wise. I am a musician, a singer, I play the acoustic guitar, and I write lyrics and poetry too. I have a very subtle work with the voice, as you can see in my site. Sorry it is in portuguese, I may be able to translate it soon. My son was a musician too, a ceramist, and a gardener, but now he is pretty lost in his own troubles. Still I can see the unchangeable structure of his character, despite the illness. For all this long I have tried to keep him out of heavy medication, though.
    Could you please put me in contact with the Healing Homes in Sweden & Finland, & other places with the same proposal, that I could check & try? I am looking forwards to get in contact with the people from Healing Homes, so I can look forwards for something that can really help us in a new path, less painful & more meaningful. Down in Brasil now is HEAVY STUFF, POLITICS & POWER DRIVING PEOPLE MAD.
    Thanks ever so much, please do not delay co’s my heart is beating fast.
    All the best from
    Sonya Prazeres & Sereno dos Prazeres & Baker.

    hope to speak to you soon <3

  94. sono in Italia, in Basilicata.Due figli psicotici che vorrei smettessero i farmaci fossero seguiti dallo staff di dialogo aperto. Posso farli curare in Finlandia con spese a carico del sistema sanitario italiano? grazie

  95. Hi Daniel:

    Your youtube video in which you critiqued the modern practice of psychotherapy helped me so much. I am about to complete doctoral studies in spirituality and psychotherapy and I do love counseling as a profession, though I haven’t formally practiced yet. I’m at a cross-roads, not sure where to find my fit in the field. I perceive that with all my training, I may find my destiny doing something completely different but always having the heart of a Counselor – being able to invest myself in that which exalts life – at an individual and system level – because that is what I think our work is about.

    I was so inspired by your magnanimous sharing and your humble, creative, masterful approach. Wishing you God’s choicest blessings as you continue on your journey, in your work and in all that you do.


  96. Dear Daniel,

    I’m not sure if you remember me – Renata from Split, Croatia. I hope you’re doing well.

    Please , if possible, give us your permission to put all of your work (films etc.) translated to Croatian on you tube. I urge you to realize that Croatia is a backward Balkan country deeply corrupted and it’s vital for us – activists – to make pressure using every possibility we have to promote mental health in our really backwards country where people are treated in our mental institutions worse than animals. This is very serious and please think and help us any way you can.

    I have one very important question for you, as I’m in the midst of Ludruga falling apart – 6 persons left and there are some serious accusations about Ksenija Kapelj coming to me from translator Ema Dražić. The reason I have serious doubts about Ksenija – the sole and only reason is the fact that she lied to me that she was an architect after I hosted her in my home. Ema Dražić, translator, informed me that Ksenija presented your coming to Croatian TV as her idea and not mine. I was the one who made the initial contact with Krešimir Mišak. Did Ksenija tell you that she was an architect ? She told me she lied to me about her qualifications – and now I’m very confused. That’s the sole and only reason why I’m asking you if Ksenija presented to you your appearance on TV as her idea. The fact that 6 persons left Ludruga is quite an ugly situation, a step back and a serious blow.

    I’m also on couchsurfing and as I told you, you are always welcome to come to my home as a very dear friend, as your work was a revolution for me. Also, please feel free to tell any of your friends and contacts that they can contact me if they come to Split and whenever possible I’ll do my best to let them use my guest room.

    Thanks again and greetings from Split.


  97. Hi Daniel

    Thank you for sharing your work – I got to see your documentary on Open Dialogue last year in Melbourne and it was very inspiring.

    I’m an Australian mental health worker in a community run organisation (MI Fellowship Victoria). We have a big focus on peer support, peer-to-peer education, family support and anti stigma work in the community. In March this year a colleague and I will be attending the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis in New York, are hoping to visit and learn from some East Coast colleagues. I wondered if you might be attending the conference and would like to catch up for a chat – or if you might have any recommendations for places or people we could visit that are doing:

    – partnership work between consumers and clinicians, especially in creating alternatives to hospital or crisis services
    – good peer support initiatives that are making a difference
    – anti stigma or Mad Pride work that is helping build connection and belonging in communities
    – whole of family work to support recovery in the long term

    I understand that you are very busy, and I hope this request isn’t an inconvenience – feel free to ignore if so!

  98. Hello Daniel,
    How are you doing! I am learning about your ideas and also read your book “BFTP”. This is sort of personal question for advice but if you know something about it please respond.
    I live in Finland I have been in talk therapy for about 10 sessions but that did not work so i have been to psychiatrist now. I just visited psychiatrist yesterday who prescribed me a drug named “VENLAFAXIN”. He said this drug works best if you combine it with with discussion therapy, exercises, etc. and he said don’t be afraid by internet horror stories and trust me and use exactly how i tell you (very low doses to high steadily) this is be very helpful for your depression (which i got 24 in Beck’s depression inventory questions).
    What do you think about this? Can you suggest me something, i would be very grateful.


  99. I’ve just seen the new film by the mexican Alejandro Iñarritu, Birdman, and I think that the ideas behind the movie are very similar to Alice Miller books and the content of this website and the ideas of Daniel. I am pretty sure about the director has read something related with. For me it is a very good film and I want to recomend it. This is the link about the film in wikipedia: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birdman_(film)

  100. Hello Daniel, I’ve been watching your vídeos and reading your articles on this website. Great job you are doing!! I find all the information very useful and inspiring. You are a great communicator when you speak and when you write. Your message is reaching other countries (I am from Latín America). It must be great to work in something meaninful and help others. Hasta luego.

  101. Hi Daniel. I would like to say thank you for all your work as well as all the work you’ve done on and within yourself to be able to produce your work! You’re a true and rare inspiration. I’ve watched most of your YouTube clips and just recently read Breaking Free from your parents – which I’ve done – physically and I’m still seperating And integrating the psyche part of it. I feel safer and more solid, more myself each day. It’s also increasing my self compassion as I look back with new eyes on the gravity of what I’ve survived.

    When I watch your YouTube clips I feel grateful to be taking in information from a radical, free thinker who has deprogrammed himself from the dominant paradigm to a degree that you just flow with insight, wit and stuff that I find really interesting. So thanks. Love having a few chuckles even when listening to such multifaceted deep topics.

    I’m not sure what your situation is but I feel you’d be an amazing and wonderful father if you ever met the right woman and had the desire. I recently was diagnosed with complex PTSD. I have a daughter and a partner. I’ve been through hell. If I had of known before I gave birth I wouldn’t have had a baby but I didn’t undertand despite 15 years of healing and 200 hours of therapy. My psyche was split at age 5 years. Now we have a family and we know the value of true love. Our daughter is a delight and I believe we are to her and each other too. We have a good vibe in our home. Something I never had.

    Thanks again for everything – for being you!

    • hi jane
      good to hear from you. hmm…..yes, i probably would be a better-than-average father — and i’ve been told that a lot over the years (especially because i get on well with kids, too). but…..it’s just not my calling…… too many other things i want in life, and i just feel the world is better if a lot of us don’t have kids and instead focus on growing from within (but i guess you know my point of view by now!!!). meanwhile, thanks for the comment – wishing you the best — daniel

      • Hello,
        I`m from Croatia and today I have watched you on a local TV. I liked verry much some of the things you said. Some, not all…well probably about 98% ;)….so u have a new fan! Yea! But I just had to respond to this post. I really do think that you should have children and then try to analise parenting. You probably would be a good father….but…you can`t know untill u have a child and that child is grown and then starts sharing all the trauma you put him or her thru….yes…no matter how hard you try tere is always something! Life always get`s to us. Life is not a book. Now I’m talking about things I saw and experienced whit my family and friends. My son is 11 years old and hasn`t start sharing his trauma whit me yet…I always hope that one day he`l say my parenting was great …I can dream untill he hits puberty;) You said that a good parent has to take care of himself to be able to take care of a child and I agree 100%. That`s it. A stable person is the best support for a child…for everyone axually. But we don`t take care of urselfs, we are not used to. I dream of a world where everyone looks inside themselfs to find answers to problems and not at others. People always concentrates on the outside world to find exuses, to find someone and something that is responsable of all the trouble. But we all have to find answers in our selfs. Ohhh I could write for days…but that`s your job.
        I`m a nurse,I like to observe people, think about why they do the things they do, so it was verry interesting to listen to your conclusions. Your`e energy is contageus!
        And I do wish you a child of your own;) There is no greater love.
        Sorry for my spelling.
        I wish you all the best.

    • intense! i had no idea about this. i actually don’t follow stefan’s work much. i wonder what happened. certainly he angered some parents in the past by suggesting that kids break from their parents. i’m not sure how much he pushed people to break from parents. i think pushing is not a good idea — people need to do whatever they’re going to do in their own good time. as for his listening in on his wife’s therapy sessions and commenting through the air vents, if that did happen as he supposedly claimed it’s pretty weird — for both him and his wife — and certainly not something to boast about, rather, to be ashamed about. i wonder what will come of all this.

      thanks for sharing it, mike,

      • Hi Daniel

        I think Stefan Molyneux is a truthful and decent person. I actually first discovered you through Stefan’s channel and I’m so glad I did. I’ve been following your work with enthusiasm and immense gratitude for a relatively short but very meaningful period of time.

        Regarding the scenario above, I believe Stefan was trying to be ironic and humorous when he said those things. I know that Stefan is a huge advocate of therapy as a result of his own positive experiences so I really doubt he’d behave in such a disrespectful way. It certainly does come across as being offensive and I believe ultimately did get both him and his wife into quite a lot of trouble. However, the 1min 20sec snippet was taken out of the original context and probably deliberately presented in a sinister light. Sadly, it would appear that some people who have nasty things to say about Stefan also have nasty things about you too Daniel. Have a look at this twisted article http://www.fdrliberated.com/daniel-mackler-stefan-molyneux-evil-fraternity-parents/

        There’s usually no shortage of people trying to tear down the truth tellers and I really feel that you and Stefan are somewhat kindred spirits on a very similar mission and it would be awesome to see the two of you collaborating and sharing ideas together again in the future! 🙂


        • thanks caroline — ha, yes, i did read that nasty thing about me. someone sent it sometime back. people can be silly and mean. and i have heard from some others that he was just joking about that thing about listening and commenting through the air vents. certainly there are some out there who don’t like him and search for ways to destroy him, whether they take what he says in context (which is ethical) or not (which isn’t). however, i still have mixed feelings about him. one thing, though, that i do respect him for, is that he has helped a lot of people. i know several people who don’t follow him any more and criticize his limits but still say he was vitally important to them on their journey to grow and know themselves better. so for that, regardless of all else, good for him! thanks for your comment, and greetings 🙂 daniel

          • Thanks for your reply Daniel. Just out of curiosity, is there anything in particular you could pin point that gives you those mixed feelings about Stefan?

            I’ve noticed that he does tend to talk about his growth process mainly in terms of the past tense these days and he rarely reveals any hint of what could be perceived as vulnerability or weakness. I personally enjoy the more gradual and continuous growth process that you model with an emphasis on the journey (healing) not just the destination (being fully healed).

            I think Stefan has helped a lot of people too and he continues reach out to new people and expose them to new concepts that may be life-changing to them so for that, I agree, he’s doing a fantastic job! 🙂


            • well, i agree with what you wrote about him seeming “done” with his growth process. also i found him grandiose. and though i haven’t listened to his show much i sampled a few where he talked with some vulnerable callers and i didn’t like some of his advice and thought it quite hasty and potentially hurtful. and i read two of his books (one on real-time relationships and the other on universally preferable behavior) and didn’t like them, which surprised me because they came so well-recommended. i found them long-winded, illogical at times, and not particularly original. all this together caused the mixed feelings. all the best — daniel

  102. After nearly forty years of academic study I find it strange that if I start to examine anything to do with the bible it still sparks in me the same as others prejudices. For myself I must ask where they originate and Daniel Macker offers a number of explanations some of which I have been so prejudiced against that I have found myself altering them.I like most other people failed to read the text or give it a chance because it attacked some of my deeply entrenched belief systems it named names, told me about old enemies and gave me stark warnings, things I did not want to face or feared, old memories, recollections ,coping strategies and behaviours.I do not classify myself as religious, but I am able to challenge myself and my belief systems.Because I believe THE truth will set me free ,please note this is not MY version of the truth. I after a lot of thought published here to enter into an open debate not on the sermon on the mount but on an interesting discourse on marriage,relationships on the pathology of our current lives.

  103. Hi Daniel,

    A friend of mine forwarded,your site to me. I like your integrity and yor pursuit of your highest self.

    I write to you specifically because of the relationship between parents and child you discussed. Specifically your own and mine. My mother was an addict of various substances throughout her life, she was verbally, physically and emotionally abusive towards me. My brother having that model of behaviour as superior was much the same. My father was away a lot and shut downed emotionally when things get bad.

    I left home when I was fifteen. Travelled, partied, experimented, learned along the way. I recognised at 12 that my home situation was untenable. To save myself, I left 3 years later when things got out of hand. That was in 1991.

    My mother suffered a brain aneurysm in 2003. I had a family and felt pretty steady for a long while by then. But my mother’s aneurysm and meeting with death unleashed a lot of what I thought I had worked through. With 3 children now, while I am not much like my mother, there are traits always that I could link very closely to attachment theories.

    I am a yoga practitioner of 15 years, ad the journey inwards has been such a blessing and a teacher. My perspective is one of cyclical, karmic cycle if you will. Certainly, I am more compassionate with myself when I find that internal object that is my parents, and in that, I am much more harmonious with myself and my folks. The dynamics hasn’t change, as they say, it takes two. But because I have, I love and forgive them and so am free, and found my lightness of being.

    A monk can find the stillness and peace wandering through the glorious nature, and if he can maintain the same mien standing in the middle of time square, he is truly free.

    Thank you for your courage and sharing. May your journey forth bring more fruitful insight into,your way of being

  104. Dear Daniel,

    I thank Allah that I found something honest in the healthcare industry – as usually called. I believe the true speach reflects correct thoughts that will bring back true mankind.


    • ooops.

      the video of you – in the blog – see link – is from April 20. My daughter has birthday on the day. Did you forget to congratulate her 🙂 I hate you! Miller, too. You know 🙂 Mr. X !!!

  105. Mackler. Thanks for your web site. I am glad to have found it after reading AM for a # of yrs now. Your site is so extensive that I need more time to digest it and then will re-contact you. Nevertheless, BRAVO and such good work you have done…
    It is so ‘funny’, I contact profs at 2 u. near me and none of them know about AM -astonishing. What does that say about their educaton? or curiosity?
    In the future I would like to combine her work with P.E.T. and of J. Venema’s ‘PresentChild’ work.
    (pls email me)

    • @ Jay. @ Daniel

      … and none of them know about AM.

      Hi Daniel, can we believe that? That‘s not curiosity, that‘s crazy – in germany the same thing. Wishes…

  106. Hello Daniel:
    Just saw your video on “Healing Psychosis”, really liked it. I went through a Psychotic break 8 years ago and was put on psychiatric meds against my will, have been on them since then. Have seen little improvement, lots of side effects (weight gain, pre diabetes, hipothyroidism), new symptoms appeared which I didnt have prior to the medication. You mentioned you have seen people recover from severe “disorders” without medication, but is there hope for people like me who have taken medications for years? Is it possible to quit meds completely without suffering or at least decrease the dose? So glad I found your videos. Great Job you are doing!!!! Thank you. Adriana

  107. Dear Mr. Daniel Mackler I have a psychologist that has put a missdiaggnoses on me how due I find another psychologist in the Washington state area that takes medicare insurance and can help me with my emotional needs.

  108. Daniel, my 17 -teen year old son is admitted to the hospital 05/09/2014 because of psychoses . This is very first time that is happening to him as well to me as parent. He lived many trauma as child from abusive father. I protected him as much as I could as his mother , but I was verbally as well physically abused by the same person which is my ex-husband. now.
    Finally I found courage to divorce but me and my children are still exposed to the violence.
    My son is still in hospital , still in psychoses and heavily medicated ( they experiment with medications ) plus they forbid me to come to visit him . I am despaired . Still I try to do the best and try to find way how to help and give courage to help my dear child. Finding you open dialogue documentary film gave me all hope and so much strength to keep going. God bless you and you loving sole. I am living in Canada in Montreal . If you have any clinic , psychiatrist to who I can referee and bring my child I beg you do it. You or anybody else on these forum. I wish you all the best ..keep doing you amazing loving work……Zorica

    • hi zorica. greetings from nyc.
      here is my best idea for eastern canada: http://www.gifric.com/388.htm
      it’s supposed to be an excellent place for psychosis — best in canada, from what i hear. but french-speaking. i don’t know if you or your son speak french. if not, maybe at least they have some ideas.
      all the best — hope this is a lead in the right direction.

      • Hi Daniel!
        I hope you don’t mind me chiming in, I’m in a similar situation as zorica with my daughter. I’m wondering if you can assist me in finding, or would know of any treatment centers with if not the same, a similar concept as open dialogue, dealing with psychosis in North america (Traveling from London) also, are you familiar with earth house in NJ?
        What do you think of their approach?

        What would you consider to be the best approach in dealing with psychosis?

        • well, in london there is the arbours and also philadelphia houses, and definitely the hearing voices network (my highest recommendation). i wouldn’t recommend traveling to the USA for treatment…..i think it’s much better to stay local. i don’t know earth house (or don’t think it do). for the best approaches — i made movies about them — open dialogue in finland and healing homes (on the family care foundation) in sweden — but neither accept people from outside their local area. both films are free on youtube, and you can find them via the “films” tab on this website. they give a good idea of good help offered!

          • I looked up “Earth House” Apparently it was founded by a woman who was successfully treated by Dr. Carl C. Pfeiffer’ who was both an MD & Pharmacologist, Pfeiffer was interested in trace element and mineral metabolism in schizophrenia and what is now known as bipolar disorder[5] and investigated the therapeutic uses of amino acids in various illnesses.
            Earth House has been “retired” which I assume means closed, according to this article..

      • Dear Daniel ,
        I am screaming out loud. I am leaving presently horrible injustice and Philippe is paying that injustice.
        Since Philippe is admitted in hospital Dr.Steiner which is Philippe’s psychiatrist met us (parents )ONLY ONCE on family meeting to ” confirm” that Philippe has bipolar .He met us today after one month heavy medicating Philippe to tell us that he is not sure that is bipolar but he suggests strongly ETC ..and he will do it. Tell me what to do , PLEASE DANIEL

        • i really wish i knew what to do. it sounds utterly HORRIBLE. hmm………. i am in croatia…..and honestly i am almost totally emotionally exhausted, and not on the web much. i really wish i knew what to do…… erg…… daniel

          • Dear Daniel,
            Thank you so much to send me a word despise you tiredness. I deeply appreciate you humanity. I wish you to find strength, to have good rest and to enjoy in my country ( actually I am coming from Hercegovina which is part of Bosnia). Be good WE NEED YOU ..you give us so much hope ..Take care dear Daniel

      • Hi Daniel,
        I’m 33 years old and have been taking psychiatric medication since I was 18. I am in school for holistic nutrition. I’m hoping I’ll learn how to safely go off medications holistically. My issue is all the books I read about food being the cure over meds I don’t read anything about people having bipolar going off meds. I know it’s possible to live a healthy stable lifestyle and I started the holistic path changing my diet. Are there any books on psychiatric patients and the process of going off medication completely? I’m trying to educate myself as much as possible before I take the leap of being going off my medication completely.

  109. Hello Daniel, i love your ideas, im from Argentina, i translate the baby manifesto to spanish to share with my family, i send you when i have done more, thank you!

    Manifiesto del bebé
    Publicado el 30 de marzo 2013
    [Escrito alrededor de 2007]

    Traducido al Inglés adulto por la mirada en los ojos del bebé …

    Necesito padres que me amen plenamente. Necesito padres que me entiendan completamente. Necesito los padres que puedan traducir de manera adecuada las necesidades detrás de mis gritos … y mi tos … y mis silencios.

    Necesito padres que estén abiertos a aprender todo lo que puedan aprender de mí.


    Necesito padres que reconozcan que una vez que me hayan traído a este mundo, deben dedicarme sus vidas, en cuerpo y alma. Necesito padres que se den cuenta de que el propósito de su existencia, debe basarse en dilucidar la mejor forma de ayudarme a crecer, ayudarme a madurar y ayudarme para que prospere.

    Necesito padres que hayan pasado años preparándose para mi creación – años antes de que el esperma y el óvulo que me creo se hayan encontrado. Necesito padres que dedicaron sus vidas a la mejora de sí mismos en la mente, cuerpo y espíritu. Necesito padres que entraron en las profundidades más profundas y oscuras de sí mismos, pudiendo resolver los traumas más dolorosos de su propio pasado. Necesito padres que no vivan arrastrados por las heridas infligidas por sus propios padres. Necesito padres que estén completamente iluminados y no almacenen partes ocultas de su devastado ser en su inconsciente.

    Necesito padres que no sigan deseando que sus propios padres lo rescaten, y esperen secretamente que yo, su futuro hijo, tome la antorcha donde sus padres la dejaron. Necesito padres que puedan dedicar toda la suma de sus seres hacia mi mejoramiento.

    Necesito padres que me hayan concebido para poder darme, y no tomar, de mí. Necesito padres que tengan hijos sin ningún otro motivo que su deseo de dar vuelta a la tierra. Necesito la clase de padres que se dan cuenta plenamente de cuán inherentemente egoísta es tener los niños. Necesito la clase de padres que normalmente nunca tendrían hijos …

    Necesito los padres que no me mientan – ni se mientan ellos mismos. Necesito padres que pueden ser sinceros conmigo. Necesito padres que pueden ser sinceros entre sí, y no tengan agendas ocultas para mí. Necesito los padres que no me utilicen como un peón en sus juegos (relacionales) con los demás, y sobre todo entre ellos.

    Necesito padres que me puedan dejar ser quien soy – y no alardear sobre mí. Necesito padres que no me vean como una extensión de sí mismos, y por lo tanto no decir “gracias” cuando alguien complementa mi belleza. Necesito padres que en vez de eso digan: “Sí, tienes razón,” y no sentirse en secreto una auto-satisfacción por mi maravilloso ser.

    Necesito padres que no vivan con el miedo de sus propias muertes. Necesito los padres que vivan en el momento, porque han integrado las verdades de su pasado.

    Necesito padres que sean jóvenes en espíritu y saludables en cuerpo, y que no me abandonen a la muerte antes de que este listo para pararme por mi cuenta como un adulto autónomo.

    Necesito padres que me críen en un ambiente seguro, confortable y enriquecedor – no en el medio de una guerra civil o de una tierra devastada por el hambre o una habitación silenciosa con una televisión.

    Necesito padres que, si soy un chico o una chica, no se atreverían a circuncidar a mis órganos genitales. Necesito padres que se dediquen a mi buena salud. Necesito padres que no beban alcohol o consuman drogas o tomen medicamentos innecesarios. Necesito padres que estén sobrios en todos los niveles de su ser. Necesito padres que nunca me hagan daño físico, por ninguna razón.

    Necesito padres que amen los niños, y puede relacionarse fácilmente con ellos – y no que, en cambio, me fuercen a relacionarme con ellos. Necesito padres que me dejen crecer a mi propio ritmo, y me dejen ser un niño cuando necesito ser un niño. Necesito padres que no esperen de mi una responsabilidad adulta antes de que sea un adulto.

    Necesito padres que se maravillen de lo precioso de mi existencia y se den cuenta de que soy el epitome del espíritu sin límites. Necesito padres que se rían porque sienten el goce en la vida. Necesito los padres que sepan cómo divertirse honestamente, y me quieran incluir.

    Necesito padres que han resuelto sus adicciones. Necesito padres que no estén evitando la verdadera luz del día por ser adicto a mí.
    Necesito padres que no proyecten su bloqueado pasado a mí, sino que me puedan ver exactamente por lo que soy.
    Necesito padres que no esperen que yo los ame. Necesito padres que conozcan la diferencia entre el amor y la necesidad. Necesito padres que sean expertos en la auto-crianza (self-nurturance), y por extensión sepan cómo nutrirme a mi.

    Necesito padres que sean emocionalmente adultos hasta la médula – y necesito dos de estos padres.
    Y necesito que estos dos padres se amen uno al otro. Necesito que mi padre y madre estén plenamente de acuerdo con su divino papel, como el guardián de mi crecimiento. Necesito que los dos estén dispuestos a ir a todas las longitudes para dar lo mejor de mí. Necesito que estén dispuestos a morir por mí.

    Necesito padres que puedan dejarme ir a medida que progresivamente vaya madurando. Necesito padres que puedan seguirme (my lead) y escuchar mis revisiones del plan. Necesito padres que no se ausenten emocionalmente (withdrawal) cuando yo no los amo.

    Necesito padres que me dejen enojarme cuando cometen errores o hacen cosas inapropiadas conmigo – y necesito padres que cambien su comportamiento para no repetir los mismos errores.
    Necesito padres que no me castiguen por mis reacciones honestas y saludables, y me amen de todos modos.

    Necesito padres que entiendan el significado de una sexualidad saludable. Necesito padres que de ninguna manera me utilicen para satisfacer sus propias necesidades sexuales o necesidades emocionales sin resolver. Necesito padres que me protejan de la mayor parte de impurezas infernales del mundo, como humanamente sean capaces. Necesito padres que estén dispuestos a sacrificar todas sus propias comodidades personales para crear un ambiente nutritivo-rico (nourishing) para mí.

    Necesito padres que no tomen crédito personal cuando el trabajo este hecho.

    Necesito padres quienes puedan ser mi ejemplo a seguir.

  110. Hello Daniel, I’m a retired lorry driver aged 63. I was beaten for jesus and middle class values throughout my childhood and adolescence. Many people, including professionals, would spitefully and angrily insist that its my own stubborn refusal to ‘move on’ that prevents me from ‘healing’. You don’t mention your own experience as an abused child in the above introduction. You say you are a writer, musician and filmmaker, though, which are all strong positives. So it doesn’t seem to have done you any harm, being abused. Is that true?

    • hi jack. well, i’ve had my own fair share of abuse — rotten stuff. i write about it a bit in the “about me” part of the website, and also some more in my “breaking from your parents” book. yes, i’ve had a lot of harm done to me — that’s a bit part of why i’ve put so much focus into healing from childhood trauma.
      all the best

  111. Hi Daniel.

    Medication. Alice Miller wrote me the following message in 2009 and in the same mail, the desaster of »Kindergarten«“ Actuell this is the theme in germany: »Bonding (at home) and not toxis stress in Kindergarten.« Recommended „Bonding with parents“ that the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system become a NO of a – so called (neuronal) Disorder.


    The german full version (W.K. is my name) and forgive me, the google translation, from the important parts.

    Miller: The gunman of Virginia has reportedly received antidepressants to suppress his feelings, but that did not prevent him from performing the deed. The never articulated anger can remain immune to drugs seems to cause much harm, if any squeeze the ears and no one wants to know something.

    Miller in Kontext Kindergarten: As for the desire for more and less attachment cribs, I am also your opinion. But when you consider that the small child at home can have a mother, the abuse from his own childhood reacted to him, because you can never talk about it, then the nice idea of the good bonding at home may be just an illusion.

    Brand new and previously unreleased are the long-term studies of Heidelberger prevention physician Professor Ronald Grossarth Maticek. His results are dramatic: For a man there is nothing better than an uninterrupted mother-child relationship in the first years of life. In concrete terms this means: Of 1,000 children who was able to experience this healthy relationship, later only smoke 48, 34 may be addicted to alcohol, 13 develop cancer before age 60. If the relationship with the mother, however interrupted traumatic – if only by a multi-day hospital stay – look at the numbers themselves at a later made ​​healthy detachment from the mother quite different: Of 1,000 children will be 330 smokers, 212 alcohol-addicted and 117 before the 60 . the age ill with cancer.

    Wishes to NewYork.

    PS: The Hesse places wait for you in germany 🙂

  112. Dear Mr. Daniel I have had a hard time with the mental health system I have ideation of suicide but going to the hospital is not the place for me I have had a bad time with the hospital in the past I just don’t like my thoughts but I know that they are just thoughts this has been a tough time for me I am a underserved adult who cant get her needs met I work with two professionals now and they are good and supportive but this has been hard I will try and keep strong but I due have these thoughts that are not pleasant for me it is rough for me . I wish we had a better mental health system in this country.

  113. Hello Daniel,

    I wanted to tell you how much hope your film provided my husband and I about the type of treatment for those undergoing psychosis in Finland. He has been dealing with this for about 8 years now and he has always been medicated. I wanted to reach out to you because we are determined to see him well and off medication. We are even discussing the possibility of moving to the Tornio area to seek such treatment as we also have friends that live semi-close in Olso, Norway. I wanted to ask for your help. Maybe through providing direction or helping connect us to those involved in Open Dialogue.

    Many thanks,

  114. hi daniel…i’ve worked in mental health for over 25 years. i’ve worked in various psychiatric hospitals, mostly psychiatric emergency stuff…over the years conservatively ive done assessments on about 10,000 people who said they wanted to die. Also I am in private practice and have been for a long time. I am currently supervising several social workers for their clinical license and I asked them to watch your video on your critique of psychotherapy. I agree with a greater portion of what you say and I wanted my supervisees to see that I wasn’t the only one in the world who says those types of things. Just wanted to say thanks for the film…greg

  115. Hi Daniel,
    So refreshing to watch your video on psychotherapy and why you don’t think there are many who are much good! I have had much therapy of different kinds, a lot of hands on healing combined with therapy and the like most of which was extremely beneficial but the psychotherapy was absolutely useless! But that’s not why I am writing.
    You spoke in the video about those who have grown through experience. To me all experiences, the good the bad as well as the mediocre are all opportunities for growth.
    Although I have only watched that one video so far, I am inspired by the way you speak and love what you say about the self therapy (self -enquiry) as this is what I have been doing for some 25 years. It’s what has helped me survive and get through some diabolical shit. I’ve reached the ripe ol age of 57 but don’t have a single grey hair on my head and feel I am just getting younger and lighter by the day, I sincerely hope that I never get stuffy or staid in my attitude, I am here to learn and learn….
    I’ve been hungry to share what I have gleaned for a while now and have many notes, diaries and so forth to put together a book where I hope to record the insights, understandings, etc I have gleaned over the years, it will be frank self effacing and extremely honest. It will not lecture or tell anyone what to do: I will talk mainly about my experiences, the importance of standing back and going within to understanding oneself especially at times of difficulties in relationships and how we become drawn to certain people and situations so that we can learn what it is we need to. How empathy for others, learning to see things from their perspectives is so important as is setting personal boundaries etc etc……I completely agree that our childhood experiences mold us which give us different perspectives: there is no getting away from it.
    Before the book gets written I need an occupation….Without telling ‘my story’ so to speak as it would take a long long time, I would like to ask you what you think about the possibility of someone becoming a counsellor with no formal qualifications whatsoever in that field other than her own life experiences to go by…and a couple of short courses in healing Theta and Reiki. I am talking about yours truly of course!
    I do feel I could do this, I have a burning fire within me to help people….to help themselves. At 57 I am starting again, alcoholic husband of 28 years gone (took everything with him) last child finally gone now too so now hopefully I can earn a bit of money to keep myself and the growth process can continue in earnest.
    Very briefly my philosophy if I was able to do some counselling, is one of listening (from the heart) empathizing, stepping into other people’s shoes, but not going down there with them if you know what I mean but enabling the person to find a way out of their dark space by realizing they have a choice in the matter and then offering differing perspectives whilst also sharing some of what I have been through and any other offerings as appropriate. The most important first step that I see is that the other person simply needs to recognize that there are alternative ways of being and be willing to work towards them.
    I find it so easy to relate to other people’s difficulties, probably because I have had so many! It seems I came into this life having asked to experience a huge variety of things…. great wealth, break up of family, loss of father (to a woman younger than me and my sister), absent sickly mother, sexual abuse from parent, I’ve been raped, been married and divorced, lived in other countries, travelled a great deal when in early twenties, lived in a Bhuddist monastery, practice meditation, had three kids, experienced abuse (from alcoholic husband), moved house thirty times, been homeless, had a spiritual awakening, lived in abject poverty, experienced abandonment, betrayal, theft, had a child with a cocaine addiction (recovered), death of parent, unemployment, had life threatening illness and so on and on!….(it will be a pretty full on book).
    I now live in a tiny little house on a hill in Southern Spain, just me and the dog…Hopefully there will be a period of relative calm now,
    But back to the question: would it be wrong to set up as a counsellor without formal qualifications? What do you feel about that?
    Hope to hear from you soon. Jane

    • hi jane
      greetings. thank you. i actually have written an essay about people becoming therapists without “formal training” — i just haven’t published it yet. you give me some motivation!! i think it can be fine to be a therapist without all the schooling — as long as people have done some great degree of the inner work themselves. similarly, i think it’s awful when people avoid the inner work and do all the schooling and become therapists — it’s a perversion of being a real healer. that’s my two cents!! wishing you the best! daniel

      • Hey, thanks for the quick reply. My message was so long! You have helped allay my concerns. It’s interesting just flying through some of the posts here I see a mention of a book on leaving your parents (can’t find the title). Yes we must do this, there is a quote from someone, ‘If you think you are enlightened? Go spend a week with your parents’. I love that, says so much.
        After I lost lost everything material the offer of help was dangled by one of my parents for me, entirely conditional on me going there to get it as I always knew it would be. But I wasn’t going to fall into that trap again, ever.
        Our power (love) comes from within, until we get to grips with that truth we forever remain like children, dependent on others and utterly powerless.
        Thanks for your time, I’ll send you a link to my blog when it is up. Keep up the good work.
        Take care and all the best.

      • Daniel,

        Yeah, I would also encourage you to publish that essay (if it’s not already up).

        We need hundreds of thousands of people to join in listening and empathy, at the least.

        Heard Advocates, Inc. at the NAMI Convention (Sept ’14) talk about their pilot testing and sustaining of an Open Dialogue practice. (And, they were soliciting, as their grant expired.) You can’t get there financially and the scale up is very difficult because of labor intensity. (You know already.)

        Recently spoke with a college graduate student, getting her degree in counseling … hearing about her loans, the requirements for a license. Yikes! There is no way!

        Your interview with Madness Radio was excellent. You make many good points and it could be self-therapy … is the uniquely American approach we take. (Could be part mobile technology … coach in a pocket.) But, in life, a coach or mentor are tremendously helpful people. They are not necessarily trained by anything but the most valuable thing. Experience.



        • hi corey,
          okay — i’ll take your advice and start looking over that essay and probably publish it (assuming i still like it). i’ve been lazy with my essays — i have many written but they are languishing on my computer. my head has been elsewhere for a while. but this is a push in the right direction — thanks! daniel

  116. Beside hearing of Dr Breggin, MD – are you thinking of a therapist who was in the system, knowing how ‘work the system’ or look for an outsider, willing to try and learn. Thanks again for answering and caring.

  117. Thank you so much.

    Can you tell us how family members can have a patient brought from a hospital — unmedicated — to a psychotherapist who knows how to help without medication? How does one get from one situation to the next?

    • i think first you have to find a good, appropriate, willing therapist — and then the therapist would help you coordinate that. the hardest part, i think, is to find a good therapist who can actually help and knows what they’re doing……. again, wishing you the best!! daniel

  118. Is there a location in Israel where a religious Jewish man, who has mental illness, can live — and receive 24-hour care?

    So far, the places that we heard about, require administration of chemical pharmaceuticals. Not everyone does well with pharmaceuticals. We wonder whether there is an organization which helps such people. It is possible to take care of a person who has mental illness using psychological methods, without pharmaceuticals.

    Thank you very much for considering our question!

    • hi zalman — oh, i’m sorry!! i don’t know. i have actually never been to israel. i think i need to start a web forum where there is an easier way to post your questions so people can help. i wish you the best!! daniel

    • Hello Landon!
      Thank you very much for your suggestion! I know Freedomainradio and like it also very much. The problem is, I don’t speak very fluidly English and I need enough time to write in it. So I was looking for somebody speaking my language (German or Italian). Also many of the topics are not easy to discuss because I don’t have that much of a philosophical knowledge. So I like more to listen.- Do you partecipate in the discussions in the forum and the chat?

      • Few of the listeners know anything about philosophy when they start listening. It’s basically a libertarian anarchist peaceful parenting self-therapy show. I have met some FDR people in person and have had good and bad experiences. I only used forum and chat a little bit.

        Your English is great, keep reading, writing, speaking, listening through FDR or other sources and soon enough you can be literate and engaged as anyone. Maybe call in to the show, right away! I haven’t yet.

  119. Hello Daniel!
    What do you think about making a list accessible with the e-mail-adresses of people interested in connecting with other people following your work?
    Thank you again very much for your courage and honesty!
    Greetings from Switzerland,

    • hi Franco,
      greetings and thank you! i think it’s a very good idea, but i wonder how i would go about doing it. my problem is that i’m not on the web all that much and thus don’t, at the present time, have a lot of time to organize things. so if there were a simple way, i’d do it. but i used to manage a web forum through my website and it was a lot of work. but i was geographically stable then and had regular web access. nowadays….i’m pretty much a wanderer… but still, there might be a simple way. wishing you the best — daniel

      • Hello Daniel!
        thank you very much for your quick answer. I know you’re often “on the road” and following your new projects; I’m always eager to watch your new documentaries on youtube.-
        Unluckily, I myself am not at all an internet freak and don’t really know much about it and how such a list could be integrated the best way on your website.-
        But do you mind me leaving my adresse here in the meanwhile in case anybody in Switzerland would like to make contact with me?- Here it is : fsartori@hotmail.com
        Thank you very much , Daniel, and also best wishes to you!

      • Dear Daniel, I don’t know wether it is a good Solution, but what about starting a closed Facebook group for that purpose?

      • Hi Daniel,
        it’s unbelievable. Since ma post yesterday I already got in contact with somebody who’s following you and lives not very far from me…I just wanted to let you know how quick things can go!
        Take care!

  120. je suis schizophréne je suis suivi hopitale les marronnier tournai Belgique je suis très mal suivi j ai 48 ans je suis schizophréne depuis 1987 que pouvez vous faire pour moi ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Osecours philippe merci

    • Peut-être il ya des gens qui parlent français qui peuvent vous aider, il pourrait être mieux si vous écrivez dans cette section, ici: http://wildtruth.net/dvdsub/fr/

      Mon français n’est pas si bon. J’utilise google translate pour ça!

      Salutations de USA – Daniel

  121. 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.

  122. 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.

  123. 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:


    I will provide my second gift for you shortly.

    With warm wishes

    London, United Kingdom

  124. 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


    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



    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.

  125. 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?

  126. 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…

  127. 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,


  128. 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.

    • 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

  129. 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.

  130. 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.

  131. 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,
      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.

  132. 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.

  133. 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.“


    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!“


    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.

  134. 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.

  135. 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.


    „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!


    your old friend. embrace you.

  136. 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

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

  137. 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.


  138. 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,

    • 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.

  139. 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,

  140. 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,

      • 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:


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

        Think about it.

        Kind regards,


        • 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

  141. 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…

  142. 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!

  143. 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

    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….

  144. 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

  145. 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!!

  146. 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.

  147. 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!

  148. 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.

  149. 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,

  150. 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.

  151. 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

  152. 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!

  153. 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-

  154. 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

  155. 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.

  156. 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!!

  157. 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.


    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 …


    embrace you.

    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—-

  158. 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!

  159. 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!

    • 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….

  160. 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.
    Jennifer Aleksic

  161. 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,

  162. 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

  163. 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,

  164. 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,

  165. 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,

  166. 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

  167. 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:


    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

  168. 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.


    All documents are free

  169. 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

  170. 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,

  171. 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,


      • 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,

  172. 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,

      • 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!

  173. 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.

  174. 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.

  175. 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,


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

  176. 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,

    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!



    • 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,

  177. 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!

  178. 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

  179. 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? ???



    • 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

      • 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.
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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,

  180. 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,



  181. 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

  182. 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!!

  183. 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.

  184. 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.

  185. 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

      • 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?

  186. 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………

  187. 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.

  188. 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.

  189. 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!


    • 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!

      • 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…

  190. 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,

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

  192. 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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