Feel free to sign my guestbook, and share your experience of my website or my work. Note: if you do share your email address (which is not required) it will appear next to your comment below.
Tue, 31 October 2017 17:58:22 +0000
Quick shoutout - Thanks for this brilliant and helpful website.
Off the bat, I don't agree with everything you say, but I certainly respect the pairing of bravery with tenderness that comes through in your writing.
"A soft heart in a cruel world is strength, not weakness."
Hope all's going well for you off the grid.
Wed, 23 August 2017 07:28:22 +0000
Fri, 11 August 2017 13:00:31 +0000
In few days I have seen threw lot of the videoes you published in 2009 and also some of your documentaries. You really bring forward some good and important perspecitves. And you do it in an excellent way.
Thu, 3 August 2017 01:41:55 +0000
Hi I'm from Singapore and I really love your message. Its truly remarkable and inspiring.
|(208) dianne m
Mon, 31 July 2017 11:11:10 +0000
Hi My name is Dianne and not sure how I found your web site but very honored to have found your message. I am a hairstylist of 40 years and still going strong. Your simple songs are so sweet and simply inspiring. If your travels bring you to Ottawa Ontario I would love to cut your hair. JMJ
Sat, 22 July 2017 08:08:29 +0000
|(206) Karin Hilpisch
Tue, 18 July 2017 17:54:48 +0000
Dear Daniel, Although I see significant common ground between your views and mine, I’d like nonetheless to offer the following comments from a more critical perspective: (1) Relational trauma, as I understand it, is the victim’s experience, and resulting sense, of absolute powerlessness against having his or her boundaries violated by a perpetrator to whom he or she stands in a relationship of dependence, whereby the severity of the trauma correlates with the degree of dependence and with the severity of the boundary violation. Although childhood trauma in the family is as ubiquitous as it is, for the most part, invisible, I don’t think all harm inflicted on children by their parents warrants the application of the concept of trauma. There need not be a want of sensitivity in seeing no “trauma continuum” (a phrase you use in Breaking from Your Parents (BFYP)) between the invalidation of a little boy’s feelings when his parents laugh at his tears about being denied ice cream (Alice Miller’s example in The Drama of the Gifted Child), on the one hand, and the horrendous abuse that people diagnosed with dissociative disorders have suffered, on the other. While the former case constitutes humiliation, to be sure, in characterizing it as trauma, that concept is, in my view, overextended. (2) As stated in my previous post (09/07/17), I agree with you that the family – the institution – is a cult, which means, I think, it is a social system of mystified, that is, naturalized, power relations and of obscured conflicts of interest, maintained by sets of rules and meta-rules, as described by R. D. Laing in The Politics of the Family, which are inaccessible to reflection and negotiation (meta-communication). Parents’ institutionalized power consists in the child’s complete dependence on them for all of his or her basic needs, a dependence that is nearly total due to parents’ quasi-immunity to being held to account for what they do to the child, beyond the narrow scope of what by law or public opinion is considered abuse or neglect. The family thus constitutes children’s being the quasi-property of their parents, an extreme power imbalance, though not an absolute one, as constituted by the literal property status of human beings in slavery. (3) It is the mystification of the power imbalance in any given social and political system which generates, I think, what in psychology is called defence mechanisms (such as denial, rationalization) in those who hold the inferior power position. Those in the superior power position don’t need such psychical defences against social and political reality -- for they DEFINE it. In other words: the more external power you have to define reality, the less internal defences you need employ against it. I disagree with Alice Miller that “contempt for those who are smaller and weaker” is a defence. (ibid.) Contempt is an attitude shown by those with (more) power towards those with (less or) no power. Parents’ contempt for their child’s vulnerability is not a defence against their getting in contact with their own wounded “inner child”; it is the exercise of power. By the same token, I would not say that all abusers rationalize their abusive treatment of children, as you write in your essay on Alice Miller. I’d rather say, to the extent that the institutionalization (hence the legitimization) of the power imbalance in the family obscures the difference between “use” and “abuse,” this renders such parental rationalization obsolete. (4) I don’t think that by inflicting trauma on their child, parents “pass on” their own trauma or “take it out” on the child. They do take something out, to be sure, but what the child suffers it is not “the tyranny of [the parents’] own unresolved childhood wounds,” to borrow your phrase from BFYP. When A, having been traumatized by B, in turn traumatizes C, what A takes out on C is not his or her suffering from a sense of powerlessness inflicted upon him or her by B., but is, on the contrary, a sense of ENTITLEMENT to power, actualized by victimizing C. This sense of entitlement is derived from A’s identification with B., whereby, as a consequence, his or her own childhood wounds are “resolved” – reconceived, that is, from the perspective of the perpetrator. Victim A’s identification with perpetrator B -- not to be confused with A’s identification with B’s image of her or him -- betrays A’s disposition, which is to be understood in MORAL and not psychological terms, to take, like B, a “might makes right” attitude toward others. But not all victims identify with the perpetrator; most identify with their perpetrators’ image of them. Conceived in these terms, the legacy of childhood trauma in the family reinforces the power imbalance and thus stabilizes the system STUCTURED by it. Trauma, in other words, is a function of the family – not its failure. (5) Envisioning a future in which more and more people would commit themselves to healing from trauma, you write in BFYP, "Healthy people now become ready to have children – and they become model parents.” This leaves me wondering, why would healthy people want to have children in the first place? The answer to this question depends, of course, on what we mean here by being healthy. You speak of enlightenment. In the context under discussion, enlightenment must involve, I believe, becoming lucid about the sole motive for having children, i.e., the social power with which it outfits parents and derivatively, the benefits of the social status attached to being a parent. To the extent that this incentive was absent, so too would be the desire to have children. That people could be much better parents than they generally are is no better a reason for having a family involving children than a king acting benevolently toward his subjects is a reason for having a monarchy. Parents’ sense and attitude of quasi-ownership will prevail as long as this private tyranny that goes by the name of family remains the normal, default structure within which children are brought up. The family is the primary institution of oppression in a politico-economic system of oppression (capitalism). The solution is -- not hang fire till we've birthed our true selves -- but abolition. All the best, Karin
I nearly missed the significance of your video Healing Childhood Trauma, until I read your words to a new human species and printed out the page. I nearly missed because, although the video pushed me further to my real memory and who I am, time and again I attempted to reconcile with the consensus reality by trying to figure out a "balance". Now the attempt has been abolished.
I'm vulnerable to my denial and distortion, or, should I say, my own collusion. I'm working with a psychotherapist, who will be definitely unable to acknowledge my deepest desire. Fortunately I have learnt to USE psychotherapists instead of simply connecting to them.
I'm hesitating about working transferentially with this psychotherapist. I have the fear that I might become dependent because the temptation to go back and mingle with the consensus reality is so strong.
The greatest consolation is to know this desperate "betrayal" has a meaning beyond the personal. And, of course, I'm glad that I'm able to relate to people despite the painful factor that they cannot validate who I am and probably will not tolerate my truth.
Thanks for your articulation. Otherwise I'm like a gossamer in a gale, hardly able to grasp my own existence.
|(204) Karin Hilpisch
Sun, 9 July 2017 13:38:15 +0000
I came across your website about 2 months ago. Since then, I have familiarized myself with your ideas and in doing so acquired the strong impression that we are, on more than one topic, on the same page.
I agree with what, in your book, Breaking from Your Parents, you state about the connection – I would say, the symbiotic interrelation - of psychiatry and the family:
“[T]he way that psychiatry treats parents is an extension of the way parents-in-denial treat their children (…) [I]f parents didn’t abuse their children there would be no psychiatry at all. The two function very similarly...”
I agree with you that the family is a cult, and indeed the prototypical one.
I see the family as a social system defined by an extreme power imbalance between parents and children, mystified by the cynical fiction of so-called unconditional parental love -- the family myth -- whereby the structural conflict of interest between the two parties is denied. As a consequence, childhood trauma is as ubiquitous as it is invisible; accordingly, the family is, contrary to popular belief, the primary institution of oppression.
Antithetical to any grouping organized along the lines of the family is a community of peers, possessed of equal power. Allied in solidarity against institutions of oppression - from the family to psychiatry to gender - such a community is, in itself, politically radical, at once transformative and liberatory, and a vehicle for political education, both of its members themselves and the public at large.
Looking for allies, a like-minded English friend of mine, James, whose educational background is in philosophy, and I, German, an early retired social worker (neither of us has children), would greatly appreciate an exchange of thoughts with you, in particular about your book, mentioned above.
Our views are informed primarily by the works of R. D. Laing, Aaron Esterson, and David Cooper, and to a greater or lesser extent by Thomas Szasz, Judith Herman, Alice Miller, Colin A. Ross, and John Briere.
Sat, 8 July 2017 14:39:46 +0000
I live in Denmark - the city of Copenhagen. I liked your forum. Razrishite to attach to it and communicate!
Good wind and success!
Tue, 23 May 2017 19:05:36 +0000
First, I would like to ask how familiar you are with http://www.traumacenter.org and the work of Dr. van der Kolk?
I would be glad to learn from your thoughts on - and perhaps your experience with - body-based therapies and artistic expression as paths to healing from trauma.
The JRI annual trauma conference is coming up:
Second, after having read your essay about your plans for starting a community and your fear of failure and I would like to share something that has helped me navigate through fear: the book "Designing Your Life", which proposes "wayfinding" as an acquired "failure immunity" and even more, as guaranteed thriving - we cannot fail when we live and learn through experiences that we design for own growth. We win, come what may.
How does this sound to you?
|(201) julia stishova
Thu, 13 April 2017 20:56:46 +0000
do you interested to have your book translated in russian?
Thanks for sharing your story!
|(199) Renee Rae
Thu, 6 April 2017 16:24:00 +0000
|(198) Renee Rae
Thu, 6 April 2017 16:08:40 +0000
I've been off all Meds for over a year now, I did this alone without medical supervision I do not recommend this! I feel... Well, I feel.
Tue, 4 April 2017 18:07:26 +0000
When I watched one of your videos I was very much struck by you saying that our different problems manifest from traumas. Thankfully, you also said that some good therapists don't charge much and that you know some around the world. Could you recommend me some in London, UK?
|(195) Cheryl Jonas
Wed, 8 March 2017 13:39:53 +0000
Thu, 2 March 2017 06:22:37 +0000
I've spent 35 years finding out what happened to make me as weird as I am. I've used a lot of modalities and have the full picture. What a trip!
But I'm still left with a couple of things I don't know what to do about - except to accept them, I guess. But I've come so far and I hanker to be normal.
I've always found dealing with OPs 'face' weird - why do they refuse to accept themselves? Yesterday I realised the best way I found as a child to protect myself was to go energetically invisible.
Another repercussion was that my adrenal glands never functioned well enough to give me libido. Which made my teen years weird, and relationships in my 20s and 30s petered out when I failed to lust.
My other bug-bear is my complete lack of knowing what love is . My parents failed to bond with me, and the only touch I got was my father's sexual abuse. Hence a lifetime of Stockholm Syndrome.
Does anyone know how to heal from all that?
No shock or hurt or chronic fatigue left - just the blasted repercussions.
Oh, and the ex who is just like my dad and is best described as a pathological narcissist!
An external uneasiness to add to my internal dissatisfactions.
Sun, 19 February 2017 15:14:24 +0000
Obviously it all has to do with Trauma, I also think so. I personally don't think that things like depression are sicknesses by itself but rather symptoms. With saying that it is just a chemical imbalance that cannot be cured they ignore the root causes and the person itself. This doesn't help anyone except the corporations and institutions that profit from it.
It is great to have people like you who are really experienced and being active for human rights. Thanks a lot! Peace!
|(191) Penny Walker
Tue, 10 January 2017 23:45:21 +0000
Mon, 9 January 2017 08:38:15 +0000
My name is Maiia, I'm from Russia.
I'm severely traumatized person. And I want to help myself very very strongly. Yesterday I found out your website at first time.
And I saw you sell your book From Trauma to Enlightenment: Self-Therapy in Twelve Steps. I really want to read it, but, actually, I don't have money to buy it and I don't have opportunity to pay by paypal. Could you send me, please, your book free to my email?
Sat, 31 December 2016 22:42:42 +0000
I've been searching far and wide for life on mars, and for me you're the first sign of it. People are terrifyingly good at pretending they grow and change...you're one of the few people I've come across whom I believe actually does, and whom I believe would be willing to let go of every attachment when push comes to shove.
In my journey I came to a lot of the same extreme conclusions as you. I don't trust people with kids, or spouses, or people who haven't left their families behind. (Though in all honesty, I'm also very weary of people trying to rescue the world, which does make me wonder about you. This is where I lose everyone. People are always trying to "save" or "help" me to avoid saving themselves)....
I've used audio from one of your videos for an illustrated piece on my channel, Illustrated Philosophy. Feel free to share if you find value in it.
|(187) Michaela Fliborova
Mon, 3 October 2016 12:42:22 +0000
here Michaela from the Czech Republic!
Thank you so much for videos with Open Dialogue!! Great material to know and watch!
Currently I'm studying in Finland, I'm plannig to write diploma thesis on topic Open Dialogue..I would like to do research on some cetres, where is Open Dialogue working..
Can I ask for any advice, how the centres find? Cause it's really hard to find that centres with Open Dialogue..
Thank you for any advice!
Wish you a lot of luck and bless to your life!
Fri, 16 September 2016 13:43:02 +0000
Peace and blessings.
|(185) Emi aran
Wed, 14 September 2016 19:16:58 +0000
i came acrros your amazing video on you tube and i must say that it felt like someone is articulating my feelings and thoughts so clearly and i just want to thanke you deeply for it . i my self is in a proces of self finding and reconncting i wondering if you have an up coming lecture in nyc or where is possible to get intouch with your work and writing .
thanke you and a lot of love to you