Welcome!

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

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

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

90 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. Please sorry, my main interest is to share knowledge about meaning of life in order to prevent suffering and self-destruction of people. Author is a biologist from Saints Petersburg: Vladimir Antonov. He is researching Spirituality for decades and discovered amazing stuff, also psychical self regulation which is healthy to do for everyone. We, as he says, have not only physical heart but spiritual. If you’re skeptical, google hearthmath institute. My task is to inform you, after that do as you feel right.

  2. Hey,
    I’ve written about how dreadful and parent-oriented Canada is. I’ve found a video where they use modern MRI equipment to effectively lobotomize this woman to “treat depression”. Notice how the comments are turned off. They just casually assert that they know the exact area of the brain that causes depression, as if it’s that simple – and that it can just simply be nuked with an MRI. So yeah, a modern day lobotomy. I only see the insanity of this because I grew up in the US. I’m getting more and more terrified of Canada.

  3. Hey, Daniel.

    I’ve been watching your videos for a couple of weeks now, and it’s been fascinating and scary, to say the least. I struggle with anger a lot, like I can lose my temper in an instant, and by the time I realize I’m angry I’ve already hurt myself and others. Since I started journaling, I’ve realized that it’s mainly because of the abuse I endured from my father when I was a kid. He wasn’t physically abusive, since my mom didn’t allow that, but the emotional abuse I was subjected to was, to me, very traumatic. So much so, that I really hate myself, and feel like I’m worthless. And since I didn’t have the space to actually feel and express my anger appropriately, I forced myself to repress it in order to avoid rejection. As a result, I have a really hard time recognizing healthy, appropriate anger.

    I wanted to know if you could perhaps give me some advice on how to deal with and embrace anger. I feel like I’m stuck.

    Greetings!

    PD: English isn’t my mother tongue, so hopefully I was able to convey my thoughts in an understandable manner.

    • Hi Paola, I did make a video on anger, but now exactly on how to deal with it… I think your question might be a good topic for a future video, though at the moment I’m swamped in my life. I do have a self therapy book available for a lot price (hopefully!!) through this website. Maybe that would help some??? Sorry to be so brief now!! Daniel

  4. hi Daniel,

    I have also broken from my parents/ they have broken from me, and watch your videos on the subject. I have a wife and baby boy of 6 months and don’t believe they have a right to see my child.
    Can you do a video on this topic. It seems to me that grandparents think they have an automatic right to see grandkids. At this point they are not going to see my son unless they change and make things right
    with me. Is this a fair attitude. I feel that my father stole cheated lied and manipulated me over and over and im just sick of it and don’t think that is a good influence on me or my Childs life. My mother also partakes in his
    lies and takes his side so she is out also. I think that if one of your parents is out they both should be in general if of course they agree on it. My dad is 80 my mom 76. My sister has also had enough and I believe is not communicating with
    them any longer. she has two kids and has just recently cut them off from the grandparents also. They are 13 and 10yoa and have had been exposed to the abuse from grand parents in the past. No sexual or physical abuse. Just emotional and controlling with money mostly. They have a significant amount of money of think they can control us all with their promises of money.

    thanks in advance
    Scott

  5. HI Daniel,
    I’m a huge fan of your work and philosophy. Thank you for making those YouTube videos, books and blog entries, they’ve all really helped me.
    Anyways, I’m currently experiencing transference with my current psychologist, who i’m being forced by my parents to go to. I’m just wondering if you have any advice on dealing with transference as it is really intense, and my dissociated and insecure psychologist refuses to honestly talk about these things with me, leaving me alone in the dark.
    I’ve started meditating, journaling, reading, stopping porn, improving my diet, and getting some exercise in but as a 18 year old NEET with social anxiety, jealousy, confusion, anger and depression, breaking away from my unhelpful parents and having true financial freedom isn’t that easy to have, and is even harder when my psychologist is in my head 24/7.
    Thanks for any suggestions and taking the time out of your day to read this.

    • NSP— Sorry for my long delay— life! I don’t have the best advice specifically for you, except maybe talk about it with the therapist and if they are not helpful perhaps take some distance from them? Or Journal more about it? Engage in more self therapy? I don’t know if any of this will help. But maybe. Maybe this is a good topic for a future video for me to do! Warm greetings,
      Daniel

  6. Hi Daniel,

    I first encountered your name long long time ago, just when I was researching stuff on Alice Miller. As I have never found a therapist that could help me, I was wondering if there are any that you could recommend as I know you do not practise psychotheraphy anymore yourself.

    • Hi Paulina,
      Greetings! I’m sorry to say that I don’t have any therapists to recommend right now. I just don’t feel comfortable doing that. But I am wishing you the best on your healing journey. Daniel

  7. Hey Daniel, I agree with much of what you say in your new video “A pre-recorded message to the children of 2100”. I like how you mention that technology won’t help heal our traumas, even though we are constantly sold the idea that technology is the cure-all, by people like Elon Musk for example. In my opinion, Elon is the type of fake, corporate person who represents the modern era.

    But my question for you is this: what gives you so much hope that the people of 2100 will wake up and suddenly be kind to nature, suddenly have the awareness to try healing their traumas, when people before them have failed to do so for thousands of years? I’ll use our current era as an example: As a young-ish person myself, in my early 20s, I personally feel that people who grow up in 2021 are just as likely, if not more likely than their parents, to not care about the destruction we’re doing to nature.

    (In what I’m about to write, I don’t mean to invalidate your negative experiences with your own generation, or your parents’ generation. Your lived experiences are valid and I won’t write them off just because I haven’t experienced them.)
    I worry that the future will be the opposite from what you predict. From my perception, kids today don’t have many honest figures in their lives who communicate the things that you do. Instead, we live in a world filled with people who only care about money. As you mentioned, technology is so pervasive, and it has in my opinion jeopardized our ability to connect with nature, and it’s even dulled down our language – our ability to communicate the nuances of our traumas using sentences and paragraphs. Nowadays, it’s all about writing short, snappy twitter posts, and that’s not a good system for communicating traumas in my opinion. I feel as though people are getting more judgmental. For instance, I would be much more comfortable opening up to someone from an older generation, because of my feelings that younger people today are more judgmental.

    So yeah, I am curious to know why you feel as though the future generations, who will inevitably be more technological, will be the point where humanity finally wakes up and finally cares about nature. I want to hope the same as well, but from my experiences around people my age and even younger, I just don’t see it.

    • Actually I’m starting to see it.. Just getting a glimpse at my own lost potential as a young person, and how terrifying that glimpse was. Being blind to others displaying their brilliance as a way to defend myself from the awful sadness of me not getting to live up to my own potential.

      Maybe you’re right Daniel, we may have a future of geniuses like one couldn’t even imagine coming from our mere, silly 3 dimensions. I just hope that when that day comes, empathy won’t be a thing of the past – that I won’t be left in the dirt anymore like I have been for my entire life.

  8. This is in German Sorry
    Leider mußte in Schweden das Healing Home Konzept geändert werden
    Nun sind Einige hier in Planung eines Healing Homes ähnlichen Lebens

  9. Omg…I believe this is me. (See video “treatment of attachment-based parental alienation”) I am the targeted parent. I can honestly say “I really don’t understand why this is happening to me” please watch this video. I know for a fact my ex used at least some of these tactics: https://youtu.be/ezBJ3954mKw. I’m not saying that I didn’t make mistakes, i did. But I was never abusive and have been accused of abuse, without any specific examples showing abuse.

  10. Hi Daniel.
    I have been a longtime viewer of your youtube channel, and I have spent the past 6 months abstaining from smoking marijuana, where I often found your videos to be a place of solace and comfort. When I was having a really rough time, I would worry that I was going crazy and that I was all alone in the world and nobody understood me. Then I would watch one of your videos, and be instantly calmed down. Probably because in my sober state, I totally agree with your perspective on the state of the world, healing, and the issues that come with medications (dulling the grief and healing process).
    Although I did manage to abstain from smoking weed for 6 months, for the most part I had a terrible quality of life. I was often being knocked around by extreme emotional highs and extreme lows. As time went on, these states grew stronger and stronger, leading me to become quite dangerously close to committing suicide. I went off the rails – jeopardised the security of my job, lost a lot of money by being painfully indecisive, didn’t want to socialise with anyone, felt distrustful towards many, and generally saw the world as a dark and gloomy place. I recall you mentioned this phenomenon in one of your videos: the healing process leading someone to a state where they can’t function in society anymore – that is exactly what happened. And hearing you talk about that saved my life at one point also.

    As this state of dysfunction grew more erratic over time, I simply had to smoke weed for my survival. It was either that, or commit suicide. And alas, the weed worked, all of my emotions dulled down, and the voice of reason sprung forth into my consciousness to save my life. I have decided to occupy this ‘dissociated state’ by smoking a small amount every 2-3 days at night. It is true that my healing process has been paused for now, but having this distance from my state of being enveloped in my traumas, I can think a little more objectively without my own biases.

    Which leads me to want to you ask you questions, ones I have wanted to ask for awhile, but my sober emotional state would not dare to ask:

    ‘Do you think there is more merit to a healed person than somebody who voluntarily chooses to bypass the healing process?’
    I held onto dear life that going through with the healing process would amount to a greater quality of life, but it was a living hell for me that almost led to my self-destruction. I tried many things to make the process smoother: daily self-journaling, clean diet, exercise, early wake ups, plenty of sunshine, no distractions. These things made it all a bit easier, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s also okay just to say: screw it! nobody cares about what we do anyway.. so why not just live a non-courageous/ un-healed/ easy/ dissociated life.

    ‘Are there any examples of people who have adopted the process of healing and come out ‘better’ than everybody else? ‘
    I know the word ‘better’ is vague, but you know what I mean. I would assume that you would think of others differently who choose to avoid the process of healing. In my current dissociated state, I am guarded by the horrors of the world and my history, living a fiction perhaps, but I am also not harming anybody either. I don’t take advantage of others, or live in a way that poses any harm onto myself or others. If anything, the sober shackles of my trauma would put me in a position of being more harmful to others: I would literally drive a car more poorly, and would be awfully forgetful about important things.. because I was way too.. present? present in how I was feeling all the time, it really did make my behaviours more physically dangerous to myself and others.

    ‘Do you think you are really healed or more healed than when you were a child?’
    I am sorry if this question is triggering, but I have to ask. I have noticed that in almost all of your videos, you talk about how your parents betrayed you. Or how the healing process has made you become someone who is much more emotionally volatile to events that happen in the external world. Are these the behaviours of somebody who is at least 90% healed? Again, I am sorry if this question is thorny to answer. While I recognise my questions are quite personal and maybe aggressive in nature, I really am more curious than anything. I want to believe that healing is the right way to go.

    Take care Daniel, you have been a great source of support for me and many others. I commend you for sitting through all those uncomfortable feelings to make your videos be published for the world to see. Cheers mate

    • Hi Nath,
      Thank you for sharing all this, and your questions are good. The problem for me is that I’m almost entirely off the grid right now and simply don’t have the time to give your questions in the proper time to reply. The main thing that jumped out to me though, in my moment to reply, is that the first most important thing is to survive and not die! Also, when we take away something that might be a bit of a crutch, like weed or something like that, if we don’t replace it with something better and healthier then life can get really awful, and often life can get really awful even in spite of this. In my case I have spent a lot of time in my journal and also on working and also on having friends. I’m really wishing you the best! Daniel

  11. Hi Daniel
    Wow, I just found out about your You Tube channel and I am totally hooked. I appreciate you candid and sincere expression of your thoughts. I think you are a gift to so many people. You’re one of those “who would you wanna sit down and have a beer with” and hope (honestly) I could meet you in person. I am partly NY based too. I have been through therapy. as well. I had no complaints about any one of them but I do sense the “heaviness” in their demeanor. Half of the time, I sense they were not really “with me”. I did not take it against them and in fact I was secretly empathizing with them in real time during my sessions. I do that by trying to be an “easy patient” whatever that means. I can completely relate because I’m also in the medical field (I treat cancer) so I am always in front of people who needs help. I know how difficult it is to be in a position of strength when deep inside, you have demons hounding you. Thankfully, I handle my emotions pretty well in front of patients and it has not compromised the care I give. Looking forward to more videos.

  12. Hi Daniel,

    I’m sad to say I was assaulted about two weeks ago by a homeless man, maybe 50 years old who appeared to be in some kind of psychosis. When I had walked past him 20 seconds prior he claimed I “shot him with a gun”, and in retaliation had followed behind and blindsided me with a blunt object. In reality I hadn’t acknowledged him at all; he was shouting in a disorganised way and I blanked him as to not invite further interaction (which I remember felt callous at the time!).

    I was very lucky to be in a public place; a witness immediately called the police, and in amidst the chaos I managed to get a clear picture of the guy. The police were quick to arrive but the man had fled the scene. My interaction with them was mostly positive; I gave them my details/ statement + the photo and they gave me a lift to the hospital which I’m grateful for, though as with your story I found it quite surreal to overhear being referred to as ‘the victim’.

    While waiting in A&E I found myself thinking about your mugging story and deeply empathising with it. In particular I was profoundly struck by how much empathy you showed the men who robbed you; I’m not sure I could have been so charitable given their apparent agency in the matter. In my case though, it was clear to me within the first 10 seconds or so of being assaulted that this guy needed more help than I did.

    I’m at a crossroads right now; the police have gotten back to me asking if I want to proceed with a prosecution and I genuinely don’t know. I’ve since recovered emotionally (I think (: ) and physically minus a scar in my eyebrow that required a bit of glue. I don’t think someone who is prone to random violent outbursts should be out on the streets, but I’m uncomfortable with the idea of setting off a chain of events if it leads to him getting lost in a system without the help he needs. This happened in the UK so I appreciate that the protocols might be different, but any insight you might have, moral or otherwise would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards, Michael

    • Michael, I’m so sorry to hear this! But I thank you very much for sharing it. Yes, unfortunately, I relate to it very much. At least I am grateful that I was not physically assaulted in my case. I am not sure what insights I have right now, as I am thinking about these things all the time and have not come up with a good conclusion. Someday I hope to make some more videos on the subject, when my case is resolved at least. Sending you the warmest greetings. Daniel

  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7wpoDvFsXY&t=248s&ab_channel=DanielMackler

    “Everyone has the right to work.” Really, united nations? As beings here on Earth, one of the things we fundamentally deserve is to do labor? These people who call themselves world leaders, and the ordinary people who support them are the most uncool, boring things the world has ever churned out. This proves how backwards the world is, that we don’t even question “the right to work”. We are told we should be grateful for the opportunity to work 9-5 jobs, because people in poorer countries don’t have this fundamental “human right”.

    I love your ideas for what our rights should really be, and how you believe children should be the main recipients of these rights. If society actually cared about us as human beings, the fundamental rights for children that you’ve named would be our commandments. Those children would go on to create an awesome world where we not only appreciate and enjoy nature, but also where we don’t hinder our own creativity and potential to be kind, loving beings. This could be an amazing world to live in.. But clearly, adults and institutions like the UN have always had other plans, since the beginning of time. They are not our guardians, but rather our rulers.

    • Hello Pat,
      I have a slightly different interpretation of the “right to work”, but maybe I am wrong. The way I see it is that in order to live, we all have to make a living, we all need money in order to survive, unless of course you are born to a family of means and everything is taken care of. I would assume that even those who absolutely love and enjoy their jobs still would want and need to be paid. Unfortunately, there are instances when someone who needs a job in order to live are “prevented” (not sure if that is the right word) by others who have something against that individual. For example, you got fired for something you did, you’ve already been punished by losing the job, and yet someone wants to punish you more by ruining your reputation so no one will hire you. I believe that’s where that right comes in. The person who is doing that to you is therefore violating your right to have a job. If that person doesn’t get a job, there will be consequences…he may be evicted or lose his home and become homeless, he loses health insurance and a family member may suffer and even die because there is no money to buy medicines. I can go on and on…but you get the idea. Perhaps you put yourself in that situation…. someone violating your right to have a job and you become jobless and your savings run out and there is no one to help you, not a friend, not a relative. What would happen to you? Anyone of us can be in that situation.

  14. Hey again Daniel!

    Just saw your video “A Critique of Jordan Peterson”. I’m not super familiar with him (I have a tendency to gloss over the antics of the really famous folk, and prefer to let everyone else obsess over them).

    I live in Canada myself, but I grew up in the US. I had the following thought after watching your video: if the world sees Donald Trump as the face of the US (and therefore holds the US up to all the same scrutiny), then maybe we should look at Jordan Peterson as the face of Canada.

    I’ve noticed that parents here in Canada love putting their own kids last. I see parents who drag their bored, exasperated kids around on the bus to complete their own agendas; parents who dump their kid in daycares run by nannies who are completely aloof and see it as just any other job; parents who scold their kids for showing any sign of a facial expression that would indicate disagreement. I see parents who are kinder to strangers than they are to their own children, right in front of their own children. You’re probably thinking that none of these examples are all that different from what you’ve no doubt seen countless times in the US, but to me it really does feel like Canada has a nation-wide culture of lame, pathetic, lousy parenting.

    And I find that this is reflected in the adults I’ve interacted with in my 11 years here in Canada. When I think back to my childhood in the US, and when I observe Americans on youtube and even people from other countries like the UK, I notice that you people on the outside have this bizarre ability to smile genuine smiles and laugh genuine laughs. You guys tend to be more spontaneous, less afraid of expressing yourselves, less dull, more creative. You guys seem to be more connected to your own playfulness; more empathic. But I suppose things have been changing for many years, even in other countries – cellphones are taking over the world and turning everyone into Canadians- I mean drones. Nevertheless, I find myself dreaming every day of visiting the US again, and perhaps a new country as well. I’d better do it before it’s too late, and all the things and people I love in this world get replaced by walmarts and cellphones and condos and fancy cars.

    So that sums up why I think JP should be the “face” of Canada. Intelligent, professional, calculating, sure. Just like Canada prides itself as being, especially in contrast to its slightly rambunctious neighbor. But as for me, I would rather hang out with a country who’s kind, genuine, capable of being fun and playful.

  15. Hi Daniel,

    I was wondering if you had any thoughts on how music is, or can be, integrated into a traumatized musicians journey.

    I entered college as a piano performance major in 2010. Just before that I won a competition playing a movement of a Rachmaninoff piano concerto. To this day, it has remained my crowning achievement. But everything started to drift after that. I became unfocused on my studies and craft, not to mention important responsibilities by the end. I was instead fixed on finding that “one true love.” None of them worked out. Also, since school is usually only a 4 year go people would graduate and move on. I somehow took this personally. “They left me. I’m not valuable enough, etc.” Then I began coping using marijuana and alcohol. I eventually saw that I had totally lost track of my life. This is when some self examination unearthed the realization that I started playing the piano when my parents stopped paying attention to me. They drifted into their room with their own substances. I would play that they would come out. And when they did and I had some legitimate complaint about what was going on they would contest, “You’re wrong. You’re so ungrateful. Just be productive.” Family and others only listened if my mouth was shut but my hands were on the keys. “He’s so smart. He’s so talented.” they would say. Then later in college I spent many a night “practicing” and waiting for a familiar face to show in the practice room window. If it was a friend I’d be happily distracted for a while. If it was blonde hair I felt I was saved.

    Now, I’ve worked through some 12-step material. I’ve been doing therapy consistently. I journal on occasion. I play on occasion but I listen endlessly. Rachmaninoff continues to be my favorite composer. And sometimes I feel when I play that things are in harmony, that I’m grounded, that I can cultivate this relationship with my instrument again. But it only lasts so long. I get tripped up with these questions: Do I have to heal all of my trauma before I can move forward with my music? Can they be done simultaneously? How can I untangle the part of music that is wrapped up to that lonely child who needed it to cope, to get at least some form of attention? How can I take the part that was genuinely in awe at the sounds and the feelings I was hearing coming through the music of Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, John Williams, Pink Floyd, etc, etc.?

    I watch your videos all the time. I’m deeply appreciative of what you have to say as it often seems to tap into what I’ve always known yet suppressed. You mentioned “action” in your last video. I hear ya.

    Sincerely,
    Nicholas

    • Hi Nicholas,
      I’m not sure I have a clear answer for you. My own experience of playing music (folk music, guitar, singing), while not remotely at the level you did it, has been healing for me, in that it is a chance for me to explore my feelings and thoughts and also just to relax and have fun. I considered having fun to be a key tool of the self-healing process. I wrote about that in my book on my self-therapy. That has been something that has been important for me with music: to enjoy it. To just work to find the joy in it, and not to use it for any other great purpose, except perhaps as a way to express myself more. I see music, at least for me, as an adjust to my healing process. But nothing, not even music, is more important to me than just figuring out my history, retrieving my buried feelings, grieving, getting away from the toxic people in my past… But what I have found is that the more I have healed the more I feel more inspired, especially in a healthy way, to create music. To just play for the joy of it, and for no other reason. Sending you greetings on your journey! Daniel

    • Hi Nicholas,

      If you are able or willing, I would love to talk to you. I come from a family of performance artists in classical music, my grandparents especially, had large careers which is part of my family dysfunction. Please let me know.

  16. Hey Daniel I have a question I enjoy your videos from 6 years ago about not having children you make very valid points I feel the same way honestly can you go deeper into that subject in terms of growing as an individual because I know a lot of people are having children in there early 20s and beyond .

  17. Hello again. I’ve commented here before, and this time I want to thank you for making the video titled “Why I don’t recommend ayahuasca for healing psychological trauma”. I think it was quite responsible of you to make that video, considering there are some youtubers out there who are really pushing drugs like ayahuasca and DMT, such as a certain podcast host whose name I won’t mention. In that podcast, the host mentions all sorts of psychedelics, but especially ayahuasca and DMT quite frequently in a highly glorifying way, and maybe a few times I’ve heard him add in a couple words of caution as an afterthought. He’s probably talked in detail about those substances hundreds of times in his videos, but I don’t recall him ever recommending that anyone should try building a foundation of safety and good mental health in your life first.

    I know I have a lot of trauma, much of which was recent trauma mixed in with all my childhood trauma. I would love to deal with all that trauma in as healthy a way as possible, if only I had the right people in my life and a good therapist. I have suspected that drugs like ayahuasca can really put you through a very awful hell, like you mentioned that guy you had to comfort was going through. That’s exactly what I picture would happen to me, perhaps a thousand times scarier. I can’t even imagine what it was like in his mind.

    I can’t help but be curious about these drugs – I’m mainly interested in the visuals, but I sure hope I never use them with the state my mental wellbeing is in. Thanks again Daniel for showing a lot of compassion and responsibility and making that video.

  18. Daniel, hi. I first saw your work when my daughter was experiencing psychosis and I was researching OD. I have watched that video multiple times and forwarded it to countless people. Thank you for that. Today I saw your video on bipolar disorder. It was uploaded to the lithium withdrawal group on Facebook, which I participate in while stopping lithium, 21 years after being given a bipolar diagnosis. I found it excellent, and have forwarded it to my daughter who has also been given that diagnosis.

    I am writing now because I have recently finished a draft of a book on how I recovered from so called bipolar disorder. It is based on my conversations with a psychiatrist (who also works as a psychotherapist) over the last 10 years, and is drawn from his comprehensive notes of our sessions. I was startled at how many of the issues that you raised chimed with my own experience, and would like to invite you to read my book and to provide a testimony. Is that something you would consider doing? My email is below. If that is something you would be happy to do please drop me a note.

    With gratitude for what you create.

    Jim

    • Hi Jim/Daniel:
      My attention span is somehow “damaged” and my eyesight is less. After watching some videos about C-PTSD Daniel’s first video popped up: “my 6 reasons why I quit bei g a therapist”…

      After watching a few of Daniel’s other videos I chose to click on his site and here I am. I only want to cry and at the other side I am also happy.
      That first video of Daniel told me for the first time that there are people who cares and understands APA is BeeAs and the Pharmaceutical Industry is multi dollar Company “killing” people by keeping them in a “Zombie Pose” even Kaye Jamison in the Hopkins Hospital being BP diagnosed (Kaye no offense please).

      My mom became catatonic in the rice field in Spring 1968. I am 7 years old then! When the ambulance came my mom punched my father in his face. My mom was then tie wrapped in the ambulance and I did not see her for 9 months. When she was released she was mute (year 1969).

      During my childhood until my 12th years there different kind of sexual abuse.

      At age 14 I become a Jehovah’s Witness (year 1975) and a year later I was in Europe.

      In 1999 I am 38 and “dying”, if I do not speak out now I will be dead man. I have 3 children (14f, 12m, 8f). On Saturday 5th I spoke for the 1st about the sexual abuse. Two male elder JEHOVAH’S Witnesses and the mother of the children.

      During this there is “button switch on sound” between my 2 ears and started crying and laughing simultaneously (is that possible?)

      instantly I became Bipolar…other would say not my words…

      Other things happened too. During this time I become a man of 105: I couldn’t stand up straight and my body was aching.

      I requested for a follow up, but elders refused. Jehovah’s Witnesses are encouraged not to seek help through therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists. All is of Satan and from the world.

      My view point was in 1999: God will heal me. He is the only One who know my past life.

      There is was no help at all. My past had overhauled me and could not concentrate at my job anymore.

      The 4 things what was ruling me were: GUILT, FEAR SHAME, AND DOUBT…

      On Sunday 6th June i could joke about “x” Jehovah’s witness would frown upon.

      After a clash on Sunday 12 September 1999 in the conference room with the fellow elders I burst out crying, ran out the room fetched a younger fellow chinese brother and dived in the library a nd closed the door and started singing song number 13, while crying through…It is about the jews, Egypt, river Jordan life and death.

      After arriving home that day Sunday afternoon I packed some little stuff and went off. I sat in the car and a bunch of good bye notes for the 3 children and their mother. With lots of instructions, such as never look for me. I am happy where I am going. The instructions were in different envelopes which they had to open at certain time. All put in one envelope I dropped it in the mail box.

      Preaching and crying and singing (Composed my own lyrics Satan is an oppressor who causes depression).

      Some hours later I was still singing and singing at the door of an CIRCUIT OVERSEER. After singing half an hour the door went open and they invited…they did not ask why I behaved like this, but returned me home the same night.

      September 15th 1999 I was forced to swallow HALDOL. Within 24 hours me being BiPolar was gone.

      My manic disappeared. And my Depression was -100.

      The HALDOL was crippling my mind, my thinking, et c et c….

      Is this what doctors and psychiatrists have studied for? Is this what Pharmaceutical Industry is developing and making chemical pills?

      The only place where I was happy, was work place. And was also now “stolen” from me as I stopped working from September 13th.

      Happily there was a man which I trusted and I had appointed with him in his office room on Friday the 17th September at 15.00pm.

      He was a psychologist and a social worker. His name is Theos. I was not afraid of this man. This is the only man that cannot harm me.

      Theos had scheduled 1,30 hours for me: 15.00pm-17.00pm: I cried 1 1/2 hours while talking about the sexual abuse. Only with this man I could talk that my legal wedded wife was not my wife, but a kind of stepmom, an older sister who had a mother role with whom I was married.It was an incestuous relationship in a religious context where divorce was prohibited…

      The next week September 24, i had my 2nd appointment with Theos. I asked Theos how his next appointment was on the 17th of September as he had a get to gather with colleagues after my appointment. Theos told me the following, I quote: ” I was so tired of listening to you, that did not go to my next appointment, but went straight home to have a rest.

      Jim/Daniel…for the first I heard someone can get tired from listening. But Theos listened. Woow.

      will be continued

      Jai

  19. My Ludditism will be the end of me. Thank you for your book on separating from family, and your online lectures. Besides you, the process of suffering, to some extent even with the few good therapists I’ve seen, has not really been understood or wisely advised. It’s been a final step in the grieving process–and discovering I’d just naturally been spirited enough so as to weather the entire storm, which included psychosis. I only wish I could share family photos on here, as well other images. Thank you.
    I’m hoping to soon launch a Youtube channel, with my spouse, a Registered Nurse, The Professional Patient. I’ll be doing psych. coercion etc. he’ll be advising on patient rights and medical stuff, where relevant. I hope to include your material some way.

  20. Daniel, is there a guide out there, book or video, that helps people like me who have lived in cities for over a decade, finally just escape and start being closer to nature, in a world that doesn’t seem to really care about nature anymore? I have no money, no survival skills; all I have to my name is a fear of not fitting in with people who HAVE been fortunate enough to grow up around nature. I’ve never had the exposure to nature I’ve always craved ever since I was a kid. I didn’t have parents who cared about nature, but only cared about money (I’m sure you can relate to this). How the heck do I get out of the city, after years of letting the city life corrupt my passion for the outdoors?

    • Good question… Hmm, I don’t know of such a guide book. If you find one could you share it her??
      Greetings–Daniel

      • Hi,
        Maybe it’s uncharted territory and I’ll have to end up writing one myself.
        It seems that having a good chunk of money saved up is essential, to purchase land in the woods to build a cabin on. For someone like me who has no experience constructing anything, I’d need even more money to buy the cabin itself, already built.
        It seems a little ironic to me that to escape society, which is centered around money, you need money.
        Maybe one possibility is to try meeting other people who also want to abandon the urban life and we can all pitch in towards building something. But I dunno, I value my solitude and that’s part of the reason why I’d do it anyway – to be alone.
        Another roadblock is the comfort I’m used to, of course. I need to convince myself really deep down that I really do want to live out in the woods, and probably have no internet access or very limited internet access. It’s hard for me to do that when much of my life is centered around using the internet. I don’t like to admit it, but I can barely go walk in the small bit of woods in the park for 1 hour without having my mind on going back home and being on the internet.

        • There are many who have volunteered at animal sanctuaries and such….many near woodland. Organic farms take people on who are willing to learn and work part-time… It’s a start..

          • Thank you, yes those farm stays seem to be very trendy. I’ve thought of giving that a try. I suppose a good way to get experience, but hopefully one day I could have a peaceful little home of my own. I have to be honest, I see myself more as a tree and plant lover than someone who could constantly be helping animals. Each to their own right?

  21. Hi Daniel!
    Thank you for the documentary (Open Dialogue). It’s was fun watching it.
    This is where I found the video:
    https://offenerdialog-ev.de/krisenbegleitung/
    (The website (link) belongs to a NGO here based in Leipzig, Germany, which offers Open Dialogue for people (like me) to survive psycho.-social crisis .)
    Wishing you the best. Good luck.

  22. Daniel. Hi. I know you arent big on labels but i have one im ok with. It describes my experience that many therapists havent been able to realate to. Dissociation. Outside of self. As if im watching a two dimensional movie. Detached from feelings and cognitive abilities throttled to zero. Result of a trauma and a subsequent issue with a therapist for which she lost license. So im looking for a new therapist. What modality would be best? Somatic experiencing?? Idk. Any direction appreciated.

    • Hi Wa Jaur,
      I never recommended therapy much based on modality. I think what’s more important (this is just my personal opinion) is the quality of the therapist. I wish I had good referrals but I don’t. But I think the quality of the therapist, the humanity of the therapist, is much more important than the modality. A bad therapist with a “great” modality is still a bad therapist! Daniel

  23. Hi Daniel,
    I have been labeled with schizophrenia and I would like to know what my options are in getting weened off meds.
    Who can I trust?

  24. hello daniel
    maybe you can make a video of school traumas? what i have heard from people there is a lot of traumas caused by the times in schools, and a lot of people carried unresolved traumas from there, for entire life

    Many thanks

    • Hi Adi,

      Good subject, for sure. I did mention school at least twice in videos, once here specifically related to a specific school trauma I experienced: https://youtu.be/xVjLbyMYLfE

      And once here more in general, though I can’t remember if I talked about traumas here: https://youtu.be/5o-dPKDIJNk

      But I am thinking of making more videos about this…

      Thanks for the idea.
      
Wishing you the best,
Daniel

    • Hi Daniel,

      Just to say a big THANK YOU for The great film about open dialogue in Finland, which I’ve just watched, excellent work, beautifully put together, great contribution, keep it up!

      Gratefully, Gordon Barclay (exUK NHS consultant psychiatrist, now private trauma therapist)

  25. Hello, I’m not sure where to start but my son needs help. He is 20 and was diagnosed with drug-induced psychosis four years ago after three very traumatic experiences within the month or so before he did acid and didn’t come out of his “trip”. When he didn’t improve from that, they diagnosed him with schizophrenia. There was some trauma as a baby at the hospital, he had a couple of experiences in elementary with his peers, and his dad was verbally abusive which translates in to mental, emotional, and psychological abuse. I’ve begged him for these four years to seek help for all of this trauma but I have also been wrong and sent him to hospitals and forced him to comply with meds. After seeing one of your videos I’m left feeling absolutely terrible for him and how I’ve handled things. He is convinced he’s just fine but he isn’t and he is in desperate need of help; the right help. Please guide me in finding him the help he needs.

    • Hi Melisa,
      I’m very sorry to hear this. Hmm, it sounds like he and you may have very different ideas on what he thinks he needs, even now. It’s always different for me when a parent reaches out to help their child. Of course I feel for you and for him, but at the same time I’ve seen repeatedly and learned repeatedly that unless someone wants help for himself or herself, someone else’s idea of the “best” help (including my idea too) doesn’t really mean all that much. It’s always much better if someone does the reaching out himself or herself — in this case, if your son reaches out. That makes things a lot easier — and yet, still, in this modern mental health climate, it’s still very hard to find good, respectful help. However, he might be interested in such websites as http://www.madinamerica.com and https://mindfreedom.org, or perhaps even he’d like my antipsychiatry video playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiC-8suDDaI&list=PLRHLaIzKomTgmKD0F9TZOaDuqxzBpItuN But if he’s not interested in it, then I really don’t know what to say, because at that point things coming from a parent, or from anyone, when he’s not specifically asking for it or for help, might well just come across as another violation… I am really wishing you both the best, though!! Daniel

      • Thank you for your reply. That’s definitely the situation and so the cycle continues. I will share the info you shared with me with him. I’m trying to give him info in hopes that he figures it out; that said, he does not want my help at all so in turn it is a violation. It’s never ending it seems but hopefully he comes around to getting help. I will do my best to not push it or even speak of it too much.. I just miss him terribly and want him to be ok. Thank you again for your reply. Take care.

    • Melissa!

      I went through the same thing at age 21.
      I’m 28 and I’ve healed quite significantly. Psychotherapy and trauma therapy were crucial. Send me an email at s.leal@utexas.edu. I’d love to be a resource to help

  26. Hello, Daniel:

    I find your videos to be enlightening, your discourse very intelligent, clever, deep, authentic, unique. Listen, I want your feedback, please, if you don;t mind. I graduated from college with a master degree in counseling psychology in 2007. I never used my degree to get employment. My experiences in college with hypocrites, backstabbing professors, and also my horrific experiences with evil, psycho “therapists” I met seeking help for my clinical depression, made me hate that profession. I was told the most horrible things by those people. I was great at providing therapy during my short-term internship, but I was so traumatized with the stuff I was told by wicked counselors and psychology professors that I never ever wanted to be a counselor. What do you think, Daniel: was I right when I refused to work as a counselor? I’d appreciate your opinion. Wish you peace. Thank you !

    • Hi Melissa, It sounds like you probably made a good decision. I think it’s possible for someone to be a good therapist in the mental health profession, but it requires a lot of different factors to help. I think it’s probably easier in some places than others. I myself much preferred working in private practice, also, but it took a lot of years of working in some stressful and awful places to build up to that. I feel lucky I didn’t lose myself along the way. I think it’s easy for many therapists to lose themselves — often, I think, the kindest people can lose themselves the quickest. Sending you warm greetings–Daniel

      • Hello, Daniel:

        Thank you for your kind response. I found many counselors sold their souls to the Devil, figuratively speaking, they lack compassion, empathy, treat people who desperately need help as second-class citizens. I endured a lot of emotional abuse by those “healers”, and that fact made hate the profession. It’s true I could have been different kind of therapist in private practice, but at what price? First I had to work for the system for 3 years and see all the corruption, hypocrisy, experience the burnout. I think that subconsciously I wanted to become a mental health counselor to “empower” myself, lol: I didn’t need it. I believe I made the right decision.
        Many blessings to you.

  27. I saw your “take” on Jordan Peterson and personally I think he’s a psychological fraud who ONLY wants to confirm the supposed virtuousness of his own psychological repressions. Some people can’t clean their rooms because they are so effed up with dependency needs or existential emptiness (hoarding). Ordering them around won’t help but its sooo easy to pontificte and get people to love u through mass hypnosis and never ever get any true feedback. I ACCUSE this Peterson guy of being like that. And the idea of obeying your parents without comment is medieval and horrifying. But its no wonder people eat this stuff up, they are the newest generation of ABUSIVE PARENTS. This creep should be locked up. Ever notice he can’t seem to CHILL or even smile??

  28. Hello Daniel,

    I’ve been following your material since mid-February when my father fell victim to a violent crime himself. It put him in critical condition for a week. Thankfully he has been recovering well. Now, we’ll see how he moves through the psychological trauma of the event. That said, I’m deeply sorry to hear about your recent experience. As I’ve felt increasingly validated and connected absorbing your material it made my chest clench to hear your story. I wish you the very best moving forward. Your vulnerability is inspirational.

  29. I noticed while watching your latest video on the mugging how anxious you were. I have a friend who suffered from depersonalization after smoking fake marijuana. I wonder if there is anything you know about depersonalization, its intensity, similarity or connection to anxiety and depression, if it is real. Any thoughts?

    Also, you posted the first video the same night I got broken up with by my girlfriend, and the things you feel (confusion, anxiety, anger, depression) are like what I have been feeling. Though our situations are very different, I feel comfort in going through this with you. Thank you for your transparency throughout this process and for facing your insecurity/fear.

    • Thanks for sharing Alexander. Hmm, I think there probably a connection between depersonalization and dissociation and shock. I’ll have to think about it more. I definitely felt somewhat depersonalized after my mugging — almost like I was floating outside my body. I was in shock… I think I am still partially in shock now… Greetings to you, Daniel

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

  31. Dear Daniel,

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

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

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

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

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

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

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJVeXC2JmDU

    Peace and sincerity, H.

  32. Hey Daniel,

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

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

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

    Sincerely,

    Cameron.

    • Hi Cameron,

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

  33. Hey Daniel,

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

    Thank you!!
    Sarah

      • Wow! Many thoughts I see!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  36. Hi Daniel,

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

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

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