- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted May 9, 2010
The Contagion of our Discontent
It was first published more than 30 years ago ("ancient history" in the rapidly developing field of human behavior). The author is an old-school, first-wave, neo-Freudian psychoanalyst. There are no references to empirical verifications of the author's still-stunning assertions. It's not even 120 pages long, including the index. It attacks (relentlessly) the accepted norms of Western pedagogy. And it often costs a lot of money to lay your hands on one.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I have dealt with adults molested as children for almost 20 years now. My philosophical background is principally cognitive-behavioral, experiential, neuropsychological and "evidence-based." But I also understand the psychodynamic route to the core issues that I'll have to use REBT, CBT, CAT, SIQR, schematherapy, interpersonal, DBT, ACT, mindfulness, Vipassana drop drill, EMDR and other more "modern" methods to deal with.
Many of the personality theorists and developmentalists saw the linkages between severe forms of abuse and adult behavioral results like paranoid, narcissistic, antisocial, borderline and avoidant personality disorders. But no one else I've run into thus far has shown how the standard, generally accepted and largely unquestioned beliefs and behaviors of our culture are handed down from one dysfunctional generation to the next.
The following quotations sum it nicely:
"There was a mother who at the core was emotionally insecure, and who depended for her narcissistic equilibrium on the child behaving, or acting, in a particular way... The child had an amazing ["gifted"] ability to perceive and respond intuitively, that is, unconsciously, to this need of the mother, or of both parents, for him to take on the role that had unconsciously been assigned to him."
"...the mothers of all my patients had a narcissistic disturbance, were extremely insecure, and often suffered from depression... What these mothers had once failed to find in their own mothers they were able to find in their children: someone at their disposal who can be used as an echo, who can be controlled, is completely centered on them, will never desert them, and offers full attention and admiration... she can make sure that she receives consideration and respect."
"As soon as the child is regarded as a possession for which one has a particular goal, as soon as one exerts control over him, his vital growth will be violently interrupted... Thus we suppress the child's curiosity... and then, when he lacks a natural instinct in learning he is offered special coaching for his scholastic difficulties... We find a similar example in the behavior of addicts... People who as children successfully repressed their intense feelings often try to regain -- at least for a short time -- their lost intensity of experience with the help of drugs or alcohol" [or sex, romance, work, food, or, or, or...].
Posted January 24, 2001
The Sad Narcissist
Alice Miller is by far the most prominent popularizer of the twin concepts - True Self and False Self. She regards the True Self as a prisoner within the walls of the False Self. The latter is an intricate and multi-faceted defence mechanism. Defence against what? Against one's emotions that were repressed during early childhood. The narcissist plays a role - that of the gifted, docile, accepting, tranquil, loving, peaceful and well-adjusted child. He becomes the extension of his parents: their unfulfilled dreams and sexret wishes. His identity is moulded to fit the idealized and ideal offspring. His negative feelings are buried deep inside his tormented psyche. These emotional skeletons later erupt and produce depression, suicidal ideation or narcissistic defences. Excellent, readable and - if one can use this word in this context - entertaining. Sam Vaknin, author of 'Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited'.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.