Alice Miller


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Psychologist and world-renowned author, who is noted for her books on child abuse, translated into several languages. In her books, she departed from psychoanalysis charging it with being similar to the poisonous pedagogies which she described in For Your Own Good.

Miller was born in Poland and, as a young woman, lived in Warsaw, where she survived World War II. In 1953 she gained her doctorate in philosophy, psychology, and sociology at the University of Basel in Switzerland. For the next 20 years, Miller studied and practiced psychoanalysis. Her first three books originated from research she took upon herself as a response to what she felt were major blind spots in her field.

However, by the time her fourth book was published, she no longer believed that psychoanalysis was viable in any respect. Miller extended the trauma model to include all forms of child abuse, including those that were commonly accepted (such as spanking), which she called poisonous pedagogy, a non-literal translation of Katharina Rutschky's Schwarze Pädagogik (black or dark pedagogy)

Drawing upon the work of psychohistory, Miller analyzed writers Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, and others to find links between their childhood traumas and the course and outcome of their lives. In 1979, she stopped practicing as a psychoanalyst after having studied and practiced psychoanalysis for 20 years and became critical of both Freud and Carl Jung. She has continued to write and lecture on psychological issues.

Her most recent book, Pictures of My Life, was published in 2006; an informal autobiography in which the writer explores her emotional process from a painful childhood through the development of her theories and later insights, told via the display and discussion of 66 of her original paintings, painted in the years 1973 to 2005. She died on April 14th, 2010, in Saint-Rémy de Provence, France.

Best author’s book


The Drama of the Gifted Child