For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence

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Macmillan, 1990 - Family & Relationships - 282 pages

For Your Own Good, the contemporary classic exploring the serious if not gravely dangerous consequences parental cruelty can bring to bear on children everywhere, is one of the central works by Alice Miller, the celebrated Swiss psychoanalyst.

With her typically lucid, strong, and poetic language, Miller investigates the personal stories and case histories of various self-destructive and/or violent individuals to expand on her theories about the long-term affects of abusive child-rearing. Her conclusions—on what sort of parenting can create a drug addict, or a murderer, or a Hitler—offer much insight, and make a good deal of sense, while also straying far from psychoanalytic dogma about human nature, which Miller vehemently rejects.

This important study paints a shocking picture of the violent world—indeed, of the ever-more-violent world—that each generation helps to create when traditional upbringing, with its hidden cruelty, is perpetuated. The book also presents readers with useful solutions in this regard—namely, to resensitize the victimized child who has been trapped within the adult, and to unlock the emotional life that has been frozen in repression.

 

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I got half way through this book and then had to leave it down forever. It cut too close to the bone.
I wept as I read. I saw For Your Own Good in our local library; though it is some years since I first tried to read it I turned away glad that the years have healed me.

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See http://www.primal-page.com/owngood.htm

Contents

GUIDES
8
THE SACRED VALUES OF CHILDREARING
63
THE CENTRAL MECHANISM OF POISONOUS
79
Is There a Harmless Pedagogy?
92
Introduction
105
the hidden logic of absurd behavior
129
From Hidden
142
HER POSITION IN THE FAMILY
180
THE WALLS OF SILENCE 23 I
231
Concluding Comments
240
Anxiety Anger and Sorrowbut No Guilt Feelings
247
An Example of Forbidden Suffering
254
Unlived Anger
261
The Permission to Know
271
Afterword
277
Afterword to the Second Edition
285

A Life Seen in Retrospect
198
WHAT DOES A MURDER TELL US ABOUT
207

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About the author (1990)

Other books by Alice Miller, the internationally renowned psychoanalyst, include The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self, The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting, The Truth Will Set You Free: Overcoming Emotional Blindness and Finding Your True Adult Self, Banished Knowledge: Facing Childhood Injuries, Breaking Down the Wall of Silence: The Liberating Experience of Facing Painful Truth, and The Untouched Key: Tracing Childhood Trauma in Creativity and Destructiveness. Miller lives in Zurich, Switzerland.

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