Alice Miller

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Alice Miller

Alice Miller

Born Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland
Nationality Swiss

Alice Miller, née Alicija Englard[1] (12 January 1923 – 14 April 2010), was a Swiss psychologist of Polish-Jewish origin, who is noted for her books on parental child abuse, translated into several languages. Her book The Drama of the Gifted Child[2] caused a sensation and became an international bestseller with the English publication in 1981.[3] Her views on the consequences of child abuse became highly influential.[4] In her books she departed from psychoanalysis, charging it with being similar to the "poisonous pedagogies".[5] On the other hand, Miller's flawed psychoanalysis on Adolf Hitler has been exposed.


Some of her work centered on how bad Hitler and National Socialism allegedly were. For example, like For Your Own Good another of her books, Breaking Down the Wall of Silence also is permeated with anti-Hitler, anti-National Socialist statements. [6] She compares Hitler with mass murders, like Stalin or Ceausescu, which is a coarse falsification of history. [7]


Miller's published books in English:

  • The Drama of the Gifted Child, (1978), revised in 1995 and re-published by Virago as The Drama of Being a Child. ISBN 1-86049-101-4
  • Prisoners of Childhood (1981) ISBN 0-465-06287-3
  • For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence (1983) ISBN 0-374-52269-3 (full text available online at no cost)
  • Thou Shalt Not Be Aware: Society's Betrayal of the Child (1984) ISBN 0-374-52543-9
  • Banished Knowledge: Facing Childhood Injuries ISBN 0-385-26762-2
  • The Untouched Key: Tracing Childhood Trauma in Creativity and Destructiveness ISBN 0-385-26764-9
  • Pictures of a Childhood: Sixty-six Watercolors and an Essay ISBN 0-374-23241-5
  • Paths of Life: Seven Scenarios (1999) ISBN 0-375-40379-5
  • Breaking Down the Wall of Silence: The Liberating Experience of Facing Painful Truth ISBN 0-525-93357-3
  • The Truth Will Set You Free: Overcoming Emotional Blindness (2001) ISBN 0-465-04584-7
  • The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting (2005) ISBN 0-393-06065-9, Excerpt
  • Free From Lies: Discovering Your True Needs (2009) ISBN 978-0-393-06913-6


  1. Miller, Martin (2013). Das wahre "Drama des begabten Kindes". Die Tragödie Alice Millers. Freiburg im Breisgau: Kreuz Verlag, 26.  (German)
  3. Grimes, William. Alice Miller, Psychoanalyst, Dies at 87; Laid Human Problems to Parental Acts The New York Times, 26 April 2010
  4. Alice Miller obituary, Cowan, Sue.The Guardian, 31 May 2010
  5. Note: In For Your Own Good, Alice Miller herself credits Katharina Rutschky and her 1977 work Schwarze Pädagogik as the source of inspiration to consider the concept of poisonous pedagogy,[1] which is considered as a translation of Rutschky's original term Schwarze Pädagogik (literally "black pedagogy"). Source: Zornado, Joseph L. (2001). Inventing the Child: Culture, Ideology, and the Story of Childhood. Routledge, 77. ISBN 0-8153-3524-5.  In the Spanish translations of Miller's books, Schwarze Pädagogik is translated literally.