|2.8.||2.8. 12 Bruno Bettelheim||2.8.|
It is 2006 09 27. I just went on the internet to find Bruno's name as author of The Children Of The Dream. Then the search with his name showed a Wikipedia and other references that discredited Prof. Bettelheim. This leaves me with much difficulty.
I will share a couple dehumanizing characterizations of Bruno and a few thoughts about them.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Bettelheim also caused controversy with a claim that homosexuality may cause psychological damage to individuals. He was asked to clarify this claim, in particular on two points: What damage? How do you know the damage can be attributed to homosexuality and not to the negative reactions by family and society, manifested often in psychological and physical persecution? Bettelheim did not respond. His claim could be easily dismissed and was ...
these harsh rejections of the man and his ideas to my mind amounts to liberal
academic dehumanization rather than respect for the wisdom of experience that
Bruno had. I feel sure the criticisms have the majority political support of the
gay and lesbian community that dehumanize Bruno as homophobic and support of the
social workers that dehumanize parents for spanking their children.
To me many liberals and academics are nice people but are like the person that told people how to ride a bike because he or she had lecture courses, had books on "How to ride a bike" and passed all there written test to become certified in bike riding with out getting on a bike!
Yes! Sadomasochism is evil but to equate that with anger evoked in a caring person in reaction to self-destructive behavior is also evil. Yes! There needs to be research but "key hole" research and political bias in areas with an academically narrow scope and ignorance is a poor substitute for the caring and wisdom of a man that professionally and humanly cared for the dehumanized victims of Nazi Concentration Camps. He was bought free of the Nazi system just before the official orders to murder the inmates! He went on to help people overcome self destructive behavior and be responsible as a life long process.
My friend Mabel White from the Movement Against Psychiatric Abuse had many friends that were recovering alcoholics and some insights into there difficulties. Also, my restaurant community was where I sat to eat meals, do my course work for graduate studies and grade papers from teaching Physics. This was a gathering place for AA people after there meetings and a community center for many.
I saw that many recovering alcoholics had nature characteristics in common. I found that Bruno's characterization of Israeli Holocaust Survivors contained an insight into the nature of some recovering alcoholics.
Survivors fell into three categories, two successful at holding a job and having a family and one not. One of the successful groups repressed the past and would not discuss it. They were disciplined and relatively insensitive. The other successful group was mostly healed by sharing there experience to the point that they were focusing on the here and now with relative ease and sensitivity.
The third whose life was characterized as unable to hold a job or maintain a home and raise children. This group seem caught in the middle of the other two in the sense that they were unable to suppress there bad experiences and were also unable discuss them to the point of healing.
There were two observations of child care effect I remember in particular. One was of children raised in a hippy commune where it was group sex and the children belonged to everyone. The observation was that the children were neglected and no one formed a quality child rearing bond (I regret I am unable to find a reference to this on the net). Second, I enjoyed Bruno's observations of children raised in a kibbutz. They were so close that they were like brother and sister and when grown preferred to marry outside their group. This shows an effect that is social and not biological.
I did a search for Bruno's degrees and found the following book reference that puts Bruno in a better light.
the Light: A Portrait of Bruno Bettelheim
by Theron Raines
About the Author
Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Theron Raines served in the air force as a navigator; later, he earned degrees from Columbia College, Columbia University, and Oxford University. He has been a literary agent for many years, and his distinguished client list has included, apart from Bruno Bettelheim, James Dickey, Winston Groom, Raul Hilberg, Willie Morris, and Cynthia Ozick.
Synopses & Reviews
In 1983, after years of trying to persuade Bruno Bettelheim to write his autobiography, Theron Raines, his friend and literary agent, himself undertook to tell the life of the renowned but often controversial child psychologist. With no thought of writing a conventional biography, Raines began a series of interviews in which Bettelheim reflected at length upon the major moments — triumphs, crises, and tragedies — of his extraordinary life. Rising to the Light is the fascinating synthesis of these encounters and of Raines's interviews with counselors, teachers, and former students from the world-famous Orthogenic School.Here is Bettelheim's sudden passage from a life of wealth and luxury in Vienna to the appalling brutality of Dachau and Buchenwald, where his intellect helped him survive the horrific conditions that often broke down a prisoner's personality. His understanding of the parallels between the extreme situation of a concentration-camp prisoner and the inner world of a disturbed child would shape him as a therapist. Here is his voyage from the Old World to the New, and his professional ascent in Chicago, where he developed a total therapeutic milieu for children unable to survive emotionally at home or in any other school. Though he had no specialized training, he was uniquely qualified by his uncanny insights into children and his deep Freudian and post-Freudian convictions about human nature and behavior. Based on his success as a clinician and teacher, he would go on to become a best-selling author. But toward the end of a long life, Bettelheim would succumb to a stroke and to a devastating depression intensified by his feelings of uselessness when he was no longer able to do the work that had been his daily salvation for so many decades. Raines, who visited him twice in his last weeks, also gives us the days just before the puzzling suicide of this man who had endured and built so much.
Despite his demonstrably tireless commitment to children, Bettelheim's reputation was blemished after his death by attacks on his writings and his unorthodox clinical methods, in particular his use of physical discipline in the psychotherapeutic setting. Raines's conversations with Bettelheim have much to tell us about this bitterly disputed aspect of his legacy, and they reveal a complex man who had to explore the boundary between compassion and brutality.
Rising to the Light is a portrait of a great teacher; it gives us a more direct line of sight into the Bettelheim enigma than any other book is likely to provide.
"Attempting to counteract all the attacks and exposes of Bettelheim that have appeared since his suicide in 1990, this warm biography...tries to restore the controversial psychologist's celebratory status as therapist, writer, and teacher." Hazel Rochman, Booklist