24 Jun 23

Date: 24 Jun 23

Time: 10:30 am - 1:00 pm

Location: Online Zoom

Do You Read Me?

John F Miller

Learning disabilities and emotional problems in the child population are rising exponentially. The Children’s Society estimates that in one in six children have significant mental health problems. Over a thousand children are permanently excluded from state primary schools because they are uncontrollable or unteachable, yet there are no educational facilities or treatments for them. But although lack of resources and denial of the problem are significant contributory factors, there is a much deeper problem embedded in our culture: the denial of psychic reality and of meaning.

This is particularly evident in the response to children with difficulties in acquiring basic skills of reading and writing. My thesis is that concepts such as dyslexia and ADHD are both conceptually flawed and unscientific and are unconsciously motivated by the general desire not to try and understand the individuality of each child by treating them as if they were electronic devices with a faulty circuit.

I illustrate my discussion with examples from 40 years of practising educational psychology as well as analysis of adolescents and adults.

JF Miller read psychology and philosophy at St Catherine’s College Oxford and did his postgraduate qualification in educational psychology at the Tavistock clinic after several years of teaching experience in East London. He was for six years the County psychologist for West Oxfordshire where he introduced Jungian art and drama therapy treatments for children’s learning and behaviour problems. He worked as a consultant residential social worker in a children’s home in Norway during a sabbatical year. He has for 40 years been in full-time analytical practice, continuing to do some educational psychology in the form of assessments, family therapy and providing consultancy to local primary schools with high levels of special needs.

He has written numerous articles and book chapters on learning difficulties and communication problems. His first book “The Triumphant Victim” on sadomasochism was published in 2013 and “Do You Read Me?” On dyslexia and denial of meaning, in 2015.