“If we ever hear of a case of lying, we must look for a severe parent…”

"If we ever hear of a case of lying, we must look for a severe parent..."
 "…There would be no sense in lying unless 
the truth were felt to be

"A girl of ?fteen disappeared for eight days. When she was found, she was taken to the juvenile court, and there she told a tale of having been kidnapped by a man who had bound her and kept her locked in a room for eight days. No one believed her. The doctor spoke privately with her and urged her to tell the truth. She was so angry with him for not accepting her story that she slapped him in the face. When I saw her, I asked her what she wanted to be, and showed her I was interested only in her welfare and in what I could do to help her. When I asked her for a dream, she laughed and told me the following: "I was in a bar. When I went out, I met my mother. Soon my father came, and I asked my mother to hide me, so that he would not see me."

She was afraid of her father and was ?ghting him. He used to punish her, and because she was afraid of punishment, she was forced to lie. If we ever hear of a case of lying, we must look for a severe parent. There would be no sense in lying unless the truth were felt to be dangerous. On the other hand, we can see that this girl cooperated to some extent with her mother. She then admitted to me that someone had enticed her into a bar, and she had spent the eight days there. She was frightened of confessing because of her father, but at the same time her actions had been prompted by the desire to get the better of him. She felt subjugated by him, and she could feel superior to him only by hurting him."

From What Life Could Mean to You, 1931, by Alfred Adler, a doctor and psychotherapist who created his own school of psychotherapy.

Alfred Adler, Wikipedia>>
The image is Woman’s Head, 1916, by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff

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