Jean Baker Miller

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Jean Baker Miller
Jean-baker-miller.jpg
BornSeptember 29, 1927
DiedJuly 29, 2006(2006-07-29) (aged 78)
EducationB.S. Sarah Lawrence College
M.D. Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Occupation Psychiatrist
Psychoanalyst
Social activist
Feminist
Author
Spouse(s) S. M. Miller
Children Jonathan F. Miller
Edward D. Miller

Jean Baker Miller (1927–2006) was a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, social activist, feminist, and author. She wrote Toward a New Psychology of Women, which brings psychological thought together with relational-cultural theory. [1]

Contents

Early life and education

Jean Baker Miller was born on September 29, 1927 in the Bronx in New York City [2] to a Jewish family. [3] She was diagnosed with polio at an early age, and was inspired to pursue a career in medicine while in the care of nurses. [2] She attended Hunter College High School in New York City and in '48 graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. [2] She received her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1952, and was in New York for psychiatric residency programs at Montefiore Medical Center, Bellevue Hospital Center, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Upstate Medical Center, New York Medical College, where she completed her psychoanalytic training. [1] [2]

Work and publications

Miller opened a private practice in New York, and then moved to Boston in 1973. She edited Psychoanalysis and Women: Contributions to New Theory and Therapy (1973), and then wrote Toward a New Psychology of Women (1976), which has become a classic in its field and has been translated into twenty languages. [1] [2] Miller describes the "relational model" of human development ("Relational-Cultural Theory"), proposing that "growth-fostering relationships are a central human necessity and that disconnections are the source of psychological problems." [2] Inspired by Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique , and other feminist classics from the 1960s, Relational-Cultural Theory proposes that "isolation is one of the most damaging human experiences and is best treated by reconnecting with other people," and that therapists should "foster an atmosphere of empathy and acceptance for the patient, even at the cost of the therapist’s neutrality." [4] The theory is based on clinical observations and sought to prove that "there was nothing wrong with women, but rather with the way modern culture viewed them." [5]

Following the publication of Toward a New Psychology of Women, Miller became the first director of the Stone Center for Developmental Services and Studies at Wellesley College, which incorporated the relational model into all aspects of the Stone Center's treatment. [2] In 1986, she became the Director of Education for the Stone Center, where she established a group discussion program to share ideas about the relational model and published these ideas as "Working Papers" through the center. [2] In 1991, she published her second book, Women's Growth in Connection: Writings from the Stone Center, [2] co-authored with Judith V. Jordan, Alexandra G. Kaplan, Irene P. Stiver, and Janet L. Surrey. Her third book, The Healing Connection: How Women Form Relationships in Therapy and in Life, co-authored with Irene Pierce Stiver, Ph.D. was published in 1997. [1]

Miller also served as a clinical professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, and practiced psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. [2] She was a member of the American College of Psychiatrists, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Orthopsychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychoanalysis. [1]

Jean Baker Miller Training Institute

In 1995, Jean Baker Miller established the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute (JBMTI) at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College, an organization that seeks to "promote social change by expanding definitions and societal norms of personal strength, human health, and cultural wellbeing. [6] She served as its Founding Director and used the institute to teach the theory of Relational-Cultural Theory to mental health professionals and nonprofit organizations. [4]

Personal life and death

She was married to S. M. Miller, an emeritus professor of sociology at Boston University; they had two sons, Dr. Edward D. Miller and Jonathan F. Miller, [4] Chairman and CEO of America Online. Jean Baker Miller died on July 29, 2006, at the age of 78 due to respiratory failure caused by emphysema and post-polio complications. [4] [5]

Related Research Articles

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Psychoanalysis is a set of theories and therapeutic techniques used to study the unconscious mind, which together form a method of treatment for mental disorders. The discipline was established in the early 1890s by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud, who retained the term psychoanalysis for his own school of thought. Freud's work stems partly from the clinical work of Josef Breuer and others. Psychoanalysis was later developed in different directions, mostly by students of Freud, such as Alfred Adler and his collaborator, Carl Gustav Jung, as well as by neo-Freudian thinkers, such as Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, and Harry Stack Sullivan.

Harry Stack Sullivan

Herbert "Harry" Stack Sullivan was an American Neo-Freudian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who held that "personality can never be isolated from the complex interpersonal relationships in which [a] person lives" and that "[t]he field of psychiatry is the field of interpersonal relations under any and all circumstances in which [such] relations exist". Having studied therapists Sigmund Freud, Adolf Meyer, and William Alanson White, he devoted years of clinical and research work to helping people with psychotic illness.

Nancy Julia Chodorow is an American sociologist and professor. She describes herself as a humanistic psychoanalytic sociologist and psychoanalytic feminist. Throughout her career, she has been influenced by psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Karen Horney, as well as feminist theorists Beatrice Whiting and Phillip Slater. She is a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association, and often speaks at its congresses. She began as a professor at Wellesley College in 1973, a year later she began at the University of California, Santa Cruz until 1986. She then went on to spend many years as a professor in the departments of sociology and clinical psychology at the University of California, Berkeley until her retirement in 2005. Later, she began her career teaching psychiatry at Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance. Chodorow is often described as a leader in feminist thought, especially in the realms of psychoanalysis and psychology.

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Judith V. Jordan is the co-director and a founding scholar of the Jean Baker Miller Institute and co-director of the institute's Working Connections Project. She is an attending psychologist at McLean Hospital and Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Harvard Medical School. She works as a psychotherapist, supervisor, teacher and consultant. Jordan's development of relational-cultural therapy has served as a foundation for other scholars who have used this theory to explore the workplace, education. leadership and entrepreneurship.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Jean Baker Miller wcwonline.org Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Changing the Face of Medicine | Jean Baker Miller" . Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  3. Jewish Women's Archives: "Psychology in the United States" by Rhoda K. Unger Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  4. 1 2 3 4 New York Times: "Jean Baker Miller, 78, Psychiatrist, Is Dead" By Jeremy Pearce August 8, 2006.
  5. 1 2 "Jean Baker Miller". Harvard Square Library. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  6. Relational-Cultural Theory wcwonline.org Retrieved October 23, 2019.