General Interest > Thought Reform

DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI

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I would have posted this here, but it deserves it's own topic. If you have connected with this thread...

then this might be more substantial,

NLP: Evolving the Double Bind  NLP: Evolving the Double Bind   

Also a review of ‘The Structure of Magic. Vol I and II’.- Bandler and Grinder


DannyB II:
:shamrock:  :shamrock:

This intermediately had a impact on my life. Not that I did not know what it is your writing about here I just did not have a name for it.  "Double Bind", it is so perfect.
Thanks awake again....


I came across this amazing article that articulates so much of the content behind the Double Bind, theTroubled Teen Industry, mind control, and the ethical controversy of such an approach. So very interesting with a very pertinent section on defining what constitutes control and abuse in therapy and family systems. Seeing that we are letting programs take over parenting, I suggest that terms like parents can be used interchangeably in this document.



An Interpersonal Context for the Double Bind
Paradox and Contradiction
Responding to paradox/ Double Binds
Relationship Context

An Interpersonal Context for the Double Bind

The double bind, as first proposed, was not described in terms of its function in a relationship. People communicated messages which conflicted at different levels and "victims" had to respond. A child was punished and then punished for expecting punishment, but the function of the double bind in a mother-child relationship remained unstated. It was something that just happened. However, implicit in the description of the double bind was a characterization of the mother as an individual; she was a mother who punished but did not want to be labeled a punishing mother. In other examples it was implied that the person imposing the bind could not tolerate closeness but also could not tolerate being labeled as one who could not tolerate closeness. In this sense the double bind was presented as having a function for the individual but not a function in a relatonship. It was presented as a product of individual motivations which were only implied.

Not only was the double bind presented as a product of the individual's motivational conflicts, but it was largely presented as a unid*ectional transaction. That is, the parent imposed conflicting injunctions which precipitated subjective distress in the child, such as panic or rage. The child might also impose double binds upon the parents, but these then would be unid*ectionalÑfrom child to parent.

When it became necessary to describe the actual interchange between two people and to describe the contribution of each person to the pattern of sequences which occurred, it was not sufficient to discuss a sequence in terms of its function for the individual or in terms of a unidirectional transaction. For example, it became important to note that the mother was imposing conflicting injunctions, but also to note that these conflicting injunctions were responsive to what the child was doing. If a continuing interchange between two people was to be described, it was necessary to postulate a function for the double bind which involved both people rather than merely the motivation of one of them. A mother might communicate the injunction "Do as I say or I will punish you," and qualify it with the secondary injunction, "Don't see me as a punishing agent." But to describe mother and child in these terms is to describe individual rather than interactive behavior since the "function" of the double bind when described in this way involves only the characteristics of the mother.

The research was shifting its focus of description from the individual to a system of two or more people, and the premises about motivation which had developed in the psychology of the individual appeared inadequate. To say that two people talking together do what they do to relieve anxiety, to avoid pain, to attempt to achieve a logical universe, to avoid closeness, or to satisfy instinctual drives did not seem satisfactory if one was attempting to explain the persistence of patterns of behavior in ongoing relationships.

Assuming that a relationship between two people was homeostatic in the sense that it was a governed, self-corrective system, the idea began to develop in the project that the "governors" of this system were the people involved in the relationship. Just as the governor in a cybernetic system controls the range of the elements in that system, so it began to be suggested that people in a relationship control the range of each other's behavior. This idea provided a function for the double bind which included both participants rather than merely the individual; the double bind could be seen as a tactic in the interchange between two people as they each attempted to gain control of the range of the system.1 By imposing a double bind, a person can effectively prevent another from governing what sort of relationship they will have.

This control idea was first presented in a memorandum by Haley in 1956 in an attempt to explain the peculiar behavior of the mothers of schizophrenics. This memorandum suggested that ordinarily two people work out areas of their life together where each, to the satisfaction of both, is in control of what sort of relationship they will have. "This could be called successful setting of the limits of the relationship.  However, they may come into conflict and settle the matter by termination of the relationship.  Or they may become involved in a constant struggle over who is to determine what type of relationship they will have, as in the schizophrenogenic situation." The peculiar mixture of domination and helplessness evident in the mother of the schizophrenic has its origin, according to the memorandum, in the fact that "The mother of the schizophrenic is not concerned with who is boss, but who is to decide who is boss, and she cannot discriminate between the two. Such a woman cannot stand anyone saying to her, 'You're the boss,' just as she cannot stand an intimate saying to her, 'I'm the boss.' It isn't that she can't stand being in charge, she can't stand someone else deciding who is in charge," or governing what sort of relationship there will be. As a result, if her child wants to tie his own shoes, she cannot permit this autonomy because she interprets his message as a signal that he is deciding what sort of relationship they will have, rather than deciding that shoe tieing is in his domain within a type of relationship determined by his mother.  "If the child of such a mother indicates that she is (or isn't) the boss, the mother must reject this message because it means the child is deciding who is the boss." Thus whatever the child does is classified as not the sort of thing that should be done. When a mother is peculiarly sensitive to having her behavior governed by others, she will even interpret compliant behavior by the child as demanding further direction from her and so governing her behavior.  The only solution for the child is to qualify whatever he does as not done in relation to mother and therefore he will not be governing her behavior. However, he will then be accused of not being responsive to mother, and so he must again respond to her only to find that his response is rejected.

J Haley, 1976: As Bateson rightly pointed out when he first read this history, to say that people "attempted to control" was not a way of describing two individuals relating to one another but was putting a "need" into them as individuals. All description implies motivation, and it was exasperatingly difficult to describe a system motivation when the system was made up of persons.

This issue of power and control was always a problem within the project. It seemed to me that how much power one person would allow another to have over him was a central issue in human life. It was also a particular issue in our special fields of investigationÑ hypnosis, therapy, and processes within families, particularly the families of the mad. There was little or no research on power and control at that time, and in fact there seemed to be an avoidance of the subject. The moral issue whether one should or should not struggle for power seemed to introject itself into the study of the phenomenon.

I was trying at that time to shift from the observation of the individual to the observation of a system and to view a power struggle as a product of the needs of a system rather than the needs of a person. I still prefer that view and am trying to clarify it. I think it is misleading to say that an individual has an inner need to control other people, just as I think it is naive to postulate an instinct of aggression. When we acknowledge that all learning .creatures are compelled to organize (they cannot not organize, just as they cannot not communicate as Bateson pointed out many years ago) and that organization is hierarchical, then we must expect confusions in the hierarchy. At times conflicting levels of hierarchy will be defined, and at times the structure will simply be ambiguous. (For example, when a therapist assumes the posture of an expert and puts the patient in charge of what is to happen, the hierarchy is confused.) When the hierarchy is not clearly established, the creatures within it will struggle with one another. An observer watching the action and thinking in terms of the individual as the unit can postulate a drive for power within the person because he is not viewing the situation. I have found it most productive to postulate "needs" in the contexts individuals participate in, and I was groping in that direction at the time of the project.

 The control idea was first published by Haley in 1958 in "An Interactional Explanation of Hypnosis." The project had been investigating hypnosis since 1953, with regular visits to Phoenix to consult with Milton H. Erickson about the nature of hypnosis and the process of hypnotic induction. Of particular interest to the research was the observation that schizophrenics and hypnotized subjects often behave in similar ways. This observation raised the question whether there could be a similarity between the ways a hypnotist induces trance in a subject and the ways a mother induces schizophrenia in a child (which was thought to be a possible way of looking at schizophrenia at the time). However, the investigation of the similarities between these two types of relationships required some way of comparing relationships; a more formidable problem than comparing differences between individuals.

The concept of double bind, as originally proposed, was not helpful as a method of classifying and comparing relationships. Although double binds occurred in the relationship between mother and schizophrenic child and also in the relationship of hypnotist and subject, such an observation was insufficient since double binds also occurred in other relationships. Additionally, when the double bind was applied to hypnosis it became evident that the concept was meaningless unless some motive was assumed for imposing the bind. Any postulated motive would be useful only if it was defined at the relationship level. With the idea that the hypnotist-subject relationship is one which centers upon the question of who is to govern whose behavior, it became immediately apparent that the hypnotic relationship could be seen as formally similar to the relationship between between mother and schizophrenic child.



There is probably no more confused area in psychiatry than the field of changing people. There is confusion over what needs to be changed, confusion over the nature of the problem and the history of the problem, and confusion over investigation of etiology and tactics for inducing change.  Central to this confusion has been the simple assumption that what the patient needs is to understand himself better and become more aware of the ideas he would rather not become aware of. All distortions of perception, emotional distress, and behavioral symptoms are presumed to disappear with such awareness; despite considerable evidence to the contrary and despite the occurrence of change without awareness and awareness without change.

The contribution of the project in this area was the enlargement of the description to include both patient and therapist and the introduction of levels into the analysis of the interchange. With this shift, other factors in the interchange appeared more relevant than self-awareness as a cause of change. In particular, the variety of paradoxes faced by a patient in the therapy setting as long as he continued with his symptoms appeared to be causal to change. Additionally, when the patient is forced to change his behavior as a result of therapy, he requires his intimates to change their behavior in relation to him. As a result, he sets up a new network of relationships which require him to persist in his new mode of living. From this point of view, individual therapy uses the individual patient as a lever to change a family system, and family therapy is an attempt to induce change in a system by dealing with all intimates at once.
Whether the patient faces a therapist alone or conjointly with his family, he faces a situation which provides him ways to behave differently and by the imposition of paradox forces him to do so, with a consequent shift in his subjective experiences.

The project began in a period when a social scientist could choose one of two directions: the investigator could concentrate upon trivia with rigorous methodology and produce trivial results (as Bateson put it, "if it's not worth doing it's worth doing well"). Or the investigator could move into the abstract realms of questions of identity, human purpose, and existential philosophy. In the trivial area of typical psychology and psychiatry, there was absurd oversimplification. In the abstract area there was an inability to conceptualize the human being in a way which would ultimately lead to the documentation of ideas. The project sought a middle ground which was sufficiently abstract to deal with formal patterns but sufficiently conceptualized to lead to verification of hypotheses. The areas chosen to investigate were those important areas in human life which an academic social scientist would consider too formidable to inquire into: metaphor, humor, schizophrenia, hypnosis, family systems, and psychotherapy. Into these areas the project attempted to bring the communication point of view, the concept of levels, and theoretical concepts from related disciplines. The project drew upon the terminology of artificial languages and the field of semantics, the language of ethology, the ideas of kinesics and linguistics, Information Theory, Game Theory, and ideas from cybernetics about homeostatic systems. The hope was to achieve a rigorous description of important areas in human life. The exasperation came with the absence of adequate analogies to deal with the problems of multilevel patterns in human communication systems.

Paradox and Contradiction

It is essential to distinguish between paradox and other kinds of contradictions and incongruencies since the double bind is so often interpreted as meaning inconsistent communication or contradictory messages and the like. Unless such definitions further specifiy that the contradiction occurs between different levels of abstraction, or different logical types, the definition is one of simple contradiction rather than paradox. A qualitatively different feature of paradox is its reflexivenessÑthe invalidation of its referents by itselfÑso long as one remains conceptually within the frame posed by paradox.

Watzlawick, who has repeatedly reminded double bind investigators of the importance of this distinction (Watzlawick 1963, 1965; Watzlawick et al. 1967) offers the following example to illustrate this crucial distinction: With a pair of contradictory orders such as "Stop" and "No Stopping Anytime," one may choose to obey one or the other, though the unchosen will of course be disobeyed. With paradox, however, there is essentially no choice, though there is the illusion of choice: e.g., a sign which reads "Ignore this Sign. " In this illusion lies the difficulty, since it is not simply that you will be wrong whatever you do, but that you cannot really do anything at all.

Contradictions and conflicts of the type called "simple" can be difficult and harrowing; the distinction drawn here is not intended to minimize their disrupting effects. They do not, however, have the peculiarly paralyzing effects of paradox, wherein a perpetual oscillation between nonexistent alternatives is set in motion. It is something like turning on the light to better inspect the dark; you simply cannot do it.

Responding to paradox/Double Binds

Attempting to respond to paradox within the terms posed by the paradox itself invites, in Russell's language, vicious circle reasoning; in double bind language, it leaves one trapped in a bind. Double bind theorists say that such a response is necessarily as paradoxical as the situation which elicits it; thus a self-perpetuating and mutually binding interaction pattern evolves (Bateson et al. 1963; Jackson 1965; Watzlawick 1963; Watzlawick, Beavin, and Jackson 1967; Weakland and Jackson 1958).  To illustrate, consider the entire class of injunctions commanding behavior which by definition can only be spontaneous, e.g., "Be independent." The basic injunction is that Xbe independent. The statement is an order, and thus evokes a response which will in that context be a response to an order. It is paradoxical in that independence cannot be ordered; to obey is to disobey. The injunction implies alternatives which are nonexistent; it implies by its assertion that it is somehow possible to respond with the requested behavior. Any response within that context is invalidated by being subject to redefinition at another level.

Responding to that injunction within its paradoxical frame can be illustrated with a reply such as "Okay, tell me how" or "I'd love to be independent but you won't ever give me a chance," or even simply "Okay." These replies respond to the literal content of the injunction; they are expressed intentions of willingness to obey. The intention is however invalidated by the dependence inherent in the willingness to obey the order. A refusal is similarly subject to redefinition such that it becomes its own opposite; an angry "I will not" or even passive resistance belies dependence in spite of the overt stand for independence. Such responses can, hopefully, be recognized as the sort which feeds into a vicious circle within which both parties to the interaction will be quite trapped. The pattern can be expected to continue indefinitely until or unless one party recognizes the basic inconguity in the situation and extricates himself or herself accordingly. Lest this example sound like a one-way infliction of a bind from a binder upon a victim, consider the nature of the relationship within which such a statement comes to be made. One party feels the other is too dependent, wishes the other would be more independent, and eventually feels driven by the overdependence to make an explicit statement to that effect. The verbalization is generated by the relationship and is as much a reflection of the binding quality of the relationship as it is an example of a binding message.

The successful resolution to paradox requires, in Russell's formulation, awareness that different levels of abstraction are involved, and that the discontinuity between them has been breached. The paradox provides a particular frame within which there is no solution. Solution requires stepping outside the frame, i.e., recognizing a different logical type.  The analogue with the double bind's resolution is metacommunication, i.e., someone must comment on the predicament, thereby communicating about the communication. The term metacommunication may be, as Wynne suggested (1969), an artifact of the concept's description in communication theory terms, and may put an unnecessary emphasis on overt statement. What is apparently required for escape from a bind, however, is some sort of recognition or action which transforms the insolubility of a bind within its own terms.

In this discussion, we have focused on the abstract principle or logical heart that structures an interaction pattern which may result in or support pathology. This whole business is a matter of the qualities of relationship contexts in which such interactions occur. We have artificially separated paradox, as the kind of contradiction, from the relationship, which is what is being contradicted or invalidated, for the purposes of drawing a distinction essential to the concept.

Relationship Context

In some settings, e.g., logic and mathematics, paradox has interesting and fascinating qualities which can provide nice mental exercise. When those qualities become disorganizing in the context of personal relationships, we begin to speak of double binds. In the context of a relationship, the relationship itself is necessarily a referent for all behaviors occuring within its context. In a double bind, the very behaviors which seem most appropriate to the maintenance of a relationship (illustrated in the example on p 115) are those which threaten to destroy it.
Such a relationship is "untenable," and would ordinarily be abandoned by both parties. This certainly seems the reasonable thing to do.   This is not, however, always possible; in such cases we must recognize a quality of dependence in the relationship which, as Weakland (1960), Bateson (1969), and Wynne (1969) have emphasized, is crucial. A child is dependent for his physical and emotional survival upon his relationship with his parents. The stability and intactness of that relationship is one of the basic, abstract, out-of awareness givens upon which the course of development is based (Bateson 1966a). Where such an intensely important relationship is characterized by patterns of this kind, the thesis is that pathology will result. Its nature will reflect the tenuousness in establishing and maintaining relationships which characterize the experience; similarly, it will reflect the more formal characteristics of the interactions themselves, i.e., logical distortions and incongruities, errors in logical typing, errors of context, errors of classification, confusions of meaning, disqualifications, etc., in other words, "schizophrenia."

This formulation proposes, among other things, that an appropriate within-paradoxical-frame response is necessarily a schizophrenic response; that schizophrenics are, when being schizophrenic, responding to the binding nature of the world as they have come to perceive it (Bateson et al. 1963; Haley 1959b, 1959c; Jackson 1965; Jackson and Weakland 1959; Watzlawick 1963). In terms of paradox, the individual has learned to remain within its frame; to leave it is to leave the relationship. The person remains in a bind to preserve an essential relationship.3

Double Bind. The foundation of the communicational approach to family therapy. Carlos E Sluzki/ Donald C Ransom (eds) 1976 Grune & Stratton ... /dbind.htm


Those of you who were in program, try not to identify with this. This is a great article, fits this thread like a glove.  Personally I would give it a different title…

TTI… you’re one schizophregenic motha…

Smothering Rehabilitation. Rehabilitation as a schizophregenic  process.

Smothering Rehabilitation
A Brief Meditation

A Sufi tale:

A foolish man was raving at a donkey. It took no notice. A wiser man who was watching said: "Idiot! The donkey will never learn your language - better that you should observe silence and instead master the tongue of the donkey."

The biggest difficulty with the concept of "rehabilitation" in psychiatry is the in-built paradox of "helping someone to become independent". This is similar to the "be spontaneous" paradox described by Watzlawick where the command itself paralyses any compliant response that the individual might offer.

This paralysis of response will be familiar to many "schizophrenics" who have found themselves repeatedly caught in the Batesonian "double bind" where the individual is caught in a lose-lose situation.

The process of the double bind was beautifully illustrated for me whilst listening to the stories of bullied children. I was curious about the ingredients that were necessary to take a normal "rough and tumble" game that establishes a pecking order in the playground into a scenario that produced a psychological damage to particular child.

One child explained it to me - First we gang up on a child, we corner him into a position from which he cannot escape. This child will then engage in whatever behavior is available to him at that moment, in order to attempt an impossible escape. It is then that we pick on the child's futile attempts at escape and ridicule him. We bully him for his inability to escape from the situation into which we have placed him.

I have met many "chronic psychiatric patients" who feel their situation is similar.  No matter what they do, their behavior is scrutinized for signs of mental illness by ever vigilant nurses. One morning I was sat in an office with two psychiatric nurses when a patient arrived and politely requested "a quick word" with Mary, the senior nurse.

Patient: "Mary, I was wondering if I could have a quick word."

Mary: (In soothing, professional tones) "Sure, John, what's wrong?"

Patient: "I'm a bit concerned that you might have misunderstood me earlier. I just want to make sure that you understand what it was I was trying to tell you."

Mary: (In professional, concerned tones) "John, have you taken your medication today?"

Patient: (Taken aback, starting to look uncomfortable) "Yes, I mean no. No, Mary this isn't about medication, I just want to make sure you don't write the wrong thing into my notes…"Mary: (Interrupting) "Calm down John, you are getting agitated…"

Patient: (Interrupting, and now getting a bit agitated) "I'm not agitated, I just want to…"

Mary: (Interrupting, calmly, emphatically and controlled) "Calm down, now! John I want you to go sit down and calm down." (turns to me) "Please pass me John's [drug] chart."

Patient: (Now angry, trying to contain himself, shouting) "FOR CHRIST'S SAKE, LISTEN TO ME!! WHY DON'T YOU PEOPLE EVER FUCKING LISTEN!?"

Mary calmly reached over and pressed the emergency button, five nurses arrive and engage in that activity called 'control and restraint'. John is given a "PRN" dose of haloperidol and taken back to his room.

This scene that occurred before me took place in a secure psychiatric unit - a section called the "Intensive Treatment Unit" (ITU). I was astonished, especially as later in the day a case conference was held to discuss John's problems and it was all agreed that he needed a higher dose of medication.  No-one could see the double binds and appalling situation that they were forcing John to inhabit. I attempted to point out the situation from John's perspective, but this was dismissed - poor John was very ill they told me sympathetically, his outburst earlier was simple proof of this fact. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that John would need to be detained for a very long time - a lot of therapy and medication was needed before he would ever be considered "reasonably stable".

 Ultimately, the aim of rehabilitation is to stop people being patients. And yet, in order to stop them being patients, we need to make them our patients in order to unmake them again. This therapeutic position is as inanely stupid as many of the practices I have witnessed in psychiatric rehabilitation centers.

One 'leading' rehabilitation center of excellence that employed some highly qualified people who prided themselves in getting their residents to be able to cook and do their own washing up. I was incredulous - at what point during "schizophrenia" do people become amnesic for how to make a cup of tea? This was the same place that organized people into groups - a music group (they sat around and bashed tambourines), a woodwork group (all preformed bits of wood, glue, no metallic tools - too risky) an exercise group (they sat in a circle and bashed a balloon to each other) a cookery group (rice crispies and sickly melted cooking chocolate) or an encounter group (everyone sat round in a circle trying awkwardly to think of something to say).

Overtly, I guess that the intention of all this was to help to stop these people from being patients.  Actually, all that was happening was the patients were behaving like performing seals in order that the staff could fulfill the needs of their therapy rota. The biggest irony was that when a patient declined to join in this embarrassing façade, his mind and soul would be scrutinized in order to elicit what was wrong with him. Peer pressure to join in this façade can be very strong and a statement of "I'm not joining in, because I am mentally well" would simply be dismissed as a delusional complex and therefore evidence of mental illness. Thus this person would need the therapy more than anyone else.

It is our duty to bring up our children to love,
Honor and obey us.
If they don't, they must be punished,
Otherwise we would not be doing our duty.If they grow up to love, honor and obey us
Either we have brought them up properly
Or we have not:
If we have
There must be something the matter with them;
If we have not
There is something the matter with us.

R.D. Laing. "Knots." p3.

One 17 year old "schizophrenic" told me of his dilemma. As he grew up as a child, he adopted the beliefs and behaviors that his parents that they taught him and wanted him to have. He was a sickly child, and somewhat smothered by his parental attentions. As he got older, he had difficulty fitting in amongst his peers, found it difficult to form friendships and he stood out in the playground and was bullied in the manner previously described. One time he told his mother of the bulling, she advised him to "ignore them" or to "tell the teacher". He intuitively knew that these strategies were naïve and would do nothing to improve his situation.

He eloquently told me, "The person my mother made me was not a person that could survive or fit into the world that she herself did not inhabit. She is painfully naïve and fragile and she will not be questioned, ever, sometimes I think she is the devil. The person she made me lacked confidence, I was insecure and suffered terrible anxiety. I did not fit in anywhere in the world except with mother. The person she made me was a dysfunctional person anywhere in the world that wasn't the family. I had no friends - kids up the road would throw stones at me and I still had a pudding bowl haircut until I was fourteen, she used to cut my hair for me."

At fourteen he began changing the way he behaved, started gaining confidence and forging his place in the world. To his mother's horror, one day he stopped at a barber on the way home from school and had his hair cut properly. She was aghast at this rejection and cried all evening.

He went on: "The person that can make it in this world is not the person my mother can cope with as a son - she needs me to be weak - when I stand up to her she breaks down and cannot understand what is happening. I must always apologize for standing up to her."  He increasingly started to "stand up" to his mother until at age 16, distraught, she presented him to a psychiatrist. This psychiatrist felt that his awkward history fitted perfectly the pattern of schizophrenia and the young man was institutionalized for a year and was medicated.

During this incarceration, he "deteriorated" rapidly and was considered to be a very sick young man.

"They are playing a game. They are playing at not
Playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I
Shall break the rules and they will punish me.
I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game."

R.D. Laing. "Knots." p1.

Laing and Esterson describe this scenario brilliantly in their book, "Sanity, Madness and The Family." In keeping with Laing's description, this young man became "insane in order to be sane." When he was the unhappy and insecure person his mother had created, he was accepted. When he stood up to the rigors of his mother's behavior, he became insane in her world and in the world of her doctors. He needed treatment - as long as he is ill, everyone can pretend to understand what is happening to him and why he behaves in this peculiar way. As long as the problem result from an illness, we never need to adjust or question our own behaviors. The diagnosis is our savior!

 It is this same pattern I see replicated in rehabilitation centers. In order to become "sane", the person undergoing "rehabilitation" must first become "insane" in order to establish a working relationship with the personnel that staff the rehabilitation unit. A refusal to play this game is tantamount to treason and a very serious issue indeed requiring immediate therapy and drugs.

In psychiatry, the emphasis is on what's wrong with the patient. His very being is scrutinized right down to the function of the individual synapses and his behavior is increasingly judged to be a reflection of an erroneous synaptic function that require urgent correction.  Rarely is his behavior observed to be a reflection of the environment he inhabits - a phenomenological perspective. What is entirely missed out of the loop is just how bashing tambourines or sitting awkwardly in encounter groups will change this perceived synaptic dysfunction. Tragically, all to frequently the patients perform these tasks in order to please their staff - ie patients undergoing rehabilitation adopt a position whereby they compensate for the naivety and fragility of the institution and it's staff, lest anyone become upset at their refusal to comply. They are forced to adopt the position similar to that of the 17 year old whereby they need to become significantly dysfunctional in the real world in order to fit into and function within the rehabilitation world. They become insane in order to become sane.

The biggest difficulty facing anyone trying to extricate themselves from the role of "psychiatric patient" is in getting other people to treat him as they would anyone else. The shift from non-person to person is a difficult task. I can imagine Jesus arriving home after a hard day healing the sick only to be greeted with:

Mary: "Where do you think you have been, I told you to come straight home after studying with the Pharisees!"

Jesus: "But mum, I'm the Messiah now…"

Mary: "Don't speak to me like that! Don't answer me back, boy! Now go to your room!"

Jesus: "For God's sake, Mother, please…"

Mary: (starting to cry) "I only ever wanted the best for you, why are you so ungrateful to me?"

Jesus: "Mother, I'm not ungrateful, it's just…"

Mary: (blotchy faced, interrupting, on verge of tears) "Just go to your room, just go…not everyone is as lucky as you are." (Walks away to prevent any further communication).

Later, Mary (red eyed and blotchy faced) softly approaches Jesus and advises him that not many children (children!) are lucky enough to have such caring parents and using voice tone and posture implies that Jesus should apologize for making her so upset. Surely he can see how he hurt her so?

The ultimate tragedy is that all too many institutionalized patients have been subjected to this type of game in the genesis of their "illness" and the very diagnostic construct of psychiatric rehabilitation continues the perpetration of this same game.

Rehabilitation is about compliance - mostly it is about compliance with the needs of the staff. Most patients know to moderate their behavior according to which members of staff are on duty.
The same staff record "objectively" in each patient's progress in his records, ignorant of the effect they themselves have upon their patient. I found the worse question is to ask "why?" I asked a nurse what her intended outcome was for the people that were sat in a circle bashing tambourines. A patient piped up, "Yeah, why do we have to do this?" The nurse was obviously mildly offended and caught off guard. Her reply was simple, "Because I say so."

A minor rebellion set in and the other dozen patients downed their tambourines and demanded to go to the pub for drinks. This was not allowed, said the nurse emphatically, these were patients in rehabilitation and patients in rehabilitation do not go to the pub.

"And the point of rehabilitation is to stop them from being patients, right?" Said I, seizing the moment. The nurse was now flustered and getting quite red in the face. I did wonder if she was going to cry.

The pressure was on.

"Right." She agreed.

"And," I continued politely, "if they don't play the tambourines and go to the pub, then they have stopped behaving like patients, right?"

Mini-mutinies of this sort are just not tolerated. There are unspoken rules that must be followed and this unfortunate nurse was currently the primary custodian of these rules. Usually it is assumed that we all play by the rules via common unspoken consent. Ha!

"Don't speak to me like that!" She snapped and fled the room blotchy faced.

 "This feels familiar," said the patient, "very familiar indeed." As he proceeded to pick up his tambourine and start bashing it fearfully as I was called to the managers office to explain my actions.

Laing summarized the bind faced by these patients:

There must be something the matter with him
because he would not be acting as he does
unless there was
therefore he is acting as he is
because there is something the matter with him

He does not think there is anything the matter with him
one of the things that is
the matter with him
is that he does not think that there is anything
the matter with him
we have to help him realize that,
the fact that he does not think there is anything
the matter with him
ts one of the things that is
the matter with him."

"Knots." p5.

Now, let us consider the peculiar predicament now facing our man with the tambourine.  He started off sat in the "music therapy" circle where he was expected to bash the tambourine to the music provided by the nurse (a somewhat pointless and inane activity).
This was a task he became reluctant to perform when the possibility of cocktails (a preferable activity) at the nearest bar presented itself.

He is a man that has been labeled "abnormal" and he is "in therapy" to become normal again and yet the opportunity to "be normal" is denied to him (ie no cocktails allowed).

 Now, he is aware that the nurse is upset because he didn't bash his tambourine and so, in order to return to his appropriate role, now sits in his chair anxiously bashing his tambourine, alone, without any music being played by the nurse.

It is at this point that the nurse became utterly annoyed, placed hands on hips, turned to our man and yells,

"Will you stop bashing that fucking tambourine!"

Later, about the same time that I am being requested by the management to explain my reasons for "disrupting the music therapy group", she enters into his notes that he was observed to be behaving abnormally and was not compliant with therapy. His "attitude" is brought into question.

So was mine.

What we can see here is the same pattern described by the 17 year old "schizophrenic" where the meaning of the patient's experience is reframed (and/or "outframed") - he is asked to sit in a circle and bash a tambourine, he'd rather go to the pub for cocktails. Sitting in a circle and bashing a tambourine is framed as "therapy" and his preference for cocktails is framed as "non-compliance" with this "therapy". Yet he is expected to choose to do the things that a normal person would choose to do.

Once his escape from this situation is cut off, he anxiously partakes in the activity and is promptly told to fucking stop. His validity as a person (as opposed to "non-person" in Laingian terminology) is measured against his behavior during an activity where he was expected to carry out an inordinately inane exercise outlined by the therapy rota.

Thus, there once was a mystic. As he was sitting in quiet meditation, he noticed that there was a small devil sitting near him. The mystic said, "Why are you sat near me, making no mischief in the manner common of small devils?"

The devil raised his head wearily and replied, "Since the experts and so called teachers of wisdom appeared in such numbers, there is nothing left for me to do!"

Meanwhile a wise man faced a test of his wisdom, so the authorities could decide whether he presented a danger to the public at large. On the day of the test he paraded past the court room sat on a donkey, facing the donkey's rear.

When the time came for him to speak for himself, he said to the judges, "When you saw me just now, which way was I facing?"

The judges replied, "Of course, you were facing the wrong way."

"You illustrate my point," said the wise man, "For I was facing the right way, it was the donkey that was back to front!"

…….( emphases to article, bold etc., added) ... tation.php

this conversation is a continuation from….    viewtopic.php?f=48&t=29342&start=330

--- Quote from: "Awake" ---
--- Quote from: "Whooter" ---
--- Quote from: "Awake" ---
--- Quote from: "Whooter" ---
--- Quote from: "Awake" ---

We may debate as to the reality of those statistics but the TTI can't deny the reason for them. viewtopic.php?f=9&t=30423

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The TTI didnt conduct the studies an outside agency did.  Almost any industry is going to conduct studies to see the outcome of their work whether it be the auto industry, the food industry or the medical industry.  

Although Schizophrenia is an interesting topic it doesn't apply to every discussion.


--- End quote ---

Not schizophrenia, but the double bind, and it does. It is inseperable from the TTI.

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It is interesting that you think this.  I have never seen this used or heard about it being used in any of the models that I have read about.  Is this an old CEDU  thing?  How was it used on you?  Can you share examples?

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It’s not so much a question of being used within a model, the TTI itself is a model of the double bind and vice versa, and the double bind is the overall context within which therapy is held, and therefore is part of the definition of it.  I thought I had been pretty clear in the link.

A better approach to understanding it is to ask the question ‘how does the TTI not represent a double bind context? ‘  

I’ll try to give a possible example. A great many program teens (I like to call them projectipants, or projected participants due to the inability to identify their level of personal involvement) are enduring therapy in a program against their will.  You’ve heard the phrase ‘ you can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink’, well neither can you make a resistant teen ‘want’ therapy, or want to personally grow, or force someone to improve their self esteem.  

I know it requires actual experience to understand, but can you imagine being forcefully taken from your home and detained and then have those people put you through a process where you were supposed to work on improving your self esteem in some way, say ‘ exhibiting more confidence’ or ‘ learning to take a compliment well’.

It is laughable, for someone living in reality, and not in a program, to hear about this taking place. But it is distressful and dissociating to actually have to act in this context.

Can you imagine being held against your will by someone who says, ‘I keep complimenting you on how smart you are, why won’t you just accept it? You just shun me away like you don’t really believe that about yourself.’

Btw if u want to continue this on the Double Bind thread please do.

--- End quote ---

--- Quote from: "DannyB II" ---
--- Quote ---It’s not so much a question of being used within a model, the TTI itself is a model of the double bind and vice versa, and the double bind is the overall context within which therapy is held, and therefore is part of the definition of it.  I thought I had been pretty clear in the link.

A better approach to understanding it is to ask the question ‘how does the TTI not represent a double bind context?    

I’ll try to give a possible example. A great many program teens (I like to call them projectipants, or projected participants due to the inability to identify their level of personal involvement) are enduring therapy in a program against their will.  You’ve heard the phrase ‘ you can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink’, well neither can you make a resistant teen ‘want’ therapy, or want to personally grow, or force someone to improve their self esteem.  

I know it requires actual experience to understand, but can you imagine being forcefully taken from your home and detained and then have those people put you through a process where you were supposed to work on improving your self esteem in some way, say ‘ exhibiting more confidence’ or ‘ learning to take a compliment well’.

It is laughable, for someone living in reality, and not in a program, to hear about this taking place. But it is distressful and dissociating to actually have to act in this context.

Can you imagine being held against your will by someone who says, ‘I keep complimenting you on how smart you are, why won’t you just accept it? You just shun me away like you don’t really believe that about yourself.’

Btw if u want to continue this on the Double Bind thread please do.
--- End quote ---

Awake you make it all sound so simple like you get it and the thousands of professionals in and out of the TTI don't. This is a amazing analysis, Double Bind. It is a model for the Program I attended yet I seriously don't believe that Joe Ricci or Dr. Gerald Davidson understood or where cognizant of, the complexities of this method/manipulation of communication, no way. They did not know this is what was going on nor the power of it (neither did I).
Now I have a little brain here and I will try to ask the questions I have been wanting to ask since this came about. Here is a comment you made above, "A better approach to understanding it is to ask the question ‘how does the TTI not represent a double bind context"? Please explain.  Another question what happens when all the examples are not met you mentioned above and the program is not forcing you to do the behavioral modification exercises but rather Teaching. Isn't being taught optional in it's essence, you (the projectipant) decide.


P.S. I am also posting this on the Double Bind thread.
--- End quote ---

....... So heres my answer... next



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