Author Topic: DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI  (Read 34165 times)

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DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI
« on: April 28, 2010, 07:19:02 PM »
DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI

I want to point out the most crucial concept, component, and history from which the TTI has drawn from. This is the Double Bind, and despite it’s complexities, it’s simple function is to covertly rob you of your autonomy.

What is the Double bind?

DOUBLE BIND-A paradoxical interpersonal relationship involving (1) two or more individuals in an intense relationship, e.g., in family life, captivity, love, loyalty, (2) the communication of a statement that is manifestly contradictory to what it says, e.g., an order to disobey the order, a punishment that is assertedly done for love (see paradox), and (3) the inability of the addressee of the statement to step out of the relationship with the significant other, the inability to METAcommunicate or to withdraw from the situation. The effect of a double bind is that the addressee cannot decide what is real and may develop pathologies.

Double bind

In 1956 in Palo Alto Gregory Bateson and his colleagues Donald Jackson, Jay Haley and John Weakland[14] articulated a related theory of schizophrenia as stemming from double bind situations. The perceived symptoms of schizophrenia were therefore an expression of this distress, and should be valued as a cathartic and trans-formative experience. The double bind refers to a communication paradox described first in families with a schizophrenic member.

Full double bind requires several conditions to be met:

•   a) The victim of double bind receives contradictory injunctions or emotional messages on different levels of communication (for example, love is expressed by words and
hate or detachment by nonverbal behavior; or a child is encouraged to speak freely, but criticized or silenced whenever he or she actually does so).

•   b) No metacommunication is possible; for example, asking which of the two messages is valid or describing the communication as making no sense

•   c) The victim cannot leave the communication field

•   d) Failing to fulfill the contradictory injunctions is punished, e.g. by withdrawal of love.

The double bind was originally presented (probably mainly under the influence of Bateson's psychiatric co-workers) as an explanation of part of the etiology of schizophrenia; today it is more important as an example of Bateson's approach to the complexities of communication.

The double bind is not a simple "no-win" situation in which either choice is a bad one. The double bind requires that the victim deny a certain aspect of the reality that he or she faces. The mother, for example, who asks her son to call her every week, but only if he wants to, but who nonetheless simultaneously insinuates that a loving son would call, succeeds in manipulating the son so that he can't not call, but also can't feel good about it either. At the same time that she has insured that he has to call, she has accomplished more than just receiving the call; she has succeeded in controlling the choices that he makes in a way that robs him of the freedom to act.
it became clear that patients behaved differently when in the dynamics of their family. The interactions within the family unit created “causal feedback loops that played back and forth, with the behavior of the afflicted person only part of a larger, recursive dance.”

The mother’s role was usually considered to play a central role in the breakdown of communication and the underlying controls that were in place. The concept of double bind was used to explain the constant confusion and unresolved interpretations that took place in some families. Depending on the level of deceit (often called a white lie) both parties are unable to acknowledge what the other is really saying or feeling.

The original framework for the “double bind” was a two-person or “dyadic” arrangement. Criticism of the dyadic approach appeared in an essay by Weakland titled, "The Double Bind: Hypothesis of Schizophrenia and Three Party Interaction,” in 1960. Further articles in the 1970s, by both Weakland and Bateson, suggest that this concept referred to a much broader spectrum than schizophrenias. Bateson began to formulate a systems approach which factored in the relationships of family as a coalition. He used an analogy from game theory that described repeated patterns found in families with a schizophrenic member. The pattern that emerged was that “no two persons seemed to be able to get together without a third person taking part.” ... ry_Bateson

And I will add some parts from the original work that resulted from the Double Bind Project.

 “TOWARDS A THEORY OF SCHIZOPHRENIA (1956) Gregory Bateson, Don D. Jackson, Jay Haley, and John Weakland

This is a report on a research project which has been formulating and testing a broad systematic view of the nature, etiology, and therapy of Schizophrenia…… We have now reached common agreement on broad outlines of a communicational theory of the origin and nature of Schizophrenia; this paper is a preliminary report on our continuing research.


Our approach is based on that part of communications theory which Russel called the Theory of Logical Types (Whitehead, Russel 1910). The central thesis of this theory is a discontinuity between a class and its members…..

we must look NOT for some specific traumatic experience in the infantile etiology but rather for characteristic sequential patterns…. The sequences MUST have this characteristic:  that from that the patient will aquire the mental habits which are exemplified in schizophrenic communication. That is to say, HE MUST LIVE IN A UNIVERSE WHERE THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS ARE SUCH THAT HIS UNCONVENTIONAL COMMUNICATION HABITS WILL BE IN SOME SENSE APPROPRIATE.
The hypothesis that we offer is that sequences of this kind in the external experience of the patient are responsible for the inner conflicts of Logical Typing. For such unresolvable sequences of experiences, we use the term DOUBLE BIND.


The necessary ingredients for a Double Bind situation, as we see it, are:

1.   Two or more persons.- Of these we designate one, for purposes of our definition, as the “Victim”…..

2.   Repeated experience.- …. The Double Bind structure comes to be an habitual expectation.

3.   A primary negative injunction.- This may have either of two forms: ( a) Do not do so and so or I will punish you, or (b) If you do not do so and so, I will punish you…. We assume that punishment may either be the withdrawal of love or the expression of hate or anger- or, most devastating, the kind of abandonment that results from the parent’s expression of extreme helplessness.

4.   A secondary injunction conflicting with the first at a more abstract level, and like the first enforced by punishments or signals which threaten survival.- This secondary injunction is more difficult to describe than the primary for two reasons. First, the secondary injunctionis commonly communicated to the child through non-verbal means. Posture, gesture, tone of voice, meaningful action, and the implications concealed in verbal comment may all be used to convey this more abstract message. Second, the secondary injunction may, therefore, include a wide variety of forms; for example, “Do not see this as punishment” ; “Do not see me as a punishing agent”; “Do not submit to my prohibitions”: “Do not think of what you must not do”; Do not question my love of which the primary prohibition is (or is not) an example” and so on….

5.   A tertiary negative injunction prohibiting the victim from escaping from the field.- …. It seems that in some cases the escape from the field is made impossible by certain devices which are not purely negative, e.g. capricious promises of love, and the like.

6.   Finally the complete set of ingredients is no longer necessary when the victim has learned to perceive his universe in Double Bind patterns. Almost any part of the Double Bind sequence may then be sufficient to precipitate panic or rage. The pattern of conflicting injunctions may even be taken over by hallucinatory voices.”

Why is the Double Bind important?

The discovery of the Double Bind led it’s visionaries to produce a variety of works dedicated to understanding the use of paradox and the double bind to overcome resistance and motivate change (much of it necessarily covert manipulation) within a therapeutic context.  They, especially Bateson, would be influential in the formation of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), which seeks to understand how people are programmed by experience and focuses on how interpersonal communication patterns can be used as a model to promote change. (The groundbreaking work. ‘The Structure of Magic: A Book about Language and Therapy’ -Bandler and Grinder)

 ... a short bit on NLP...(NLP was born initially as an alternative school of psychotherapy in California, USA, during the mid-seventies. It was initiated by John Grinder, a linguistic professor, and Richard Bandler, a mathematician, at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC).

The two co-founders were at the time students of Gregory Bateson at UCSC, and published their first book "The Structure of Magic, I" in 1975. In this book, they tried to extract the rules of human verbal communication, which would be equivalent to linguistic grammars or to mathematical formulas, by modelling such genius "therapeutic wizards" as Milton H. Erickson, the most important hypnotherapist , Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt Therapy and Virginia Satir, one of the authorities of family therapy.  )

Some books from the members of the Double Bind group that expand upon their theory:

The Tactics of Change: Doing Therapy Briefly - Weakland

Pragmatics of Human Communication: A study of interactional patterns pathologies and paradoxes- Watzlawick, Beavin, Jackson. (Great book)
The Language of Change- Watzlawick
Change: Principles of problem formation and problem resolution – Watzlawick, Weakland, Fisch.

... And others. For more I’d do a  quick search of the individuals involved in the Double Bind project, Gregory Bateson, Don D. Jackson, Jay Haley, and John Weakland, ...and  Watzlawick.

Jay Haley also studied renowned hypnotist, hypnotherapist Milton Erickson and produced,

Advanced Techniques of Hypnosis and Therapy

Uncommon Therapy: The Psychiatric Techniques of Milton H. Erickson M.D.

.. . One more great book that provides an overview of the Double Bind exampled in various ways,
Double Bind: The foundation of the communicational approach to family. Beavin, Sluzki

How can the Double Bind be used to control behaviour?

This basically comes down to the element of the Double Bind that prohibits the victim from meta- communicating (communicating about the communication that is paradoxical) or leaving the situation that stops him from meta- communicating about the situation. That is, a person may be consciously aware that the situation prevents him from meta- communicating about the paradox in communication, yet still must act within the framework. Yet, as in the context of hypnosis, the person may not be consciously aware of the bind that is placed on them and believe their actions and agreements to be their own choice.

A double bind can partly be understood as a communication given that will act as a command, but the presuppositions of this action will be disguised by hiding it within the frame of ‘free choice’.
What are some classic examples of Double Binds?

The most classically referred to example of the Double Bind is the ‘Be Spontaneous Paradox’.  

As a person receiving the injunction ‘be spontaneous’ within a social setting,  it is not easy to comment on the awkward situation they are placed in. Spontaneity occurs without intention, and a spontaneous action would need to occur outside of one’s conscious awareness. A person cannot choose to be spontaneous, and to further expound upon the pathological effects of adopting such thinking, they can neither be spontaneous under someone else’s direction.

The only solution is to identify the Double Bind (meta-communicate about the situation) or any action taken can be, intentionally or not, misunderstood , distorted and open to reinterpretation  within the social environment which is in-turn the environment that the victim must act upon.

The Double Bind then becomes a feedback loop between the individual and his social environment.  Any action (short of defining the bind to the social environment) that is taken under the direction ‘be spontaneous’ will be paradoxical and self defeating. The behaviour of a victim in a Double Bind might be construed as ‘troubled’ or ‘crazy’. It can also act as a way to overload ones neurology and make them less critical of other messages which contain implications of a particular belief system. The person may learn to distrust his own perceptions and instincts and become habitually focused and dependent on signals coming from the binder to give a correct response.

Lifespring was an organization that utilized the ‘Be Spontaneous’ Double Bind. Looking more closely into this analysis of Lifespring there are many other binds as well.

“Following the introduction by the trainer, the group discussed the various motives for coming to Lifespring and how to achieve "full value" from the training. The key phrases, which described the vehicle to personal growth, were "submission," "100 percent commitment," and "spontaneity".  –Pathology as growth-A participant observation study of lifespring ... ring4.html
Some Double Binds that have been observed in the family setting are,
“I shouldn’t have to ask you to appreciate me.” The persons response can always be interpreted as a directed one, and therefore expressions of appreciation can be seen as ingenuine.

“Man says to wife, you are too dependent on me. I insist you develop a mind of your own.”  Any attempt to do so is at his request, his injunction requires dependence and therefore she can’t satisfy him.

“To son: You are looking sad again. I can’t take being a failure. I try so hard to be a good parent.” The mother has misconstrued a normal moment of sadness to reflect her failure. The child then feels guilty for feeling sad because it hurts his mother. Eventually he learns he should feel bad about himself for having these feelings.

““Double binds in disturbed families….. 1. If an individual is punished for correct perception of the outside world or of himself by a significant other he will learn to distrust the data of his own senses. As a result he is likely to be told by others to try harder in order to perceive correctly, the implication being, “You must be sick or you would not see things that way.” Consequently (a) this person will find it difficult to behave appropriately  in both impersonal and interpersonal contexts, and (b) he may tend to engage in a fruitless search for supposed meanings which the significant other(s) see very clearly, but he himself cannot. This behavior would satisfy the diagnostic criteria of schizophrenia. 2. If an individual is expected by a significant other to have feelings different from those which he actually experiences, this individual will eventually feel guilty for being unable to feel what he ought to feel in order to be approved by the other person. This guilt feeling may then itself be labeled as one of the feelings he should not have. A dilemma of this kind arises most frequently when a childs normal, occasional sadness is construed by the parents as a silent imputation of parental failure. The parent then typically reacts with the message “after all we have done for you, you ought to be happy.” Sadness thus becomes associated with badness and ingratitude. – Double Bind: the foundation of the communicational approach to the family, Sluzki, Beavin ”

The Double Bind has been reproduced and analyzed in controlled experiments.

“ Smith EK (1972) The Effect of Double Bind Communication upon the State Anxiety of Normals: The Double Bind as Punishment plus contradictory Material.

…Their experimental task was to interpret the meanings in the letters, which contained ambiguous and contradictory material. Two kinds of punishment were involved: false feedback to the subject about the appropriateness of her interpretations, i.e., she was wrong but everyone else got it right, intended as an operation of Sluzki et als (1967) disconfirmation of ones own perceptions; and three seconds of white noise (at annoyance but not painful levels), intended as an analogue of the nonverbal punishment in the double bind situation. Increase in anxiety was used as a criterion measure of disruption of the subjects ego functioning. Results were interpreted as supportive of double bind theory: The no punishment-no contradictory materials condition (control) was least anxiety arousing; conditions of punishment alone and of contradictory materials alone were equally anxiety arousing and more so than the control condition; the combination of these two components (the double bind analogue) was the most anxiety arousing. Furthermore anxiety levels increased to a point and leveled off in the punishment alone and contradictory materials alone conditions. No such leveling off occurred in the combined elements condition. The behavior of the subjects after the procedure offered corroboration of disrupted functioning; some subjects remained upset and kept apologizing for their inability to get the answers right, even after the experimental procedure had been explained to them….

She is asked what is really meant in the letter that said,  “Youre getting awfully fat.” And “ I’m going to show you how much I love you by sending you a box of your favorite cookies.”  Subject answers, is told that her answer is inappropriate, and that most everybody else’s answers were better. Subject is surely puzzled, as the task does not seem so very difficult, though ambiguous, and notes that everyone else seemed able to do better. Blast of white noise. This situation continues for about two hours, during while the subject continues to be wrong while the others are right, cannot ask anyone what she is doing wrong, cannot get consensual validation for her perceptions, indeed is continually disconfirmed in those perceptions; further more there is an annoying blast of white noise every time she is wrong. She cannot figure out why or how she is wrong, but it must be her, since others are doing things right. I think we can well understand this situation as very anxiety arousing for the subject. I think Smith has devised an effective experimental analogue of the disconfirmation of simple assumptions and its crazy making effects.

Note the attraction of the subjects to the situation; they hung onto it and kept trying to get it right; they sought information afterwards about what they had done wrong- this after being debriefed, when debriefing should have rendered such questions obsolete; experimental escape was difficult. This phenomenon closely resembles the effect of double binding.  
She must begin to doubt her perceptions of her experience. She is, so to speak, invited to “distrust her senses and see the world as it really is. “

“There is also the consideration that a subject’s experience in this situation necessarily poses a threat to relationships in general- past present and future, including relationships with internalized others. One simply cannot cope with the world without a minimum level of shared meaning. Without tacit faith in the fair reliability of ones perceptions and interpretations of even trivial (and especially trivial) raw data, perceptions of ones experience, history, etc., including relationships are subject to rewrite, and the present and future become tenuous indeed.”

“It is as if researchers have begun to agree that experimental paradigms shall involve some kind of impossibility joined with some kind of negative consequences and that some kind of disruption or anxiety shall be the criterion measure. The kind of impossibility must be paradox; the negative consequences must be the invalidation of an important relationship, and the criterion measure must be something like conceptual paralysis.” --- Double Bind: the foundation of the communicational approach to the family, Sluzki, Beavin ---
And the Double Bind is a control method for the TTI as well, inherently enmeshed in its makeup and function.  A ‘Troubled Teen’ program would contain all of the elements of a Double Bind.

•   a) The victim of double bind receives contradictory injunctions.
•    b) No metacommunication is possible
•   c) The victim cannot leave the communication field
•   d) Failing to fulfill the contradictory injunctions is punished
•   e) an intense relationship, e.g., in family life, captivity, love, loyalty,

Innumerable Double binds emerge from the TTI framework. The first Double Bind is the one contained in the label ‘troubled teen’ and the result of that label being ‘therapy’.
The child is given the identification label ‘troubled’ simply by being placed in a program.  He is also in a therapeutic environment and is motivated (in various ways) to progress in therapy BECAUSE of the label. The paradoxical injunction is that therapy is by nature a choice to accept help in changing. The context in which the therapy is held presupposes the patient be open, honest, trust the therapist, and accept a social position in which he is to take direction and advice, and it necessarily would betray the rules within the context of therapy by making any assertions that the therapists is misguided, inaccurate, unethical, or give advice in any way.  The therapist is not the candidate for change in such a situation, the therapist has the inherent power, and to be challenged in those areas constitutes an interpretation of that communication as coming from the patients ‘false’ perception of reality. Any such challenge, or behavior, will be punished.

Upon being placed in this Double Bind their every action/interaction will be scrutinized and analyzed under the context of therapy. The teen may attempt to meta- communicate in order to remove the situation by saying, “I don’t deserve to be here, not troubled, I don’t have these problems, I don’t want your help” or attempt to deny the therapeutic atmosphere, but doing so will only work to further identify him as ‘troubled’ by construing his attempts with more labels like ‘closed off’, ‘isolating’, ‘resistant’ ‘defensive’or ‘in denial’. These labels will then be used as evidence that he needs therapy and he will be held accountable (suffer consequences, punishment) for his failure to make progress. Eventually the teen will conclude that the only way out of the situation is to ‘get well’, which consequently requires admitting they are in fact troubled. At this point they may lie about how they feel about their problems or lie about their problems all together.

At this point the Double Bind has forced the child into a situation where he must “play at not playing” the game of getting well. A citation that expounds on this from Watzlawick, in ‘Change. P.70’ :

“…The patient is considered unable to make the right decisions by himself- they have to be made for him and for his own good. If he fails to see this, his failure is yet another proof of his incapacity. This creates a terribly paradoxical situation requiring patients and staff to “play at not playing” the game of getting well. Sanity in the hospital is that conduct which is keeping with very definite norms; these norms should  be obeyed spontaneously and not because they are imposed; as long as they are imposed, the patient is considered sick.

This being so the old strategy for obtaining ones speedy release from a mental hospital is more than a joke:

(a) Develop a flamboyant symptom that has considerable nuisance value for the whole ward;
(b) Attatch yourself to a new doctor in need of his first success;
(c) let him cure you rapidly of your symptom; and
(d) make him thus into the most fervent advocate of your regained sanity.”

In the TTI, this ultimately becomes the function of the Double Bind that maintains the illusion of success. Another quote that describes this well,

““… whatever else these institutions do , one of their central effects is to sustain the self- conception of the professional staff employed there. Inmates and lower staff levels are involved in a vast supportive action- an elaborate dramatized tribute- that has the effect, if not the purpose, of affirming that medical- like service is in progress here and the psychiatric staff is providing it. Something about the weakness of this claim is suggested by the industry required to support it.

….’ Mental patients can find themselves in a special bind. To get out of the hospital or ease their lives within it. They must show acceptance of the place accorded them, and the place accorded them is to support the occupational role of those who appear to force this bargain. This self alienating moral servitude, which perhaps helps to account for some inmates becoming mentally confused, is achieved by invoking the great tradition of the expert servicing  relation, especially its medical variety.’
--Double Bind: the foundation of the communicational approach to the family”

Within the framework of this Double Bind in a ‘troubled teen’ program, this first step of ‘playing at not playing’ the game of getting well, (or pretending to be serious about getting well), is the first step towards adding binds during the course of treatment to further control behavior and mold habits. There is no avoiding progressing to a point of admitting they have a problem. The very obvious distress due to being taken captive is expected to be shared openly in the context of therapy. The teen that tries to avoid playing into the therapy game in such a situation must hide their own distress with meticulous self control in order to not be observed in such a state. Otherwise they will have to give in to expressing their honest feelings with the knowledge that it will only work to strengthen the bind that they are in.

At this point the Double Bind confuses the ability of the child to perceive certain meanings. The concepts ‘help’ and ‘hurt’ become synonymous or take on their opposites when trying to interpret even simple interpersonal communications. The teen is approached with helpful, loving, benevolent attitudes but the transaction is one that disqualifies and hurts him. This could come from the statement, ‘You want to be here, you just don’t know it.’ Additionally he is supposed to pretend he is accepting of these transactions as help when they are really perceived as hurtful. If he shows that he perceives their ‘help’ as hurt he will be seen as sick and resisting. Eventually this can distort how he perceives the meanings contained in normal friendly interactions. The context containing loving, benevolent attitudes may cause him to act agreeable, open, and friendly as a defensive action against what he perceives to be threatening.

The Double Bind pattern in the TTI at this point is as follows:

The first double-bind is due to the expectation that programs place on teens that in order to progress in therapy they must admit they have problems. This with the knowledge that to accept that fact will only support the accusation that he is ‘troubled’ so deeply he cannot make decisions for himself.

The second double-bind is in implying to the child that all the actions being taken are entirely for his or her own good and should not be seen as punishment. It is presented as a result of this situation that encompasses the conflicting messages sent within the contexts of ‘force’ and ‘therapy’. That is, there is undeniably a utilization of force in a TTI program via the use of various reward/punishment motivators, yet the actions will be taken as a testament to their individual progress in therapy.  Therapy itself, within the context of force, is a punishment. The punishment ends up being one where the victim must pretend to believe he understands it as help and play the part of getting better. These conflicting messages are heard clearly, yet meta-communication is not possible as it is seen as a challenge to their authority. The messages ‘You will be punished for not making progress’ and ‘Take ownership of your work’ are in open conflict, yet to avoid being labeled ‘sick’ action must be taken that denies the reality that force is involved. This is done by challenging the victim to make statements that he is genuine, accountable, honest etc. essentially teaching him how to play the game of maintaining the illusion of therapy. If they progress it is due to accepting accountability while actions suggesting they don’t want to be there are cast off as ‘sick’ and therefore the focus of more ‘therapy’ or punishment .

The third double-bind is to view another as sick and damaged and then express love and compassion for them. The child must take messages that negate him, but gratefully as they are coming from the standpoint of love and care.

A fourth Double Bind Emerges out of the peer group framework in which teens graduate together in different stages. Individual growth in the TTI is dependent on a process of group growth. This brings about a core concept in the TTI which is that each child is there to support each others growth in therapy. It will be a requirement  for the child to progress individually by supporting positions and adopting attitudes in concert with the therapy when interacting with peers. This environment where the patients are acting as each other’s therapist means that it is implied that, just as each person is to enforce the rules, each person is to also act from the standpoint of care, love and help to overcome each others assumed maladjustment, just as the staff of the program are supposed to behave. This bind becomes important in a highly structured environment because a stated rule that says, ‘you must love and support each other, or you will be punished’ makes it impossible to know for sure whether caring communication is honest or just given under orders. In an environment that demands each person be seen as open, honest, and caring under threat of punishment, a simple casual moment between friends can lose its meaning and become ambiguous, undefined and lead to confusion. Even the most genuine attempts at friendly communication can be invalidated.

These Double binds form an invisible cage in which every action is just an attempt to win a zero sum game. This is how the messages would come across if the TTI were to simplify their paradoxical injunctions.

“You are sick for thinking we are forcing you to treatment for our own selfish reasons, we are only doing this for your own good. You are sick because you think you don’t want treatment. You are so sick you don’t know what you want. You are not yourself. You must believe that our treatment of you is an act of selflessness, sympathy, and compassion for the damaged individual you are. Your isolated and confrontational attitude is a measure of your level of sickness and inability to understand the generosity of the staff peers who care about you getting well. You must believe our claim that you are troubled and must take responsibility and be accountable for the fact that you are not in control of yourself. Then you can learn to get in control of yourself by learning to deny your perceptions of reality in favor of ours.”

What are the dangers of the Double Bind?

The Double bind, as stated, imposes a context in which one must deny certain aspects of reality.  In a sense it is a forced hypnosis that requires that a person repress, or cover up, their spontaneous feelings and reactions to their perceived reality and rely on re-representing them via imaginary constructs to successfully navigate their environment.  This means the person will be dissociated from themselves and reality. This dissociation of self is an inherent function of the Double Bind and, as the original theory suggests, dissociation is a focal point of a rich history in psychology that seeks to understand mental illness. An immense topic that comprises a huge portion of psychoanalysis, dissociation is presumed to account for a variety of mental illnesses along the spectrum Bi-polar, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Schizophrenia, and Multiple Personality Disorder.

The dangers of TTI programs are that if a person that cannot escape or transcend the communicational field they can suffer serious psychological damage as a result. This is because as humans we must be able to handle communication involving multiple logical types that convey information on different levels of abstraction. When communicating we must identify signals that allude to the communicational mode being used. Examples of communicational modes:

Play, non-play, fantasy, metaphor, humor. We tend to rely on non-verbal communication to meta-communicate (communicate about our communication), like posture, tone of voice, gesturing, facial expressions etc.  In this way we frame and label messages, and as in humor we re-frame our messages perhaps communicating something literally at first and then reframing it metaphorically. Like when someone betrays another, and that other yells out in pain, turns his back and says, ‘take this knife out of my back.’

The correct logical typing of communicational modes is a learned skill that is necessary in order to feel stable in your social environment. In the TTI there will be much ambiguity due to a context that presumes that others are falsifying their mode-identifying signals whether it be a manipulative simulation of friendliness, artificial laugh, contrived emotions, the confidence trick. This context which interrupts successful meta-communication disrupts the ability to discriminate communicational modes between the self and others. Eventually this will lead to difficulty in assigning the correct communicational mode to his own messages, thoughts, sensations and perceptions. Maintained within a structured environment this falsification of signals can become habitual and unconscious as well as the falsification of the child’s understanding of another person’s mode identifying signals. He may mistake benevolence for contempt etc.  Eventually simple day to day social contact can constitute a threat to ones stable sense of self.

The TTI through clear lenses:  Coercion as treatment and results that defy logic.

The TTI itself capitalizes on their own errors in logical typing when communicating the meanings of the words ‘therapy, symptom, patient, treatment, cure, and results’. There are two errors of logical typing that redefine the meaning of these words within the TTI framework.

First is the one that identifies the symptom (problem) on the level of family, but treats an individual member. This family system is the original unit of analysis when identifying the disruption and the strategy to regain stability. Yet the identified symptom will then be treated as it applies to the individual with the result given in terms of ‘personal growth’. This process of treatment constitutes a breach in logical typing that says a class cannot be a member of itself nor can one of the members be the class. (A class of pencils is not a pencil, a pencil is not a class of pencils.) In this way a class of individuals (family) can define a problem, but applying the solution to the individual (member) constitutes the error of logical typing that identifies the member as the class within which it belongs.

The second is the one that re-defines ‘therapy’ (or fails to) under the context of force. Under the context of the Double Bind individual, ‘personal growth’ cannot be evaluated, in fact it necessitates understanding that these results can’t be determined under such a heading.  The presupposition in such a situation is that the victim has no choice, and so individual achievements are an illusion and personal pride for such is to take accountability for the behavior changes that others forced on you. This is another error of logical typing that does not recognize the different levels of abstraction that occur in contexts requiring proper delineation of ‘self’ and ‘other’, at the consequence of misinterpreting ‘force’ and ‘free choice’.

Within such illogical thought processes the logical meanings of the words ‘ therapy, treatment, cure, patient’ come to mean ‘coercive persuasion, punishment, dominating, and victim.’

The lines of logic that we must follow is that to truly gain perspective on the results and effectiveness of the TTI we would have to be able analyze how the Double Bind effects those results. This would require a control experiment that reproduced a TTI model without Double Binds to compare the results. The simple fact of the matter is that the TTI would not be able to function. This being the case we can ONLY see the results as being a function of the Double Bind, and the TTI as a whole can only exists as the paradoxical result of its own pathological thinking.

There is also another dilemma that prevents us from being able to decipher the results of the TTI. This is the ethical problem that prevents us from conducting more conclusive investigations into the Double Bind. In order to replicate the Double Bind in the TTI, it could not be properly represented by using volunteers, as it is not a choice given to the teen. As well there is a violation of ethics, even in a voluntary circumstance, present in conducting an experiment where the theoretical result is to cause psychological harm. Adding to this:

“Let us put it his way: if one were intrigued by a sequence of events proposed to account for certain types of pathology in communication, and that sequence is formalized as a theoretical proposition about what happens when important basic relationships are chronically subjected to invalidation through paradoxical interaction, and it is further specified that an intense relationship, repeated experience, and inability to comment upon or escape the situation are all necessary components, would one do an experiment with college sophomores or VA volunteers? Probably not.
--Double Bind: the foundation of the communicational approach to the family”

And I would further this comment by saying, why would we experiment on teenagers against their will?

For those dedicated readers I’ll leave you with a final quote from R.D. Laing in his book ‘Knots’.

“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.”
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Offline Eliscu2

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Re: DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2010, 08:46:29 PM »
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Offline Inculcated

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Re: DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2010, 02:56:27 PM »
Quote from: "Awake"
DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI
A very informative and thought provoking post

Quote from: "Awake"
For those dedicated readers I’ll leave you with a final quote from R.D. Laing in his book ‘Knots’. “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.”
Awake is killing me softly with this one.
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Offline Awake

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Re: DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2010, 09:35:24 PM »
I thought these articles were a good addition.

this one is interesting on schizophrenia

All are good, but this one from the firs link, I thought, was most relatable to the troubled teen industry.

Double Binds

A double bind is a kind of baited trap. It is like a lobster pot or a similar type of animal trap - the trap is initially attractive and easy to get into, but then turns out to be much harder to get out of. Unlike an animal trap, a double bind works on a psychological level rather than a physical one. A double bind tricks a person into doing what the controller wants, while giving an illusion of choice.

A double bind offers some kind of benefit as its bait. With the FWBO, the bait is the promise of personal and spiritual growth. Eg.:

'Buddhism offers clear and practical guidelines as to how men and women can realise their full potential for understanding and kindness. Meditation is a direct way of working on ourselves, to bring about positive change in our lives. We teach two simple and complementary meditations. One helps us develop a calm, clear, focused mind; the other transforms our emotional life, enabling us to enjoy greater self-confidence and positivity towards others.' [1]

On offer are: greater understanding and kindness; mental calmness, clarity and focus; and greater self-confidence and positivity. How could anyone refuse?

Of course, a person could refuse, but then that might be taken to imply arrogance on their part. Refusal could be taken to imply that they believe they are already perfect, that they have already achieved their full potential for understanding and kindness, etc. That's already a little bit of a double bind.

However, the double bind only starts to kick in once a person takes the bait, once they start to feel that there are aspects of their lives they would like to improve, and that they might benefit from following a course of study and training, with the FWBO or any other organisation offering to teach people how to realise their full potential.

They don't need to have absolute faith in the group's teaching, only to give it some degree of credence, or at least the benefit of the doubt.

In general, groups offering to teach people how to develop their full potential, will put forward the idea that the reason why they are failing to realise their true potential, is because they are subject to certain psychological or cognitive or emotional blocks and obstacles, which they may be unaware or unconscious of. These obstacles block their energy and cause frustration and unhappiness.The group's teaching can help them to become aware of and then overcome these obstacles.

Different organisations have different ideas about the nature of the obstacles which hinder personal growth. In the FWBO, they are said to be the result of unconscious conditioning, ignorance, fear of change, etc. In a Christian based group such as the Moonies, any doubts or reservations which a student may have about the group's teaching, may be blamed on Satan putting evil thoughts into the student's mind in order to try and prevent them from reaching towards God. In Scientology, such doubts or reservations may be ascribed to the influence of 'engrams', unconscious conditionings from past lives which block the student's energy and awareness.

In a way it doesn't much matter which factors the group identifies as the reasons why a person might have failed to realise their full potential. The two key ideas are that a person has unrealised potential, and that the group's teaching can enable them to overcome any unconscious hindrances and realise that potential. These two ideas together form a potential double bind.

The double bind works in the following way: If you believe you might be failing to live up to your true potential, because of unconscious conditioning or similar factors, then what do you do about it? Do you:

(a). Give in and accept the situation?


(b). Try and break free of your conditioning?

You can of course refuse to answer the question. However, if your answer is (b), then this implies some agreement with the idea that you are 'conditioned'. To the degree that you accept that idea, to that degree you have entered into an insoluble paradox and double bind.

The paradox is: how can you attempt to break free when any or even all of your thoughts and actions may be at least partly the result of 'conditioning' (or pride, or ignorance, etc.)? If you decide on a course of action on your own account, how can you be sure that your decision isn't partly or wholly the result of your 'conditioning' (or of some other unconscious factor). How can you be sure that you are actually making a free decision, and that you haven't simply been conditioned and programmed to act in a particular way?

If a person accepts that they are conditioned to some degree, and they want to break free of their conditioning, then logically they cannot really do it by themselves, because the chances are that they will simply go round in circles, unconsciously repeating their own conditioned behaviour. They need some external help and guidance, from a teacher who has already broken through their own conditioning (to some extent at least), and who has a good understanding of the processes involved in this kind of breakthrough.

This is the whole point of setting up this kind of paradox and double bind - to make a person think they need a teacher, so that they then become dependent on the teacher. Potentially the teacher can then misuse this power, without ever being held responsible for any psychological harm their teaching may cause their students.

There is a wide variety of groups and organisations which offer teaching and guidance for people who believe that they might be failing to live up to their true potential. Some are religious or quasi-religious, offering guidance on how to grow closer to God, or to the deity of your choice. Others are more secular, offering to help people to realise their true potential, or to discover their true inner selves, or to become one with the universe.

Some of these groups and organisations may provide valuable resources; others may be cults, and it can be very difficult for an outsider to tell them apart. Many of these groups are self-regulating, which among other things means that there are no independent and objective ways to test how beneficial the group's teaching might be, the only way is to test it subjectively, by trying it out for yourself.

If, after a period of time, a person does begin to experience tangible benefits from following the practices and lifestyle advocated by the group, then all well and good. If however they experience initial benefits but then become stuck at a certain level, or if they experience no benefits at all, then at what point do they cut their losses and drop out of the training?

If they are failing to thrive, they cannot be sure where the problem lies. Does the problem lie with their own understanding and practice, or with the group and its teaching? Should they have faith and persevere, or should they drop out?

They are in a double bind because, having accepted that they might be subject to ignorance or unconscious conditioning to some degree, they can never really be sure that any doubts or reservations they may have about the group's teaching, aren't simply the product of their own unconscious conditioning. And they can never be sure that valuable insights will definitely not result from attending the next training course or residential weekend offered by the group. Or from the next course after that.

On the other hand, if they decide to drop the training and leave the group, they can never be sure that they aren't making a terrible mistake. They can never be sure in their own minds that their doubts about the quality of the teaching are reasonable and justified, nor can they prove to anyone else that their concerns are justified (because of the nature of the double bind, and because double binds work on a subjective and psychological level, and leave no objectively verifiable physical evidence to reveal their existence).

In short, they can never prove that they are right, and the group is wrong. This is one of the reasons why many religious/human potential type groups are effectively unaccountable to any outside authority for any psychological harm their teaching may cause their students.

A group only becomes a dangerous cult when it starts to abuse the teacher - student relationship and its inherent double bind. The problem with non-accountability is that, if such abuse does begin, it is likely to continue unchecked for many years, and may even become institutionalised within the group.

Using the double bind system, anyone can set themselves up as a personal growth teacher, with very little risk of ever being held responsible for any psychological damage their teaching might cause their students. Indeed, with non-accountability, low overheads, and the availability of tax-exempt religious charity status, the personal growth/spiritual fulfillment market provides an ideal business opportunity for the unscrupulous and the deluded to milk their students.
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Offline WTF2

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Re: DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2010, 08:13:21 PM »
This is some of the best reading I have seem
Thanks for the insight of how these places and the ppl who run them work.
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Offline DannyB II

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Re: DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2010, 08:54:51 PM »
Quote from: "WTF2"
This is some of the best reading I have seem
Thanks for the insight of how these places and the ppl who run them work.

 :shamrock:  :shamrock:

I second that, WTF2. Awake has been a inspiration.

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Offline Awake

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Re: DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2010, 08:30:40 PM »
Thanks to all who have enjoyed this. I think you will also like this very relevant and recent bit here that shows the psychological perspective of  the  Double Bind.

PSYCHOSIS, TRAUMA AND DISSOCIATION: Emerging Perspectives on Severe  Psychopathology.

Edited by: Andrew Moskowitz, Department of Mental Health, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
Ingo Schafer, Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany
Martin J. Dorahy, School of Psychology, Queens University of Belfast, UK
First published 2008, Wiley-Blackwell.

“Chapter 21

 The essence of borderline personality disorder (BPD) has been something of a  conundrum. It has been variously conceptualized as (1) on the border with psychosis, (2) a level of personality organization more pathological than neurosis, (3) a pattern of unstable and intense relationships and (4) a complex traumatic stress disorder….. … Trauma based dissociative processes may underlie most of the symptoms described in the diagnostic criteria for BPD, including the apparently psychotic symptoms. More important, dissociation based in double binds inherent in chronic relational trauma may account for the essential characteristic of BPD, the instability of identity, affect, behavior and relationships. In BPD acute, episodic impairment in reality-testing is based on dissociative symptoms such as illusions, disorientation and flashbacks. A more pervasive and essential form of impairment of reality-testing is seen in BPD is based on polarized, severely distorted perceptions of self and other. These distortions may be patterned on the quality of attachment relationships with dysfunctional caregivers in childhood.

….. Transient, psychotic symptoms may be generated by the triggering of dissociated memories , emotions, and behaviors, leading to disorientation, perceptual distortions and illusions that interfere with reality- testing and the ability to cope with present day events….

Borderline personality may be best understood as a chronic relational trauma disorder, ensuing from contradictory, double-binding, caregiving relationships.  The essential characterisctic of BPD – instability of identity, affect, behavior and relationships – is more characteristic of dissociative spectrum disorders than of personality disorders….

Attachment relationships with caregivers who are dissociative, psychotic or sociopathic involve thousands upon thousands of frightening, double-binding interactions that may impair the development of reality- testing in in a more pervasive and insidious manner than discrete traumatic events.


….. The childs ability to interpret people’s motivation and behavior realistically can be seriously impaired by growing up with double-bind attachment relationships. To cope with caregivers contradictory demands, the child is forced to develop dissociated self-states in order to keep relational strategies for maintaining attachment separate from conflicting tactics to protect the self from frightening caregivers. In order to maintain perceptions of other that are consistent with a particular relational strategy, one aspect of the double-binding message may be routinely denied, discounted or dissociated. This can lead to a failure to perceive entire aspects of relational interchanges, such as body language, facial expression or tone of voice, as well as the inability to interpret their significance. This tendency to only see half the picture, to perceive only the signs indicating that a person is either dangerous or entirely trustworthy, has traditionally been called splitting. The alternations between idealizing and devaluing relationships in BPD is fundamentally the same as the switching between idealizing child states and angry perpetrator states in dissociative identity disorder (DID).

…. In order to maintain attachment to incomprehensible, frightening or abusive parents, the child becomes exquisitely attuned to the caregivers’ thoughts, feelings and perceptions, and incorporates their behavior and relational patterns. Such parents may project their own thoughts, feelings and intentions onto the child, interfering with the childs ability to differentiate her own experience from that of the parent.

…  Sociopathic parents deliberately deceive the child, and are often very practiced at presenting a false version of reality. In all of these cases, the childs experience is that people are not whom they appear to be, that people live in more than one reality and no one’s perception of reality is necessarily to be trusted.”

I highly recommend this book, look over the table of contents on amazon. ... r=8-1#noop

From the back page, “ This is the first book to give a comprehensive overview of the complex relationship between dissociation and psychosis, from a wide range of clinical, research, historical and theoretical perspectives. “

Very informative throughout with some very interesting overlapping history with hypnosis. And it certainly is relevant to double binding in the troubled teen industry.
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Offline Anne Bonney

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Re: DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2010, 10:43:03 AM »
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traight, St. Pete, early 80s
AA is a cult

The more boring a child is, the more the parents, when showing off the child, receive adulation for being good parents-- because they have a tame child-creature in their house.  ~~  Frank Zappa

Offline Matt C. Hoffman

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Re: DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2010, 12:06:50 AM »
Hi Awake,

Man oh man the double bind ,you are Damned if you do and you are Damned if you don't .
sorry I don't mean to reduce it to those few words. My pappy was a psychologist with a medical degree. He participated in the sterilazation of many female mental patients , back in the early 60's up until 72, at a well known state mental hospital here in Va . and it wasn't Central State .

You could say that I am very familar with the double bind  from early on in my childhood. I never really understood it ,but from what you have posted I am now able to understand what went on, in my family and it puts elan in a better perspective than I previously held. With knowlede comes power.

I remember ricci telling(in front of his associate Dr. Davidson ) me at my only conference with other parts of my nuclear family that my pappy had himself on a pedestal and every time I succeed it threatened him. If I said that I liked my dads tie he would say that he didn't like it .If I said that the weather was nice dad would say no its too hot. Of course this came out of ricci's mouth .

I could see how some of this stuff was true at the time but I was never really able to understand it in the way that I do now because of your post and I thank you for this.

I now understand more now than ever when people various psychiartrists(shrinks) would tell me when I would be recovering from one of 4 suicide attempts in my life post elan (when ever I would talk about elan I would go into an amazing depressive downward spiral and needless to say I didn't talk about elan a lot ) that "elan was just an extension of my father".

I reckon I am very fortunate that I was a stong enough child to survive my fathers abuse and double bind type lunacy and then to survive (a suicide attempt in elan during my first few months of being in that hell) the extension of my father which was elan. I was there during the very violent times of elan 7/ '74 to 7/'76. It called itself the" bootcamp of life ", and after years (3 years old my peditrician noted in my medical records that there were bruises over my buttocks, pappy was a violent person) and years of my fathers emotional (stories I can tell) and physical abuse , since as far back as I can remember. I did not want to live in this life anymore that elan offered as the "bootcamp of life " Having made that decision I drank a bottle of qwell shampoo in a suicide attempt  to make the pain that I had known my entire life go away. elan was a sick, brutal and twisted place that I have sorta spoken about before in various posts on this board. stuff that I witnessed , heard from the horses mouth , and stuff that happened to me . Yeah I was there. (God how I wish I hadn't been there )

Awake I thank you again for  putting the knowledge out there,as with knowlede comes power. It is ironic how you can look at some of the postings here and see the double bind being played out on this board , some things WILL  never change.

elan didn't  hide the fact that it was playing mind control games for your complete autonomy ( ricci and the hoodlums probably thought they could get your soul also ) by the one phrase that never made any sense until I read this post by Awake (most grateful to you ) , the elan phrase was when you are looking good ,you are really looking bad. What the hell did that mean (retorical please don't answer , its JUST me venting ).

"elan was an extension of my pappy ", yeah I am a survivor of certain pains from hell and you know I have no clue how I made it  except that deep down despite my pappy , despite elan and their desperate attempt to try to progam me to self destruct , I knew deep down in my soul that I was a good person. I also believe that I had  assistance from that Great Spirit that has gone before me,and before all men , women and children.

I don't know Awake , just some thoughts on some knowledge that I am most grateful that you have posted , that has given me the  words that I very badly needed .

I thank you again .


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Offline Awake

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Re: DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2010, 10:35:03 PM »
I would like to contribute a very interesting addition below, and to Matt,

I couldn’t be more happy that this information was helpful to you. The Double Bind is a concept that is missing from most peoples’ vocabulary and therefore when it is revealed that it is, in fact, a heavily utilized interpersonal tool, that awareness can cause a total re-evaluation of ambiguous past interactions that were unable to be understood and unable to be incorporated into your conscious understanding of certain contexts. Being that the epistemology of the Double Bind is at the very, VERY heart of every family therapy theory and recent approaches to intervention, I believe many survivors of programs tend to find information that puts their experience into context as it relates to intentional acts of Double Binding. It seems there is a lot of confusion over whether therapy is about revealing inhibitive binds, or installing them. I hope you find your way out.

Here’s more for ya,

The Double Bind

The Intimate Tie Between Behavior and Communication

Patrice Guillaume


Our behaviors -- effective or not -- are learned. We do not develop in a vacuum. Rather, we learn to act and respond within a given context, and within that context our behaviors make sense. If we continue to use those same behaviors in new contexts the behaviors may seem frivolous or ineffectual; they may even be labeled as abnormal. Yet the behaviors did make sense within the context in which they were developed. In this paper I intend to explore schizophrenia and the borderline personality from the perspective of learned behaviors. I wish to explore the kinds of early interactions and influences that shape the individual who earns either of these diagnoses.


The classical approach is to view the schizophrenic in isolation from his environment. It is assumed that the schizophrenic is out of touch with "reality." Those who adhere to this perspective suggest that:

... regression to more primitive levels of thinking is a primary feature of schizophrenia. In essence, more highly differentiated and reality-oriented "secondary" thought processes, which follow the rules of logic and take external reality into consideration, are replaced by "primary" thought processes which involve illogical ideas, fantasy, and magical thinking. (Carson, 330)

In contrast, the interpersonal approach views the schizophrenic in relation to his environment, specifically his family of origin. In Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Gregory Bateson discusses a theory of schizophrenia which was the result of a research project undertaken by Bateson, Don D. Jackson, Jay Haley, and John H. Weakland. The theory looks at the behavior of the schizophrenic within the context of his or her family. They suggest that schizophrenic behaviors "make sense" when viewed from this perspective. In other words, behaviors do not develop in isolation but as a result of our interactions.

Bateson suggests that the schizophrenic has "...trouble in identifying and interpreting those signals which should tell the individual what sort of message a message is, i.e., trouble with the signals of the same logical type as the signal `This is play.'" (1, 194)

For example, I ask my four-year-old stepson to hold his glass of milk with two hands; he does not follow my instructions, and he spills the milk. I call his attention to the fact that he did not follow my instructions. When he responds with, "I didn't follow the rules!" I know he and I are not communicating at the same logical level. My experience was that I wanted to discuss a specific incident in which he didn't follow my instructions and he spilled his milk as a result. His experience was that he seemed to be struggling with an abstract concept of "rules." Ideally, children's experience helps them learn to make those distinctions. During the development of the schizophrenic, however, something happens that interferes with his ability to do the same.

What is it?

Bateson et al. suggest that a person caught in a "double bind" -- a situation in which no matter what a person does, he "can't win" -- may develop schizophrenic symptoms. In the double bind there are two conflicting levels of communication and an injunction against commenting on the conflict. The following is an often-quoted example from their paper, Toward a Theory of Schizophrenia, which demonstrates this bind:

A young man who had fairly well recovered from an acute schizophrenic episode was visited in the hospital by his mother. He was glad to see her and impulsively put his arm around her shoulders, whereupon she stiffened. He withdrew his arm and she asked, "Don't you love me any more?" He then blushed, and she said, "Dear, you must not be so easily embarrassed and afraid of your feelings." The patient was able to stay with her only a few minutes more, and following her departure he assaulted an aide and was put in the tubs. (Watzlawick 12, 36)

In this scenario, the mother is giving her son conflicting verbal and nonverbal messages and he seems unable to respond to the discrepancy. According to Bateson's theory of logical types, the schizophrenic cannot comment about the meaning of his mother's communication.

According to Bateson, "The ability to communicate about communication, to comment upon the meaningful actions of oneself and others, is essential for successful social intercourse." In normal relationships we continually comment about the actions and communications of others, saying such things as, "I feel uncomfortable when you look at me that way," "Are you kidding me?" or "What do you mean by that?" In order for us to accurately discriminate the meaning of our own or another's communication we must be able to comment on the expression -- but the schizophrenic is effectively enjoined from such commentary.

According to Carlos Sluzki the double bind has the following characteristics:

(1) two or more persons; (2) repeated experience; (3) a primary negative injunction; (4) a secondary injunction conflicting with the first at a more abstract level, and like the first enforced by punishments or signals which threaten survival; (5) a tertiary negative injunction prohibiting the victim from escaping from the field; (6) finally, the complete set of ingredients is no longer necessary when the victim has learned to perceive his universe in double bind patterns. (9, 209)

Looking more closely at the double bind, Paul Watzlawick has described four variations on the theme. The first and probably the most frequently used is what he calls the "Be spontaneous" paradox. The wife who wants her husband to surprise her with flowers is experiencing this sort of dilemma. She is asking him to do something which by its nature must be spontaneous. "It is one of the shortcomings of human communication that there is no way in which the spontaneous fulfillment of a need can be elicited from another person without creating this kind of self-defeating paradox," says Watzlawick. (12, 15-26)

A second variation of the double bind involves a situation in which a person is chastised for a correct perception of the outside world. In this situation the child will learn to distrust his own sensory awareness in favor of the parent's assessment of the situation. One example would be the child who is raised in a violent household but is expected to see his parents as loving and peaceful. In later life this person will have a difficult time determining how to behave appropriately in a variety of situations. Indeed, this person will spend an inordinate amount of energy trying to decipher exactly how he "should" interpret the situation.

The third variation on the theme is one in which a person is expected to have feelings other than those he actually experiences. The mother who wants her child to "want" to do his or her homework falls into this category. The child will often end up feeling guilty when he or she cannot achieve the "proper" feelings.

The fourth variation, according to Watzlawick, occurs when we demand and prohibit at the same time. The parent who demands honesty while encouraging winning at any cost is placing the child in this kind of bind. The child is placed in a position of having to disobey in order to obey.

How will a person be affected by growing up in an environment where he or she cannot comment on these perceived discrepancies? Does that person eventually learn to trust only one part of their experience and to deny or distrust the rest?

In 1967 a team of researchers published the results of their further investigation of the double bind. They proposed that the operational component of the double bind is its pattern of disqualification -- the means by which one person's experience is invalidated as a result of the imposed bind. They cited five methods for disqualifying the previous communication. Evasion or a change of subject is the first method of disqualification. If the previous statement (a) does not clearly end a topic of discussion, and the next statement (b) does not acknowledge the switch in topic, then the second statement disqualifies the first statement:

a. Son: Can we go to the park and play soccer?

b. Father: What a beautiful day for working in the garden.

The second method of disqualification is sleight-of-hand. Sleight-of-hand occurs when the second response (b) answers the first (a) but changes the content of the previous statement:

a. Daughter: We have always gotten along well.

b. Mother: Yes, I've always loved you. . .

In the above example, the mother has responded to her daughter but has switched the issue from getting along well to love.

Literalization, the third type of disqualification, occurs when the content of the previous statement (a) is switched to a literal level in the second statement (b) with no acknowledgment of the change of frame:

a. Son: You treat me like a child.

b. Father: But you are my child.

The fourth method, status disqualification, happens when a person uses either personal status or superior knowledge to imply that the previous message is not valid:

a. Mother: I have observed that he doesn't play very well with the other children.

b. Son: But I do, Mama!

a. Mother: He doesn't realize because he is so little . . .

Redundant questions are used to imply doubt or disagreement without openly stating it:

a. Daughter: I get along well with everybody.

b. Mother: With everybody, Cathy?

The authors conclude their paper with the following observation:

We are consistently finding, in families with a schizophrenic member, disqualifications followed by special types of sequences, such as the ones described, which tend to consolidate the bind and hence reinforce idiosyncratic modes of interaction. In this process, which implies a whole style of relation with the world and in which certain stimuli are systematically denied, certain meanings are systematically repressed, lack of recognition is reinforced and rewarded, and clarification is punished -- in this, we concur in believing, might rest the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. (Sluzki 9, 228)

The Zen master holds a stick over his pupil's head and says, "If you tell me this stick is real, I will strike you with it. If you say to me this stick is not real, I will strike you with it. If you don't say anything, I will strike you with it."

Bateson suggests this is exactly the sort of situation a schizophrenic continually experiences. The Zen pupil may achieve enlightenment by taking the stick from his master's hands. The schizophrenic, by contrast, experiences disorientation and confusion, once again finding his way inexplicably blocked. Taking the stick away is not an option for the schizophrenic -- he is helplessly caught in another "can't win" situation. Through repeated experience with the double bind the schizophrenic finds himself limited in the options he has available to him.

Jay Haley takes a further look at schizophrenia from an interpersonal perspective. There is a basic rule of communications theory which maintains that it is virtually impossible for a person to "avoid defining, or taking control of the definition of, his relationship with another." In any relationship, one of the first things that needs to be adressed is what kind of relationship it will be. Relationships are defined as complementary or symmetrical. A symmetrical relationship is one in which the two parties match behaviors. If one person tells about a vacation he has had the second person responds by telling of a vacation he or she has just taken. What is emphasized here is the symmetry, how they are alike. These relationships tend to be competitive.

A complementary relationship is one in which the behaviors complement each other. One person teaches and the other learns; there is a give and take between behaviors. After listening to the first person tell about his vacation the second person would press for further information.

Over time the nature of relationships will shift. As a child matures he evolves from a complementary relationship with his parents to a more symmetrical relationship.

A complementary relationship usually exists between a teacher and the student. But, when the student asks a question which implies that he knows more than the teacher he is maneuvering to shift that relationship. The teacher can choose to re-establish the old relationship or allow the interaction to shift. "Such maneuvers are constantly being interchanged in any relationship and tend to be characteristic of unstable relationships where the two people are groping towards a common definition of their relationship." (4, 11)

It has been suggested that schizophrenics, as children, experienced a great deal of confusion in regards to defining their relationships as complementary or symmetrical. In other words, there was a great deal of mismatch between child and caretaker regarding the definition of their relationship. An example is the child who perceives the relationship as complementary and responds accordingly -- only to have the caretaker switch to a symmetrical relationship.

Is it any wonder then, that schizophrenic interactions, as described by Haley, are an attempt to avoid defining the nature of those relationships:

A person can avoid defining his relationship by negating any or all of these four elements. He can (a) deny that he communicated something, (b) deny that something was communicated, (c) deny that it was communicated to the other person, or (d) deny the context in which it was communicated. (4, 89)

People communicate at a multitude of levels. We can communicate with much more than just words. For example, our physical posture and gestures provide another level of communication as well as the pitch, tone and tempo of our speech. There are myriad possibilities for simultaneously relating to and denying relationship with another person. Schizophrenics are decidedly the masters at this craft, but examples abound in everyday life to demonstrate how this is done.

We are all familiar with mixed messages. The dog who simultaneously wags his tail and growls is one example. The man who responds to his wife's request that he help her in the kitchen by saying "Sure, I'll be happy to help you," as he settles deeper into his easy chair, is at once accepting her request for assistance and simultaneously communicating that he will not help her. The woman who says "I would love to help you but I have a headache," is defining her relationship as cooperative, while using her headache to negate the relationship.

Contrast these behaviors with that of the man who congruently says, "No, I won't help you," as he sits down in the chair. He has clearly defined his relationship as one in which he will not be told what to do. Similarly, how is a person to make sense of my communication if I say "I love you" in a flat voice while gazing in the other direction? The man says, "This subject is fascinating," while checking his watch. The woman asks her child if he wants to give her a hug as she pulls him toward her for a hug. These sorts of interactions are common in every day life. Much of our ability to make sense out of the world depends on our being able to recognize and comment upon the conflicting messages we receive.

The schizophrenic, on the other hand, is faced with the dilemma of deciphering to which part of the message he can safely respond, since commenting upon the discrepancy is not in the repertoire of behaviors available to him. I would imagine it is much like living in a battle zone where every communication is a threat to my personal safety. Faced with the task of discovering the meaning of another's communication while being prohibited from commenting on or acknowledging my own confusion seems like a terrifying proposition. Is it any wonder that schizophrenic communications are structured to avoid defining that a relationship exists?

It appears that, because of the early influence of repeatedly being caught in double binds, schizophrenics develop a defensive approach to communication which is tenacious in its ability to say something and say nothing at the same time. Their goal in life is not to be pinned down on any front. Unfortunately, they are as hopelessly trapped in their web of confusion as the people who come in contact with them.

Borderline Personality

According to James Masterson (The Search for the Real Self: Unmasking the Personality Disorders of Our Age), the borderline personality is also a learned response to the childhood environment. Masterson contends that as a result of childhood influences a person can develop what he has termed a "false self" in order to protect the "real self" from further trauma. He suggests that the real self is oriented toward mastering reality; but once those efforts have been thwarted the false self shifts the orientation from that of mastering the environment to one of avoiding bad feelings.

In their book, I Hate You -- Don't Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality, Jerold J. Kreisman, M.D., and Hal Straus identify five dilemmas which plague the borderline personality. They call the first "Damned if you do and damned if you don't." This refers to the kinds of communications borderlines give other people. The title of this book is a good example of this predicament. Another example is a woman I know who asked her boyfriend about his impressions of her amateur public performance about which she had misgivings. He replied "do you really want my honest opinion?" She insisted that she did. But when he told her his assessment of the performance -- which was not particularly encouraging -- she responded by telling him how wrong his perceptions actually were. Her communication was typical of the kind of confusing message that plagues the borderline's relationships.

A second tendency which they cite as typical of the borderline is "feeling bad about feeling bad." Rather than attempt to understand or cope with feelings, the borderline tries to get rid of unwanted feelings. The person who "should" be happy adds additional layers of guilt and other difficult emotions to an already depressed or angry persona -- contributing to a seemingly endless spiral of feeling bad about feeling bad.

The perennial victim is the third pattern they have observed. The borderline perceives herself at the mercy of the events and people around her. The woman whose happiness depends on her husband's financial success is one example of victim. The person who organizes his life such that the solutions to his problems lie in other people's hands is exhibiting a borderline tendency. "If only she understood me better ..." is one way that the victim puts the responsibility for his or her happiness on another person.

Fourth is the quest for meaning in life. Borderlines continually search for that which will fill the emptiness they experience. Relationships and drugs are two common solutions for filling this void.

The borderline's perennial search for constancy is the fifth behavior observed. The borderline exists in a world that is untrustworthy and inconsistent. Friendships, jobs, and skills are always in question. The borderline lacks the ability to experience consistency and predictability. It is as if all their experience is for naught. A woman I know has taken dance lessons for almost fifteen years and still she cannot see herself as a dancer; she seems to lack an ability to trust and rely on her skills.

The sixth and last element of the borderline personality is what the authors characterize as the "rage of innocence." Borderline rage is unpredictable and intense when it surfaces. Sparked by seemingly insignificant events, it can appear without warning and often carries the threat of real violence.

In considering the roots of the borderline personality, Masterson suggests that John Bowlby's research into the infant-caretaker attachment is significant. Bowlby studied the mourning process that children aged 13-32 months experienced when they were separated from their mothers as a result of hospitalization for physical illness.

Bowlby noted three stages of mourning that these children went through as a result of the separation from their caretaker. The first stage is protest and can last a few hours up to several weeks.

In the second stage, hopelessness, the child: sinks into despair and may even stop moving. He tends to cry monotonously or intermittently, and becomes withdrawn and more inactive, making no demands on the environment as the mourning state deepens. (6, 58)

In the third stage, detachment, the child no longer rejects nurses, but when the mother returns to visit, the strong attachment to the mother typical of children this age is strikingly absent. Instead of greeting her, he may act as if he hardly knows her; instead of clinging to her he may remain remote and apathetic; instead of dissolving in tears when she leaves, he will most likely turn listlessly away. He seems to have lost all interest in her.

Masterson realized that these same three stages of mourning and the defenses they produced were evident in his own adolescent and adult borderline patients:

I came to recognize that when my patients go through a separation experience that they have been defending themselves against all their lives, they seem to react just like Bowlby's infants in the second stage of despair. The separation brings on a catastrophic set of feelings, which I have called an abandonment depression. To defend against this mental state, they retreat into the defensive patterns encouraged by the false self, which they have learned over the years will ward off this abandonment depression.

In adults without a sense of their real self, the abandonment depression symbolizes a replaying of an infantile drama: The child returned for support and encouragement, but the mother was unavailable or unable to provide it. The acknowledgment and approval, so crucial to developing the capacities of expression, assertiveness, and commitment, were simply not there. (6, 59)

Masterson suggests that what characterizes the borderline personality is an over-reliance on primitive defense mechanisms learned in early childhood: denial and clinging, avoidance and distancing, projection and acting out.

"In order to establish a coherent sense of self, the child in the first three years of life must learn that she is not a fused, symbiotic unit with the mother" says Masterson (6, 51). How is this to be accomplished? In his book, A Secure Base, Bowlby discusses the elements he considers most necessary to allow this process to take place in children:

. . . the ordinary sensitive mother is quickly attuned to her infant's natural rhythms and, by attending to the details of his behaviour, discovers what suits him and behaves accordingly. By so doing she not only makes him contented but also enlists his cooperation. . . .

This brings me to a central feature of my concept of parenting -- the provision by both parents of a secure base from which a child or an adolescent can make sorties into the outside world and to which he can return knowing for sure that he will be welcomed when he gets there, nourished physically and emotionally, comforted if distressed, reassured if frightened. In essence this role is one of being available, ready to respond when called upon to encourage and perhaps assist, but to intervene actively only when clearly necessary. (2, 9-11)

What happens in early development to interfere with the child's efforts to develop a sense of self -- an identity which is separate and distinct from that of the caretaker? Kreisman and Straus contend that a large amount of anecdotal and statistical evidence exists to demonstrate that children who have been abused or neglected can be linked to borderline tendencies as adults.

Masterson suggests that many of his borderline clients had mothers who themselves had an impaired sense of self. Consequently the mothers are not able to provide the secure base from which the child can venture out and explore the world. He cited one example of a mother with low self esteem and a fear of separation who tended to foster this fear of separation in her child. She encouraged him to remain dependent on her in order to maintain her own emotional equilibrium:

She seemed to be overwhelmingly threatened by her child's emerging individuality, which sounded as a warning that he was destined to leave her eventually forever. Not being able to handle what she perceived as abandonment, she was unable to support the child's efforts to separate from her and express his own self through play and exploration of the world. Her defensive maneuvers to avoid her own separation anxieties entailed clinging to the child to prevent separation and discouraging his moves toward individuation by withdrawing her support. (6, 54-55)

Consider what Masterson has suggested about the possible roots of the borderline personality: it looks like the ultimate double bind -- a world that expects one to grow up and become self sufficient while the caretaker is rewarding that same person for remaining dependent and helpless.

Twenty years after the double bind theory of schizophrenia was published, one of the authors, John Weakland, published a paper in which he suggested that perhaps they had focused too closely on schizophrenia. He suggests that the real significance of the theory was its viewpoint that behavior and communication are closely tied. This theory was diametrically opposed to the established paradigm that emotional problems are a response to intrapsychic conflicts. Perhaps, he suggested, the double bind has far reaching effects in many kinds of emotional disturbance, and its explorations should not be limited to cases with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Carlos Sluzki seems to have come to the same conclusion in his paper with the provocative title The Double Bind as a Universal Pathogenic Situation.

Sluzki notes that a child passes through three evolutionary stages:

(1) infantile dependence, marked by a relative lack of differentiation between the self and the non-self and a preponderance of the incorporation or the "taking" of objects; (2) transition; and (3) mature dependency, characterized by "relations between two independent beings who are completely differentiated; and by a predominance of giving" in object relations. (10, 231)

The transitional stage ushers in the core dilemma of all mental development: Dependence versus independence.

The child's developmental task is to balance the need for security and dependence with his or her need to move toward independence. If the parents are to facilitate the child's emergence from dependence to independence they will need "to stimulate the impulse towards independence and to neutralize the needs for dependency." (10, 231) Without the parents' encouragement, it is difficult for the child to face the uncertainty and risks along the road to independence.

Sluzki describes three modes of relationship between parent and child; this includes those areas of a child's life where he is dependent, independent or moving from dependence to independence with parents' help and supervision. For example, dependence is when a child cannot get to school without his parents' assistance.

Independence is when the child can get himself to school without assistance. The third area entails that point in time where perhaps the child, with parents' assistance and encouragement, is learning the route to and from school but is not ready to do it for himself.

As a child proceeds through life he and his parents must constantly redefine where those boundaries are. At best this is a very complex task; if parents are unclear themselves about these boundaries, then their children will have to contend with a great deal of confusion about what they can and cannot do.

One example of a double bind that inhibits the child's growth toward independence is a parent who is in conflict about the desire for the child to be independent and the desire for the child to "be perfect." A child's ability to think and behave creatively will become increasingly limited if, for example, he is told to think for himself and then second-guessed as to his choice of actions. I know an otherwise responsible young man who spilled paint thinner and just walked away from it because he didn't know what he should use to clean it up. He seemed to be caught in a "damned if I do, damned if I don't" kind of experience. He seemed to think it would be better to walk away from the mess then to be criticized for using the wrong implement to clean it up. He has found it safer to retreat into helplessness and dependence rather than risk making a mistake on his road to independence.

Exploring these kinds of common binds may give us useful insights into the behavior of the borderline personalities and schizophrenics. Could it be that the behavior which we see exhibited by each diagnosis is a different manifestation of the same communications knot -- the double bind? If so, then it may be that a major role of therapy is to unravel the conscious and unconscious double binds so that the individual can reorient himself toward more useful goals and motivations. ... tween.html ref:
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Offline Awake

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Re: DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2010, 08:58:27 PM »
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

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Offline DannyB II

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Re: DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2010, 12:33:12 AM »
: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....

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Offline Awake

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Re: DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2010, 12:24:44 AM »
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

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Offline Awake

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Re: DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2010, 08:19:38 PM »
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
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Awake

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Re: DOUBLE BIND: Mind Control in the TTI
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2010, 01:05:29 AM »
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


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.



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


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?


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.


Quote from: "DannyB II"
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.

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.

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

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »