Risness again

CSU (csu@brain.wph.uq.oz.au)
14 Feb 1995 09:54:10 -0500

I do not necessarily disagree with your comments regarding being
"scientific". In the context which I used the term I was
referring to developing hypotheses and testing them, e.g, as
opposed to uncritically accepting the comment of a colleague that
Ray is dangerous, I would seek elaboration on this comment and
consider means to test this comment/construction/assessment. If
he were in a locked ward one way to test this hypothesis of
dangerousness would be to afford Ray some greater freedom and
"test" the hypothesis. This position would still beg your
question as to the basis for construing the normality of
subsequent behavior by Ray.

Further, 1) we cannot escape our subjectivity, 2) personally I
cringe when someone says they are an expert. My reading on
expertise suggests: "experts" have a richer conceptual
understanding, "experts" do not necessarily agree in their
judgments and may not differ from non-experts, and the
differences between experts and non-experts appear to be less in
solving unstructured problems where there is a high degree of
uncertainty; and 3) clinical judgment like all judgment is
subject to limitations ... I feel there is a need to have checks
to guard against possible excesses (there are interesting
sociological critiques for example) including misuses of power.

There are individuals which I am comfortable in referring to as
having schizophrenia (as opposed to being a schizophrenic)... my
problem is where this term is used as an all embracing label for
all manner of behaviour and as a justification for the provision
of limited services. Regarding involuntary hospitalisation,
today I saw a young man who had believed he could move the
planets and that his father was Satan. As a result of these
beliefs he killed his father and tried to kill his mother. I
would suggest involuntary hospitalisation has connections with
the issue of "privileged" construing. A major issue for me is
how to work with/respond to individuals whose constructions are
not shared by others without invalidating the person???

My only written work is my recently submitted masters thesis (I
examined whether release judgments by 40 mental health staff were
effected by staff characteristics such as workplace). Once
passed, I hope to publish some aspects of this research (I could
post the conclusions etc, though at this stage feel it is
premature to publicly post these)... if interested let me know.

My working experience in the last 6 years or so has largely been
in the field of unwanted and illegal behaviour. I have been
interested in the discussions to date which have stimulated my
thoughts on working with persons whose definition of self and
others is at variance with those around them, eg mental health
staff, family or "society". By the way, excuse my ignorance, what
is a SIG? Also, why limit seeking alternative constructions of
unwanted (by whom) behaviour to not-illegal behaviour ... I am
interested in the rationale for this.
Bob Green.