Re: Response re Bill

Lois Shawver (
Tue, 7 May 1996 12:26:51 -0700 (PDT)

Gary Blanchard:

You said:
. I find it interesting that, in a group whose core seems to (or used
> > to!) contain so many individuals engaged in therapy and para-therapeutic
> > activities, no effective and sensitive way of dealing with the situation has
> > emerged.

I wonder if the disagreement over whether Bill should have been removed
from the list is the result of new people on the list not having
experience with the history of those of us who did our best to help
provide Bill with a forum. Or people who have been around for a while
but have been systematically deleting Bill's notes for a long time. Does
that apply to you, Gary? I think reading the archives when you haven't
been around will not give you a feel for the efforts people have made to
communicate with Bill. For one thing, some of it has been out of the
public eye. For another, I think the outrage responses can get highlighted
in the reading over the more restrained or thoughtful ones.

Then you said:
> If PCP is that good, how has this come about?

Don't presume that everyone here is a PCPer. You're not. Right?
There are many students here, and many others as well. Moreover, this
list is not set up as a therapy group. Lists like this are very
experimental, imho, and good therapists might find their style less
effective here, need to learn to adjust to the medium.

There is an interesting list I am on, by the way, discussing online
therapy therapy is not going to be useful, because of the online medium.
I disagree, but I do agree that we don't yet know how to do it.

And there is the question of whether we therapists should go about
relating to people as if we are their therapists when we don't have a
social structure in which to do that effectively. If you are hiring or
managing a doctor's office, do you hire people who need the job even if
they are mean to the patients? Do you keep them on the job even when
they are being mean to the patients?

> > As a practical piece of behaviour therapy for the
> > future may I suggest simply checking the heading and hitting the delete key?
> > Don't read the stuff and thus don't be tempted to respond.

Of course, but new people come in and they don't know what is happening
and they seem to respond the same way I did when I first came on. This
keeps the dialogue with someone like Bill alive and snuffs out the stuff
we came here for - so people leave. Bill lost the ability to communicate
his point because many of the ears he wanted to hear his point have left.
I know that some of the more people he was complaining about no longer
subscribe to this list, and yet, not knowing that these people had left,
he seemed to continue to address them as if they were here.

> > 3. My analysis comes back to a point I raised long ago, it seems now. If
> > we are scientists then we should be able_and_willing to test the relative
> > merits of alternative theories.

Again, you seem to be presuming a lot about the constituency here. Many
of us are not PCPers, and some of us switch theories now and then, read
outside our field. Some of us have experience with behavior therapy, etc.

I think the big question now is whether we can get a meaningful
conversation going or whether, even after he has gone, or whether we will
continue to be dominated by nontheoretical topics or debates about who are
the good guys who know the truth and who are the bad buys that would lead
us into the realm of falsehood.

Gary, do you have a theoretical objection to PCP?

..Lois Shawver