RE: Voices

Bill Ramsay (
Thu, 10 Jul 1997 14:32:51 +0100


I much appreciated your intervention.

At 04:32 PM 7/8/97 +0100, you wrote:

<big snip>

>Oh dear, what a time for me to come in and declare something that's
>been niggling me in this discussion. O.K. I'll come out of the
>closet now and admit it.....
>... yes, the poor fool who administers this list ...
>.... (humour button off again)... and though I often hate things that
>psychiatrists do and ways they think (a visit to the quarterly
>meeting of the Royal College of Shrinks here last week and a look at
>all the drug company promos did a lot to reinforce this!) I also
>think there has in the past been a thread in PCP and many other
>things concerned with psychological pain/distress/outlier functioning
>that is all too cosily denigratory of what psychiatrists and mental
>health nurses face much of the time....

Substitute teachers, lecturers, school administrators and you have my
sympathy in spades. Such that on no account would I wish to be seen as
denigrating anyone in the field of interfering with - OK intervening in -
others' behaviour.

>I certainly think there is much that constructivist approaches to
>voices, hallucinations and delusions have to offer. I also remember
>several occasions when people nearly died when I found it so easy to
>talk with people who had delusions and hallucinations (and with their
>relatives) and underestimated just how far out on a limb they were
>and how far beyond their limits their relatives were. I came to have
>a bit more sympathy for the crass "diagnose" it model.

As someone put it, whenyou hear a cry fro help you don't always have time to
hang around evaluating models of intervention ...

>For example,
>the issue of hypnagogic (g for going off to sleep) hallucinations and
>hypnopompic (not a g so not going -- that's how I used to remember
>it!) is well recognised and very specifically excluded by the
>"diagnose it" brigade. One may ridicule such crassness but and the
>apparent lack of interest in exploring why it is that most of us seem
>to get our psychosis relatively well confined to our sleeping hours
>(plus those very narrow bands either side of sleeping for some of

Something seems to have got lost in the last sentence there, but I thnk I
get your drift. It's an interesting point and the part that intrigues me.

>I suppose I'm making a plea for a more positive constructivist
>alternativism when construing the construing of psychiatrists, much
>of it is self-serving, much of it covers being imperfect, average, or
>less than average, human beings facing the limits of their core
>construing, some of it is extraordinarily helpful when you're in
>trouble in a casualty department or a home where someone is behaving

I hope I wasn't construing psychiatrists' construings. That wasn't the
point of my intervention at all. A distaste for the fashion for advancing
education by sloganising and inventing neoologisms makes me picky about
meanings, concepts and definitions. If that came out wrongly, I'm sorry.

>Ha -- flame button off too now -- funny how conflictedly defensive of
>the old profession I can get when something hits the funny bone.

Ain't we all!!



W. Ramsay,
Dept. of Educational Studies,
University of Strathclyde,
Jordanhill Campus,
G13 1PP,

'phone: +44 (0)141 950 3364 (direct dial-in)
fax: +44 (0)141 950 3367
'fax: +44 (0)141 950 3367