Re: Schizophrenia

Bob Green (
Wed, 25 Nov 1998 05:43:12 +1000


Regarding your first point (below), I just found out that if I hit reply to
any message you sent from the list it doesn't go back to the list, but to
you. I think it has to do with the "Reply to" function.

>Bob: Why not post your response on the net..... ? You should invite
response. >I wonder what kind of response you would get!!!

There have been responses including an alternative term and comments on the
the power dynamics of professional construing. A comment I made in my
previous post touches on this issue: "Perhaps more importantly than which
term we prefer on this list, is the issue of the preference of the people
who receive this diagnosis". This is still worth considering.

Regarding your comment:

>If we hired the right diagnostician those "troublesome deviant construers"
>who insist on burning automobiles in Jakarta could earn the label schizophrenia
>and we could arrange to plant a capsule of the right "medication" in their
>butt, so that they would sit around their miserable homes, drooling, rather
>than gathering in the area of the government offices to raise hell.

As far as I understand things like the DSMIV, the shared construction of
these people would mitigate against such a diagnosis. Whether an individual
operating outside of the parameters of an 'official' construction system
would apply such a diagnosis is conjecture.

>My concern about our construction of whatever we see when we use the term
>schizophrenia goes to the issue of the development of those "unwanted"
>behaviors. As psychologists we MUST invent constructions which tie to
>developmental variables.

Why MUST we? In volume 2 of Kelly's work (which is not reason alone) he
discusses in some detail the issue of whether the past always needs to be
understood/examined to explain the present. I appreciate I am speaking more
from a practice level. From a theoretical level you are right that it is
desirable to explain process. In relation to PCP the major approaches to
this issue have been via invalidation of core construing or more
sociological frameworks.

>The concentration of "correcting" the events which lead us to invent the
>construction which underlies the signifier schizophrenia has led to a massive
>waste of paper, and we are not any closer to a useful construction of the
>development of the "unwanted behavior."

I don't dispute that some approaches haven't been helpful and that a focus
on illness/symptoms can lead to a narrowed preemptive focus that loses sight
of the person. However whether the construction has relevance/utility to
individuals, who will have their own ideas on whether such corrective
approaches have been useful or not, is another matter.

>I happen to believe that considerable comfort would derive from devoting
>about one-third of current research effort to developing a constructivist
>approach to framing those behaviors.
>As constructivists, we could begin by giving much more attention to those
>who have been trying to develop constructivist explanations.

I certainly agree.


Bob Green