Grids & Schizophrenia

Rob Adelman (
Sun, 6 Dec 1998 19:19:31 -0600

Hi everyone,

Not that I don't resonate with many of the views that have been put
forward, my main interest in the current discussion on schizophrenia is on
developing PCP applications for helping this population. I suppose that puts
me in with the "down under" guys, Bob Green & Lindsay Oades. In my research
using the grid with psychiatric patients, I was surprised to find that the
schizoaffective patients had extremely tight construct systems in contrast with
the extremely loose systems held by patients diagnosed as schizophrenic. These
findings suggested to me:

1. It may be an error to assume that all psychiatric patients have similarly
construction systems.
2. Different types of construction systems may require different learning
approaches (such as for psychosocial training), or different cognitive
interventions, in order for treatment to be most effective.
3. That Kelly's ideas for loosening and tightening construction systems should
have applications with this population.

I am also finding that the state hospital system, at least here in Texas,
may have interest in the grid as an objective measure of thought disorder
(Bannister's work), as a means of exploring patients' experiences, and as a
means of assessing psychiatric stabilization; i.e. increased system intensity,
resolution of delusional beliefs. One of the keys for me seems to have been to
stay out of the constructivist vs. psychiatric establishment/medical model
debate by simply stating that Kelly's psychology is a science of the person,
not a theory of psychopathology; acknowledge that each perspective has a place
in understanding and treating these patients, and go on to explain the special
contributions that PCP methods can make.
In regards to Barbara's recent post, because of the nature of Kelly's
theory, PCP methods seem to be very receivable by mental health consumer groups
and patients alike. The tricky part is in "converting" the professionals.
Barbara, please send me a copy of your paper.


Rob Adelman