The key to helping any person is to be able to relate to them in a manner that is satisfying and gratifying. This is an enormous task for not only must you have some basic understanding of their worldview (their beliefs about themselves, of other people including what they believe other people believe about them, and their expectations for the future; you must also know thyself. People perceive what they expect to perceive: angry people expect to see offense, etc. Too often we supply the very fodder to assure people with problems in living that they are right to be angry, anxious, or sad. Use these concepts as a means of expanding your own thinking: develop a ‘beginner’s mind’. Nothing is quite as it seems – can you allow the process of change to develop?
21 Editorial on Promotivation
It was easy to have promotion of myself as a motivation; leaving the impression that working with gang kids [or later with people with schizophrenia] was dangerous when, in fact, it is not. ‘Setting people straight’ was a rather self defeating social strategy as others soon lost interest when they found out that you weren’t James Bond incarnate, facing evil at every turn.
22 Reflective Openness
This article discusses guidelines to group decision making behaviors. If you believe that your solution is right, you cannot proceed. If you believe that your solution is best, it can be improved. Ruthless compassion brooks no compromise in both sharing one’s feelings and views and being open to having those views change.
23 Transformational Ideas
A person always makes decisions that at the time they consider to be in their best interest. Thus, when people have obvious problems in living, it should be apparent that their ‘inner logic’ is flawed. To help identify a flawed inner logic, it is necessary to help the individual articulate his/her own goals, personal preferences and desires and to seek to understand the barriers to achievement.
24 Comprehensive Understanding
This article is concerned with addressing the differences between children with developmental difficulties who manifest behavior problems and those whose behavior IS the disability. Since the traditional Functional Behavioral Assessment has been developed and oriented towards the former group and the ‘mental health’ assessments have little meaning other than establishing a diagnosis, we offer here some suggestions as to how to improve the assessment methodology.
25 Measuring Social Competence Through Sociometry
Personal support systems are a well-known concern for people suffering from what is commonly known as ‘chronic mental illness’. It has been reported that emotional healthy individuals live in functional psychosocial kinship systems of between twenty and twenty-five persons with whom they are mutually interdependent for affective and instrumental support. Later study found that people with thought disorders had networks averaging thirteen in size. If social competence is a cause, not an effect – we will want to address the issue at an early stage in child development. This article discusses one way to accomplish that goal.
26 The Management of Stress
Stress as cause and effect is examined in light of the interpretation of pressure as the key to serenity.
As an analogy, a schema could be considered to act as a ‘strange attractor’ for mental processing. A strange attractor is a term used in chaos theory to indicate how seemingly chaotic processes seek order. An analogy of a ‘strange attractor’ might be easily seen in a stream of water. As the water flows, each molecule of water is independent and random in its behavior.
28 Transformation from Mental Health to Social Competence
One can hardly help noticing the anomalies in the ‘mental health’ system. Ever since Thomas Szasz wrote the definitive book on the Myth of Mental Illness, doctors, pharmaceutical companies and other fellow travelers have been scrambling to hold a paradigm in crisis together. Yet the anomalies continue and the ‘expert’ medical model leaders are not even sure what a ‘spade’ looks like.
29 A Horse of a Different Color
Cognitive behavior management, which includes all cognitive and behavior approaches is not psychotherapy and is a completely different level of abstraction from traditional approaches to working with atypical behavior. Cognitive approaches grew out of behavioral approaches and are empirically validated interventions. No psychodynamic or biomedical approach can make such a claim.
30 Discipline – Managing Behavior in the School
This article explores the questions: Is discipline a noun or a verb? Do reasons for inappropriate behavior diminish the need for discipline? If we hope to change someone else, perhaps we must first change ourselves.