Attention therapists, social workers. family members, and peer counselors! Want to understand psychosis in a new way that helps you develop healing strategies without sending loved ones to the hospital, increasing medications, or further marginalizing them?
Are you getting into power struggles over what reality is. Are you feeling frustrated and hopeless that psychosis is a huge problem that will never go away? Do you feel like you are asked to give endlessly only to have your loved one resent you and blame you for all their problems? Are you resorting to the hospital for tune-ups and just feeling like all you can do is control the person and stop them from getting into really bad situations, but not helping them heal?
This course will give you a clear understanding of what psychosis is and you will learn strategies how to be alongside the mad person and build a relationship with them. Moreover you will know what to talk about and how to intervene in a manner that reinforces their belief in themselves. No longer will you feel frustrated when you hear very different views about the world than you are used to hearing. You may feel intrigued!
Journey Through Madness Workshop
Four two-hour sessions on Monday Evenings, one month commitment
Click to Schedule Interview with Tim
The introduction to this course of study starts by looking at the current tenets of mainstream treatment. We start by looking at the medical model definition of psychosis as it is written for schizophrenia in the DSM. We consider the treatments that tend to emerge with this limited effort to understand what is happening in a break from reality. We identify unhelpful and limiting solutions that result from the standard definition. In doing so, we look at the cultural expectation that these experiences or thoughts be suppressed and not talked about, even in treatment. We consider the stereotypes and the type of local treatment that results in county hospitals. Finally. we look at what happens when we consider the textbook definition of schizophrenia and how it leads to very distorted stigmatized views of people afflicted with a break from reality.
A key point occurs when we look at all the many different DSM V diagnoses with psychosis symptoms in them. When we consider the tendency to divide and separate these conditions, we also have to consider the way this has prevented anyone from trying to look at what is happening across diagnostic divides. We consider what is missing when we fail to create an excepted culture for these experiences. Key to this consideration are the potential benefits of being treated like a subjugated culture rather than as a pathologized medical condition. Finally, we acknowledge that we are asking professionals to use cultural humility when working with those of us in this subjugated culture. We review what this entails and various intersections of cultural oppression.
Next, we consider advances in the field that help influence our approach to working with messages. In the field of neuroscience, we look at findings that support our contention that Neo-Kraeplinian ideas around which the medical model is based, don’t make sense. We also look at the field of neuroscience and what has been learned about trauma and how this can enhance our understanding of the things people experience during a break in reality. Here we consider how the current system of suppression, through practices like restraints and hospitalization, can make trauma worse over time. We also look a little at the roots of approaching psychosis in a different manner by looking at the lessons learned from the Hearing Voices Network. We look at how this course of study has been influenced by learnings in survivor led groups like what is promoted in the hearing voices network.
We also look at the direction of the counseling psychology field and how it is starting to veer away from general theory and is starting to supply problem focused solutions. The clear suggestion here is that this work capitalizes on this counseling trend and champions the development of eclectic strategies that can be employed to address a problem such as psychosis.
Finally we get to the story of the special messages group and the route used to develop the structure of the training. We talk about the structure and patterns that were developed that led to the learning we are going to be presenting. We identify the jargon of the proposed eight-part definition of what psychosis is and look at the solution constructs and how we present them in tandem with the problems so that we learn about how these challenges can be addressed. Then. we look at the structure and organization of the rest of the course.
In the final section of the introduction, we hear the story of a day in the life of my personal experience with psychosis and look at how the story makes us feel and if we have developed any ways of working with the condition that give us ideas of how to be helpful. This story will be repeatedly referenced along with other day-in-the-life stories so that we are learning new ideas from the definitions and material.
Training, Phase I: Joining
In the first phase of training, we look at the definition of the terms: Special Messages, Sleuthing and Divergent Views, three parts of the eight-part definition of psychosis. The definitions of these terms go a long way to defining internal processes of psychosis across diagnostic divides. As these terms get defined, we learn how they are intertwined and better help the provider/supporter understand what is happening in a break from reality. We consider how understanding these processes leads us toward going with instead of fighting against what is happening to a person when they are in psychosis. We will encourage, for example, the provider/supporter to Sleuth with the message receiver rather than challenge them. Ultimately, when we study Divergent Views we will justify focusing on the less entrenched ways at looking at reality. In other words we will look at the case for challenging the paradigms that govern mainstream reality. Additionally, we will consider the two supporting solutions of these three concepts R+R tasks and Message Mindfulness. The solution constructs are interspersed with the first three parts of the problem construct so that they intermittently to help highlight the way of working with psychosis, instead of against it, is so important.
In introducing the important concept of Special Messages, we look at a host of experiences that trigger a divergent process and I share the idea that everyone has a message profile, some messages that hit harder than others. Messages include all types of hallucinations but also other types of experience that can reinforce a break from reality. Such other experiences are things like intuition, interpersonal reads of a persons’ nonverbal communication, dreams, mind reading, and codes hidden in words, numbers and symbols that tell secrets about spirituality and corruption. In the process of learning about all the different ways messages can intervene to shape a message receivers world view, those who suffer learn that they have strengths and challenges in managing these experiences as certain types of messages tend to lead to higher levels of distress than others. I review a document I created called A Message Profile, a list of over twenty-six types of experience they might have had. We also consider the prevalence of these kinds of experience as being much more common in the mental health population than some might have previously thought.
In defining the second concept, Sleuthing, we describe how what is often thought to be a random thought disorder is more of a frenzied effort to make meaning of experiences that the message receiver is having. We describe not only how much this sleuthing process leads to problems but also how it is a way of dealing with what are otherwise uncomfortable emotions. Because making meaning tends to help people endure atrocities, we look to the provider/helper and potentially other message receivers to assist with the Sleuthing process. Later concepts help to direct this process. In Sleuthing with a message receiver, it is important to join with to build rapport before there is any effort to challenge the distress. Joining with the message receiver we get to function as more of a humble support that can give them company, rather than a savior who imposes and directs their sense of consensus reality upon the message receiver.
When we look at R+R Tasks or recovery and reality tasks we look at the ways the message receiver gets away from the Sleuthing process and completes tasks that are somehow associated with gaining cultural capital or respect. The primary goal of this solution construct is to help credit and encourage message receivers to do more things that distract them from the Sleuthing process and to recognize when they are engaging in distracting and productive behaviors. What becomes clear when we support message receivers with these tasks is that we have to change our expectations associated with the tasks. The provider/supporter needs to start reinforcing R+R Tasks where the message receiver is at. Learning how to do this helps the provider/supporter not fall into the negative spiral of stigma that discourages the completion of these tasks.
The message receiver tends to develop Divergent Views, or ideas that are different than consensus reality views during the sleuthing process. The act of doing this inspires more sleuthing and Special Messages that then support the divergent process start to dominate the day. Divergent Views are usually rooted in the idea that there are conspiracies among the public that hide the truth of what is happening in our society. Somehow the message receiver believes in ideas that might be hidden in classified documents or fringe spiritual ideas or metaphysical and somatic concepts. Even if message experiences are positive and ecstatic I believe there is a sense that there is a lot hidden in consensus reality views and that the state actually has enormous amounts of classified documents that the public isn’t allowed to know about. The thing providers need to do is start to research ways the divergent views of message receivers might be true. This can involve factual exploration into conspiracy ideas that have been uncovered thirty years later when all the offenders are safely retired and the injustice of the activity can be forgot. Indeed, humanity’s fear of being prosecuted for atrocities is often behind the lies that are told. The key is to explore with the message receivers the ways they might be accurate and to validate their beliefs even if they lead the message receiver to act in ways that get them in trouble. A sense of validation is so needed for those in in the throes of madness and is vital to help providers gain access to the private thoughts of the message receiver. A sense of curiosity and suspension of judgement is very important to build relationship.
The solution construct Message Mindfulness is very important to justify the whole value of all the joining interventions suggested thus far. When the message receiver is mindful about their messages, they can observe the message process without acting on it. In essence they can stay in the moment instead of Sleuthing and ruminating. But to stay present they have to fully realize what is going on, they have to practice putting words to what is happening. They have to learn to detach from the meaning associated with the special message and act in accordance with consensus reality, putting the message on the back burner to be considered at a later time. Ultimately, we consider that the reason for the endless hours of sleuthing or ruminating happens because there is a high degree of judgement imposed on the Special Message and the message receiver needs to learn to accept the process and not let it be a call to action instead an acceptance of an illness. Unfortunately, when the social world suddenly perceives the message receiver to be dangerous if not medicated the judgment of the Sleuthing Process gets amplified and Sleuthing tends to increase. Of course, this is further worsened when the judgements get internalized. I believe a great deal of acceptance is needed and can take time. Message Mindfulness doesn’t happen immediately, but how is one to be mindful unless they have the space to put words to their experience. When thrown into internment camps or denied right and locked in unsafe environments like jails, the message receiver is more prone to judgement and anger. Like all mindfulness practices Message Mindfulness is an ideal to aspire to that is not fully attainable for many of us. Sleuthing in safe places and select times is likely to happen and can be positive especially when it is shared with supporters in groups or therapy.
Training, Phase II: Flexing
Flexing involves two spiritual skills: Functional Flexible Theories; and Positive Spiritual Energy Solution that messages receivers can use to decrease their levels of distress. Understanding the first flexing skill involves identifying the message receiver’s Theories about what is causing the messages. These are titled Frameworks in the hearing voices network and learning to talk about what is the cause of the message experience is very important for providers. Learning about Frameworks involves the solution construct, Mad Diversity; and the tool Functional Flexible Framework which is useable to help the provider sleuth with the message receiver in productive and helpful manners. Next, we look at Tricksters which are spiritual messages that trick the message receiver and cause them to act in ways that lead to loss of materials, cultural capital, or respect. Finally, the positive spiritual energy solution will be reviewed as a means of tricking the Trickster and putting an end to negative and positive self-fulfilling prophesies that often get message receivers into trouble.
Theories or Frameworks are essentially causation ideas about why the special messages are happening. Theories tend to be preconscious and tend to come from a single framework. However, in the Sleuthing process it is possible for message receivers to consider alternate frameworks in their divergent process. All these concepts answer questions like: why is this happening to me? who do they work for? what did I do to deserve this? In fact, in groups, I found different message receivers to have very strong assertions about why this is happening to them and I collected them and I provide examples.
When we get into the very important concept of Mad Diversity, I propose a series of ways to look at these frameworks that we go over. In Mad Diversity we look at Frameworks that are political, spiritual, traumatic, psychological, scientific and artistic in nature. Indeed, there are infinite amounts of Frameworks. I suggest studying them by categories to enable the message receiver to better diversify the way they explain what is happening to them. Sharing about frameworks is a natural occurrence in message groups. Perhaps throwing out some ideas to get the ball rolling can enhance the discussion and demonstrate that the provider/supporter has been there before. The goal of the provider/supporter who studies varieties of Frameworks is to become a validating resource who can appreciate all perspectives. The Mad Diversity section of the training is important to help the provider understand the legitimacy of all Frameworks.
Functional Flexible Frameworks is a tool that provider/supporters can learn to use to suggest potential alternatives to what the message receiver thinks during the sleuthing process. This is not to be used right away and not a simple reality test. The key to being able to do this is to select a different framework based on your knowledge of Mad Diversity. What is often key and even revolutionary about this task is that the suggestions should not be in line with what consensus reality would agree upon. The suggestions made should be aimed at easing the message receivers’ distress but since that is not always possible the key is to make a few suggestions. This can be done by taking a few different Frameworks discussed in Mad Diversity and creating tactful sleuthing suggestions that might decrease distress that aren’t in line with consensus reality. In fact, often a good suggestion would be less in sync with consensus reality than the message receiver is. In doing this, sometimes a sense of irony and humor can be effective as well, particularly if there is good rapport.
Understanding the Trickster phenomena is a way of further enhancing a message receivers’ ability to monitor themselves and be more flexible without reality testing. The Trickster is a spiritual archetype that occurs in all mythologies including the bible. In the bible, Jacob was a Trickster who conned and cheated others out of their financial well-being. Many spiritual systems deal with Tricksters in indigenous cultures like the Navajo or Nigerian or Greek, Roman, and Norse mythologies. In essence, Tricksters are spiritual messages that could trick you and cause you to lose cultural capital or financial means. In my view, the textbook definition of schizophrenia is a Trickster concept. If you believe it to be true and act in accordance with it, it is more likely to become true. Once it becomes true, it functions as evidence that all of your messages are accurate and makes you more sensitive to your interpretations of special message reality. Ultimately, Tricksters help the message receiver trust their messages more than they trust any other human being. Tricksters can also be positive and negative. Positive Tricksters are beliefs that are grandiose and that credit a person’s message superpowers too much that result in the social world coming after you and harming you socially or economically. Negative Tricksters are generally more paranoid or somatic in which a negative outcome is believed ahead of time and then negative energy is put out making the social world or body that bite back and take away one’s cultural capital. With all Tricksters, the self-fulfilling prophesy makes the message receiver doomed to have bad things happen to them. It can make them attract negativity that makes their negative forecasts accurate, or it can make the positive believers a euphoric danger zone that is doomed to crash and burn because the positivity is not sustainable.
Countering the Trickster phenomena is what I call the Positive Spiritual Energy Solution. In effect the message receiver needs to shoot for an outcome and behave in accordance with that outcome in spite of Tricksters. When the message receiver gets confronted by a road block, they must persist in mantra or prayers to hope for what it is they want and direct their behavior in that direction. If they don’t want to believe they will get progressively worse throughout their life they, need to challenge the dreams and other messages that are telling them this might happen. Positive Spiritual Energy Solution helps a person defy their messages and gain emotional intelligence and cultural capital. It may be necessary to work on establishing trust with another person. It looks different for positive and negative Tricksters. For positive Tricksters it involves playing back tapes for what happens when you are overly positive about the accuracy of your messages and humbly hoping for the outcome you seek; for negative ones, it involves choosing to believe the negative outcome can be avoided and using prayer to hope for a better outcome.
Training, Phase III: Behaving
This phase of the training involves revisiting the past incidents when we have acted in ways that get us in trouble. We call acting out Retaliation Reactions and what intermittently happens to us when we act out are called Social Sanctions. We spend quite a bit of time studying the way we feel punished when we experience systemic interventions and the way they do harm. We learn how we can survive these Social Sanctions through behaviors like fawning and shining people on. We learn that Social Sanctions lead us to submissive powerless reactions unless we learn to cheat them. Then we consider the solution construct, Learning Limits and Nine Social Skills. We learn how to be in relationships with others and learn to understand deal with peoples’ limits. These limits may be the limits they need to accept to undergo social rehabilitation and they may be in real limits about what their supporters can do to help them out.
In approaching our Retaliation Reactions, we excavate material that is potentially traumatic. First, we must learn to get the message receiver talking about their Special Messages and Divergent Views and then we need to direct them to things that transpired in the past that were hard and distressing. Retaliation Reactions are when we act as if a divergent process is going on is true even when it is intermittently reinforced with punishment or Social Sanctions. Getting message receivers to tell their stories about acting out can lead to healing experiences but it is also important that the provider/supporter understand the Retaliation Reactions they have done in the past that got them negative outcomes. This helps the message receiver not do them again. But we also must acknowledge that the way they were punished was wrong and unnecessary. The ultimate goal is to teach them where it is and isn’t safe to express their message experiences. In revisiting past Retaliation Reactions we learn about limits and how to avoid oppression.
Likewise, Social Sanctions are complex stories that need to be told and understood from a particular context, that they likely weren’t fair. Perhaps they may even help the message receiver accept what happened as being a little more necessary than they initially had thought. Sometimes the message receiver does need to atone for what they did. Learning to assess what was right and what wasn’t is very important. On another level, studying Social Sanctions help message receivers learn the system so they can avoid it or use it the way they need to act in untruthful ways to optimally advocate for the help they need. Also, reviewing Social Sanctions bears the potential of teaching limits. How the provider/supporter handles this is truly complicated and needs to be highlighted. Presuming it was unfair entails and understanding of Stigma and oppression, If message receivers simply do and learn as they are told they will learn skills that will prevent them from being successful at the job market. In addition, letting the Retaliation Reactions happen again without having the Social Sanction occur again is a strong congruent statement that demonstrates that the machine doesn’t need to be the way it is. In other words, it involves creating safe sanctuaries where these things can be processed like the Hearing Voices Network group. These sanctuaries or providers must understand oppression and Stigma well and make comments that help the message receiver learn limits that are different than the ones they learn in the system that can in effect set them up for warehousing. They need to learn the difference between submissive behaviors and assertive empowered behavior because there is a time for both.
The solution construct, Learning Limits and Nine Social Skills involves considering how to teach boundaries and limits outside the institution and helping the message receiver know when and where they can bring up message culture and Retaliation Reactions without suffering consequences. Indeed, learning from Social Sanctions and Retaliation Reactions can help the message receiver be more motivated to learn the social skills that they need for social rehabilitation. Providers/supporters may be the first to establish enough trust with the message receiver to teach them about accepting a person’s limitations and stigmas. Without processing this there can be a load of hurt that the message receiver suffers from over the years. I recommend being transparent about boundaries and limits from the get-go. For example, you may educate the message receiver that you have no control over whether secret societies are spying on on the sanctity of the session. Then we need to support message receivers with the social skills they need to succeed in social rehabilitation even when they are feeling unsafe. Knowing the hurry-up-and-wait attitude of the welfare system and mocking how unfair and stigmatizing it is helps. Also upholding a vision of scholastic or employment success helps. Then, teaching the kind of limits that are needed to overcome oppression in American society is needed. This means sharing your own stories of how you dealt with injustice and oppression. It involves a high degree of empathy and understanding for the value of work and respect for how hard it is when there are no such things as friends with connections or nepotism. Knowing the value of the IPS Vocational Model that advocates repeated job placements until one succeeds is likewise important. Finally, I review Nine Social Skills that are examples of social skills I needed in my recovery. I make no claims that these skills apply universally to everyone’s social rehabilitation, but they can help a provider/supporter get a context for the kinds of social skills needed to survive social rehabilitation.
Training, Phase IV: Thinking
This final part of the training involves learning the way Stigma about the medicalized notion of schizophrenia leads to arrays of abuse and internal subjugation that result in the need to use the tool of cognitive therapy, or Anti-Stigma Cognitions. This requires a very nuanced understanding of subjugation and the limits of rational thinking in the modern world. Worldwide there is a hell a lot of subjugation in the mental health system and in the economic system of world power. There are only pockets of places where rational thought can survive with the enormous disparities between rich and poor. Nonetheless, message receivers need to learn to use rational thinking about themselves to balance out Special Message reality. In order to understand this, we look at what it is like to be Weller-Than-Well or multicultural. Ultimately, I propose this involves mixing spiritual or Special Message reality with material or rational reality.
It’s arguable that the best remedy for Stigma is to accept that it is a reality. Once a message receiver can accept Stigma, they can remember to work against it in their own mind and create a courageous recovery journey. But many message receivers get confused about the reality of Stigma. Instead, people who are point blank hateful toward them become part of the secret societies that are holding them down. This leads to a great deal of lack of trust for other people. Thus, the role of Stigma in these hateful wounds needs to be accurately defined and recognized. Indeed, the message receiver is often in an arm wrestle from the point of their first break not to end up impoverished, institutionalized and taught they have poor judgment for not seeing the battle the way they are supposed to see it. Understanding that Stigma is part of the experience that every message receiver must endure is helped by considering the interplays between social, institutional and self-stigma. Message receiving is not necessarily the persons’ only experience with Stigma, but it is a strong version of Stigma that can grade on a person. Numerous other types of Stigmas, like immigration history, race, gender, sexual orientation and incarceration need to be considered to help the message receiver understand what they are up against. And it likely could be a battle they will endure the rest of their lives.
Understanding what Anti-Stigma Cognitions are is very important. Message receivers need to hold on strongly to outside sources of their identity. Early interests need to be remembered and engaged in throughout incarceration and despite significant obstacles. Indeed, when message receivers finally have a break, they may have endured experiences of oppression for years and their ability to function despite challenges forms the basis for their identity and desire to resurrect outside roles and activities. Natural skills and inclinations need to remain a part of their daily routines to fight irrational cuts they will endure submerged in a public system that seeks to keep them permanently marginalized and make money for their benefactors, the social workers who are famous for underestimating them. Indeed, the medicalized notion of illness buries the message receiver in irrational patronizing acts of microaggression in the name of help that can easily be internalized and becomes streams of irrational thoughts about how incompetent they have become. The goal of Anti-Stigma Cognitions is to use past identity and ongoing activity to challenge those negative messages that come from microaggressions. The message receiver must conduct activities that defy the very negative forecast bestowed upon them to prove Stigma wrong. It becomes a battle of self-esteem that can harm the message receiver’s emotion and motivation. Microaggressions will continue the deeper the message receiver gets in the system to the point where irrationality and subjugation rule the day.
Ultimately, the idea that the message receiver can benefit from their break and come back and be an effective multicultural person who can be extremely valuable to humanity is so far from the mainstreams view of medicalized illness that we have lost so many saints and prophets to board and care homes and poverty. The idea that someone with a break could become Weller than Well is a reframe that is not only important for the message receiver’s sense of self, but also for everyone’s understanding of reality. Mainstream thought is so laden with inaccurate paradigms and cultural delusions, it takes someone who is multicultural to effectively lead people so that the society isn’t full of glass ceilings and oppression as it is in a plethora of American working/underclass communities and as it is in second and third world nations. Indeed, in reframing of the experience of message receivers to include the Weller than Well concept, I come to suggest that reality is a mix of special message realities and rational realities. When the message receiver can wait and assess their special messages and back them up with the rational reality of the material world, they will be far closer to understanding reality than the chronically normal person who is powerful yet encapsulated in the modern, material world. Let the provider/supporter understand this Weller than Well concept and teach it to the message receivers and use the rational thought in concert with their understanding of secret societies and conspiracies so they can enjoy the richness of reality together.
In summarizing the four phases of this treatment system, we propose a format of seven group topics that can be used to help loosely guide facilitators so they are prepared for all of what they may come across in groups and in treatment in general. First, we focus on how to structure group topics, then we talk about how to use the treatment system to create treatment plans that can help the provider/supporter in documenting the message receiver’s treatment journey. A large reason we do this at the end in summary as it helps us review the system of care that we have reviewed and reflect on learning we have gained.
In exploring the way this system of care can be used to structure and initiate groups, we start out by identifying seven potential topics that review the definition and solution constructs in this training. The first topic involves defining Special Messages. Participants are encouraged to write three sequential questions that can help the group focus on this topic. The second group topic involves defining Sleuthing and R+R tasks as a solution construct that can help a person endure. Again, it is suggested the participant write three questions to address the two topics. The third topic is Divergent Views and Message Mindfulness; the fourth, Theory/Frameworks, Mad Diversity, and Functional Flexible Frameworks; the fifth, Tricksters and Positive Spiritual Energy Solution; the sixth, Retaliation Reactions, Social Sanctions, and Learning Limits and Nine Social Skills; and the seventh, Stigma, Anti-Stigma Cognition, and Weller than Well. For Each group three questions gives the group a little structure and helps get the ball rolling.
Along with this writing exercise, we consider some important things in leading the group process. Firstly, we consider that too much structure can choke a group process. Secondly. we review several considerations for running a group that can help create an optimal learning environment in a way that respects each message receiver. We consider the tenets of the values and ethics created by the hearing voices network and make some specific suggestions to limit the provider/supporters’ sense of power and understanding. Power-sharing and sense of curiosity and passion for ongoing learning is central to running a good group or working with someone one-on-one. Additionally, it is important to note that if the group strays off to another topic, knowing the seven clusters of constructs helps a facilitator be prepared to shift the focus of the group and feel as though they are prepared for new issue that might arise. Finally, we consider how to optimally manage when problematic issues come up in the group and how to work with people who disrupt the group process without excluding them in negative manners.
Finally, in summary, we review the same seven clusters of problem and solution constructs and work with participants to write treatment plans that reflect the system of care we have reviewed in the training. Thus, three treatment plans are written for each of the seven clusters of constructs. Again, we review what we have learned to strengthen retention of the material and help tie things together in memorable manners. As we review each cluster of constructs, it gives us a chance to recall what we learned in the different parts of the training. It is my feeling that writing good treatment plans helps prepare us to better review and understand what is happening with message receivers and will highlight solutions and interventions that just weren’t known at the start of the training.
Tim Dreby has been running professional survivor-led psychosis focus groups for the past twelve years in a public Intensive Outpatient Program at Highland Hospital in Oakland CA. He has a Masters of Education from Temple University obtained in 1998 and a MFT License obtained in 2008. He also survived a mid-career “schizophrenia” diagnosis that involved a three-month hospitalization in Montana State Hospital and a two-year emergency state about which he wrote an award-winning memoir.
In 2013, Tim Dreby authored an Alameda County Innovations Grant and started to make public presentations with a small band of people with lived experience. Since the close of this program he has been presenting and developing this material in local venues and through collaborations with the Bay Area Hearing Voices Network. This has involved annual presentations at the California Association of Social Rehabilitation Conference and other local venues. He has provided this training for six hours of CEU Credit for Solano County.
- The Medical Model Definition
- Hallucinations and limited or unhelpful interventions that results
- Delusions and limited or unhelpful interventions that result
- Disorganization and limited or unhelpful interventions that result
- Negative Symptoms and the limited unhelpful suggestions that result
- What works
- Mainstream Treatment of Suppression and Stereotypes
- Suppression is the Goal and Deviance is the Mentality
- What a 5150 means in Oakland, CA
- Power of a Word or Stereotype
- Textbook Definition of Schizophrenia
- The Medical Model Definition
- Negative Consequences of Suppression
- Treating Psychosis Across Diagnostic Divides
- DSMV Labels
- Divisions in Mad Culture and Where They Come From
- Negative Effects of Differentiation
- The Power of a Label
- Acknowledging Commonalities with others
- What Listening to the Experiences of Others Can Do
- Popular Interpretations (1)
- Popular Interpretations (2)
- Perspective Helps Us See How We Are Stuck
- Viewing psychosis as a culture instead of a label
- Need for a Mindset of Cultural Humility
- Reasons Consensus Reality leads to Cultural Oppression of Message Receivers
- How Cultural Humility towards “Psychosis” may be Received in Clinical Environments
- Other Examples of Cultural Oppression that Afflict People
- Emerging Neurobiology and Treatment Against Neo-Kraeplinian Views
- What Neurobiology Says
- Neuroscience and the Simultaneous Development of our Understanding of Trauma
- The Hearing Voices Network
- Capitalizing on a New Trend in Counseling Theory
- What the Problem-Specific Trend Does for Therapists
- Problem-Specific Trends and Use of Jargon
- Characteristics of the Problem-Specific Trend
- What the Problem Specific Trend Can do for “Psychosis”
- The Story of the Special Messages Group
- Characteristics of Group Therapy at Highland Hospital Oakland, CA
- Addressing the Elephant in the Room
- Coining the Special Messages Concept
- Gooney-Goo-Goo Jive
- Structure of the Experience
- Vision of the Group
- Conditions that Led to Group’s Popularity
- Overview of the Jargon
- Gooney Goo-Goo Jive-Eight Part Definition
- Eight Solution Constructs
- Corresponding HVN Terms
- Reinforcing the HVN Movement
- Narrative of the Rest of the Training
- Problems and Solutions in Red and Blue
- Haphazard Order Makes a Narrative
- Understanding the Undisclosed Narrative
- Using Personal Stories
- Day in the Life of a Message Receiver
- Discussion Questions
- How Would you Help Clyde Dee?
- Positive Alternatives
Phase One: Joining
- Special Messages
These are a collection of triggering experiences that give us special information of which others may or may not be aware.
- Thirteen Examples of Special Messages
- Exploring Special Message Experiences
- Everyone has a Message Profile
- Guest Videos
- Notes on the Message Profile
- Special Messages Are More Common Than “They” Lead You To Believe
- More Functional Terms
- Listening for Special Messages to Lessen Energetic Despair
- Day-in-the-Life Stories
A state of mind in which we are striving to understand the truth about special messages. This works with our powerful affective state and may seem like a way of surviving or exploring. Once we experience a special message, we sleuth hard and eventually develop a divergent view (to be defined later.) Then we sleuth hard to look for more evidence to confirm the divergent view (a rational process) and then get more special messages. The haphazard interplay of Special Messages and Divergent Views reinforce a cycle that can dominate a mindset.
- Visual Aids that Help Define Sleuthing
- The Importance of Message Memory
- Related Concepts that Help Describe
- Is it Wrong to Sleuth
- What Meaning do you Get?
- We Just Sleuthed Together!
- Sleuth with the Message Receiver
- Clyde Dee’s Day-in-the-Life Story
- Later Solutions will Help us Sleuth
- Exercise Demonstration, Sleuthing with Clyde Dee
- R+R Tasks
These are grounding activities that can give a person rest and recovery from sleuthing gymnastics. They involve distracting mastery tasks that can help us focus on the external world and build self esteem in ways that address survival needs. R+R Tasks are different for each person and involve understanding and building upon one’s natural strengths and inclinations.
- R+R Tasks During Crisis (pic)
- R+R Tasks in Recovery (pic)
- Support My R+R Tasks!
- R+R Tasks-To-Do-List
- R+R Tasks-Not-To-Do-List
- Toward Social Rehabilitation
- Exercise: Five Minute Day-In-The Life Story
- Questions About the Story
- Divergent Views
Thoughts about the way the world works that arise from special messages and disregard consensus reality. These are thoughts that explain how the messages are possible. These are speculations we make that often aren’t wrong; in fact, many may be magically righter than mainstream ideas in a sense, but most people will tell us they are wrong because they fit into a different distressing/exciting narratives. Many may use reality checks to discourage us from viewing the world in these valid manners. Divergent Views deserve to be studied and may contribute to the welfare of others; thus, we normalize them.
- Consequences to Disbelief
- Validation is Crucial
- Avoiding Re-traumatization
- Build Trust
- Navigating Divergent Views
- Validate, Normalize
- Encourage, Disclose
- Example #1, Clyde Dee
- Divergent View-To-Do-List
- Divergent View-Not-To-Do-List
- Delving Deeper, Instead of Disagreeing
- Informing and Normalizing
- YouTube Conspiracy Theory Example, MKUltra
- Harvard Experiments
- Sydney Gottieb and Timothy Leary
- Who is Whitey Bulger
- MKUltra and Me
- Indulging in Conspiracy
- Studying Whitey Bulger
- Whitey Bulger Conspiracy YouTube
- Discussion (2)
- Broadening Your Perspective on (for example) Aliens
- Rationale for Indulging in Conspiracy in Group
- Effects of Studying Divergent Views
- Exercise of Identifying YouTube Conspiracy Theories for Heather
- More Divergent Systems will be Reviewed Under Mad Diversity Section
- Know Your Divergent Views
- Message Mindfulness Solution Strategy
Being able to identify the message experiences without concern for what caused them or what they look like. Letting go of the divergent views. Not judging or emotionally responding to the fact that the message happened.
- What Do You See? A Fish?
- Staying Present in the Moment
- Detaching from the Experiences
- What this Concept Does
- Past Experiences Are Important
- 3 Part Message Mindfulness Process
- Whittling it Down to the Experience
- Fourteen Examples of Special Messages
- Message Mindfulness and Clyde Dee
- Mindfulness Tasks
Phase II: Flexing
A hypothesis or educated guess as to the ultimate cause of the message. Just when the message is received, the theory explains why the message happened.
- What is the Deeper Meaning? (of a Fish)
- The Difference Between a Theory and a Framework
- Studying Theory/Frameworks is Healthy
- Theories/Frameworks To-Do-List
- Theories/Frameworks Not-To-Do-List
- Visual Aid
- Message Crisis (visual aid)
- Exploring Mad Diversity Solution Strategy #3
There are many theories/frameworks that messages receivers use and the more the merrier; but we will focus on six constructs to help direct and manage this infinite process
- Diverse frameworks get revealed in group
- Framework Examples (1)(2)(3) Obtained at Highland
- Political Causation
- Group Activity Create a list of secret societies that target message receivers
- Spiritual Causation
- Spiritual Emergence Narrative
- Spiritual Conspiracy Video (1)(2)
- Trauma Causation
- Compassion for Voices Video
- Jacqui Dillon Quote
- Personal Stories that Triggered Episodes
- Psychological Causation
- Psychological that Veer Towards Trauma Explanation
- Scientific Causation
- Mainstream Generalizations
- Creative Scientific Explanations
- Artistic Causation
- Art that Contains Coded Symbols that Communicate Rebellion to Slavery in Rappers Names
- Diversifying Frameworks Help Us Remember the Limits of Our Ability to Understand
- Review of Popular Interpretations of Messages and Their Type of Causation
- Functional Flexible Theory/Frameworks
There are many potential frameworks operant during the message experience. Becoming more flexible and adapting a different framework and choosing a theory that is less distressing becomes a tool.
- Tool that Can Help Therapist Creatively Sleuth with Message Receiver
- Suspension of the Concept of Reality
- Create a Potentially False Reality to Ease Torment
- Humor and Irony Help
- Visual Aid
- With Mindfulness and Functional Flexible Theory/Framework Rope Strands Flap in the Wind
- Consider This Workflow
- Lighten the Gravity of the Trauma
- Functional Flexible Framework To-Do-List
- Functional Flexible Framework Not-To-Do-List
- Reality Testing Without Consensus Reality
- Facilitator’s Demonstration
- Remember the Workflow
Tricksters are potentially false divergent views that we receive as a result of making meaning of the special message process. In recovery we may be able to see tricksters as false, but they are mixed with message experiences that are spot on accurate. In crisis, tricksters confirm themselves to be accurate when they may not be. When we think our tricksters are accurate we end up getting cheated and losing our cultural capital and social standing
- Carl Jung and Wikipedia
- Negative Tricksters: Definition
- Negative Tricksters: Examples
- Labels and Stereotypes Lead to a Diagnosis Becoming a Destiny
- Most Survivors Have Lived as Stereotypes at Some Point
- Positive Tricksters: Definition
- Positive Tricksters: Examples
- Tricksters Make Us Act in Ways that Are Inconsistent with Our Goals
- Managing Tricksters is Like Changing Your Relationship with a Voice
- Changing Tricksters by Helping Them Out
- Tricksters To-Do-List (1)(2)
- Tricksters Not-To-Do-List (1)(2)
- Bowfinger Clip
- Using Tricksters Demonstration #1
- Tricksters, Not Reality-Checks (1)(2)
- Good Reality-Checks
- A Reality-Check Gone Wrong
- Positive Spiritual Energy Solution
This is the magical idea that what we believe about ourselves will ultimately come true. This is like putting forth a mantra or a prayer and leaving it up to a higher power to determine whether it comes true. Creating effective positive self-fulfilling prophesies is different for negative tricksters than it is for positive ones.
- Applied to Negative Tricksters
- Applied to Positive Tricksters
- Visual Aid
- Sleuthing Pics (Review)
- When All Messages May be Tricksters
- Setting Mantra/Prayer of What they Want
- This Mantra/Prayer Becomes Their Agency
- Demonstration with a Negative Trickster
- Demonstration with a Positive Trickster
- Discussion (1)(2)
Phase III: Behavioral Change
- Retaliation Reactions
Behaviors that exude a strong emotional response to the whole divergent process. This is when we act as if all our messages are true despite what consensus reality suggests.
- Retaliation Reaction Examples
- Complicated and Traumatizing Stories
- Rationale for Telling Our Stories Associated with Our Reactions
- How to Excavate the Story
- Retaliation Reactions Demonstration #1
- Examples of Questions Needed
- Retaliation Reaction Demonstration #2
- Prepare Questions to Uncover Messages
- Retaliation Reactions To-Do-List
- Retaliation Reaction Not To-Do-List
- Visual Aid
- Social Sanctions
These are socially prescribed punishments like: involuntary hospitalization, seclusion, restraint, incarceration, loss of housing, loss of employment, loss of social role, social rejection, public ridicule, loss of family financial support, anger and resentment, loss of respect and validation
- Social Sanctions Become Complicated Stories
- What Social Sanctions Occurred?
- In the Hospital
- In the Deli
- Discussion Questions
- Social Sanctions To-Do-List
- Social Sanctions Not-To-Do-List
- Visual Aid
- Unhealthy Learning from Social Sanctions
- Enhancing Motivation for Social Rehabilitation
- Learning When to Conceal this Information
- Unhealthy Learned Behaviors
- Need for Safe Sanctuaries
- Group and Individual need to be a Safe Place
- Learning to Get Away from Social Sanction
- Visual Aid
- Social Relationships in which Social Sanctions can be Undermined
- Safe Spaces are Immediately Needed
- Avoiding Political Acts of Punishment
- Learning Limits and Nine Social Skills Solution
Social skills that may be different for each person. These are skills that can replace retaliation reactions. These are skills that accept social sanctions and stigma and go towards relationships with other people despite the learned behaviors that have developed from habitual social sanctions. In effect they are necessary for social rehabilitation.
- The Need to Understand a Person’s Limits
- Learning Limits
- Challenges to Learning Limits
- Using Social Rehab to Teach Natural Limits
- Starting with Behavioral Change
- Differing Skills Needed for Work
- Learned Behaviors from Institutions (Review)
- Barriers to Social Rehabilitation
- IPS Model
- Breaking through the Barriers
- Why to I say “Nine” Social Skills
- Nine Social Skills (1)(2)(3)
- Learning to Trust Others Takes Time
Phase IV: Thinking
In short, stigma is a real process that leads others to label us according to our reaction behavior. Stigma labels carry with them stereotypical assumptions that lead to social sanctions and ultimately to real discrimination. Stigma often causes us, the recipients, to get defined as our illness. We may lose a sense of our outside strengths and interests and our sense of identity.
- Social Stigma
- Institutional Stigma
- Not Limited to Mental Health
- Stigma Explains What’s Been Happening
- Patrick Corrigan Studies
- Anti-Stigma Cognition
Involves identifying the thoughts behind distressing emotions and assessing whether they are or are-not rational. This does not mean the feelings are invalid (stigma validates them) but playing the rational game and doing rational inventories may help a body overcome stigma.
- Potential Shortcomings of Cognitive Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Cognitive Distortions and Institutional Assumptions
- Distorted Thinking Chart (1)(2)(3)
- Irrational Treatment is Common in Warehousing Environments
- The Irony of Then Being Taught About Distorted Thinking
- Stigma Demonstrations (1)(2)
- Conducting a Rational Inventory
- Activating Event (Reviewing Initial Interests, Passions and Inclinations)
- Beliefs (Learning About the Stigma)
- Consequences: (The Internalization of the Stigma)
- Disputing the Belief (Positive Affirmation List)
- What is it like for Participant to Complete a Rational Inventory
- Additional Ways to Dispute Stigma
- Additional Considerations
- Weller-than-Well Solution
This involves the simple concept that when people survive extreme hardships that the process of overcoming them strengthens or adds to the repertoire of extraordinary talents, to make the individuals better than they would have otherwise been had they not gone through the struggle.
- The Reframing Process
- The Limits of Rational Thinking
- Different Realities
- What if Both Realities Worked Together?
- A Message Receiver’s “Wise Mind” is Their True Reality
- When Both Realities Work Together the More Truth and Beauty and Knowledge
- My Journey in Consensus Reality
- Four Stories About Specific Messages
- Rationality As a Tool
- Discernment of Intuitive Knowledge
- Integration of our Learning into Group Practice
- Structuring and Running Groups
- Devising Questions
- Starting Off the Groups
- Structure Activity
- Example of Special Messages Group Questions
- Example of Sleuthing Group Questions
- Example of Divergent Views Group Questions
- Example of Framework/Mad Diversity Questions
- Example of Tricksters / Positive Energy Solutions Questions
- Example of Retaliation Reactions/Social Sanctions Questions
- Example of Stigma/Anti Stigma Questions
- Creating Optimal Group Conditions
- Focus On Uncovering Stories
- Find a Way to Participate
- Be Prepared When the Group Gets Stuck . . .
- HVN Values an Ethics (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)
- Power-Sharing Ethics to Help Avoid Expertise
- Let the Group Explore
- Don’t Be Over-Directive
- Allow Time for Socialization
- Maintain Attitude of Learning
- Managing Disruptive Behavior
- In Constructing an Agreement
- If the Contract Fails
- What Is Your Response to Excluding Group Members from Treatment
- Integration of our Learning System into Paperwork
- Focus on Treatment Planning
- Consideration of Solutions as Eclectic Skills
- Review of Structure
- Review Activity
- Treatment Planning Example #1
- Integration of our Learning System into Paperwork
- Review of Special Messages Slides
- Writing Time
- Treatment Planning Examples
- Treatment Planning #2
- Review of Sleuthing and R+R Sides
- Writing Time
- Treatment Planning Examples
- Treatment Planning #3
- Review of Divergent Views and Message Mindfulness
- Writing Time
- Treatment Planning Examples
- Treatment Planning #4
- Review Theories, Frameworks, Mad Diversity and Functional Flexible Frameworks
- Writing Time
- Treatment Planning Examples
- Treatment Planning #5
- Review Tricksters and Positive Energy Solution
- Writing Time
- Treatment Planning Examples
- Treatment Planning #6
- Review Retaliation Reactions, Social Sanctions and Nine Social Skills
- Writing Time
- Treatment Planning Examples
- Treatment Planning #7
- Review of Stigma, Anti-Stigma Cognitions, and Weller than Well
- Writing Time
- Treatment Planning examples
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