. . . and it's not their genes either. – Dr. C

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Children’s Temperament Traits

“Human action can be modified to some extent,
but human nature cannot be changed.”    – Abraham Lincoln

Medium Shapes

I developed Children’s Temperament Traits (CTT) in the mid-1980’s.  By then I was completing my doctoral dissertation.  I was also running the first of three different treatment facilities for children and I was training my staff in temperaments and techniques.  I’ve also used this material to train thousands of professionals and parents in workshops throughout California.  Most of the professionals were licensed therapists, interns, school teachers and aides, and child-care counselors.

Though I knew he wouldn’t remember me – I had one class from him while I was a student at Cal State Fullerton – on the outside chance I might hear back, I mailed CTT to David Keirsey for his critique, sometime in the late 1980’s.  He was long retired by then, and I hadn’t seen him in several years.  I wasn’t sure if he would reply.  Thankfully, he did, in a manner of speaking.

Dr. Keirsey sent back my entire essay, with edits hand-written in the margins, other words crossed out and replaced, and other changes.  He added no other comments, other than a “good job!” on the very bottom of the last page.  The edits he made were all gems, and I quickly made the changes.

I’ve made a few more since, though not too many.  Now that I have time, I’m primed to do some long overdue research, writing and lecturing about children, temperament, and techniques.  I also hope to find people who are adept, and so inclined, to take on this endeavor.  It’s never been done, as far as I know.

Sorters
I experimented 30 years ago with a children’s “sorter” of my own.  I didn’t like it, and I don’t like children temperament sorters in general.  I’ve reviewed a few on different websites.  The ones I found seemed to “miniaturize” adult sorters.  It’s really not that simple.  Children aren’t merely smaller versions of their adult counterparts.  In Keirseyan temperament theory, children arrive whole, already equipped.  Our job then, as child managers, is to understand who they are and to help them unfold.

More important, a sorter for children relies on adults to give answers to the written questions, so it’s fraught with the bias – and temperament – of the adult.  Too much “mind-reading” occurs and, when discovering a person’s temperament, “mind-reading” is not allowed.  Observation – watching what children do – is, as far as I’m concerned, the most accurate way to understand what makes a child move.

Child Management Techniques
The specific techniques we choose as parents, teachers, coaches, and counselors to manage troubled or troublesome children is temperament dependent.  To follow is a list of techniques that I’ve collected, used, and trained on over the years.

The majority of the techniques (except for Amnesty) found in Reactive and Proactive sections are gleaned from Keirsey’s little known yet very useful work, Corrective Intervention:  A Manual for Casualty Reduction Specialists in Pupil Personnel Services, copyright, 1972.  Though I’ll write more about this later, this small, obscure handbook may have had the most impact on my career – and the children in my care.

After I post the four portraits – the next blog will be about the STARS –  I’ll provide a description of each technique, as well as how they are best used with STARS, SQUARES, SPHERES and CUBES.  For now, the list of techniques include:

1.  Therapy Techniques
•  
Reflection (Client Centered Therapy):  Carl Rogers, Inventor
•  Psychodrama:  Jacob Moreno, Inventor
•  Rational-Emotive Therapy:  Albert Ellis, Inventor
•  Gestalt Therapy (NOT to be confused with Gestalt theory):  Fritz Perls, Inventor
•  Behavior Modification:  A generic term, behaviorism began with the writings of John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner
•  Reality Therapy:  William Glasser, Inventor
•  Insight Therapy (Psychoanalysis):  Also a generic term and used by many, the inventor of this technique is Sigmund Freud.

2.  Reactive Techniques
•  Restriction         •  Abuse         •  Restitution        •  Deprivation      •  Amnesty

3.  Proactive Techniques
•  The Easy Task   •  Blackmail       •  Bribery        •  Defusing           •  Distraction
•  Frontloading     •  Moratorium  •  Rehearsal    •  Sidetracking     •  Signaling

4.  Group Techniques
•  Adolescent Interactive Group (AIG)       •  The Truth Chair           •  Challenge
•  GIDE (Group Interaction and Drug Education)
•  GIVE (Group Interaction and Violence Education)

5.  Other Techniques
•  The Baldy Maneuver•   Logical Consequences
•  Active Response Training (ART 21)  –
           ~  Regardless & Nevertheless                       ~  The Sponge
           ~  The “You Win” Proposition                         ~  The Takeover Maneuver
(ART 21 is pre-esclation training for school, residential care, and other mental health facility personnel.  Considered “basic training” in my facilities, ART began in California as Alternatives to Restraint Training in 1989.)

CTT Portraits
Each of the four portraits will include a description of the four shapes.  In addition, each portrait will conclude with a section on:
(1) Dislikes/Complains About
(2) Worrisome Behaviors
(3) Enjoys
(4) Praise for/Responds to
(5)  Intervention Techniques, for each of the four shapes.

I’ll start with the STARS, the most troublesome of the four shapes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Next Blog:  CTT Portrait:  STARS – “Do your own thing!”

Why Shapes?

Large Shapes

I’ve been asked a few times where I got the idea for the four shapes I selected to represent the four Keirseyan temperaments.   As a reminder, they are:

    Star Shape  STARS (Young Artisans) 

  Cube Shape  CUBES ( Young Rationals)      

Sphere Shape  SPHERES (Young Idealists)

Square Shape  SQUARES (Young Guardians)

About 25 years ago I started doing CEU[i] workshops for therapists, social workers, counselors, teachers, teacher aides and parents in child management techniques and temperament.  They go hand in hand, by the way.  A technique that may be useful for the Square may have no effect on the Star, and sometimes may make things worse.  The name of the workshop was “Kids Come in All Shapes.”  Participants learned about the four temperaments of children, and left after 6 hours training with some new techniques for each temperament.

Back then, I was a maturing student of Gestalt psychology, thanks to David Keirsey.  Gestalt is the German word for form or shape, and it designates  “wholeness,” a fundamental concept for this long forgotten and much more humane theory of human psychology.

By the way, for those who may be interested, Gestalt psychologists believe “modern” psychology isn’t so modern.  We believe the “elemental psychologists” (the other 99%!) look at human behavior and personality inside out – literally.  The “elementalists” see human psychology as made up of different “parts” or “elements,” and it’s the parts that make up the whole.  Holists (Gestaltists), like me and Dr. Keirsey, believe wholes are fundamental, and much, much more than the sum of it’s parts.

More than that, the current psychiatric elementalists believe that the cause of poor behavior can be understood by looking through a microscope, whether it’s measuring “neurotransmitters” (chemicals), or by “decoding” a persons “genome.”  It’s all nonsense – and I’ll be writing more about this soon – however, it is today’s “modern science” for most professionals, and lay people.

Anyway, I wanted to develop a temperament metaphor using the wholeness idea.  At the time, there were a few other temperament metaphors for children, usually animals.  They included beaver and bear for Guardians, dolphin and unicorn for the Idealist, the owl for Rationals, and the fox (and monkey) for the Artisans.  They were okay, but I didn’t use them too much.  Both kids and parents often liked or didn’t like one animal over another, regardless of temperament.  Instead, I came up with the idea of geometric shapes.  They are unique from one another, and each alone has no particular meaning or value.  Shapes are neutral.

So, I started with the Artisans, about 40% of all earthlings (I was still calling them “SP’s” way back then).  I thought of a star almost immediately for the Artisan.  There are an abundance of stars in the sky, no two the same, but all of them must shine, each a little differently.  While the star symbol I chose is yellow, Stars come in all colors.  The most stylish of all temperaments, Stars also need a stage and must have an audience to appreciate their art – even the quiet ones.  So, without much ado, young Artisans became Stars for me.

Squares, about half the Earth’s population, came to me quickly too.  A square has a solid foundation, and all right angles. Two squares next to each other make a rectangle, rectangles make foundations, and foundations are the building blocks of our society.  I used black and white for the Square because there is very little “grey area” from the perspective of the Guardian.  Right is right, and wrong is wrong, period, so says the Square.  Also, though a little outdated, the slang use of the word “square” seems to fit for the work first-play later, serious minded, routine oriented, industrious, diligent Guardian.

The quest for self-actualization by the Idealist lead me to the Sphere (I made a silly choice in the beginning and used the term “Circle” instead of Sphere because I thought sphere was too hard to pronounce!).  The Sphere must be whole.  A Sphere is symmetrical, symbolic of many Idealists yearning for authenticity.  There’s also a “glow” to the Sphere not found in other shapes, and points to the natural warmth these rare individuals provide.  Though I chose red to signify the heart they tend to wear on their sleeves, Spheres can glow in different colors when engaged with other people.  Keirsey has said that the world could use more Idealists.  He was right about that too.  Only about one in twenty among us are the imaginative, harmonious, people-loving Spheres.

The cube took a long time coming, for some reason.  I thought of a few geometric shapes including a triangle, a pentagon, a cone, a pyramid, even a cylinder.  I settled on the cube, after a while, for the often odd young rational.  Some of you may remember the “Borg” from the 2nd generation Star Trek series.  This half human, half machine, impeccably logical, emotion-free entity traveled the Universe – in a cube.  Ironically, a cube has the unique property of “changing shapes” right in fromt of you.  That is, if you stare at a three dimensional cube on a two dimensional page long enough, you’ll notice that sometimes the cube points to the left, and then, just as quickly, it points to the right.[ii]

Once I decided on these shapes, the rest was easy.  At my workshops, attendees where expected to know their own temperament when they arrived, or soon afterward.  I gave them a nametag with the appropriate shape, and for the next six hours we had some fun, had some great discussions, and the participants left with new ways to interact with their children, and a new perspective about themselves too.  I did this, off and on, for the next 20 years in dozens of foster care and residential facilities in California.

Then, a little more than two years ago, David Keirsey and I went out to lunch.  It was our first meeting in nearly 30 years.  I told him what I had been doing, I gave him some of my material, and I told him about the shapes – or forms – that I had been using for each temperament.  I was a little nervous, as you might imagine.

He didn’t like Star, in the beginning.  I told him the metaphor was about the star on stage, and their need to shine.  “Oh,” he said, “that’s what you mean.  I like that.”  He liked the Square for Guardians, and he really liked the Cube for the Rationals.  I told him I was using the term “circle” for “sphere,” and my reasoning to do so.  He found my reasoning – that sphere was hard to pronounce – rather weak.  “It’s not so hard to pronounce,” he said with a grin, and a little sarcasm, “listen.  Sphere.”  So, sphere it is.  He also said:  “Am I the first to notice that the Cube and the Sphere are three dimensional?”  He was, other than me.  “The extra dimension,” he said, “is imagination.”  Right again, Dr. Keirsey, right again.

I had his blessings, finally, and that meant a great deal to me.  I also went over the slogans I created for the four shapes.  His son Mark was with us for that, and they both approved.  They are:

STARS – “Do your own thing!”  

SPHERES – “To thine own self be true”

 CUBES – “Looking for a better idea”

SQUARES – Longing for belonging”

So, to the point, what are these “techniques” that I’ve been talking about, and how are they used with temperaments?  Well, first, I’ll give some details about the observable behavior for each of the four shapes.  I’ll start with the Stars, the most “troubling” of the young temperaments.


[i] Continuing Education Units – This is required annual training for most professionals.  More here.

[ii] This phenomenon is called – fittingly enough – a “Gestalt.” You can see more Gestalt images here, and you can read about Getalt principles here.

~~~~~~~~~~

NEXT TIME:  Temperament Traits – STARS

Star Traits Page

Note from the Lone Arranger: About “The Horrible Kid”


Lone Ranger JPEG

For a number of personal and professional reasons, I’ve been away from my blog for much too long.  I’ve heard from a few of you, wondering if I was going to finish “The Horrible Kid.”  I did.  It’s  longer than the other chapters however, I wanted to finish the story.   Thank you for your patience, and your interest.

For now, to follow directly after this post, please see “THE HORRIBLE KID – Chapter IV:  A tale from the Lone Arranger.”  Thanks.

Dr. C

“Mondays with David”

Keirsey Picture 3 

It has taken me more than a month to write this.

My friend, David West Keirsey, died July 30, 2013.  He was 91.  I’m so proud, and fortunate, to call him my friend.  Up until a few years ago, he was Professor Keirsey to me, and I hadn’t seen nor spoke to him for 30 years.

As far as I know, Dr. Keirsey was humankind’s last Gestalt psychologist, and that’s something you should know.  His ideas are historic, and I’ll be writing much more about them, and similar things, for the rest of my life.  First, though, before I tell you more about Dr. Keirsey, I want to tell you about my friend, David, and the loves in his life.

David loved his country.  He was a proud veteran of World War II.  He joined the Navy in 1942. After flight training, he took his commission as a Marine fighter pilot and flew several missions in Japan towards the end of the war.  He wrote in some detail about his military experience in his autobiographical essay, Turning Points.

Those times, and the depression before the war, had a lifelong impact on David, as it did with everyone from the greatest generation.  He believed we were morally obligated to fight World War II, and he knew many who gave their lives protecting our freedoms.  He considered himself lucky to come home, and grateful, for the rest of his life, that he did.  Thank you David, for your service, from all of us.

David loved questions.  For the past 18 months or so I’ve been meeting with him on Mondays for three or four hours, often with his son David Mark, talking about temperament and psychology, and many other things.  I often took notes on my iPad.  I put them in my “Mondays with David” file on my computer.  I love asking questions, he loved answering, so our friendship grew.  We had much to talk about, and it was always fun. (You can read more about this from a prior blog, here.)

At times he became frustrated, his memory sometimes needing more and more of his depleted energy.  When I arrived for a visit I’d often ask, “how was your weekend David?”  He’d reply, with a smile, “I don’t remember, but I’m sure it was fine.”  Once he added, again with a smile, “. . . although I could try to retrieve the information for you if you wish.”  It takes energy to retrieve information.  At 91, you have the privilege of choosing where you want to spend your energy.  It was a polite question anyway.  I always knew where he was every weekend.  He was with his wife and his family.  He cherished his weekends.

Once we started talking about something he was interested in, he became focused, taking his memory to task, retrieving important ideas, if triggered by the right question.  Precision, more than anything, was his forte, organizing and analyzing ideas to a depth only a very few can imagine, simplicity his reasoned pursuit, efficiency always a welcome bi-product.  He never stopped “tinkering,” often spending hours at the computer, changing single words at a time in his many essays about temperament and “madness.”

I put madness in quotes because, well, David wouldn’t have it any other way.  Professor David West Keirsey was so much more than temperament theory.  His humane, holistic, and thoughtful explanation of “madness,” is above all else, his legacy to humankind, as far as I’m concerned.  His seminal work, Dark Escape, provides our species, for the first time in human history, a way out of the “madness” of modern day psychology and psychiatry.  I will be writing much more about this.

 David loved to read.  He read everything.  I mean everything.  I mean anything, and everything, and that started when he was a seven year old, and it never stopped.  The last time I saw him he was reading a favorite novel, for the fifth time.  Why?  “I might find something new – and I like it!” he said.  This wasn’t unusual.  From Turning Points:

I began reading when I was seven. Read (most of) a twelve volume set of books my parents bought, Journeys through Bookland. Read countless novels thereafter, day in and day out. I educated myself by reading books. Starting at age nine my family went to the library once a week, I checking out two or three novels which I would read during the week. Then, when I was sixteen, I read my father’s copy of Will Durant’s The Story of Philosophy. I read it over and over again, now and then re-reading his account of some of the philosophers. (Long afterwards I read his magnificent eleven volumes—The Story of Civilization. I also have read his The Lessons of History many times, this being his brilliant summary of the eleven volumes.)

I mention Durant’s book The Story of Philosophy because it was a turning point in my life, I to become a scholar as did Durant, thereafter reading the philosophers and logicians—anthropologists, biologists, ethologists, ethnologists, psychologists, sociologists, and, most important, the etymologists, all of the latter—Ernest Klein, Eric Partridge, Perry Pepper, and Julius Pokorny—of interest to me now as then.

So, I said to myself, who better to ask questions than someone who has read everything – over and over?  He had so many useful answers.  I’ll be sharing them with you too.

David loved words.  Not as a wordsmith or author, though he was certainly both.  He loved words as an etymologist – the only one I’ve ever met.  He often said he may be the only one left.  David studied words.  From Turning Points:

I became a scholar, one of three boys in the scholarship society in 1942. I took a course in word study. I have studied words ever since, even during the war, pasting lists of words on the bathroom mirror wherever I stayed. Why etymology (word signs) instead of linguistics (word sounds)? Because word sounds shorten with use becoming only remnants of what they were, while word signs are written and therefore remain the same. My interest was in what is written, not in what is spoken.”     

Many times on Mondays, triggered by something we were talking about, we’d go upstrairs and sit at his computer in his comfortable, book-filled library – me to his left, him behind the keyboard – looking at an online etymology site, researching a word.  He called it “fun” and, wouldn’t you know it, so did I.

David loved kids.  He started working with troublesome teenagers at the Verdemont Boys Ranch as a young psychologist, figuring out ways to manage these boys, and to help their families.  He worked in schools most of his career, doing the same, training thousands of teachers and counselors and psychologists in methods that work, not theories that don’t.  He began collecting the many techniques to manage and counsel adults and children that was to become the core of his one-of-a-kind, and highly successful Counseling Psychology graduate program at California State University, Fullerton.

He wrote some remarkable essays in defense of children, and every parent and professional should read them.  So, please, do that.  You can read Drugged Obedience in the School here, and The Evil Practice of Narcotherapy for Attention Deficit here, and The Great ADD Hoax, here.  There are many other important and useful essays you will find at the same site.

His solution to helping troubled and troublesome children?  “Be nice to them, and keep them away from those drugs.”  We had a lot in common about kids.  I’ll also be writing about useful child management techniques, from a temperament point of view.

David loved his family.  David Mark, his son and lifelong companion, joined our Monday morning conversations often, and I cherished those times in particular.  A gifted computer scientist, David Mark called his father “Daddy.”  He honored his father.

The two of them could, and often would, debate an obscure, yet important idea with the same passion as when the debate started 30, or 40, or even 50 years earlier.  His father honored him too.  Often, when it was just David and me, he would boast about his son Mark, as fathers who love their sons often do.  How lucky they were to have each other.  I envied them.

Every weekend David and his wife Alice went to Del Mar to meet with the rest of the Keirsey clan and, when they didn’t, family members came to their home.  David and Alice traveled and vacationed with their children and grandchildren.  The two of them together made sure they gave their family the best gift you can give to people you love:  wonderful memories.

Mostly, David loved Alice.  What was the first thing this returning WW II veteran did when he came back from the war?  He married his junior college sweetheart, Alice.  He admired her so.  “Alice has done such a wonderful job of keeping our family together and close over the years,” he often said, with much pride.

When you walk up the circular stairs of their beautiful home you will meet all of the family.  Alice has dozens of family pictures and other mementos adorned on the walls and on the stairs – and everywhere else throughout their warm, loving home.  This, you can tell, is a family that cares for each other, and they are grateful to have each other to love.  I recognized their family quickly.  I come from one too.

Alice – he called her “babe” – from they way he liked to tell it, was a dynamo of her own when she was working in elementary schools.  David said she was always the head of a department or committee or project, or part of some other crusade to care for all those kids for which she loved and cared.

They never quarreled, he told me, more than once, because, he said, more than once, “we were made for each other.”  That certainly proved to be true.  They were married in December, 1945.  I was two months old.

Why did it take so long to write this, and anything else, for that matter?  Well, honestly, I’ve been mourning my friend.  Just a few days before he died, my wife and I visited David and Alice at their home.  As we were leaving, I leaned over, gently grasped his hand to say goodbye, and to tell him, “I’ll see you soon, David.  I have another two or three thousand more questions to ask.”  Without hesitation, he replied, “Good,” and added, “I have two or three thousand more answers.”

His spirit, more than willing, his body, so weary.  During some of our best conversations, he would remind me, and David Mark, “there’s still much work to be done.”  Lucky for me, he trusted me with all that he has written.  The answers to my questions are all there, and that’s good.  I will be doing a lot more reading.  It’s not the same though, and not nearly as much fun, as asking my friend, David, just a few more questions.

You can tell a lot about a person when you know the loves in his life.  I admired him.  I loved him too.  I miss him, very much.

Mondays, for me, will never be the same.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“I just want the world to understand, there’s no such thing as ‘madness.’”

David West Keirsey

How’s Business?

HOW'S BUS 2 GRAPHIC

Business has never been better, thanks for asking.

As long as the public – you and I – continue to demand newer and better quick fix chemicals, we act as a sales force for this huge industry.  Psychiatry, like any business, is subject to market pressure.  Right now, there is pressure to create more and more chemicals for more and more “diseases.”  Our demand is met, happily, by their supply.

Let’s take a quick look at “ADHD,” just one example out of hundreds of fake diseases.  “ADHD” has been a financial boon for Big Pharma.  It’s been increasing nearly 6% a year for the past decade.  In America – like no other country on earth – one of every 12 children between the ages of 3 and 17 are given this tag, most of them prescribed an amphetamine (“speed”).  That’s more than five million American teenagers, grammar school kids, and toddlers – most of them boys. (See CDC FastStat here)

And, dear parents, your doctor can choose from 61 different chemicals for “ADHD” – with more on the horizon.  There are 78 chemicals for depression, and there are 7 “kinds” of depression.  Antipsychotic chemicals?  26.  There are 12 chemicals to treat autism, the most maligned of all children, as you will see in an upcoming essay.  Anxiety disorder of some sort?  There are 188 chemicals in 9 different “topics” to help you if you are too anxious.  Anxiety “relief,” as you can tell, is a big seller.  (See Drugs.com here.)

What’s A DSM?
Let’s get a picture of the growth of this industry in the past 60 years.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) is psychiatry’s modern day witches brew.  It contains all the American Psychiatric Association (APA) approved “diseases.”  If it’s not in the book, it’s not a “disease.”

In 1952, there were 106.  In 1968, the second edition of DSM was published.  There were 182 “diseases.”  The third edition, published in 1980, had 265, and then was revised in 1987 to total 292.  And, finally, in 1994, the fourth edition contained 297 “diseases” – and if you count the “disorders,” it’s over 400 (see the entire list here).  No cures, you may remember.  Treatment only, usually forever, because mental health “diseases,” once diagnosed, according to the vast majority of psychiatrists, last forever.  Ask them.  (See more about the DSM here.)

The DSM is a billing device for the profession, nothing else.  It has no other value.  Still, as a billing device, everyone must use it.  By everyone I mean government, big business, non-profits, academia, licensed individuals, public and private providers, schools – everyone.  Without a diagnosis from the DSM, no services will be given; not without a designated name and number from this book of incantations.  (See upcoming article Diagnosing for Dollars soon)

So, you can see, it pays to be in the book.

DSM V –  Progressing Backwards
The DSM is being revised again, due in May of 2013.  If you guessed there would be more diseases, you’d be right.  One addition is particularly egregious.  Grief.  If you lose a loved one, and if you don’t snap out of it after a few weeks, you are “diagnosable.”  I’m not kidding.  Complicated Grief Disorder (CGD) is in the book.  Ethical professionals from all disciplines are screaming at this “medicalizing” of human sorrow.

For the record, and full of irony, no one is screaming louder than Dr. Allen Frances, the Chairman of the DSM IV Task Force.  The irony is that the biggest foe of the fifth book of diseases is the psychiatrist who led the group that wrote the fourth book of diseases.  For many of us, editions 1-4 are just as unscientific and nonsensical as the fifth, though the latest version is now, officially, the worst. (More about Dr. Frances and the DSM V controversy here.)

Not quite everyone is screaming, by the way.

Not the DSM Task force, for sure.  They voted CGD into the book.  Certainly not Big Pharma.  They’re applauding.  Their market was increased.  Now that your new “disease” is in the book you can be prescribed one or more of those 188 “anti-anxiety” chemicals already available.  This will have to do until the new and improved “anti-grief” chemical is developed.

Then there’s this.

At first it appeared – and then it was confirmed – that 70% of the DSM V Task Force members have reported direct industry ties.”  New diseases are proposed every year.  The people making those decisions are benefitting from those decisions, as are their “industry ties,” as they decide who wins and who loses. Many professionals, including me, are crying foul about the ethics of the task force whose members openly admit their connection to Big Pharma, mostly to deaf ears. (More about DSM V here.)

Who are the winners?
The scientists and doctors from Academia and Big Pharma corporations who get their newest “disease” in the book are the winners, and it’s very competitive.  Major Universities and massive corporations – and individuals with “connections” – stand in line to present their self funded “research.”  If you can get an unwanted behavior proclaimed a “disease” by the disease proclaimers – the DSM Task Force – and placed in the book, then the doctors, universities and corporations who invented the “diseases” will be enriched because, well . . .  because we give them fistfuls of money for their products.

Big Pharma’s most important customer, by the way, is the doctor, not you.  Doctors, after all, are the ones who sell their products to us.  While these companies aim their endless advertisements to entice you, it’s the doctor who has the power to grant permission, and they are the focus of the Big Pharma’s substantial financial coffers.  From an article from Time: Health & Family, Psychiatrist Contends the Field Is Committing Professional Suicide,” October, 2012:

In 2004 alone, pharmaceutical companies spent about $58 billion on marketing, 87% of which was aimed squarely at the roughly 800,000 Americans with the power to prescribe drugs. The money was spent mainly on free drug samples and sales visits to doctors’ offices; studies find that both free samples and sales calls increase prescribing of brand-name drugs and raise medical costs without improving care.  (Read more: here.)

And talk about lucrative.  Global sales of pharmaceuticals was nearly 800 billion through 2008, and is likely to be closing in on a trillion dollars annual income now.  Thanks to their customers – us –  90% of those sales occur in the United States.

5 Million and Counting
Finally, let’s talk just a bit more about those 5 million kids given doses of “speed” for “ADHD.”  That’s a lot of kids.  For this to be true, you have to believe American kids are much less healthy than kids in rest of the world.  Or, is it that the rest of the world’s kids are just as unhealthy as ours, only they don’t know it?

Maybe it’s because our healthcare services are state-of-the-art, our workforce so well trained, the research and science from our Universities so sophisticated that we’re just that much better at “diagnosing” ADHD in kids who need medical help.  This explanation, by the way, is what both Academia and Big Pharma wants us to believe.  Our system, they say, is modern and compassionate, and that’s why we can, and do, provide so much needed medical care to “mentally ill” children.

By now, I trust, you know this isn’t true for a lot of reasons we’ve already discussed.  The most important reason?  I think you already know.

Your kids aren’t sick.

NEXT:  Here’s Where We’re Going

A brief interlude 2 . . .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, maybe not so brief an interlude.

I’ve been off my blog for several months, though I haven’t been idle.  I’m ready to get back to it.  Let me tell you why.

I’m now on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Ethical Psychiatrists and Psychologists (ISEPP), and I’m the newly named Membership Director.  I joined ISEPP three years ago when I retired.  It’s the only group I’ve ever joined.  We are professionals, parents, psychiatric survivors, and others dedicated to ending the use of the medical model and those abusive chemicals we take for fictitious diseases.  As a reminder, I’m here to convince you the use of chemicals to “treat” unwanted behaviors in adults and children is modern day voodoo.  We count ourselves in the hundreds at ISEPP, though our network has tens of thousands  – and we’re growing.  You can find more about ISEPP here.

By the way, here’s a recent article you may want to read.  It’s about “neuroscience,” and “neurology,” and “neurolinguistics,” and “neural pathways in the brain” – and other “neuro-babbles.”  It’s called Your Brain on Pseudoscience:  The Rise of Popular Neurobollocks. It’s written for us to read, by Stephen Poole, a British author and journalist.  He’s not a scientist and the article isn’t about science.  It’s about false science, and how we are duped daily.  It’s a little long, about 2500 words, but it’s interesting and worth your time.  When you can, spend 20 minutes here.

And if I haven’t mentioned him before, I should have. Robert Whitaker is another journalist, American born, who authored what many of us consider to be the most important book written on the subject.  It’s had national acclaim and recognition, and it’s written for you and me.  Titled Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, if you read it, you’ll never be able to view psychiatry in the same way again.  You can find it everywhere.

What’s Next?

I’ll be picking up where I left off on my blog.  My last entry was YKAS 5:  A Most Valued Customer.  YKAS 6 & 7 will be following soon.  YKAS is a series of articles that will become an iBook soon.  Your Kids Aren’t Sick has been a project for a few years, and I’ll be finishing it this year.

After YKAS 6 & 7, we’ll be talking about chemicals, starting with, of all things, snails, followed by the history of salt.  You’ll also find out about Mr. Unhappimon, my chemistry teacher when I was 19.  He was a terrible teacher, but I learned something valuable about chemicals and their effects on human beings.  Not because of what he said.  Instead, it was something he did – in front of the entire classroom.  I’ll be telling you, too, a story of a young mother’s “adrenaline rush,” and how that experience that will put into question everything you think you know about psychiatry.

Most important, we’ll get focused on all those those chemicals your friendly psychiatric doctor wants us to take for our “mental disorders.”  You may think of yourself as informed about “anti-depressant,” “anti-psychotic,” and “anti-anxiety” medication, to name a few.  If you dismiss the medical model as I do – as well as hundreds of thousands of others – then you know these terms are meaningless and worse, their names mask the true and undeniable toxic and disorienting effects chemicals have on our body.  You know them as “side effects.”  As you’ll see, there’s nothing “side” about these effects.  You’ll meet Dr. Grace Jackson, in time, who will tell us much more about these harmful chemicals and their lifelong effects on our physical well being.

Speaking of chemicals, here’s 497 chemicals you can find for just 14 of the 400+ “psychiatric diseases” found in the latest incantation of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM V), psychiatry’s bag of tricks:

  1. ADHD (62 drugs in 2 topics)
  2. Agitation (19 drugs in 3 topics)
  3. Anxiety (117 drugs in 7 topics)
  4. Autism (11 drugs in 2 topics)
  5. Bipolar Disorder (65 drugs in 4 topics)
  6. Body Dysmorphic Disorder (9 drugs)
  7. Borderline Personality Disorder (10 drugs)
  8. Depression (101 drugs in 7 topics)
  9. Intermittent Explosive Disorder (4 drugs)
  10. Neurosis (2 drugs)
  11. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (23 drugs in 4 topics)
  12. Paranoid Disorder (5 drugs)
  13. Psychosis (14 drugs in 2 topics)
  14. Schizophrenia (55 drugs in 2 topics)
                                      (Source:  drugs.com here)

You may remember, at YKAS, there are only four kinds of chemicals:  stimulants (“uppers”), depressants (“downers”), hallucinogens (“confusers”), and tranqulizers (“calmers”).  Imagine, if you will, that it’s possible to take all those different chemicals that Big Pharma cleverly sells to us for every uncomfortable emotion and experience imaginable, and place them into one of these four categories.  It’s that’s simple, and you’ll be surprised how useful.

I’ll also be adding to the “Meet .  .  .” series as well.  There are a number of people I’d like you to know.  The next one you’ll meet, Tom Bratter, was a kindred spirit.  My one and only conversation with him last year was over the phone for half an hour.  We were going to meet, and talk, at the conference in Philadelphia.  He died last August.  You’ll meet him and you’ll understand why.  Likewise, I’ll be continuing the “Here’s something . . .” series as well.  These will occur as I find interesting information and sources for you to ponder.

The Tales of the Lone Arranger

I’m adding a new series of articles too, dubbed “The Tales of the Lone Arranger.  Why that name?  Two reasons.

The first and most important is David West Keirsey.  I learned in my continuing talks with Doctor Keirsey that, in temperament terms, I’m an “arranger.”  He continues to fine tune his theory, tinkering with his words every day, precision and simplicity his goal.  Thirty years ago I was an “INTJ Skeptic,” then an “INTJ/Mastermind.”  He has since abandoned the letters and metaphors, replacing them with words that describe what a person does. In his own inimitable way, Dr. Keirsey has settled on “arranger” for my type.  And, not surprisingly, the term fits like a glove.  It’s what I do.

The second reason?  My favorite TV Saturday morning cowboy show in the early ‘50’s – and there were lots of them – was The Lone Ranger.  I’ll tell you a little more about both of them soon.

The Tales of the Lone Arranger will be about children I knew and counseled, from a temperament point of view.  To remind you, I use the terms Stars (Artisans), Squares (Guardians), Spheres (Idealists), and Cubes (Rationals) to describe the four Keirseyan temperaments of children.  I’ll tell you more about those names, and their “nicknames” too.

The first tale – Goth Girl – is about a 14 year old Sphere (Idealist) who was heavily medicated.  After a “72-hour hold” in a psychiatric hospital, Evie was placed in my facility.  She was “goth,” she was hearing voices, and she was a “cutter.”  She purposely took sharp objects and scratched her arms and legs until they bled.  Like all Spheres, it’s about their feelings – or abscence of them.  The story has a good ending – at least from the last contact I had with her mother a few years ago.

There will be more temperament tales to follow.  While so-called “normal” childhood behaviors follow observable temperament patterns to trained eyes, so too are the patterns of troubled and troublesome children.  Children “act-out” their shame in ways consistent with their temperament, and therein lies clues for adults who want to intervene.

I’m working on some other articles as well that I will likely post at a different site, only because of the length. Diagnosing for Dollars is about our Medicaid system and how professional providers are mandated to diagnose “mental diseases,” so they can be paid for their services.

I’m just about done with an article titled Sergeant Bales.  You may remember Sergeant Bales.  He was responsible for the slaughter of 17 innocent Afghanistan villagers.  He is just now coming to trial.  The article is about the rush of some of my colleagues to declare that the “cause” of this horror was the “psyche meds” the Sergeant may or may not have been taking.  I believe this idea suffers from the same false logic and science of those who declare that there’s a “chemical imbalance” that “causes” violent acts.  Many of my like-minded colleagues do not agree with me about this.  We’ll see if you do.

I’m also beginning another article I’m calling It’s A No-Brainer I’m more convinced than ever that modern neurology, psychiatry, and other “brain sciences” has nothing to teach us about human psychology.  I voraciously look for information daily.  Based on speculation, tired theories, and unproven science, the fundamentals of how the brain works is simply not known when it comes to personality, psychological distress, and human behavior.  Well, at least that’s what I’ll be saying.

I’m also about done with an article about Sandy Hook.  I don’t know of another incident in my lifetime that shook our country as deeply and as profoundly as the news of the twenty children, six educators, and one mother who were murdered on December 14, 9:30 AM, EST.  It changed our culture, and our national conversation.  I’ll have some thoughts about guns and violence and mental health and Hollywood.  I’m calling the article 300,000,000.

Finally, just a reminder:  You’re kids aren’t sick, and neither are you.

Now, back to work.  I have a lot of writing to do.

Dr. C

If we want a child to change his direction, we must understand what makes him move.

                                                                                         –  Rudolf Dreikers, M.D.

 

YKAS 5: A Most Valued Customer – Your Child

First Contact – Someone is “Concerned”
It usually starts like this for parents of active kids – especially parents blessed with very active kids.

There’s a call from your child’s teacher.  You were half expecting it.  About two weeks earlier you met with her about your nine year-old’s behavior in the classroom.  She said he’s a nice enough boy, very cute, however, he’s inattentive and easily distracted.  That, and he’s much too active during classroom hours.  Oddly enough, you’ve seen him at home when he’s using the PlayStation III.  That too active, inattentive kid can be so focused on the TV screen he won’t budge – even if it’s pizza for dinner.  He seems intensely attentive, to the point you have to pry him away from the game.

Nevertheless, this time the teacher tells you “. . . your child still isn’t paying attention and he continues to be up and down all day long, and we are concerned.”  She said “we,” so now you know there’s at least one other person at the school who’s concerned, and that concerns you.

The teacher said she would like to refer your child to the school psychologist for an “evaluation,” with your consent.  Your concern increases so, of course, you consent.  After all, these are the experts, you reason, and you must trust them.

They know best.

The Disease Model Indoctrination Process
You have a meeting with the school psychologist.  She’s a doctor of some kind, and you’re a little intimidated.  While you were expecting her to test your child, you’re given a behavioral questionnaire to complete too.  You didn’t expect that, but that’s good.  At least something is being done to help your son, and the experts are being thorough.

You’re beginning to learn about the process, and you’re impressed.

In a week or so, you’re informed the evaluation is done, and you’re asked to attend another meeting.  You’ve been worried and you’ll be glad to get an answer.  Then you get your answer.  The psychologist recommends you seek medical assistance for your child because he likely has “attention deficit disorder” with, God forbid, “hyperactivity.”  She uses the term “disorder” for the first time, and it unsettles you.  She tells you she can’t treat him because “this is a medical problem.”

A doctor of psychology recommends you seek help from a doctor of medicine.

Enter the MD – With Chemicals
By now, you know this is serious.  You have to inform your family too, and that won’t be easy.  You’re a conscientious parent, and you’re persistent.  You want the best for your child, so you search for a “child psychiatrist,” as others have suggested.  Maybe someone you know, or the school, makes a referral. If you’re “lucky,” you’ll find one.

You do, and you make an appointment.  The nurse takes your child’s vitals, you provide a family medical history, and they’re done with your child.  You’re a little surprised.  You were expecting something more “medical.”  Maybe an x-ray, a blood test, a “scan” of some kind, or another medical procedure that can be measured or weighed or looked at – something.  After all, that psychologist told you “this is a medical problem.”

You’re learning a little more about the process.

A Family Changing Event – The Diagnosis
You meet with the doctor and, for the most part, you do most of the talking.  You tell him about the school’s concern and the tests from the psychologist.  Maybe your child is asked a few questions, maybe not.  It doesn’t matter.  He’s not there to talk.  He really doesn’t need to be there at all.  The doctor is there to make a diagnosis based on the information you give him.  The doctor’s only function is to do nothing, or prescribe a chemical – and he can’t prescribe a chemical without a diagnosis.

Within 10 to 20 minutes, the child psychiatrist has heard enough and says “. . . I’m prescribing a chemical to help with your son’s Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.”  Maybe he calls it a “mental illness, or a “mental disability,” or “mental disorder,” or “psychiatric disease” or just plain “disorder.”  It’s what you expected.  You’ve talked with family and friends before this meeting. Still, hearing it for the first time from an MD makes it much too real.

There’s a brief explanation of the “disorder.”  He says something about “brain chemistry” and some sort of “imbalance,” and you know he mentioned “dopamine.”  You know you’ve read about dopamine somewhere.  It all sounded so “medical.”  The special chemical he’s giving your son, you’re told, helps to fix all this, so that your son will sit still in his chair during school hours, and so your son will do his school work when the teacher tells him to do his school work.

You’re anxious to get the treatment part of the process started.

How Soon Will It Work?
Well, you first have to know it will take some time – a few weeks, maybe more, maybe less –  for the chemical to begin to have an “effect” because it has to “build up in his bloodstream.”  Once in his bloodstream, you may begin to see some improvement, although there will undoubtedly be some “adjustments” along the way due to unpredictable yet very common “side effects.”  It’s been made clear to you:  there will be good days, and there will be bad days.

Strangely enough, you’re still a little relieved.  At least the medical doctor knows what your child “has,” and you leave the office confident this new chemical will help your child in school, and that’s all that matters.  You privately fret your child has a “disease” or “disorder,” and you’re not clear how long your son will have to take this chemical – the doctor was vague about predictions – nonetheless, you’re reassured, and optimistic.

The teacher is pleased you are taking steps to help your son.  The school is happy too, and, to some degree, so are you.  You find comfort when you hear, over and over from friends and professionals, “it’s just like diabetes.”*  That means, thankfully, your son’s “ADHD” can be “treated,” with the right chemical.

He’s Just A Little Flawed
About your child, well, at some point you have to explain to him he has a “handicap ” –  or “disorder,” or “disease,” or a “mental illness” or, maybe, “an imbalance” – and that’s why he’s not sitting still, and that’s why he’s not paying attention to the teacher in school, and that’s why he needs this chemical to help him.  It’s tricky, but with the advice of others who’ve gone through the same thing, you do it.  You make sure he understands he’s not responsible for his unwanted behavior in the classroom.  You make sure he understands it’s not him, it’s not you, it’s not his teacher, it’s not his school – it’s his “disease.”

Four months go by and you’re disappointed.  Yes, the teacher said she saw “some initial improvement,” but a month later, she began to complain again.  You’ve had two “follow-up” appointments with the doctor to “review” your son’s chemicals to find out how they are helping or not helping.  At the last appointment he increased the dosage of the chemical.  Now, at this appointment, he’s suggesting a change of chemicals “that has less side effects, and better results.”  Of course, this means this new chemical will have to “build up in his bloodstream” too, and there will be new “adjustments” to make along the way.

By this time, you’ve done research, so this wasn’t unexpected.  You’ve surfed the web for the past few months, read dozens of articles, and you’ve talked with other parents who also have children with “disorders.”  Changing chemicals, up and down doses, extra chemicals for the “side effects” is the rule – not the exception.  You’ve talked with some parents whose children are taking 3 or 4, or as many a 5 different chemicals.  You hope you don’t get there.

Don’t Worry – It’s “Normal”
You’re troubled too.  He’s not sleeping well.  His appetite comes and goes.  He’s not doing any better in school either – maybe a little worse – and now they’re talking about special classes, and you have to make some decisions.  On top of that the doctor says he can give you another chemical to help with the “side effects” of the first chemical.  You have to think about that one.  You do, and you agree.

Your child seems to be a little more distressed too, a little more unhappy, a little more frustrated, maybe a little more angry.  You are too – all of it.  It’s going to be a longer road than you expected, but you’re going to stay with it and do whatever is necessary.

You know by now from your doctor, through your research, and by talking with other parents, all of this is a “normal part of the process.”

And It’s Done
You and your child are now willing, all-in customers of the disease model of “modern” psychiatry.  You can’t stop the “treatment” now.  It’s been made clear to you, and you know it as fact, your son has a “medical condition.”  Now you’re the one who educates others that “it’s just like diabetes,” and you wouldn’t dare stop treating diabetes.

You now know everything you need to know about the process.  You’re indoctrinated.  You’re an advocate.  You’re an expert.  You’re fully prepared to indoctrinate another parent.

And so it goes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For a very real, very recent example of the indoctrination process, read a mothers story about her experience with her 8-year old son – and how he’s doing now – in her article in the NY Times:  “Raising the Ritalin Generation” here.

* See “It’s Just Like Diabetes” in the forthcoming essay:  Psychi-Babble – Psycho-Babble’s Evil Twin

NEXT:  How’s Business?

YKAS 4: The Business of Selling Chemicals

This is the fourth in a series of essays on the YKAS blog.
The original article – Your Kids Aren’t Sick –  can be read here.

Let’s Call Them Chemicals
If you’ve read my prior essays, you may have noticed by now.  I don’t refer to them as “medications” or “drugs.”  I call them what they are: chemicals.  I’ll continue to use that term, so, please, while you may consider Valium or Xanax or Mellaril as medication, I refer to them as chemicals.  Likewise, you may think of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana as drugs.  Here, all illicit drugs are called chemicals too.  In that way, we don’t have to be concerned about why you take them or where you get them, and whether they are legal or illegal.  Instead, we only need to know what effects these chemicals have on people.

Does it Work?
The selling of psychiatric diseases and the chemicals that treat them is as much a political issue as it is a for-profit commodity.  A Big Pharma company prepares a sophisticated and detailed application to seek approval from the United States Government’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  New cancer chemicals, for example, must provide some evidence of success, or what is referred to in scientific circles as “efficacy” – as in “efficient.”  Doctor’s and their clients – you and I – need to know if the chemical is “efficacious.”  In other words, does it work?  After all, we pay taxes to make sure the chemicals created by business really do what they say they do, and to ensure business and government work together to produce safe products.

That’s the good news.

Off-Label Use.
However, and maybe you don’t know this, once a chemical is approved for cancer, for example, the newly approved “efficacious” chemical can be prescribed by a doctor for any human malady, regardless of what it was originally designed to treat.

If a pharmaceutical “rep” shows the doctor a “study” that “suggests” this same cancer chemical is effective for, let’s say carbuncles, then the doctor can prescribe the cancer chemical to his patient to battle carbuncles.  Despite the fact the chemical was thoroughly scrutinized by the FDA specifically for cancer treatment and nothing else, once approved a doctor can prescribe it for anything, and no one will bat an eye.  In the business, this is called “Off-Label Use.”  From Wikipedia here:

  • The FDA does not have the legal authority to regulate the practice of the medicine, and the physician may prescribe a drug off-label. Contrary to popular notion, it is legal in the United States and in many other countries to use drugs off-label, including controlled substances such as opiates.

What does this mean to you?  While the FDA is strident to ensure any new chemical they approve meets very rigid standards, once approved, any chemical can be prescribed for any human need by any doctor, anywhere, anytime.

So much for “efficacy.”

You can thank Big Pharma lobbyists and our bought-and-paid-for legislators working in tandem for this too clever and excessively obvious tactic to get around FDA scrutiny.  Together they made this practice “legal,” and there is no recourse for you or me.  Why do they do it?  Why do you think?  To widen their customer base.  Here’s an example.

Zoloft – The Miracle Chemical
If you’re not familiar with Zoloft, you should be.  In 2007, nearly 30 million prescriptions for Zoloft were written.  The chemical name is Setraline Hydrochloride.  It was created by Pfizer and approved by the FDA in 1991 as an “antidepressant.”  Once approved to treat depression, and thanks to that beneficial law, Pfizer got busy.

In the mid 90’s, by way of their self-financed “studies,” they “discovered” Zoloft was “better than a placebo” for treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The “discovery” of this new use didn’t need the FDA’s approval or oversight.  Pfizer just declared it, and their sales force provided doctors with their “evidence.”  (By the way, the phrase “better than a placebo” is common in these studies.  More about that, and an explanation of the scientific-sounding-yet-phony phrase “double-blind studies” will follow in the essay “Psychi-Babble.”)

Pfizer was just getting started.  From the late 1990’s through the present, other amazing “discoveries” were made about this chemical – through Pfizer financed “studies.”  Take a look:

  • By 2000, they tell us, “in four large double-bind studies setraline was shown to be superior to a placebo for the treatment of panic disorder.” 
  • By 2003, “studies” showed setraline was “successfully used for the treatment of social anxiety disorder.” 
  • Around this same time, and through the same means, setraline was found to be “effective” for Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder
  • And, though not nearly done, this same miracle chemical was subjected to two “double-blind studies” that “confirmed the efficacy of setraline for severe chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) in civilians.”

Let’s Keep Score
This one miraculous chemical can treat 1) depression – the original approval – as well as; 2) obsessive-compulsive disorder; 3) panic disorder; 4) social phobia; 5) premenstrual dysphoric disorder and; 6) posttraumatic stress disorder.  You’d think that would be enough, as ridiculous as this already is.

Think again.  There’s more to come.

There are “indications,” we are told, from the latest “placebo-controlled double-blind clinical trials,” that Zoloft may also be useful for: 7) Generalized Anxiety Disorder; 8) binge eating disorder; 9) night eating syndrome; 10) bulimia nervosa; 11) syncope (fainting) in children and adolescents and – who would have thought; 12) premature ejaculation.

That’s six official uses now, with six more on the horizon.  An even dozen.  We’re told more “studies” are needed to confirm these “indications.” Do you think Pfizer will make sure the studies get done?  What do you think the outcomes will be when they do?  (For more information about Zoloft, see Setraline here.)

 Business As Usual
This is how it’s done.  It’s an “efficacious” business practice for all of Big Pharma.

If you create a toothpaste and you “discovered” a little later that the toothpaste was good for cuts and bruises too, as well as a lubricant for doorknobs, and it’s a good quick drying glue on top of that, my goodness, think of all the customers you’d have.

You’d be rich.

(You can read about PsychRights and attorney Jim Gottstein’s ongoing strategic litigation campaign against forced psychiatric drugging, electroshock and off-label use in the United State here.)

 NEXT:  A Most Valued Customer – Your Child

Meet . . .

Madness, then, has a job to do, that is, to conceal our dark secret, so that we have an excuse for failing to live up to our expectations and for setting aside one or more of the tasks of life—working, communing, mating. The function of absurd rituals—madness—is thus concealment.                                         D. W. Keirsey

You may know him as the world-renowned author of Please Understand Me, Please Understand Me II, and his recent seminal work, Personology.  If you don’t, you should.  You can read more about David Keirsey here.  You can also go to his website here.  And you can visit his blog too.  Yes, at 91, he has a blog, here.  If that weren’t enough, believe it or not, his newest work – a treatise on madness – will be released soon.  It will be, I believe, historic.

I first met David West Keirsey 30 years ago.  He was my first professor at Cal State Fullerton.  I was 37 years old, a father of four, in my profession for about 8 years.  I had a middle management position at a Mental Health facility for children in Corona, California.  I wasn’t expecting much from school.  I just wanted to get my Masters degree and get out.

Well, much to my surprise, that first class – the only class I took from him – was life altering.  Like no one else I heard before or since – I’ve been a lifelong critic of educators and what they call education – this professor made sense.  The best part was that he didn’t speak psychobabble.  After 8 years in the business I had my fill of psychobabble.

I used to stand at the doorway of his office at school and ask him questions.  Why?  Because of his answers, that’s why.  Those answers, by the way, changed the way I did my business from then until now.  I’ll be talking about those useful answers – and a lot more – in future blogs.

For now, here’s an excerpt from an article I wrote a few years ago. It‘s about that first class.  (See Your Kids Aren’t Sick here.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

.  .  .  My first class in my first semester was counseling 735.  It was also the last class for Dr. David Keirsey before he retired from a long career.  He had already written Please Understand Me with Marilyn Bates.  Since then he has written several other books, including his seminal work, Please Understand Me II.  He is the preeminent temperament theoretician in the world.  If you want to understand human behavior, and yourself, read this book.  Millions of others have, around the planet.

 As the Department Head for the Counseling/Psychology Department he developed a unique program based on the practice of doing therapy rather than learning the various theories of therapy.  He was also a walking bibliography when it came to the history and evolution of human psychology.  That made it easy for me.  Why go through all the pain of reading this stuff if he already had, I reasoned to myself.  Better to see if he had anything worth saying.

 Turns out he did.  A number of things.  A few that changed my entire view of psychology, including an orientation to Holistic Theory that I will reserve for another time.  It was at one of his initial lectures that my ear perked for the first time.  There were only fifteen of us in the class, so it was comfortable.

He somehow got onto the subject of medicating children.  Before academia, he had a career as a child psychologist.  He worked with troubled kids in a variety of settings.  He had an opinion.  He expressed it, and when someone pressed him as to what, exactly, did he mean, he turned, looked at his student, and declared:

 “I said I think it (the practice of medicating children), should be criminalized.”

 Did I hear him right?  Did he just say that giving these chemicals to children should be against the law?  Yes he did.  I sat up in my chair.  He didn’t sound at all like that doctor from UCLA.  If I were hearing him right, he would have had that doctor locked up.

This was affirming.  Though he was unknown to me, this was Dr. David Keirsey, Clinical Psychologist, and the head of the Counseling Psychology Department at Cal State Fullerton .  .  .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, thirty years later, about a year after retiring, I thought I’d look him up.  Maybe he was still around, I wondered, and maybe he could answer a few more questions, I hoped.  I was able to locate his son, Dr. David Mark Keirsey – an accomplished scientist himself – and he gave me his father’s email address.

I was delighted to find out that not only was he around, he was available.  I asked to see him, and for the past several months I’ve been meeting with him every week.  Our four-hour conversation usually begins with him asking “any questions?” to which I eagerly reply “yes.”

It’s a little different now though.  He’s not just my old professor anymore.  He is, I’m proud to say, my friend.

If you continue to follow this blog, it’s very likely you will hear a lot more about David West Keirsey.

Meet . . .

There I was, minding my own business, when someone sent me a “link.”  People are always sending me links.  Especially when it comes to the abuse of chemicals.

There are a growing number of like-minded professionals who are opposed to the medical model, and that means we’re opposed to all those ridiculous chemicals.  I’m an active member in one organization (ISEPP:here), and I’m on the email list of a few others. I’ve also had a career spanning five decades, and my professional opinion and practice is well known among those who worked with and for me.

So, as often as once or twice a day, I’ll get an email from a friend or colleague or organization that will link me to a “study,” or to an individual, or to an organization that either furthers our cause, or stands in the way of our cause.  I’m used to “links.”

This was different.  It had an impact on me.  So much so that now I’m “linking” you.

In a matter of six minutes Eleanor Longden – there’s a video below – dismantled the medical model and the “medication” that goes with it.  On top of that, she emphatically “cured” schizophrenia – her own – and she turned her “disease” into what it really is –  metaphorical insight.

This is Eleanor Longden, the first and one of the most significant “psychiatric survivors” you will meet.  If you have an extra six minutes, use them here:

(Eleanor is a member of the Hearing Voices Network.  You can learn more about HVN here.)

Eleanor calls herself a “voice-hearer.”

I call her courageous.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 NOTE:  I have been working on a story that I’ll publish soon about a little girl I counseled a few years ago.  Evie was also hearing a voice – just one.  One can be more than enough for a 14 year old living in a mental health facility.  There was a good ending to her story too.  It’s called “Goth Girl.”    – Dr. C