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RunawayGregory Bateson, the Double Bind, and the Rise of Ecological Consciousness$
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Anthony Chaney

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469631738

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631738.001.0001

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The Hurly-Burly of Natural History

The Hurly-Burly of Natural History

Chapter:
(p.64) Three The Hurly-Burly of Natural History
Source:
Runaway
Author(s):

Anthony Chaney

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631738.003.0004

This chapter investigates how double-bind theory was received by the psychiatric community with respect to contested views of the etiology and treatment of schizophrenia. A moral model of schizophrenia is contrasted with a medical model of an earlier, more rigorously defined dementia praecox. The treatment of schizophrenics in the United States, especially during and after the world wars, is described as pragmatic and eclectic. The double-bind theory's environmental, biological, interactive model of the disease was met with hope among clinicians and helped shape new treatments such as group therapy and family therapy. As the double-bind group continued its work, Gregory Bateson was conflicted with his research team over fundamental matters of science: he recommended an approach that focused on pattern and relationship; they, more conventionally, focused on substance and measurement. His collaboration with Frieda Fromm-Reichmann lead to the Natural History of an Interview research project. It also took Bateson further from clinical work and toward research with octopi and the editing of the journals of an early 19th-century schizophrenic, later published as Perceval's Narrative.

Keywords:   double-bind theory, double-bind group, schizophrenia, dementia praecox, family therapy, group therapy, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, Natural History of an Interview, Perceval's Narrative, Gregory Bateson

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