Re: DSM: We like minded people
Sat, 4 Nov 2000 23:13:41 EST


I once spent 40 minutes speaking with someone who grew up going to Sudbury
Valley. I was left disoriented for some time by the communication pattern.
Then it hit me, never once did he invade. There was tremendous energy, lots
of description and interest and never once the imposition, the suggestion,
the slight advice giving. It was a virtuoso performance, and I even recognize
that it was not a performance. He was at the level of being automatically
competent. The boundaries were flawlessly respected.

Sudbury Valley offers a deep and profound regard for the student; and a deep
trust in what the student will make of that offering. But that is where it
ends. It is operationally the very finest Carl Rogers non-directive therapy.
And it does not move on to consider if Poe or Einstien may arrise. We
(parents and staff) must give up all hope of fruition. It is simply and only
process. Jung wrote that the therapist must not want the client to get well.
The greatest staff must not want the child to learn. We must work this stuff,
till we know in our bones, deep in our bones, that the child supplies the
want. And it is best not to evaluate or even characterize the social and
cultural production of free children.

Now, this client-centered therapy is extremely powerful. The child will take
this opening to become free, to become a person. The communities' only
responsibility in this is to realize what it is doing. It must understand the
profound nature of the child's work. Given that it does understand this, it
is surely within its' rights to enforce collectively and democratically norms
that may be labeled as "adaptable citizen" or "lowest common denominator".

As allways, if these ideas are not useful, please just forget them.

Bill Richardson


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