DSM: Therapy and SVM (was: public school prisons (sharing the SVS model, etc.)

Marko Koskinen (marko@vapaus.net)
Wed, 15 Nov 2000 17:50:08 +0200

Thank you Bill for a review of some therapies, it was important for me.

I'm trying to figure out the problem that how can the adult community at
a SVM school function as well as possible. I've been trying to combine
the RC (Re-evaluation Counseling) theory with the SVM and what I've
figured out so far is that the RC techniques can and should be used in
SVM schools, but mostly among the staff. The RC theory provides many
useful tools and information about people, society and behaviour that
all staff (actually all people) should have access to. I'm not stating
that there are no other theories good enough, but I'm stating that RC
theory is the most versatile and uniform theory that I've come across.

RC theory kind of states that there is no need for such a thing as
"therapy". People have a natural way of healing their hurts if they are
given good enough attention, respect and love. The healing process is
usually very visible showing as tantrums, crying, perspiration, yawning,
laughing, etc. The key issue is that all people are capable of
supporting each other and there should be no need for an
institutionalized therapy system.

I think that a SVM school is an ideal environment for such healing to
take place. The hardest thing is the adults, meaning that adults usually
have lost the means of discharging their hurts and have replaced the
natural means with some culturally accepted ones. Usually people just
talk and don't really show any emotions and I believe this doesn't
really work well for people, it doesn't enable the haling (changing ones
thinking and getting rid of past distress). This might also apply to the
older students coming to SVM school (see Why Sudbury Valley School
Doesn't Work For Everyone: Real Learning Disabilities by D. Greenberg).

So I would like to hear how the existing SVM schools have managed to
build a successfull adult community? And another question is that do you
think that it would be a good idea to implement such a theory like RC to
the adult community? As I see it, there are no means of forcing the
staff members to participate in anything, so it would of course be
voluntary =). I would also like to hear your opinions on how much
influence would it have on the moral basics of SVM. I mean that if there
would be a strong agenda like RC among the staff, wouldn't it affect the
idea that there's no "hidden agenda or hidden curriculum" inside SVM.

I believe though that the SVM schools are such places where real
information is valued and if RC theory is considered useful by the staff
or the students, it will be used. I would also think that people who
start SVM schools are keen to learn new things themselves and thus it
shouldn't be too hard to introduce RC theory or any other theory to the

But I guess it's time for me to listen for a while... Please comment.

Marko Koskinen

PS. more information about RC can be found at http://www.rc.org and for
critical people many critics can be found from the net using keywords
Re-evaluation Counseling.

> Carl Rogers (Rogerian therapy), wrote "On Becoming a Person" and created
> client-centered or non-directive therapy. The therapist does not analyze,
> interogate, or try to figure out the client. The therapist offers a deep and
> profound respect and regard. Also, the therapist offers an abiding trust that
> the client is the most capable person to arrange their affairs and conduct
> their lives. Virginia Axline, wote "Play Therapy", and extended these ideas
> to offer non-directive play therapy. These notions were further extended when
> Eugene Gendlin created something called "focusing". Focusing was then further
> developed by Ann Cornell.
> All of these constructions offer a singular thing, namely, a deep and
> profound respect and regard. When the client (child) realizes that a
> competing agenda is not going to arrive, what does arrive is the client
> (child) themselves, often with a heartfelt explosive expression of self.
> Like, "hey, here I am". This is what it means for the child to be present in
> his or her life. These ideas are not just similar to Sudbury Valley they are
> exactly alike. Each offers a deep and profound regard and respect for the
> child and a deep trust that the child is the most capable to conduct their
> own affairs. Moreover, each declines to offer anything further. These are
> exactly the notions in Hanna Greenburg's "The Art of Doing Nothing". How can
> someone be with somone and be non-invasive and still be additive? Both
> Sudbury Valley and Carl Rogers have come up with the same thing, namely,
> offer nothing save a deep and profound respect and a trust that people are
> capable.
> Please, if these ideas are not useful, just forget them.
> Bill Richardson

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