RE: DSM: troubles at PacVillage

From: Liz Reid&Errol Strelnikoff (
Date: Sat May 26 2001 - 15:12:46 EDT

Hi Joe,
Of course you are right. You are absolutely entitled to your beliefs
and these are by nature subjective. As are my own beliefs and pretty
well everything in the universe. I was personally distressed at your
casual dismissal of therapeutic schools, which could mean anything or

My own experience of what could be termed a therapeutic school was as a
child at Playmountain, a free school in Culver City founded fifty years
ago. Phyllis Fleischmann, the founder, was a great teacher and in her
case this was equivalent to therapy. Phyllis managed to teach/help
both children and parents in a myriad of ways. But what she
accomplished was a gift and was not something that could be replicated.
Playmountain still exists today and is still a wonderful school, but the
incredible inspiration that was Phyllis has gone. But this is just fine
as the effects of her teaching are still carried on, through my parents
to me, to my children. And many other parents and children besides.

I do not think that Phyllis was a unique phenomena, there are other
great teachers/therapists and there will be more. One could think of
Homer Lane, A.S. Neil and be happy that they did not hold your beliefs
about therapeutic schools. Even Sudbury is in it's own way therapeutic.

Forgive me if I am wrong, but I was under the impression that you are
involved in a Sudbury school, and not just as a parent. I guess if I
were a student and you were my teacher or staff person and you made your
comparison between Sudbury Schools and *therapeutic* schools, I would
probably think you were speaking from a lack of experience. Which is
fine. But I hope that my opinions of your experience or lack of it,
would not prevent me from learning from you in those areas where you do
have expertise.

I suppose that this would be a great lesson in itself, how to hear
people's bigotries and still be able to hear their wisdom.



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