Psychology Wiki

--Margaret9mary 21:59, 26 March 2009 (UTC)--Margaret9mary 22:41, 4 March 2009 (UTC)--Margaret9mary 22:38, 4 March 2009 (UTC)--Margaret9mary 22:03, 28 February 2009 (UTC)--Margaret9mary 22:03, 28 February 2009 (UTC)--Margaret9mary 22:03, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Double Bind Theory

Double Bind Theory has been mostly neglected in the last 50 years. If you read Minimal Requirements for a Theory of Schizophrenia--(in Steps to an Ecology of Mind Part III Form and Pathology in Relationships)--you will see why. Bateson (and his colleagues) were talking about various issues and on different levels all at the same time.

  1. 1. They were NOT saying that double binds cause an organic brain disorder, but that systematic double binds, especially in early childhood, could cause a perpetual state of confused communication, i.e. patterns of confusion (something very stressful, even traumatic) that could sound like the word salad of "schizophrenia"
  2. 2. At the same time they were using the paradigm of cybernetics/complex systems theory, which Bateson helped develop in the 1940s and which Lawrence Bale finally described properly in 1995, contrasting it with the paradigm of classical science, see [Bale, L.S. 1995, Gregory Bateson, Cybernetics and the Social/Behavioral Sciences].

When DBT is approached from the paradigm of classical science it doesn't compute. But note that as early as 1959 Bateson said "the proposed classification of learning and/or context is an ordering of what to the Newtonian looks like chaos..." pp 251-252, and so in Minimal Requirements Bateson was

  1. 3. Making an analysis of the foundations of scientific thought.

Another matter is that Bateson did not develop a mature definition of double bind. As he commented in the Intro to Steps to an Ecology of Mind: "In the nature of the case, an explorer can never know what he is exploring until it has been explored" and "It was only in late 1969 that I became fully conscious of what I had been doing." p. xvi. And so his thinking can be understood only by a very slow and careful reading and rereading, jumping back and forth and connecting concepts. Also, he expected his listeners to do their own thinking, not simply look for answers. Speed reading Bateson is impossible.

I expect you want to know my scientific credentials. I was raised by 2 anthropologists (comparative linguistics and ethnology); due to their professional relationship we children grew up in a milieu of scientific discussion and were expected to understand and adhere to scientific methodology from earliest childhood. However, due to the intense doublebinding originating in my mother's family system I opted out of science as a profession--to do recovery. So I have an insider's understanding of double bind. (Bateson made instant sense to me).

Seeing the obstacles in making progress concerning defining DBT I have been corresponding with MC Bateson (his daughter) who has written and given talks on double bind. I let her know you had opened a page on Psychology Wiki.

Yet another problem is that many of the early articles are either no longer in print or difficult to access. However, if you read Bale you will see why a better understanding of complex systems theory is urgently needed. Classical science defined situations with multiple variables as outside the purview of science. And so we have lost 30 years in delays in understanding ecosystems including the global system, and including human ecosystems such as cultures--and the economy--as well as DBT. (Note: the Wikipedia entry on complex systems includes the economy.) If you have any objections to what is written in the Wikipedia entry please let me know. Feedback is another key element of self-regulating,self-correcting, self-healing systems--Margaret9mary 02:30, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Retrieved from ""

complex systems theory and double bind

--Margaret9mary 23:02, 25 March 2009 (UTC) --Margaret9mary 20:11, 26 March 2009 (UTC)== Double Bind and Cybernetics/Complex Systems Theory ==

In 1959, in Minimal Requirements for a Theory of Schizophrenia (1959)*, G Bateson said, "... the proposed hierarchic classification of learning and/or context is an ordering of what to the Newtonian looks like chaos (my emphasis)..."--and Bateson had been working with cybernetics/complex systems theory since 1942, seeing it as a paradigm or metascience that increased understanding, including in the behavioral sciences.

L. Bale says "...many scholars and practitioners of the social/behavioral sciences, as well as the humanities (myself included) were first introduced to cybernetics through Bateson's particular understanding of the cybernetic paradigm. Yet, he seldom offered his audience more than a cursory reference to the key principles underlying cybernetics. Thus the purpose of this essay is both: to present the fundamental principles underlying what is now often referred to as the 'first' cybernetics..." (op cit p. 2)

Complex systems theory helps us understand the interdependence of the parts of a message and so it helps understand double binds. Hence my statement that double bind theory is more clearly understood in the context of complex systems theory.

*in Minimal Requirements... Bateson says, "My purpose, therefore, in the present lecture is not so much to discuss the particular theory of schizophrenia which we have been developing at Palo Alto. Rather, I want to indicate to you that this theory and others like it have impact upon ideas about the very nature of explanation....a discussion of the implications of the double bind theory for the wider field of behavior science and even, beyond that, its effect upon evolutionary theory and biological epistemology." As an interdisciplinary scientist, Bateson often looks beyond his immediate subject.

transferring changes in Wikipedia Double Bind to Psychology Wiki DB Interaction

I asked how to transfer the changes from Wikipedia to Psychology Wiki and someone said just transfer the whole page. It doesn't work. It makes a mess. And it leaves out the references. Can someone else provide a more complete technical explanation? NOTACOMPUTERGEEK --Margaret9mary 22:59, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Hi. Our instructions for copying over material from WP are here Psychology Wiki:Copying from Wikipedia other useful info can be found at Psychology Wiki:Copying Articles and How to copy material. The key to carrying the references over is to copy sections from the editable version of the WP page not from the article itself.

In the early stages of an article's creation updating whole pages from WP is the way to go but once changes have been made here then it is usually important that they are retained in which case adding from WP needs to be more selective. So copying and pasting individual references or just the new sections has to be done while thinking about how they can be integrated into our existing article.Dr Joe Kiff 06:41, 14 May 2009 (UTC)