Psychotherapy Out of Bounds

PSYCHOTHERAPY Out of Bounds, continued
Chapter 16 A Quick Look at Brain Damage
Introduction – Impairing Impairment
This is a volume about psychotherapy. So what on earth has brain damage to do with that? The answer you might expect is that some psychotherapists try to help people ‘live with’ impairments resulting from their brain damage. Of course, Felicity won’t do anything normal or expected – probably intending to exercise his temperamental obstinacy. So, just for the fun of it, let’s look into whatever lunacy he has in store for us now.
A Wobbly Wonder
While walking down the wide hospital corridors, Tracy staggered so much that she bumped into both walls within any stretch of ten feet. Her psychiatric diagnosis was also schizophrenia. That wasn’t the problem. She was brain injured. Of course, ‘organicity’ (I suppose that’s a city made up of organs, though it doesn’t say what kind of organs) was added to the diagnosis to represent the neurological condition. The history she was able to give offered no clear indication about her past or about any injuries she might have suffered. But there was no doubt she was a ‘mal-coord’. Felicity thought it might be fun to try to treat this schizophrenia with a strange method too.
About the time that Tracy was admitted to the Behaviour Therapy Unit, Felicity happened to get lost down in the out-patient department. While trying to find his way out, he opened a door and looked into a room. The room turned out to be one of those observation rooms with a one-way screen. Sitting on a table in front of the screen was a funny-looking board on which there were 100 push-buttons arranged in 10 rows by 10 columns. There was a wire from the board to a twenty-pen pen-recorder. Felicity’s sharp mind needed only ten minutes of cocked-headed contemplation of this contraption to deduce that it was probably an interaction recorder for group therapy – where the observer could hold down a button, for example, in row 6 and column 3 (causing appropriate deflections in two of the pen-recorder’s pens) to indicate that, for the period of time of the pens’ deflections, person 6 was talking to person 3. The thing that interested Felicity most about this equipment was that it had about a half an inch of dust collected on it. It took only another five minutes of what for Felicity passes as thought, for him to figure out that the equipment had not been used for at least a short time.
So it was that when, several days later, he was interviewing his new patient, Tracy, he put her mal-coordination together with the equipment he had so recently seen and he beamed a triumphant smile toward the not-too-attentive-looking hapless lady he had just received under his tender care. After doing a few tests to document her impoverished coordination and gleaning what little information she could afford him, he dismissed her back to the Unit and hurried off to try to find the out-patient department again.

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