2 psychological models
Recent ideas have produced psychological models as opposed to psychiatric theories, for understanding schizophrenia, and for learning how to treat and view it as something 'more within the normal range.'
First model is the Laingian Politics of the family approach while the second model of thought is a problems in living approach.
The first was outlined brilliantly by Dr R.D. Laing in the 1970s, and is also known as the Conspiratorial Model. It is where several stronger family members 'gang up' on one more sensitive individual who becomes the family's emotional scapegoat. This would happen at an almost sub-conscious role-playing level.
The victim would start feeling that a conspiracy exists against him; then of course he would be considered 'paranoid' and obviously 'showing symptoms.' Many a professional would have been sucked in to a family's 'observations' like this, and would then take an active role in the politics of the situation and in 'the conspiracy.' It just goes to show how totally unscientific psychiatry itself is! It's normally more of a legal position. A power position which is used to label and define 'the powerless.'
The second of the psychological models for understanding schizophrenia is that breath of fresh air, the 'problems in living' approach. Finally, sanity prevails. All people are seen as having common tasks, needs, survival urges, etc., and some people simply don't face life's problems head on. They become the proverbial ostrich and withdraw, bury their head in the sand, escape and avoid social challenges and therefore end up with emotional blocks and stunted social-role development.
Seen from this perspective, the passivity and sensitivity of the schizophrenic becomes very, very understandable!
Site last updated: June 28, 2004