Would CSG please challenge a theory I've developed?
I developed behavioral control theory, BCT, as a
psychiatrist-psychoanalist treating psychiatric patients. The theory
seemed to work--the patents got well and went on to lead normal lives.
So I then I applied it to normal people--It seemed to work there also
People were able to resolve their conflicts more effectively. I am quite
excited by my theory and eager to present it to CSG in the hope they
will challenge it and so give me a chance to try to defend it. I� m not
so concerned, at this point, in comparing BCT to PCT, rather merely to
find out where my theory is wrong, or right, in the eyes of CSG.
Behavioral Control Theory
Behavioral control theory [BCT]] suggests methods of doing things. It
is based on a medical doctor�s need to do things to his patients to
relieve their pain--for example, to mend a broken leg, or stop a heart
To survive a person must do things--seek food, shelter, safety,
companions, sexual partners. Furthermore he must control what he does.
Submitting to control by other people, or to his passions, or to his
conscience leads to dissolution of his �self,� mental disorder and
death. To �do� something means to cause an effect in the person�s
environment, particularly in people in his environment.
Everyone knows that people like to decide for themselves what to do and
resent being told. For example, � a 46 year old patient says about her
mother, �She has control of me of course, total control. The only way I
could get even would be to kill my self.�
Disagreement and conflict occur constantly in human relationships,
particularly intimate relationships. It is not generally known that, as
my theory holds, a person�s mental health, even his sanity is at stake
in such conflicts. Many people fear the responsibility incurred by
deciding for themselves and prefer to let others decide for them.
Submitting endlessly to control by others ultimately leads to mental
disorder, according to my theory. Deciding for one�s self maintains
mental health. One of the more difficult actions a person takes in his
daily life is to oppose someone he loves and depends on. Doing so annoys
and may alienate the loved one, but he must do so to stay sane. My
theory shows that autonomy is necessary to both preserve mental health
To prove a theory it must be shown that it works. My proof that it
works are the clinical records of 35 psychotic patients and over 200
patients with less incapacitating mental disorders. Furthermore my
patients continue to show me daily that BCT works.
BCT works also for normal people resolving interpersonal conflicts.
I cannot offer direct proof that it works for normal people . However
in medicine, normal is often discovered by study of abnormal. For
example, study of liver disease led to understanding normal liver
function. Similarly study of mental disorder leads to knowledge of
normal mental function, namely to control behavior.
I hope CSG will focus their challenges on BCT�s interpretation of
clinical facts and specific therapeutic actions on my part. Also I hope
CSG will challenge both the theory and proof offered of the theory�s
From: John Appel <email@example.com>
Date: 2/2/'99 1800