After the last IAPCT conference, Matias (@MatSalgado) and I discussed our need to have more conversations about PCT in a small & friendly online setting. That’s why we’re trying out the PCT conversations: small online group meetings to discuss topics related to PCT or from a PCT standpoint.
We’ll start the first meetings Thursday, February 2nd and 16th of February 2023. Time depends on your timezone, see below or in the IAPCT public calendar. Meetings will last an hour.
Join in to share your questions, ideas, research and experiences with PCT. This can include a broad range of topics related to the various aspects and themes. Colleagues from different backgrounds and levels of expertise are most welcome to discuss a wide variety of aspects related to Perceptual Control Theory. Eva de Hullu and Matias Salgado will be hosting the meeting.
The first topic to discuss will be our understanding of reorganization.
I will not attend, because if I am not actually asleep at that hour, my mind certainly will not have woken up. However, if you are going to talk about reorganization, you should be aware that increasingly refined and expanded discussions of reorganization are the topic of at least a substantial part of a chapter in each Volume of PPC.
Thank you Martin for your pointer.
I am aware that there is so much to discover about reorganization, and it would be great to follow up our conversations with reading your discussions of reorganization.
In my view, the experience of live conversations is very different from listening to a presentation (and discussing it afterwards) or reading a book or paper. It allows us to explore our own and each other’s perceptions regarding a subject and points to gaps in our knowledge that we weren’t aware of before. We’ll end up with many questions; some of which you will have answered in your writings.
Thoughts on the meeting: there’s some interest too in a reading group, where you prepare by reading a paper or chapter beforehand. Matias and I want to keep this PCT conversation meeting more open, but anyone should feel free to organize a meeting around a certain topic with a reading assignment!
Next session on February 16th. I think we can stick to the topic and start off wherever we are at that moment (like in MOL we shouldn’t set the agenda too strict beforehand).
Yesterday we talked in a diverse group (from the US, UK, Argentina and the Netherlands) about how we have experienced and how we understand the paradigm shift brought about by studying PCT. How, for example, Lloyds own shift in paradigm was reflected in an entire school system changing their view of teaching, centering around the agency of their students. MOL therapists in the room told about how PCT made them, for the first time, understand why their clients behaved as they did. PCT allows you to watch any session from any psychotherapeutic method and understand how change comes (or doesn’t) come about. How PCT influences not just how you do therapy or how you think intellectually, but informs everything, relationships, raising children. This makes sense from the understanding of the paradigm as a highest level perception that changes how you perceive and control all lower level perceptions.
This large impact of a paradigm shift might also help us understand how we can’t expect everyone to come aboard. Some people encounter PCT and use it as a tool, as a theory that fits a certain problem, as we’re used to in psychology. Such use doesn’t bring about a paradigm shift. In my experience with students, I have noted that PCT appeals to those who have a deep wish to understand how people work, who remain curious and don’t stop reorganizing until it really clicks on multiple levels. That takes time, effort and might change many perceptions that you hold dear. Such as, as noted in the meeting, being an expert in whatever you studied. PCT makes us all students again.
Having shifted your paradigm might make you a bit lonely as well. There’s a difference in ease of talking to someone within or outside of your paradigm. That’s why I enjoy these PCT conversations tremendously. However, I also think PCT is not entirely alone in this paradigm. I’ve recently started studying systems thinking and realize that they are wrestling the same dragon. If only the system thinkers knew PCT, they would be way less fuzzy about everything. I’ll post more on that later after I’ve finished the course.
Sources that came to mind for further exploration:
The Tank that Filled Itself, a short paper by Powers explains (with clear diagrams) the difference between cognitive theory, behaviorism and PCT. The Tank that Filled Itself - iapct.org
On the subject of paradigm shifts: the Book of Readings (2016) (available through Dag’s site and to order as well) was a welcome companion to me in my own shift to PCT.
Next PCT conversation planned on Monday, 27th of March, see time and place below.
If you want to host a session and set the date (and subject) please feel free and contact Matias or me for help organising.
We will change our location to the IAPCT zoom room:
IAPCT is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: PCT conversations
Time: Mar 27, 2023 03:00 PM Amsterdam
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 969 2627 5039
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What a lovely post. So right on. I’ll make an effort to join future conversations.
Checking your links and flipping pages, I note the link on page vii in the BoR. I think it would be nice if you and Mathias could copy this folder from the old iapct.org to the current one, so all those tributes held there would survive the transition, and this link would stay valid.
Again, thanks for this lovely post, Dag