[From Rick Marken (2007.01.16.2210)]
David Goldstein (2007.01.16.2032 EST)--
I am not sure that:
'It's the state of a single perceptual variable -- the description -- that the parties to the conflict want in
is what is happening.
Me neither. I was just giving my interpretation of what you said.
I don't think any of the parties want to think that the man actually touched the girl in an inappropirate way. However, some of the people come to one conclusion and other people come to a different > conclusion.
Ok. So it's different conclusions they want, not different description. In that case the conflict is over the state of a conclusion.
Why this is so, I am not sure.
I think people must want the conclusions they come to; conclusions don't just force themselves on people. So I would say it's the different higher level perceptions people control for that are responsible for it.
Also, I am not so sure that the phrase 'verbal description' is the key thing. The people are coming up with different verbal descriptions because they are imagining different things.
Yes, I agree. The verbal descriptions are of the state of an imagined perception; so one person imagines (concludes) molestation and the other imagines non-molestation.
My patient, who wants to maintain a relationship with 'her one and only father' thinks that 'something
happened' but is not sure exactly what. She thinks her father needs to speak to a couselor. The mother is reacting to the fact that the father, who was warned not to show up at Christmas by the father of the little girl, didn't say a word to any member of the family.
I think you just described the two higher level controlled perceptions that might be responsible for the conflict: the patient is controlling for having a fatherly father and, thus, wants to imagine something other than molestation; the mother is controlling for getting rid of the guy so she imagines molestation.
This is very different than what my patient, and others, would have expected from him. They are mad
at him for 'ruining Christmas' and not saying something before it became a family drama.
That seem like another conflict, one between your patient (and others) and the father.
In MOL, once a conflict is defined, say the father did it; the father didn't do it; the father did something which the little girl misinterpreted, one would ask the person to talk about each possiblity, repeatedly if necessary, until the person could see all the possibilities simultaneously.
The conflict you described above didn't sound like an intrapersonal conflict in the patient; it sounds more like a interpersonal conflict between the patient and her mother, right? Maybe there is a similar conflict is inside the patient, too. Is there? I didn't pick that up. Does the patient both want and not want to imagine molestation? If so, the same higher level perceptions I mentioned as possibly being responsible for the interpersonal conflict (between mother and patient) might apply within the patient as well.
At this point, some sort of reorganization may happen as the person is thinking about this possibilities. It is not always possible to predict how the person will reorganize.
Richard S. Marken Consulting
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