Archive for October, 2008

Go to New Address for Psyberspace

October 30, 2008

Exported this Psyberspace blog from to here:

The new RSS feed is:


David Bohm Dialogues

October 23, 2008

On Dialogue

Thought as a System

Bohm Dialogue – Wikipedia

I (Google desktop) found two text files on my PC, from the nineties! (I am like that).

Bohm Dialogue Proposal
The item describes in some detail the purpose & structure of Dialogue as proposed by Bohm & colleagues.

Bohm Dialogue – book extract
An item from a newsgroup. Summarises the material on Dialogue from the book: Science, Order and Creativity 1987


From the Dialogue Page on the Co-Intellignece website

Guidelines for Open Dialogue

The more all participants are aware of the nature of dialogue and committed to bringing it about, the better the chance it will happen. Towards that end, the following comparison of dialogue and debate offers one of the most useful summaries of dialogue that we’ve seen. (It was adapted by the Study Circle Resource Center from a paper prepared by Shelley Berman, which in turn was based on discussions of the Dialogue Group of the Boston Chapter of Educators for Social Responsibility.)

More follows, including a list of bullet points.



October 22, 2008

There is a strange synchronicity at work! I have become more reflective about my work as a psychotherapist. The new posts here may reflect that. The couple dialogues I facilitate are powerful and impact me as well as the clients.

What are the exact roles that are involved in those dialogues, and the place of language in those roles? The ideas of Hendrix and Rosenberg are important to me. Are they really right that only one partner needs to make a commitment to dialogue?

I return to my roots in Psychodrama. I am doing that in many ways. One is that I will be a trainer in the CITP next year, and also furthering my own training as a Trainer, Educator and Practitioner. I mean roots! What is the nature of the method? The psyche, the drama, roles, and mostly what is the sociometric method. What is the place of healing. I am such a thinker. I have previously written about sociometric criteria for group explorations. See Moreno in Wikipedia for a good summary.

I was inspired listening to Richard Moore, and “Dynamic Facilitation” which they distinguish from Bohmian Dialogue.

And then Pscience, which leads to Bohm via another route, though I had forgotten he even exists.

And Bohm, leads to creativity. He is vitally interested in that subject, like Moreno. He wrote several books on creativity. Which makes me feel like my passion for art is tied in with this larger project. I am so pleased with my couple of years of intensity in that dept!

I am delighted by the unity in my work, the coming together of threads. Even my old interest in politics is included.

So, more on all this will follow.


October 22, 2008

I just made a new Category for my blog. Pscienc. There are heaps of posts back in the past that will need to be categorised.

Psychology and science as a unified field.

I wonder if anyone else has used the name? Plenty, but none that use it in this way. Political science, and there is a band.

Here is the first post I’ll add Murray Gell-Mann


Here are some pscientific questions:

What can we learn about binary stars by doing intentional dialogues with a life-partner?

Should we use the term gravity or will Eros do?

Is there such a thing as psychic energy? Libido? In psychology is energy a metaphor? What if it were a metaphor in physics as well?

Was Jung right to think the law of thermo-dynamics applies to psychic energy?

What can Moreno’s “social atom” for the smallest social unit needed for survival teach us about the structure of the atom in physics? And vice versa.

Is a social dyad like a quantum phenomena in that once observed the phenomena is transformed?

Does isomorphy, i.e self-similarity, work all the way from the big-bang to a synapse in our brain?

Ideas, stories and metaphors impact on on the world. They are real in their consequences. Therefore God is real.

Proof in maths is different from proof in physics. How do you prove you love someone? What if we applied standards of proof from one context in another? We already do: The theorem is true because it is elegant.


Dynamic Facilitation

October 21, 2008

Here is a Manual for Dynamic Facilitation.

Report on Online Dialogues!

Jim Rough’s book:



The online manual is pretty good!

The whole manual is through, informative and while all is familiar it looks as if they have found an ordinary simple structure that could well work! Here is an excerpt from the manual,



Most approaches that are designed to help groups address practical difficulties and challenges do not utilize emergent process. Instead, they tend to rely on structured agendas, pre-determined sequences of steps, and negotiated decisions. Dynamic Facilitation takes a different approach, inviting participants to remain within a creative process where group “aha’s” can occur.

There are other approaches to group facilitation that also follow the “emergent process” of a group, such as Bohmian Dialogue and T-groups. Facilitators practicing these processes also refrain from leading the group through any set series of “steps,” and from “managing consensus” in any way. However, these approaches have not been designed for the purpose of addressing practical issues, and quite understandably do not lend themselves well to that purpose.

In Bohmian Dialogue, the main purpose of the group is to develop a deeper understanding of the nature of the thinking process. In T-groups, the purpose is to develop interpersonal understanding. In contrast, the purpose of Dynamic Facilitation is to help people discover creative and practical approaches to challenging issues. This can include anything from “How do we design a better workplace?” to “How do we address the homeless problem in our community?”

In the process of arriving in a non-directive manner at new and creative solutions, people tend to also arrive at better interpersonal understandings, and they may even have some realizations about “the nature of thought.” But while these can emerge as “added benefits”, they are not our principal focus.

While markedly different in some respects, there are other ways in which Dynamic Facilitation is very similar to the practice of Transformative Mediation (Bush and Folger, 2004). Both of these approaches have very active interventions at the micro level, designed to support each participant’s contribution. And, at the macro level, they both refrain on principle from any effort to “manage” or negotiate convergence, choosing to “follow the process,” instead of directing it.

Dynamic Facilitation also bears some strong resemblances to Dialogue Mapping, a computer-assisted version of cognitive mapping (Conklin, 2005.)

Cameron Riley interviews Richard Moore

October 20, 2008

Just listened to Cameron Riley interview Richard Moore. Excellent podcast. A credible analysis of the geo-politics and a credible practical way forward – rare. I am now checking out “dynamic facilitation” dialogue. I love the way he speaks about doing dialogues as an experiment. Reminds me of Moreno’s sociometric experiments. These are not experiments ON people. This is people experimenting together, well that is what I make of it.

The state of the art for community dialogues has a way to go I think. I can see a sort of combination of Imago, NVC, Sociometry working to facilitate such a process. Couple and small group dialogues are hard enough, dialogues for social issues may be simpler. I like the way he proposes that a small group with diverse opinions, if they find a solution, it is likely it will be broadly accepted.

Alan Lightman

October 16, 2008

Alan Lightman is a novelist, essayist, physicist, and educator. Currently, he is Adjunct Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

I got interested listening to him being interviewed, with the first part of the interview mainly about the relationship between art & science.

Click to play, right click to download
Kim Hill last week

Heartening because he & Kim were able to broach this interrelationship at all. That is what makes this such a treat to listen to. He is a writer & a scientist. He is married to a painter.

Frustrating because he sees a gap between the sciences and the arts, creativity, that need not be there at all. I am thinking of the science that Moreno advocates, and I write about in my paper, see this post & link here.

He speaks about how the idea is more important in science than the presentation. But is it? Beauty & truth are more interrelated than that. Also the expression about the world is always a map, the nature of the correspondence between the map & the territory is varied but at this level e=mc2 is a map in much the same way as the Mona Lisa.

True, the terms are defined in scientific language. But language itself is also defined, with more fuzzy, and hence often more effective rules. Science has not learned the sociometric method yet. Just wait till it hits the world! The sociometric revolution is yet to come.

Typing on the iPhone – here is the secret!

October 15, 2008

I have tried a couple of different apps for writing on the iPhone.

The best is the native keyboard!

Here is the secret you need to make it work. Maybe this is in the manual, or obvious to some, but for me it was a revelation when I hit on it about a month after getting the phone.

The secret is:

  • Use your thumbs.
  • Look at the keys, not the screen (cover it up!).
  • Type like mad, don’t worry about hitting the right keys.

You will be delighted with the results when you look, even if there are a few errors.

  • Correct later, use index finger if you will.

One more little tip: Slide (not tap) to add punctuation, that takes you automatically back to the ABC screen.

Shifting stuff around

October 8, 2008


Posted via Pixelpipe.

Later: Ooops I did not know that is what I had just done, posted an image from my iPhone to the blog. Something worked, but not the way I wanted it to. I was hoping I had sent something to the Images folder, but that is not what happened, this links to Pixelpipe. Never mind.

Good communication & Psychotherapy

October 4, 2008

I see two qualities as essential to psychotherapy:

  • The crucible of the relationship. This is formed through the engament process and framed by purpose, time and money agreements.
  • Attention to the unconscious. Work with dreams & transference (perhaps better but more obscurely phrased as the isomorphy of dynamics.)

I educate about communication in relationship. I have done it since the early 80s , but with my enthusiasm as I learnt to work more fully with the crucible & the unconscious, I took this aspect for granted. I have also wondered at times if I was too interventionist, thus creating unnecessary transference.

Right now I want to claim it as useful, important. It is right to teach cognitive psychological material if the client will benefit from that. Then comes the crucial question what to teach? What is in the manual? How to teach it?

Some principles:

Firstly the crucible, the therapeutic relationship and unconscious processes must come first, or there will be no sustained deep work.

The educative work can be integrated into the psychotherapy.

And what is worth teaching? This must be under constant review as just what is good communication an art.

Recently I discovered Marshall Rosenberg, the whole NVC system is worth learning. See my earlier post.

Dialogue process as taught by Harville Hendrix is worth knowing. Here is a description of the Intentional Dialogue by Dawn J. Lipthrott.

There are dozens of principles of good communication in Transactional analysis. They have become part of my being over the years but I leaned about them first in an out of print book by Hogie Wycoff. There is a paper on the net that covers some of that: The Theory and Practice of Cooperation. One that is central to this paper and good communication is the understanding of the Karpman triangle

One of the difficulties many people face is that rather than learning about effective communication they learn ideas about “positive thinking”, and even “assertiveness”. They so easily lead to problems. “Positivity” misused, can cover pain & lead to annoyance when others express pain. Such tools in the culture are readily used to cope, but they do not enable deeper connection, they do not allow needs to be clearly identified. “Assertiveness” misused, can prevent the attitude put forward by Rosenberg, that we focus the needs of both parties. Over coming the forces in the culture that foster poor communication is an essential part of psychotherapy in my opinion. As both Rosenberg and Wycoff point out many of these linguistic modes are based to sustain a culture of dominance and submission.

Teaching is most needed & relevant long before clients arrive for help. The arrive with psychological trauma of adverse relationships in their lives. They maybe in deep pain and not receptive to learning. Yet at those times we can model, re-frame in language that leads to insight. For example (and I’ll just offer one for now), when someone confuses think and feel, in the active listening the therapist can untangle it:

“I feel no-one loves me”

You think no one loves you, I imagine you feel sad when you think that.