Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Psychopaths Dream in Black and White

In this chapter, Jon Ronson provides us with detailed work done by Elliott Barker to help the psychopathic patients to become normal, sane people.  Elliott follows the nude psychotherapy sessions that was first performed by a psychotherapist named Paul Bindrim. The nude psychotherapy sessions require the patients to be unclothed in front of another sitting in a circle and staring at one another's body parts for hours. The sessions were also followed by the patients pouring out their feelings and innermost thoughts.  These sessions took place at Oak Ridge.  After a while, the sessions were thought to have been helping the patients to recover from their psychopathic state of mind, so Elliott brought down the work to a young psychiatrist named Gary Maier.  This chapter also discusses that the sessions were actually not helping out the patients, if anything it was turning the sane people into psychopathic people.  This manic mindset had occurred in a psychiatrist named R.D. Laing who tried to help out mentally ill people but being exposed to all the madness around him had turned himself to become insane. Ronson shows the downfall of the nude sessions by adding that when the psychopaths, who were thought to be cured, were let out into the world had exposed themselves to their old, insane, and psychopathic ways.  The mentally ill people were then brought back to the ward because of the session had not worked. Basically, this chapter shows that the psychopaths were the ones who were not being cured, instead, these psychopathic people were being exposed to sane people and turning the sane people insane.

In reading this chapter, I thought that the practices were a bit awkward in being that nudity would somehow cure the psychopaths' madness and help them to become sane.  I also thought that it was strange how instead of helping the mentally ill, the psychiatrists themselves were turning insane, so there was no point even trying to help the insane when the normal people could not even keep themselves from changing their mindset.  Although this reading was a bit humorous in its awkward ways of nude psychotherapy sessions to cure psycho people, it was interesting to learn this new different way of how the psychiatrists tried help the mentally ill.

Thursday, September 15, 2011