Author: Hubbard, L. R.
Document date: 18 January 1951
Document title: Gradients of Accessibility
Document type: lecture transcript
Event: Elizabeth lectures
Location: Elizabeth, New Jersey
Document ID: 5101C18A
Description: Hubbard discusses Dr. Frieda Fromm-Reichmann 's mimicry technique for psychotics.
A psychiatrist, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann1, put into my hands a processing manual for psychiatrists, which gives the new psychiatrist a lot of tips on how to practice his profession. She did me a lot of good in that moment, because she gave me a tool to use in case the fire gets too heavy.
I can quote from it. For instance, it says, “The psychiatrist should restrain himself in his tendency to sleep while treating a patient. Most psychiatrists tell themselves that they will wake up if the patient says anything of importance. However, this mechanism should not be relied upon.” It assumes everybody in psychiatry goes to sleep. There is a long section on that. Then it says, “A psychiatrist should not look to his woman patients for his gratification– always.” This thing is priceless!
However, I honestly appreciate Frieda’s work. Out of the whole field of psychiatry, there are a few very stellar lights, and Frieda is one of them. This old girl has patience and courage to spare. She takes some raving maniac, without anybody to protect her, and works with him for a while. Soon the person is talking to the guards very rationally.
Wonderful! Her main stock in trade is that she gets affinity and communication by agreement and reality. In establishing the reality, she does not want the psychotic to accept her reality, she accepts the psychotic’s reality. If he jumps up and down on a stool, Frieda will jump up and down on the stool, and so on–not in mockery, but in perfect agreement with this person–and soon he is perfectly willing to converse with her. In this way she gets his ARC up above the psychotic point–a process which requires considerable imagination. It also requires a lot of nerve.
Although it is not the subtlest form of agreement, man’s first learning pattern is mimicry. That means a similarity. That is agreement, and if you get enough agreement you will get a reality. Mimicry is one of the levels on it. I worked for about a month on one young man who stuttered before he found out that I don’t stutter!
Hubbard, L. R. (1951, 18 January). Gradients of Accessibility. Elizabeth Lectures, (5101C18A). Lecture conducted from Elizabeth, New Jersey.