Family Therapy and Schizophrenia: Addressing the ‘in-the-corner’ lifestyle — Michael White


These notes present a perspective on schizophrenia that (1) emphasises the socially produced nature of its course, (2) focuses on self descriptions of the persons so diagnosed as extraordinary failures to become a person, and (3) utilizes a cybernetic metaphor to map the participation of family members around this problem.

Some examples of interventions that I have found helpful are detailed. These interventions undermine the sense of failure experienced by family members in assisting them to (1) challenge the subjugating effects of scientific classification and normalizing judgement, (2) escape the system of reciprocal invitations that support the ‘in-the-corner’ lifestyle, (3) select out unique outcomes that contribute to new and empowering self descriptions, and (4) establish a new context for relapse that mitigates against the notion of deterioration.