Specifics of the Communication Model

Communication  Model

Written by Annuska van der Pol

August 2013

The Communication Model is a device which is intended to help society. It will help with alleviating mental distress and pain. It will help family members, the community and society as a whole to understand serious mental illness. At the same time, it will help the person with serious mental illness communicate effectively to better meet his/her specific needs.

The Communication Model has three stages to it. First there is the peer model and the hierarchical stage. Second there is the Open Dialogue stage and third there is the actual communication model.

For example:

Stage 1: peer model and hierarchical stage, current Victoria, British Columbia, Canada model

Stage 2: Open Dialogue, current model in Finland

Stage 3: Communication Model, future Victoria British Columbia, Canada

Within serious mental illness there are many different levels of illness. For example,

[1] schizophrenia

[2] schizophrenia with addictions

[3] schizophrenia with a personality disorder and addictions

Then there are there other factors, such as homelessness, unemployed, no family, becomes part of the jail system, criminalization and victimization, but also the contrary –namely coming from a good family structure, having a good career, has a high intellect and having dreams and aspirations for his/her own.

  1. A.      Technical side of the Communication Model

A.1 The Communication Model involves a person with schizophrenia and a practitioner

A.2 It is the interaction between two (2) people

A.3 It is the understanding of schizophrenia

A.4 It is understanding the processing of emotion from the point of view of the person with schizophrenia

A.5 It is the interaction between two (2) people verbally and non-verbally

A.6 It is understanding the connection and the disconnection

A.7 It is the understanding and piecing together dis-fragmentation

A.8 It is comprehending the whole person

A.9 It is accepting hallucinations, oral, audio, hearing voices, smells and other hallucinations, like command hallucinations and violent hallucinations

A.10 It is accepting the process flow as information on both intellectual and an emotional level

Communication Model details,

[A] Message:

A1. emotional message (see B)

A2. intellectual message

[B] Emotional message often cannot be received

[C] The fact that the emotional message often cannot be received – that means that the emotional message cannot be delivered correctly

[D] For example, a person with schizophrenia is distressed

[E] The emotional processing gets blocked and cannot function due to stress

[F]This leads to impairment and as a reaction leads to anger and frustration which may or may not escalate

[G] However the main cause started when the original message could not be received due to impairment on the part of the recipient and not from the reaction to the message. It is not a flashback, nor is it triggered by any memory or association.

[H] The psychiatric impairment resides in the recipients’ actual knowledge of not being able to receive the emotional message

[I] It is the self-realization, the self-awareness of having the deficit of emotion which causes one to display symptoms of mental illness

[J] Hence each time psychosis starts it is caused by the awareness of a deficit in contrast to a trigger or a memory

[K] A trigger or a memory can be explained and a trigger and memory does result in psychosis, positive symptoms but it can be understood

[L] So the communication model explains one step deeper than psychosis, it explains not an emotional deregulation – as that is the result not the cause of psychosis –

[M] The cause is the acknowledgement, conscious or unconsciously of the fact that the emotional message is not resonating.

[N] The idea of not being able to receive all the layers of the emotional message, results in a defense mechanism which resembles psychosis, such as explosive outbursts

[O] The communication model analyses this process and it brings in a new way of communication

[P] It is the communication from a person with schizophrenia to a practitioner by means of abstraction

[Q] This means of abstraction is in the visual arts designs that automatically flow from the practitioner

[R] It is the automatic flow of abstract designs that bridge the gap between components of emotional deregulation

[S] The communication counter-transference process-flow that flows inside the practitioner as a result of a conversation with a person with schizophrenia interacts the empathy between the two individuals and the empathetic emotional balance results in visual abstract drawing – and it is these actual drawings which evolves the emotion of a person with schizophrenia and the other to actually create an authentic emotional connection

[T] The emotional connection and the bond are like re-creating emotional learning by going into the back door. Instead of getting emotion development from parents or loved ones or teachers or any other, one learns about abstract emotions through interfacing with the communication process flow through the medium of abstract drawings.

[U] Envisioning a museum exhibition with abstract drawings to indicate the workings of the emotional abstract process flow would bring another dimension to the communication model

[V] The result is that people in homes, communities and society will start using this Communication Model to better comprehend mental illness

[W] The model is intended to alleviate distress an individual with mental illness experiences

[X] It is a tool to be used in caution

[Y] It is a communication process flow – and the drawings are only one component of the whole model

[Z] In order to implement this model one would need to understand the boundaries of the psyche and need to operate within the realm of human ethics and personal, community and public safety

[Z.1] A similar type of notion is Richard Bentalls’ exploration, “Understanding Madness”

[Z.2] This concept cannot be rudimentary implemented without caution

[Z.3] Research components are experiential like within the:

[Z.3.1] Peer model

[Z.3.2] Open Dialogue


Aim is to make many components within Canada, America and Western Europe more humanity oriented in the Justice System (jails, police, court), the Employment sector, within family units and in the Medical field.

The aim is to reduce coercion within the Medical system and within all hierarchical system structures – the first step is mental illness, but it is predicted that the Communication Model will spread to all layers of society hence actually changing many parts of our society. It is the prediction that this change is inevitable. The World Health Organization predicts a very high increase in mental illness and a very low amount of money to help mental illness in the Medical system. This communication model is cost effective. It would be a model of quality care which would be accessible for all versus the current elitist mental health system of care for schizophrenia, with regards to clinical schizophrenia in particular.

Reference: Hart, Bernard (1958) The Psychology of Insanity. Cambridge University Press p. 41-50.





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