Treatment Resistant Psychosis is what the Communication Model is targetting
Within the realm of serious mental illness, there is a symptom / emotion which is referred to as Treatment Resistant Psychosis. If you are a medical doctor it is considered a symptom however, if you are looking at it through the lens of the Communication Model, then it is an emotion.
Treatment Resistant Psychosis is a very special kind of emotion. It is an emotion that cannot be easily treated with psychiatric medications. Instead it is something a lot more profound than that. It is the treatment resistant psychosis which often leads individuals landing in jail or living on the streets and the Communication Model is intended to help express this one emotion through the means of verbal communication and through means of the abstract drawing which is born out of the dual communication, between practitioner and the individual who is experiencing the mental distress.
Often what occurs is that an individual with treatment resistant psychosis tries to function in society as best as one can. This often leads one to having a good full-time job, being a valued member in the community, having friends and good relations with family – and at the same time there is this incredible inner emotion which seems to tear at the seams of ones very own existence. This is treatment resistant psychosis. On the opposite side of the same coin, an individual could have such a hard time containing this emotion that it starts to rule ones life – this leads to a form of incoherent decision-making, confusion and inconsistent behavior. A behavior which is not in line with the norms and values of standard society etiquette.
It is an emotion which Emily Dickinson best explains with her words, “My life had stood – a loaded gun.”
Treatment resistant psychosis is a prevailing emotion and an underlining emotion.
Sometimes a medical doctor will try to treat this within a medical facility, however this specific type of emotion can often not be treated within the realm of scientific formulated medicine for the brain. It is probably one of the greatest mysteries in our world today – as to why treatment resistant psychosis cannot be subdued like other symptoms/emotions within the schizophrenia spectrum can – this makes it such a great obstacle to help these very specific individuals, with this very select and very specific trait / symptom/ emotion.
Currently there is no cure, nor is there any real preventative measures for this specific psychosis. In other words, there is zero treatment for this. The Communication Model Approach, by using the triangle method (practitioner, individual with mental distress and the link to the abstract drawing) is intended to aid these specific individuals with this one specific trait. The Communication Model is a very specific tool to help these very specific individuals.
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Sounds great … how this fits in with your communication model ….???
Theo, thank you for your question. Treatment Resistant Psychosis is very rare. For example, 1 – 2 % of the average population has schizophrenia, however, treatment resistant psychosis is a very small portion of the 1 – 2 %. It is my hypothesis, and based on the 400 peer academic research that I conducted into the subject (schizophrenia, jails, criminalization, victimization) in 2012 – 2013 – that many individuals who are in jails have this specific medical symptom / human emotion. For example according to STATSCAN, 419 individuals with a DSM diagnosis – a medically valid label – are currently in the Canadian Federal Jail system. If 419 medically diagnosed individuals are in jail with an official DSM diagnosis – I guess that the medical treatment to minimalize their symptoms, through the Medical Model, did not work, because if they did work – the individuals would not be in jail – or would they?
I do not think that individuals with a medical problem should be treated in the Federal Jails. According to the research, it is not a positive environment for ill individuals to be in.
Where the Communication Model approach comes in is simple. It is the intention to contact these specific individuals, and the group of individuals if there are any individuals who would, out of free-will, like to participate in the interaction with the Communication Model. The Communication Model would be described to an free-willed individual as a non-judgmental and acceptance model. It would also be implied that the Communication Model could possibly – but not guaranteed – to be a helping tool – towards ones rehabilitation. This word rehabilitation means that the individual who joins the Communication Model needs to at least self-identify that he / she may, out of his/ her own free-will, be open to the possibility of self-change.
On the free-will consent of the individual, with Treatment Resistant Psychosis, the Communication Model will be implemented. Implementing the Communication Model means sitting at a table in the jail cell together. The practitioner will have the pen and paper and the Canadian Federal inmate will share his/her psychological challenges. These psychological challenges will be unique to that one specific individual, however I envision that treatment resistant psychosis traits will emerge while conducting the Communication Model. These traits / emotions / symptoms of the treatment resistant psychosis could consist to verbally describing pain, sharing deep thoughts and there could be bottom-less feelings that emerge in the form of a counter-transference. All of this will be transfered by the practitioner onto paper in the form of the abstract drawing. The abstract drawing will be like the impartial witness. At the end of the session – the result will be the physical drawing. This physical drawing is will be placed into a personal file.
The main components of the Communication Model are empathy, shared-lived experience, acceptance, non-judgment, self-identification, existentialism, individualism, individual-centered. It is not advice giving and no promises will be made.
It is the intention that this first individual, learns the Communication Model while he/she is part of it. The Communication Model has two sides. For example, the practitioner is both  teaching the individual about the Communication Model and  helping to relieve distress in a balanced symbiosis, through the funneling of the communication onto the abstract drawing. This two-folded component within the triangle method of the Communication Model Approach is what really targets the treatment resistant psychosis. It is the multi-dimensional character of the model that targets all components.
I hope this answers your question, the Communication Model is about transparency and learning. Questions are always answered.
Annuska van der Pol, BA, PDD-IMHA
Mental Health and Addictions Practitioner
Victoria BC Canada