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Sigismund - Harry Stack Sullivan

Posted by Quintal on August 22, 2008, at 16:22:19

Your post further up the board got my attention.

"He made his reputation based on his experimental treatment ward for schizophrenics at the Sheppard Pratt Hospital, between 1925-29. He employed specially trained ward attendants to work with the patients to provide them with the peer relationships he believed they'd missed out on during the latency period of development. Doctors, nurses and other authority figures were banned from the ward. He believed there was a homosexual element to latency age peer relationships and that a failure to go through this stage led to self-loathing, a withdrawal from the world in fantasy and psychosis, and a failure to move on to heterosexual adjustment. Thus the patients, who were all young male homosexuals as well as schizophrenics, in their positive interactions with the attendants, also young male homosexuals, would heal the wounds from missing male intimacy as pre-adolescents."

I was impressed.

That sounds very nice. Much better than aversion therapy anyway, but I wonder how he managed to set something like that up in the 1920s? Wasn't homosexuality illegal back then?

I was going to bring a copy into therapy today, but chickened out at the last minute. Luckily she started talking about identity later in the session, asking me to define myself in terms of 'I am' statements, so I got up the courage to slip in "I am gay" in there after a while. We didn't talk about any of this because she wrapped up the session soon after. I 'don't know' why it's so difficult to talk about it like that. Being so vulnerable and exposed. I'm so used to keeping myself safe.

The thing about male intimacy sounds about right. I remember lots of advances from my male friends at about the age of twelve. They were going through that homosexual phase but for some reason I never took part in it, and got left behind. I stopped speaking soon after that. This makes me realise the lack of male bonding in my life. I'm totally disconnected from my dad emotionally, at least in terms of positive emotions. I don't think there was ever much love there. I was too much like my mother.

Yeah, anyway. The last time I had any male intimacy was the night I was admitted to hospital funnily enough. A male nurse came in while I was naked in the shower cubicle, and he just went and sat on the edge of my bed as if this was perfectly normal. I felt closer to him than I have to anyone in long time. As he was leaving he opened the shower door and looked me up and down and settled on my penis. It was an odd feeling. I spent all the night wanting to have him close and hold me, stroke my hair, and more. It's weird because I fantasized about a setup similar to Sullivan's experiment. If he had of been gay and that kind of intimacy was allowed I'd have been in seventh heaven. I'm sure it would have done me more good than the tablets I was given.





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poster:Quintal thread:847724