Pillars of Madness: Part II, Distracting Automatisms

Professor Keirsey's Blog

Part II

There are four extraordinarily useful ideas amid the massive tangle of publications on madness, these contributed by four men of genius in the practice of studying and changing seemingly irrational human actions—

[1] The Temperament Base of Madness (Ernst Kretschmer)
[2] Distracting Automatisms (Pierre Janet)
[3] Role Casting Control (Jay Haley)
[4] Disarming Confessions (Alfred Adler)

[2] Distracting Automatisms

The second idea comes from a long line of trance investigators, beginning with Maxwell, a Scottish medic of the late 17th century, and ending with Milton Erickson, an American medic of the mid 20th century. Their collective contribution to solving the mystery of madness is that in order to carry out an absurdly deviant act we have to go into a trance state and stay in it, no matter how long it takes, until the act is completed. If the act is interrupted in…

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