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When the USSR began to fragment in the early 1980's, scientists with their lifetimes spent behind the "Iron Curtain," introduced banned Soviet manuscripts from minds like Lev Vygotsky, whose ideas on thought & language, would have supported Dr. Watzlawick's work conceptually & technically. In this farsighted text, Dr. Watzlawick deals with fanatically complex dynamics involved in linguistic instrumentality, communicational pragmatics, & in both tandem conscious & unconscious intersubjective processes.
Watzlawick & his post-Bateson crew, had situated training in a unique version of a psycholinguistic based, hybrid for on medical hypnotherapy, conceptualized by Milton H. Erickson. Gregory Bateson & Margaret Mead, in 1936, become friends to the Erickson's over a mutual interest in arcane Polynesian "trance rituals." During the Stanford Project of Gregory Bateson, Paul Watzlawick & Jay Haley were staff researchers wanting beyond the double-bind project goal, a taxonomy for "The Pragmatics of human Communication." Bateson turned his Stanford group over to Milton H. Erickson, MD, for hand-on psychotherapeutic training, employing, what on the surface seems bizarre, non-social language constructions.
As conceptualized by Watzlawick from the behaviorism wars conclusion (circa 1946-1985), his work was considered attending to a clients unconscious therapeutic behavior. Neuro Linguistic Programing (NLP), was derived from another pair of training psychotherapist with Milton Erickson, which means the approaches overlap, yet still different.
Ironically, when considering Paul Watzlawick's position on many of todays insights, elevating his concerns of language & change to a scientifically valid body of knowledge. The "Black Box" of our brain had not occurred, the gene wasn't mapped, & computational science had not yet metered. The entire Bateson network was, in modern terms, anti-psychiatry, without the DSM-III, lousy drugs, & a largely ineffective psychotherapy profession. Their skepticism & well founded mistrust of genetics & behavior, research psychiatry, & their rigid views toward such topics, date their era. Researchers like Paul Watzlawick, had not in their later years, accept a legitimate role for genetic predisposition impacting real-time behavioral outcomes, or today's views on language & Adaptive Unconscious Processes, social priming, automatic behaviors, & subtle neurological issues could exist.