From: "Andrew Phelps" <>

To: <>

Subject: [s-acc] behavior occupation report

Date: Wed 07/18/12 07:18 AM



This is a brief initial report on the PsySR "Psychology and the Occupy" conference in DC last weekend. At the 2010 Boston Conference, I found that the personal integrity of the client/survivor attendees that we sent was not respectfully engaged in the way expected; I declined to participate in the 2011 Boston Conference, on that account. I went to the 2012 DC Conference expecting the same dynamism would obtain; on the other hand, I have habits from behavioral experience in DC and felt that, having learned to manage the "old social role" in that context, that I'd be able to handle "occupying my behavior."

Last Friday, Pat Risser and Yvonne Smith did the workshop on "Occupying Old Social Roles," along with psychologist Mary Pelton-Cooper - and I coordinated. We achieved "bedlam" and gained attention to the madness we presented; I thought that went quite well under the circumstances. The psychology of "occupy your behavior" seems to have made some sense to the workshop participants, and quite a few others at the conference. We had good interactions with most of those present, even though sensitivity to our oppression experience was of limited salience to many.

Further, my frustration from Boston 2010, where I was refused the opportunity to honor Sue Poole, was lifted. Pat and I gave a ten minute presentation to the conference plenary (during lunchtime) on Friday: We talked about Sue's history, and the meaning of her unfortunate demise - and what we said was very well received. That should not be read as a statement to the effect that "Now we get respect." Rather, the denial of our social being(s) now takes the form of what I'd call a "first wave" accommodation.

After the conference (disclosure) I occupied a place that is critical in my personal history to how I structure my behavior: I found it difficult in the 70s to import my Berkeley radical "occupy" attitude into DC. Eventually I went to a radical therapist who told me to get a job, so I worked for six months "making sandwiches" at a hotel near Dulles Airport, and converted my rage at "social death sentence" to "functional work behavior" (before taking up a new position in a DC hotel where "labor advocacy" obtained). My experience after the conference pulled me back - I even missed my flight and had to come back "standby" and late - still, it did provide me the opportunity to do a "behavior occupation" upgrade built around pulling together my old system of habits.


ABO "Andrew Behavior Object"