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Unread January 21st, 2005, 10:43 PM
Doug William Doug William is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 21
Default Re: Anyone want to comment???

Ben --- Brian---

Unfortunately, what you're experiencing here is kind of typical. I've participated in another network of school psychologists that you might think would generate a lot of common interest-- but, no, the same thing. And that's over a six year period. Lots and lots of people reading (or listening) but very, very few participating.

The other interesting problem is that when these older forums (especially the Nathanson Forum on Affect Theory), were more animated (and there's no question that the other format was more friendly) the exchanges became increasingly strident and nasty, and more and more people joined the site using pseudo-names or 'anonymous'. By the way, even Nathanson's new website, which you must pay to join, has the same meager participation!!!
So if you pay and still don't participate-- that says to me that some pretty strong inhibition must be going on. I think that a great number of people are interested but don't really feel they have something to contribute. So these sites become similar to a classroom. Most people prefer to listen. I guess there is much more involved to the experience of risk taking when you actively participate than is at all obvious. And I'm wondering if the same people who verbally participated in their classrooms are the same people who participate here! In fact, by extension, are we the same people who tend to talk up at conferences? (of course, I realize that the compulsive talkers sometimes only want to hear themselves talk, so it doesn't have to be a 'positive trait'!!)

For me, it's been 8 years of being surprised how difficult it seems to be to have 'conversation' and to talk about things in depth. Even the sharing of ideas with several people reading the same book would be interesting. But-- what happens instead is that people start defending a set of ideas and express the same things over and over and over again. So, sadly, what I'm saying is that even when more people participate, things don't necessarily get better.

I've been especially impressed with Dr. Pretzer's Forum and the richness of his thinking. For people (interested in cognitive therapy) to pass up the opportunity to interact with him is kind of sad!! He has actually verbalized his disappointment about how few participate opposed to the large numbers who just read.

Of course, this site offers us the opportunity to use private messaging as well-- which in fact I've done with Ben.

-Doug
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