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Unread August 22nd, 2005, 11:12 AM
William Reid William Reid is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 105
Default Re: Ethics of reality tv show

Great job, Da FPT! As it turns out, your recent posts have been serendipitous in at least two ways. First, they came at the end of a very long vacation, and it is coincidence that I can reply promptly. Second, you used the term "a-twitter," which I haven't heard in years but appeared in the crossword puzzle I did yesterday.

Back to the points about "Brat Camp." They (your comments) are very good, and backed up with actual information-seeking. Not like my usual knee-jerk replies.

I have worked with wilderness programs in the Southwest (but not "boot camp" programs), and written about their procedures and effects (see a chapter written by Matthews & Reid in one of my older books, The Treatment of Antisocial Syndromes, which sold almost 22 copies). My brother and I actually tried to buy a very good one in Northern New Mexico a couple of decades ago. I have seen both good and bad ones.

One focus of many such programs is a perception of danger or risk, with activities that lead to a sense of accomplishment, confidence, and self-esteem which seem to generalize rapidly because of the intense mental and physical setting. The activities are generally quite safe when the treaters and guides (usually the same people) are well-trained and experienced (cf., shorter, highly controlled ROPES courses), but the settings necessarily include some relatively uncontrollable, usually environmental variables (like sudden storms). In addition, as you know, this patient/client population is often at high risk for problems, including suicide attempts or other dangerous behavior (particularly early in the trips, which usually last a few weeks).
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