FIELDING'S REVISED LAWS OF OPERATIONAL
CHARACTERISTICS OF MENTAL INSTITUTIONS
- The number of patients always expands to fill all available beds.
- The number of staff is usually less than the number of office spaces available.
- The number of administrative personnel increases as the square of "line level" therapists.
- More therapists result in less therapy and more meetings.
- The patients are in treatment to give therapists something to do. Therapists are employed to give administrators something to do.
- Administrators have superiors and inferiors but no equals.
- The amount of responsibility is inversely proportional to the authority.
- Those having authority to make decisions are able to do so because they have across to less information.
- The likelihood of receiving therapy is inversely proportional to the stated desire of receiving it.
- The label "patient" entitles one to less the longer the label is worn.
- The less specifically the goals are stated, the more likely they are to be reached.
- The patients are easily managed compared to the staff.
- "Good patients, like good hound dogs, never leave."
- The more a patient wants to go home, the less likely he will be allowed to.
- The best patients are good players in the game of "Captain May I?" They ask before making a move and only in their turn.
- Treatment problems posing an emergency and requiring immediate action are best referred to a committee. By the time the committee gets the goals formulated; the by-laws written, the problem no longer exists.
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