Blind Detective approach to psychology

Bruce Dickson
7 min readJun 11, 2019

Closing in on the actual design of people

How NVC became mainstream, popular Psychology. Excerpted from
Stories of Restoration; or, Thank God We Got Rid of the Men — #101

SIDEBAR ~ iNtuitive Feeling and NFs

From the year 2120, the big picture of how psychology evolved, is easier to see. First two terms useful if new to you.

In 2120 we characterize iNtuitive Thinking (NT) as left-brain plus cerebral-brain and more aligned with a stereotyped male perspective.

We characterize iNtuitive Feeling (NF) as right-brain plus gut-brain and more aligned with a stereotyped female perspective.

NT and NF both have functional and dysfunctional expressions. In 2120, in graduate school, we encourage learners to exercise BOTH healthy NT and healthy NF intelligences, BOTH gut brain and cerebral brain intelligences.

On fact, this is our thumbnail definition of whole-brainedness. Whole-brain is NOT yet mainstream, not yet Popular Psychology; yet, this is the drift in grad schools. We expect in another 50 years this will be mainstream, Popular Psychology.

With NT and NF as two halves of whole-brain, looking backwards…

In the period 1880–1958, iNtuitive Thinking was developing Psych all alone, without its natural partner, iNtuitive Feeling. Virtually no feminine voices existed in Psych then. Mainstream-college psych developed with “one hand tied behind its back.”

Between 1958–1995, the voice of iNtuitive Feeling came back with a loud BANG, from both women and from more men educed to humanistic NF values. By the 1980s, excesses of over-feeling and excesses of over-giving, common in iNtuitive Feeling, were pruned back, put in a much better balance with iNtuitive Thinking.

When this happened, a kind of Golden Age of Psych occurred in the 1990s:

- Glasser’s Choice Theory,


- University of Santa Monica MFT 90% experiential degree program,

- Solution Focussed Brief Therapy and

- more maturity in NLP and Energy Medicine.

At least some 1990s psychologists were converging NT and NF so Psych could evolve as two-handed, using both hands.

In the 1980s-1990s a brief window of opportunity existed for colleges and universities adopt these more evolved “two handed” approaches to Psych. Alas, academic psychologists, mostly male at this time, were too involved in minting money from graduate counseling training programs (even tho the employment field after internship was problematic at best).

Neither did consumer corporations have any use for Psych professionals using “two-handed Psych.” Whole-brained psych, was very disruptive in male-led hierarchies, in the corporate and business world.

dg-no gurls allowed

The rampant Male Mafias had to die down, die back. The Old Boys club value system, based on competition and wealth accumulation had to be replaced first. Male gender collapse, male self-destruction, proved very effective for this end. Prior to this, in the era of peak male leadership, there was little openness to anything more sophisticated than old-school Sherlock Holmes problem-solving. Feelers not welcome in the boardroom.

Funny thing, tho, more and more younger persons had a better balance of Thinking~Feeling. Hence, they felt more and more separated, divorced and discounted by iNtuitive Thinkers running every show in town, including academic psych and research psych.

-=+ -=+ -=+

A few building blocks at hand

Returning to how college Psych was remade in the 2040s, fortunately, three sets of progressive literature existed, each with impressive demonstration projects:

- 110 years of whole-child Waldorf methods K-12 education,

- 60 years of Compassionate (nonviolent) Communication (NVC), and

- 70 years of literature on cooperative-collaborative K-college learning. For college and adult populations, the most appropriate and fruitful demonstrations were the 70 years of and Insight-like orgs was . This knowledge-base was also frequently called Best Practices in Group Process Facilitation, after a book circa 2010.

Women and healthy women’s values figured prominently in all three of these knowledge-bases.

Waldorf methods K-12 education

This existed and proved successful in virtually every local culture, worldwide.

Waldorf methods education had always been driven by strong women teachers and leaders. Waldorf was a kind of Ark of the Covenant, ignored by most males. In the 2030s, under female leadership, Waldorf became more publicly recognized and appreciated by those looking for wisdom in the area of age-appropriate education.

K-college Waldorf leaders had always wanted and wished for opportunity to re-make world K-12 education. Now they were being asked openly to do this, with funding provided. Could they step into a larger role and be effective? This too was successful beyond even participant expectations.

When Waldorf educators and admins were asked to explain what they were doing, to a lay audience or non-teachers, they used this simple formula:

Healthy self-confidence = healthy self-esteem + healthy self-concept

For K-5, curriculum, methods and instructors had to be re-made to give young minds a new basis for healthy self-esteem.

For Grade Six-12, curriculum, methods and instructors had to be re-made to give young minds a new foundation to build their healthy self-concept on top of.

Waldorf educators and admins went on to suggest re-making K-12 ed was a generations-long, artistic endeavor. Quick improvement was often evident, as seen even in the very first Waldorf charter school for underprivileged kids in Milwaukee, WI in 1995. However winning one battle does not win a war.

Waldorf educators and admins invited younger persons in public audiences to consider a year of government paid public service working in a Waldorf-methods school, as a way to learn about them. Thousands of young persons every year accepted this invitation.

Waldorf educators and admins also cautioned audiences how, not everyone has the personal history and charisma to succeed as a Waldorf teacher in a self-contained classroom. Some classes were now team-taught with two teachers; still, managing adult expectations became a bigger part of public Waldorf talks and open houses.

Waldorf methods Best Practices are too extensive and involved to lay out here. Those interested in the array of issues, methods and questions, are invited to check out Growing Sustainable Children and Schools Worthy of Our Affection (2018).

Okay, summarizing Waldorf is the easy part here. To summarize NVC and Best Practice in Group Process Facilitation, we are are going to make what appears like a detour. It’s not.


Closing in on the actual design of people

“I have observed the psychotherapy since the days when Freud was the main voice. Later brief psychotherapy took a mere six months. Now we have the 30 minute and even 5 minute cures of NLP. Speed is not the real issue. We must be closing in on the actual design of people. … How cheering it is for me to find it is all so much simpler and easier than I had dreamed possible.” ~ Wilson van Dusen, PhD, former Chief Psychologist at Mendocino State Hospital, CA (1975)


Blind Detective approach to psychology

More daunting than re-making his-story into HER-story, was the even larger project to re-make the teaching of psychology in high school and college.

The women realized progressive male psychology got off on the wrong foot at this idea, “The map is not the territory.”

This was a famous, popular NLP insight, repeated thousands of times. To paraphrase: Your thoughts, feelings and perceptions are not the same as all the facts and percepts available before, you in real time (the territory).

Grinder and Bandler in Reframing (1982) go so far as to suggest, “What we say in NLP is all made up, not real. We only care about effective and long lasting therapeutic outcomes. If how we get there is 100% illusory, this does not bother us. In NLP be very careful NOT to believe everything you think” (paraphrase). In the late 1970s this supported a need to keep NLP from becoming to rigid, too doctrinaire.

About 2040, as women NLP psychologists and therapists conferenced yearly, they realized believing no mental maps ever match invisible territory of our psyche” was a poison pill. It seems like a useful insight; however, it blocks a much larger, more true, insight.

The Blind Detective

The women NLPers of the 2040s offered a bigger truer insight, the Blind Detective.

The Blind Detective knows a world of tangible, visible objects exists in the room with him. In a murder case at hand, the Blind Detective knows a real world of people, motives and circumstance pertain and must be perceived as accurately as possible.

Therefore, the job of the Blind Detective, is to allow, promote, create, mental reference points, concepts and images, inside himself, which correspond, as closely as possible, with what actually exists in the real world he cannot see.

Now let’s employ the Blind Detective as a metaphor for all of us because…

“What makes us truly human is primarily invisible”

This useful paraphrase from Rudolf Steiner suggests we all start out as a Blind Detective on our path of personal growth.

College students were crashing because they had lost their own internal map of their own healthy self-esteem and healthy self-concept.

The new Psych core curriculum had this as a primary task, over four years.

The superpower humans have to make sketchy approximations of reality is language, word pictures.

Turning NLP upside down

So the 2030s women working on this in summer conferences primarily turned the old NLP idea upside down. They said,


The more Unconscious Patterns in the psyche, an individual is aware of and understands, the more accurate their map of our invisible psyche is. The more accurate their map of our invisible psyche is, the more likely this individual can find their own solutions; and, support clients finding their own useful outcomes.

The closer our internal imagery of Unconscious Patterns matches what is present in our psyche, the more therapeutic leverage we have.

Therefore the Blind Detective is a much closer analogy to what is useful in psychology, much more useful than believing, “Our mental maps are NEVER the territory.”


In this way, the topic of uncovering and documenting Unconscious Patterns, was resurrected from where NLP and Energy Medicine had left off in the early 2000s.

To Learn More

See the Chapter, “The Blind Detective and the Minotaur” in How I Changed My Spots by A. Leopard