ISEPP 2014 International Annual Mental Health Conference: Transforming Mad Science and Re-imagining Mental Health Care

Los Angeles, CA. Nov. 14-16, 2014

ISEPP 2013: The Nome Project with George Stone, LCSW

The Nome Project:  It Takes a Child to Raise a Village presented by George Stone, LCSW

George Stone is an Alaskan LCSW with a master’s degree in anthropology.  He is a member of NASW and a clinical member and approved supervisor in AAMFT.  He enhanced his university education through personal private studies with Milton H. Erickson, M.D. Gregory Bateson, Jay Haley, Cloe Madanes, Braulio Montalvo and Jamshed Morenas.  Mr. Stone’s work synthesizes strategic family therapy and symbolic anthropology.  He has applied his approach in a wide range of social context with diverse populations, including:  Public and private practice; urban, rural settings and remote Alaska Native villages; middle class, poor, white, black, Hispanic, America Indian and Asian families.  His forty years as a therapist, supervisor and teacher have been dedicated to helping people solve their problems naturally, in the context of their lives together, without using psychiatric drugs or hospitals.

PRESENTER:  George Stone, LCSW

TITLE OF PRESENTATION:   The Nome Project:  It Takes a Child to Raise a Village


Western psychotherapy views life-crises as individual crises.  Such tunnel vision is its central theoretical problem, and the antidote is rigorous examination of individual life-crises in their social context, the sociocultural regularities that contain and shape these crises.  This session shows that assessment based on the premise, “Behavior is appropriate to the context in which it occurs,” opens effective new social treatments for human suffering.  This is critical because one in every eight American children – – over 8,000,000 – – is “treated” with psychiatric drugs.  The practical application of the premise is illustrated by a review of a restorative justice program that successfully adapted Cloe Madanes’ fifteen-step procedure for treating urban juvenile sex offenders to treating juvenile native youth in their remote Alaska Native Villages.  Madanes’ work provides a way of understanding crisis-in-context, as well as a set of practical guidelines for changing the context to resolve the crisis.  Rather than taking children from their families and villages, the process empowered parents and other village adults to safely care for and nurture their children.  As they cared for their children they also critiqued and changed their own relationships – – such dual level change is the Hallmark of Ritual.


Participants in this breakout session will gain the following knowledge and skill

  1. The ability to summarize the differences between the narratives of the medical model and psychotherapy, or social/symbolic model of healing, in four comparative points; understand the implications of these differences for assessment and treatment; utilize this knowledge with an introductory ability assess a problem in its context, and develop and carry out a social intervention to change that context.

  1. Understand, and utilize in their work as therapists, the differences between therapy informed by Enlightenment Science, and therapy informed by Cybernetics Theory.

  2. Outline the original theory of Les Rites de Passage formulated by Arnold van Gennep in 1906 in six bullet points; outline two major improvements Les Rites de Passage since 1950 made by Victor Turner and Gregory Bateso;. And, begin to interrogate this knowledge into their practice with children and families.


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