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driving crazy

"The effort to drive the other person crazy" was hypothesized by Searles (1959) as "an element in the aetiology and psychotherapy of schizophrenia." This is a form of behavior and/or communication that causes another person to experience extreme emotional conflict because it confuses and undermines the development of autonomy and has a detrimental effect on the other's sense of personal identity and positive self-image.

  • Searles, H. F. The effort to drive the other person crazy: An element in the aetiology and psychotherapy of schizophrenia. British Journal of Medical Psychology 32: 1-18, 1959.

Definition extracted with permission from Simon, Fritz, et al, Family Process, Inc.: Language of Family Therapy: A Systemic Vocabulary and Source Book (Family Process Press Series)

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