to us. It was said to be vital to the function of the Unit, not only by the staff
but several patients that we spoke to. Safeguards against abuse are dealt
In order to leave M.A.P. a patient has to have fourteen consecutive perfect
days. A perfect day involves: no slips of the tongue, no unauthorized moving,
no keeping others waiting, no lack of participation, a satisfactory demonstration of motivation, attitude and participation. This means perfect posture, deportment and language. Behaviour, feeling and thinking are all
studied by the group and are continually under discussion and observation.
Should the person not participate he is put in a room by himself, after generous discussion of his defects, and left there until he wishes to participate.
He cannot, of course, hope to leave until he does resume an active part in
the group, yet he is still fed and bedded. The visitor is left with the impression that he would be there forever. The threat this place holds is of mental
torment it seems, not physical torture. There is at least two weeks of provocation, confrontation and having to face one’s weaknesses or severe personal
anxieties. The patient feels a steady and imminent threat of being broken
mentally, yet he must maintain acceptable standards of posture, deportment
and language, as mentioned earlier.
The M.A.P. program is a remorseless re-educative experience which carries
a heavy psychological burden. Referral to it is so flexible as to be capable of
abuse and release from it is difficult. Any patient at any stage in his career
at Oak Ridge can be sent to it. On the positive side, it provides a very valuable learning experience in self-control and in group support. All members
are continually helping each other to find other ways of behaving or living
with their uncomfortable feelings more successfully. It is worth repeating
that the psychopathic personality and the borderline personality get into
trouble through lack of self-control or delaying immediate gratification of
feelings, as well as their inability to share deep feelings with others and
allow others to reach them. In this setting, not only can this take place, but
it must. Many ex-patients have said that M.A.P. was entirely responsible for
This program evolved over the course of time in the development of the
Social Therapy Unit. It was the product of patient committees and is
repeatedly given credit by patients. That it could be abused is very easy to see.
. . . . .
The M.A.P. program is clearly a rigorous one, which has been highly beneficial. It must be monitored and reviewed constantly. The mental rigors are
not greater than those voluntarily undertaken in the community by certain
drug addicts or psychiatric patients. Psychoanalysis, individual psychotherapy, tranquillizers, brain operations, and shock treatments for such patients
as these does no good but perhaps demonstrable harm. As noted, a
great many patients have stated that this program has been crucial to
 In the Capsule program, the patient was placed in a specially constructed, soundproof, windowless, but continuously
lighted room, eight feet by ten feet in size, furnished only with a
soft rug over a foam floor. There were washing and toilet facilities, which consisted of an open toilet and wash basin, but no
towels were provided. Beds were not provided, and the patients