Purposes and Plans of the
of the Palo Alto Medical Research Foundation

The Palo Alto Medical Research Foundation has organized the Institute for Behavioral Pathology in the belief that the multi-disciplinary study of all aspects of abnormal behavior is one of the most pressing scientific problems. Although the study of formal mental illness is vital to the nation's health needs and will be the chief focus of the Institute, there are other areas such as education, communication, and the behavior of groups (of interest to industry) that must be included as relevant for the student of man's behavior. The Foundation holds that in the urgent need for understanding aberrant behavior, the multidisciplinary approach offers greatest promise. Psychiatrists, psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists and others all have unique contributions to make. A Macy sponsored project on schizophrenia which is currently operating under the auspices of the Palo Alto Medical Research Foundation has established that a multidisciplinary team can work together.

The Functions of the Institute for Behavioral Pathology:
The mid Peninsula area gives promise of becoming one of the nations leading medical centers. Except for the specialized function of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the behavioral sciences have not been as active and well organized as the medical sciences. It is our hope that the Institute will act as an agent for the liaison of the various representatives of the behavioral sciences in this area. These would include the departments of sociology, anthropology and psychology of Stanford University, the Counseling and Testing Center, the Mid-Peninsula Psychiatric Society (representing all local psychiatrists) and members of the psychiatric department of the medical school. This liaison could be brought about by the three functions of the Institute for Behavioral Pathology:

  1. Teaching. There is a deplorable lack of post-doctoral teaching in psychiatry and the behavioral sciences in the Bay Area. Except for the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute, which is avail-able to a small per cent of psychiatrists, there are virtually no facilities where those engaged in the study of abnormal behavior or the treatment of the mentally ill can find continuing stimulation and education to further their growth. This lack is especially true if one considers the lack of dissemination of information among the various disciplines. For example, psychiatrists receive generally the best training in the techniques of psychotherapy but tend to be inadequately informed about theory, man's relationship to his culture and so on. Psychologists are apt to receive rigorous theoretical training but may be handicapped by inadequate clinical experience. Obviously, these two disciplines have something to offer each other.

    The Institute initially plans to offer courses for post-doctoral and post-graduate students interested in mental health from the stand-point of treatment or research. As response demands, we would expand our curriculum to include training for groups such as teachers, lawyers and others whose work requires knowledge of interpersonal relationships. It is not intended that courses be for scholastic credit.

    Preliminary exploration indicates that that the Institute would draw psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers from San Jose, San Mateo and the East Bay.

  2. Research: Although there are a number of national agencies which support research in the behavioral sciences and especially in mental illness, the total amount of research funds is small in compari-son with the enormity of the problem, and the beginning researcher usually has difficulty obtaining funds. The Institute would plan:
    A. To offer methodological and financial aid to enable researchers to organize and launch their studies prior to making application to national foundations.
    B. To continue its family research program in schizo-phrenia under the direction of Gregory Bateson and to enlarge this program to include delinquent and apparently normal families.
    C. To begin studies of the effects of psychomimetic drugs (especially LSD and Mescaline) under the direction of Drs. Joe Adams and Jerome Oremland and in collaboration with physiologists and bio-chemists of the Research Foundation.

  3. Outpatient facilities: The Palo Alto area at present has no community facilities for the inpatient or outpatient care of mentally ill adults. There is thus an opportunity for the Institute to serve the community by organizing an outpatient clinic which will also provide material for teaching and research.

    It is our plan that the Clinic will be unique in that conjoint treatment of the family will be especially emphasized. In the past five years therapists have become increasingly aware that emotional problems are seldom individual, but few psychotherapists have had experience in utilizing the total family approach. Our research group is one of two or three in the nation that has had experience in seeing the family in conjoint therapy.

    A further aim of the Institute is to help devise methods for the ill persons prior to hospitalization. Once the emotionally ill individual is hospitalized a chain of events ensues that further complicates his recovery. It is our feeling that group therapy, the therapeutic community, the day hospital and so on are instruments of great potential. This program would be organized in collaboration with the Mid-Peninsula Psychiatric Society and the psychiatric sec-tion of the Palo Alto Hospital. This idea has the approval of Dr. Dwight Barnett, Superintendent of the Palo Alto and Stanford Hospitals Organization: The three functions of the Institute for Behavioral Research would be carried out under the direction of its Board. The Board of Directors would consist of interested lay individuals and professionals from the behavioral sciences who would also serve on the Executive Committee of the Institute. The Executive Committee would consist of representatives in the behavioral sciences from the University, the medical school and the Mid-Peninsula Psychiatric Society whose responsibilities would be to organize and carry out the teaching, research and treatment activities. With the approval of the Board they would appoint faculty members, outline the cur-riculum, pass on research projects and so on. The most efficatious organization is still to be decided.

    It is our belief that the Institute as outlined will fill a gap in the otherwise outstanding medical facilities of the Palo Alto area. It will further be a unique institution in the West and hopefully will play a part in the much needed union of the behavioral sciences.

Don D. Jackson, M. D.
Research Associate,
Palo Alto Medical Research Foundation
Asst. Clinical Prof. of Psychiatry
Stanford University School of Medicine