I am stuck close to home today because I’m waiting on a programmer in DaNang to complete an upgrade on The Family Business School web site. DaNang is four hours ahead of here and my programmer e-mailed me before I was up, and promptly disappeared off the map. Maybe she’s at school?
The Twitter Logo
To start with I decided to update the background image for my Twitter Page. This incorporates The Family Business School logo, with the statement of purpose. That didn’t take long!
Then Tom McGuire, from the NLP Education Network, and I discussed Professor Sandy Penland’s ‘gizmo’. Sandy Pentland is Founder of MIT’s Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship. Together with PhD first year Daniel Oguin Oguin Pentland has created a box that measures minimal communication cues. For example it can tell if you’re stressed from the tone of your voice. The technology has already been applied in trials in call-centres where customers may be transferred to new operators if the vital signs of the original call centre personnel show them about to ‘blow’!
The special box has the technical name ‘Sociometric badge’, and there are different types equipped with radio frequency identification sensors, and motion detectors.
It occurs to me that the MIT gizmo could well have applications in therapy, particularly family therapy and consultation. Imagine a cell phone that could call you before you hit your wife, or via Bluetooth immobilize your car when you have taken one drink too many, or are on the verge of road rage, and you will get the picture.
Technology isn’t new in therapy. Video cameras have been used to record and provide live-supervision of family therapists since the 1960s. Wireless ear-bugs have also been used at the Maudsley Hospital in London so that parents may be guided by family therapists in real time as they parent their children. This method has long been established to reduce high (negative) expressed emotion using a measuring instrument called the Camberwell Family Interview. I even used it once myself when I was studying at the Institute of Psychiatry.
In Structural Family Therapy we sometimes ask warring family members to identify their ‘flashpoint’ and to use a pre-arranged signal in order to take time-out. The MIT gizmo could well have a place in such an approach.