Re: Question about severe emotional distburbance/mentalillness in cohousing
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 13 Dec 2008 09:11:29 -0800 (PST)
On Dec 13, 2008, at 10:51 AM, Joanie Connors wrote:

I don't think they are talking about overt physical abuse mostly, but
psychological abuse and misbehavior. Physical abuse is horrible, but easy -
you call the police. Who do you call for psychological abuse?

And in high performing, comparatively wealthy communities, psychological abuse can occur while the child is receiving care well above what a typical kid on the street would get. Which standards do you use? The child's feelings are still abused.

My sense is that cohousers, like most nonprofit groups, tend to err to the side of tolerance and giving people who cause harm many chances to reform. As Diana suggested, perhaps there needs to be better boundary setting - specifying what is not acceptable and finding reasonable consequences for

Well said. Cohousers, however, largely define themselves as people who are rejecting all the norms out there and finding new ones. Their own norms are better. All it takes is community.

I think we need to know the differences between pathology, which often has physiological causes, and social deprivation. What are the markers of pathology? How much social deprivation can we make up for?

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing,Washington DC

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