Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

Aligning, integrating and applying the behavioural sciences



SocioPsychologist! 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network January: Accepted 2-term part-time post teaching A-Level Psychology and Key Stage 3/4 Religious Studies at Sherburn High School in North Yorkshire, covering a maternity leave. Commentary: Sherburn was a surprisingly tough school (but then its catchment area did include some wards high in the deprivation indices). The Key Stage 3/4 classes at times seemed almost as difficult as the last year at Vermuyden (though I doubt they really were!). The 6th Form, while containing some potentially-very capable students, generally lacked aspiration. Given the very mixed student population they had – with lots of disrupted PURPLE and strong but unhealthy RED – the school did very well to get the results it did. But really it needed stronger disciplinary systems than it had available at the time. The more successful teachers tended to be those whose RED was very strong – ie: they got their students to behave through sheer force of personality. My biggest regret in leaving Sherburn was losing the excellent… Read More


‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network January: Completed longer programmes of Personal Therapy for 2 clients. Commentary: Having started to use aspects of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy the previous Summer, I now found myself using both it and elements of Psychodynamic (Freudian) for these clients. Often the NLP-type therapeutic interventions I’ve favoured resolve issues for clients in a relatively short space of time. However, by coincidence, I took on2 cases almost simultaneously where the complexity of the issues required longer-than-usual intervention, using a range of strategies. February: Pre-release copy of ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ received ringing praise from L Michael Hall, developer of the Meta-States concept. Commentary: The inspiration to write came from a combination of experience, research and my blossoming understanding of how a cohesive meta-approach could be developed to align and integrate the all-too fractured behavioural sciences. While there were clearly others moving in a similar ‘integrated’ direction – eg: Peter McNab (excellence for all) with his concept of ‘Integral NLP’ – I wasn’t… Read More


Busy, Quiet 1988-1996    1997   1998     1999     2000     2001    2002      2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2014      2015     2016     2017 21st Century Group     HemsMESH     Humber MeshWORKS     Humberside MESH Network January: My article, The SME Spiral, published in Quality World, the monthly journal of the Institute of Quality Assurance. Article distributed directly to its membership by London Excellence. January-February: Contributed 2-hour brief introductory sessions on Integrated SocioPsychology to the inaugural meetings of Hull’s 7 Community Development Workers Networks. Commentary: These area networks were Hull City Council Regeneration Services’ response to Government pressure to develop means of collecting more feedback and facilitating more collaboration from workers involved in various initiatives at the ‘sharp end’ of social regeneration work. Kate Bowers, one of the Hull area directors, saw my presentation on Integrated SocioPsychology as a lure to get community development workers from various agencies along to the meetings. With several of the network meetings oversubscribed, Kate was proved right! February: Invited at short notice to contribute to ‘How can we think better’ feature on BBC Radio 2’s The Jeremy Vine Show but unable to take part due to teaching commitments. March: Christopher… Read More

A Downward Spiral…

Relaunched: 28 October 2016 Navigation note: please click on the graphics to enlarge them in their own windows. I created the above schematic way back in February 2001 to provide a MeshWORK analysis/Gravesian interpretation (meta-state) of the causes of bad behaviour in so many of Britain’s school classrooms. It is based upon my own experiences as a part-time teacher and discussions around that time  with a range of teachers, including Kevin Beaton at (Kingswood High, Hull), Sheila Kaye (Whitgift, Grimsby), Angela Ogilvie (St Mary’s College, Hull), Steve Graham (Cleve Primary, Hull), Chris Massender (Westcliffe Primary, Scunthorpe), Cathy Byrne (Danepark Primary, Hull) and Jennie Beasty and Lynne Clarke (Shaw Park Primary, Hull). The schematic is, as these teachers pointed out, a generalisation and should not divert attention away from the many positive things going on in many schools. Nonetheless, the schematic does identify the roots of so many of the problems and how so many situations are compounded by the best of intentions. A Downward Spiral… was developed as part of a  in February 2001 and was used by Spiral Dynamics co-developer Don Beck as part of his keynote address to the World Education Fellowship in Sun City, South Africa, that April. It has… Read More

Stages of Infant Attachment

Updated: 23 August 2016 Attachment can be defined as a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space (John Bowlby, 1969; Mary Ainsworth, 1973). Attachment does not have to be reciprocal.  One person may have an attachment to an individual which is not shared.  According to Bowlby, attachment is characterized by specific behaviours in children, such as seeking proximity with the attachment figure when upset or threatened. The process of attachment is clearly influenced by caregiver sensitivity, plus where both caregiver and child tend to locate on the Dimensions of Temperament – see Caregiver Sensitivity vs Temperament Hypothesis. However, other factors also have a major influence:- The PURPLE vMEME’S need to find safety in belonging This will be underpinned by a BEIGE/PURPLE vMEME harmonic using close proximity as a means to ensure survival, in terms of both sustenance and protection Perceptual development The baby needs to develop visual, auditory and kinaesthetic senses to recognise its mother/primary caregiver Cognitive development The baby needs to make sense of its perceptual input and relate it to its need to survive and develop through attachment In attempts to track the progress of attachment development, there are 2 principal stage… Read More

Cuba on the Cusp…?

10 days in Cuba in the first half of January was an astonishing experience. A ‘special’ holiday to celebrate wife Caroline’s 60th, there was little of the ‘Winter sun’ we had been led to anticipate. Rather, near-hurricane level winds and torrential rain lasted several days, with sun, cloud and lighter rain alternating for the rest. If the weather wasn’t enough of an experience in itself, then Cuban music, art, architecture and the people themselves left indelible impressions. The music is, of course, fabulous…seemingly a well-schooled salsa and/or rumba band on every street corner in Habana (aka Havana) and a stunning concert by a version of the world-famous Buena Vista Social Club in Varadero on our last night. In contrast to the agonised grimaces of many American and British musicians, their Cuban counterparts seem to be thoroughly enjoying themselves and communicate that to their audiences. (There is plenty of healthy RED expressed in the way Cuban musicians so enjoy playing and PURPLE both in that musicians love to be in a band and the affection for their musical traditions.) The art is wonderfully expressive and the architecture awesome, even when it’s dilapidated. As for the people…. Cuba, is, of course, a victim… Read More

Can vMEMES cause Clinical Depression..?

Updated: 2 November 2015 The Gravesian approach lies at the core of Integrated SocioPsychology. The following is a plea to psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, mental health workers and those involved in research into various areas of psychopathology to examine rigorously Clare W Graves research with a view to its implications for mental health conditions. There are literally millions of people whose suffering could be alleviated if we understood more of the psychological processes underlying it. There are a multiplicity of reasons why the work of Clare W Graves (1970, 1971b/2002, 1978/2005) needs to be taken up much more comprehensively by the academic communities and investigated rigorously for its validity. (Which will result in a much higher profile and wider acceptance of his theory.) One of these reasons, I propose, is the applicability to mental health of the Gravesian approach. Strangely enough, for all the many champions of Graves’ work and the Spiral Dynamics ‘build’ developed by Don Beck & Chris Cowan (1996), little has been said about the relationship between Graves’ Spiral of motivational systems (vMEMES) and psychological disorders. Although my plea is for research into the Gravesian approach related to all forms of mental illness, in this piece I will be focusing primarily on Clinical… Read More

Miscellaneous FAQs

Click the question to go to its answer… 1. It’s said you have severe reservations about NLP. Please explain. 1. It’s said you have severe reservations about NLP. Please explain. Updated: 17/05/15 Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) contains some very powerful therapeutic techniques indeed. And I use a number of these as first choice in tackling a therapy client’s problems. However, I do have severe reservations about NLP being presented, taught and used as if it is a complete and cohesive set of theories, models and techniques. Firstly, it is theoretically weak. There is no unified or even connectionist set of theoretical underpinnings. In terms of theory, it is a ragbag of disjointed models which are not properly integrated. Put the vMEMES of the Gravesian approach at the core of NLP and most of it starts to make sense. Even then it ignores many facets of the human psyche covered in other schools of Psychology. This, unfortunately, does not stop many NLPers – including ‘guru’ figures who should know better – from claiming that NLP can be used to tackle any and every form of psychological problem. It can’t! For one thing, many NLP therapies require the client to enter a light trance.… Read More

3 Stage Theories of Development

Updated: 20 May 2016 The work of Clare W Graves (1970) and its Spiral Dynamics ‘build’  (Don Beck & Chris Cowan, 1996) theorise about motivational systems and their emergence. Where the emergent system reaches its nodal peak in matching the life conditions (internal and or external), this can be considered an ‘existential state’, level or stage. In the period Graves was constructing his concept from the results of his research, several other developmentalists were coming up with very similar theories and models. Unlike Graves who perceived ‘stages’ as merely markers in the processes of emergence, however, these other researchers tended to see development in more or less discreet stages which were distinct from each other. In spite of the limitations of these stage theories, the findings of their developers offer much additional insight into the characteristics of vMEMES, vMEME transition states and the workings of the Spiral. These additional insights are discussed in the pages on vMEMES. The purpose of these pages is to describe the basic structures of what are arguably the 3 most important stage models and to provide some background and critiquing of these theories. The Comparison Map places these and some other leading developmental models into a schematic… Read More


Updated: 10 February 2016 Meta-programmes, a key concept in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), are observable distinctions in mental processing, as reflected in language and behaviour. They act as filters for how and what we let into our heads  – memes from the external world influencing the schemas of our internal representations – and they shape what comes out from us in terms of language and concepts – our schemas becoming memes to influence others. Meta-programmes are usually depicted as poles at the opposite ends of a scalable continuum. The concept of meta-programmes was conceived in the late 1970s by Leslie Cameron Bandler (then wife of NLP co-developer Richard Bandler), building on Noam Chomsky’s groundbreaking work around linguistic patterns reflecting mental filters. David Gordon, Robert Dilts and Maribeth Meyers-Anderson were among Cameron-Bandler’s leading collaborators in identifying the first sets of meta-programmes. As NLP has grown in scope and complexity, so more and more meta-programmes have been charted to identify more and more distinctions. Leading ‘guru’ Wyatt Woodsmall has reputedly talked about having identified over 350 meta-programmes! In 1997 L Michael Hall & Bob Bodenhamer grouped 51 principle meta-programmes into 5 overarching categories: mental, emotional, volitional, response and meta meta-programmes.They also linked meta-programmes to the concept… Read More