Jay Haley suggests that their are 4 elements to all communication:

1. Speaker
2. Message
3. Receiver
4. Context

Haley summarises this as the following:

1.  "I
2.  am saying something,
3.  to you,
4.  in this situation."

The only area I have problem with is defining context.  When examining
Bateson's necessary ingredients for a schizogenic double bind situation he
says that two or more persons are needed.  I think it is a far higher number
of persons required, but only two need to be actually present in the
situation as occuring at the time of the double bind.

For example, if "I [as a nurse], say something to you (a patient) in this
situation (a psyche ward)" - there may be only two of us directly involved
or even present in that communication, but there are a heck of a lot more
people in the background to enable us to be respectively designated "nurse" and "patient" - otherwise the context just wouldn`t be stable enough for our respective identities to themselves remain stable (and vice verse and round and round she goes...)




Jay Haley on Therapy
Wikipedia - Jay Haley