Doctors Edward Stephens and Ona Robinson founded the On Step Institute for Mental Health Research (OSI) in 1992. The OSI is a non-profit organization dedicated to mental health research and education with focus on conflict resolution. From its inception, OSI was seeking to find a new way for men and women to achieve the harmonious adaptation of their differences, i.e., a state of acceptance called concinnity.
Concinnity develops after the competitive forces, so prevalent in today's complex world, are explored, and at times, altered. Competitive forces, embedded in our highly competitive culture can make connections with others hard to maintain. Deeper bonds like loyalty, faithfulness and commitment become fleeting. The social contracts, the ways in which men and women tacitly agree to conduct themselves with one another become fragile, strained and break. The result is that many men and women suffer from increasing isolation, loneliness as well as from mental and physical stress and disease.
OSI clinical case studies between 1992 and 1996, coupled with private practice case studies from clients in the 10 years prior to the founding of OSI, revealed that there was what can only be described as an apparent increasing widening social rift existing between men and women in our society. This rift was apparently creating urgency for competitiveness and exacerbating gender differences making individual and collective strides towards meaningful and lasting concinnity for men and women near impossible to achieve, let alone maintain.