Sexual abuse no memory false syndrome
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QUESTIONING MEMORIES - RETRACTOR STORIES
The provocative of global childhood abuse can be settled and remembered with more or less money. Use of Past imagery. If all available members are busy, you may have to prestige a phone number with the resulting salty.
Probability of Seeking Psychotherapy therapy The following five questions assessed how likely participants think they are to enter therapy. Mo use any number between 0 syndroje at all likely and definitely: That falwe we synrome asking about events that could have happened but you do not now remember. Fwlse are not asking about any events that you can actually remember happening: The five items concerning therapy were placed before the five items concerning forgotten memories to eliminate any possibility that answering questions synrome traumatic events could influence subsequent items about seeking therapy.
A 0-to scale is used to communicate more clearly with our participants; all results are presented as probabilities. Procedure We administered our instruments as part of a mass testing session in the following order: Results Syndroje mean age of our participants was Skinner relegated so-called memoru functioning to an unobservable epiphenomenon, irrelevant as a variable in the scientific study of ffalse behavior. Would this thesis of symdrome functioning be considered sufficiently narrow that a behavior therapist giving one of Skinner's books to a client would be considered malpractice? Is syndrime essential to the ssyndrome claim that the harmful ideas appear in the form of a published book?
For example, Sexjal instead of giving the book to a patient so that the patient can Sexul and form an opinion about the thesis himself or herself, the therapist were to say to a patient, "There is a book by Bass and Davis that espouses this view of mental functioning, " or otherwise discuss the ideas within the book, is that too malpractice? If it is malpractice for therapists to give such books to their patients, would it also constitute malpractice for supervisors to give such books to their therapy trainees, hospitals and clinics to make such books available in their libraries, professionals leading workshops to use them as texts, or professors to assign them to their students?
How, if at all, does the prospect of encountering expert testimony that giving a particular sort of book to a patient is per se malpractice influence the behavior of therapists and the range of services, ideas, and choices available to those in need? Checklists for Assessing Incompetence and Other Forms of Malpractice Some FMSF proponents have created and endorsed checklists by which patients can supposedly determine whether a therapist is incompetent, is causing harm, or is engaging in other forms of malpractice. For example, an FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board member noted that "whether or not a therapist has a doctoral degree, is irrelevant to his psychotherapeutic competence" Campbell,p.
With minor revision, this instrument has been published by others e. The number of "yes" responses supposedly indicates the likelihood that the therapist is "incompetent" and that the therapist is causing "much more harm than good. If there is a scientific basis for this instrument, it would be useful for the FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board members endorsing it to provide those research data so that these claims can be carefully evaluated. The Scientific Process Questioning scientific claims may be difficult if a prestigious group portrays them as the only legitimate scientific view, sufficiently established so as to preclude serious consideration of any alternative views.
For example, a prominent regional psychological association invited an array of scientists to discuss the debate about memory and abuse from a scientific perspective. The False Memory Syndrome Newletter set forth the rationale for the rejection: A memory researcher told us that research academics "don't even know what this memory debate is about. They see the evidence and to them the science of memory is obvious. The "science" of the "memory" is established. How could a scientific program about memory be "balanced? Scientists must be aware of these factors and must carefully and responsibly question claims and consider other explanatory models regardless of the prestige of those who might assert that a particular thesis about memory and abuse is beyond question.
Responsible scientific questioning of specific claims bears at least one similarity to conducting well-designed experimental research. Experimental research must attend not only to variables of primary interest but also to potentially confounding factors.
Syndrome memory false Sexual abuse no
Similarly, careful examination of reported scientific findings and principles must attend not memofy to central claims but also to potentially confounding factors that may influence the degree to which people are inclined, willing, or free to question or reject certain claims. This section falss such potentially syndroem factors and their implications. Picketing Picketing therapists is a highly visible tactic. If therapists who disagree with ho claims, voice their disagreement, and behave in syndrime that are memorg with Sexual abuse no memory false syndrome claims fear that their patients may be forced to cross a picket line syndrkme order fales obtain their services, it may affect the degree to which they feel free to carefully question and rationally consider these claims.
FMSF members picketing therapists has emerged as a topic at professional conferences and in the literature of this area, sometimes including discussion of the experience of a therapist targeted for picketing e. Memorry questions that might be useful in evaluating the potential consequences and implications of this tactic are the following: What is flase impact on patients who are Sexyal to cross a picket line to obtain treatment from a provider of a particular form of legal health care service? Will patients choose to cross picket lines, forego treatment altogether, or pursue treatment from someone acceptable to false memory syndrome proponents who establish picket lines?
Some patients or potential patients may perceive and value a right of privacy and believe it important that no one else know that they seek mental health services. Those wishing to seek treatment for concerns such as sexual abuse from family members, domestic violence, or torture may fear that, should the fact that they are seeking professional help become known, their own lives or the lives of their families might be endangered or that other negative consequences might occur see, e. Freyd, ; Herman, ; Koss et al. How does forcing patients to cross picket lines affect such privacy concerns?
How do patients or therapists evaluate or anticipate what may happen to them should they cross through the picket line do they believe it possible or likely that they will be followed, their license plate number taken down, their picture taken, and so on? How do clients form opinions about what the pickets, FMSF, or others may view as justifiable steps to take when targeted services continue despite picketing? Butler quoted the FMSF executive director: When such diagnoses and categorizations are set forth, it is important to examine the scientific evidence on which they rest, their social or policy consequences, and their potential effects on scientific deliberations.
Two founding members of the FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board published an article examining why University of California, Los Angeles, professor Roland Summit and others persist in believing in child abuse phenomena that according to some claims are unscientific and absurd. They concluded that the cause of such beliefs among professionals lay not in the evidence for the hypotheses, nor in social or contextual variables, nor in differing perspectives, but rather in the relational dysfunctions or psychopathology of those who believe these ideas. Underwager and Wakefield wrote, The answer to the question why do some professionals believe and not others is in the internal variables of the personalities of the believers.
It ranges from factors that may make a person difficult to relate to but remaining functional to serious psychopathology.
galse The Washington Post quoted the FMSF executive director as characterizing those who syhdrome to open up the topic of sex abuse to public awareness as cult-like. They feel we aren't helping their work. But they are a little like a cult' " Sherrill,p. Pendergrast recommended different terminology. It is all too easy to label any fervent group a 'cult, ' with all its negative connotations. I prefer the word 'sect' " p. This characterization addresses the motivation of certain therapists who disagree: Most of the therapists appear to be True Believers on a mission. That fits Hassan's general observations: However, they want something more valuable than your money.
So wandering were they that the "did" memories were nearly, they more often than not paid their parents directly of this cultural act and then cut off any further south, leaving my parents referenced and successful, their lives shocked. For others it may be a identical divorce, a good in the family, harp problems, hours with a society, a guided walking, etc.
They want your memiry Of course, they'll take your money, too, eventually. Loftus fapse the concept of True Believer to support her claim that resistance to her work is based not on evidence, reason, and good faith but rather prejudice and fear e. She split the profession into two groups. Identifying herself as a skeptic, she and her colleague Sexua, On one side are the dyndrome Believers, " who insist that the mind is capable of repressing memories and who accept without reservation or question the authenticity of np memories. On the other side are the "Skeptics, " who argue that the notion of repression is purely hypothetical and essentially untestable, based as it is on Sexual abuse no memory false syndrome speculation and anecdotes that are impossible to confirm or deny.
If the skeptic demands proof, how does the True Believer decide what to believe in? Among the most prominent professionals who are True Believers, according to the false memory literature, are psychologists Judith Alpert, Laura Brown, and Christine Courtois, three Sexua, of the APA working group on recovered memories. Pendergrast wrote, "The American Psychological Association has created a six-person committee to study the repressed-memory issue. Three syndrlme the members syndtome experimental researchers who are skeptical of massive repression, including Elizabeth Loftus. The other three are True Believer therapists.
The term True Believers characterizing those who disagree now appears syndrime the peer-reviewed scientific literature, for example, in an abjse by a member of the FMSF Scientific shndrome Professional Advisory Board Crews,p. Use of Holocaust imagery. In her book Diagnosis for Disaster: L6a term she had previously used in a journal article Doe,p. It is important to examine the use of imagery related to the Holocaust to compare explicitly or implicitly one who disagrees to Hitler, the Gestapo, and Nazis or to portray an FMSF proponent as engaged in a desperate rescue. Among questions to be addressed in careful examination of this use are the following: Do such statements reflect on the motivation, character, and decency of those who disagree with FMSF claims?
Do such statements promote a climate of hate and hostility toward those who fail to accept FMSF claims? Do such statements have a chilling effect on some who otherwise might voice questions about FMSF claims? How might such statements affect the scientific and popular e. Since it was first created inthe National Sexual Assault Hotline Before the telephone hotline was created, there was no central place where survivors could get help. Local sexual assault services providers were well equipped to handle support services, but the lack of a national hotline meant the issue did not receive as much attention as it should. In response, RAINN developed a unique national hotline system to combine all the advantages of a national organization with all the abilities and expertise of local programs.
I clearly understood the sickest patient received the most attention. So, I devised behavior that would get his attention: Everyone of us in the support group were in some way in love with our psychologist. I wanted to be the best. I became a model MPD patient and exhibited all the right traits. I learned MPD and let it in, but soon it took control of my mind and body. The doctor decided I needed five to seven years of therapy. Thus, some terrible abuse in her childhood must have caused it. Finally, she will work through those old feelings and get better. We bought it, and I worked hard to recall repressed memories. Of course, there were no real memories, but the mind is an amazing thing.
Let me explain, in lay terms, how repressed memories were created on one occasion. The therapist called up Beth, a 5-year old alter, and hypnotized her. He suggested sexual abuse had occurred at the hands of her Daddy. He explained she needed to see a "big movie screen" in her mind and tell him what she saw. Then, he asked leading questions about touching, etc. Beth performed just as the therapist predicted she would. Beth and I were rewarded with much attention and sympathy. For months, I allowed other alters to write anything they could remember. The memories grew worse and worse and I became horrified. I thought it was all true, and I felt worthless and betrayed.
I recalled various fragments of movies, books, talk shows, and nightly news, and soon I had plenty of child abuse memories. Eventually, I said I had taken part in Satanic Rituals, been buried alive, drank blood, and helped to kill a baby. With every new memory, my therapist was intrigued and building a case to prove he was right about me all along. I was rewarded with his attention to me and was his "best" patient. But, I started to have feelings of death and became suicidal. I truly exhibited all the MPD symptoms even though I had learned them.
Control of my mind, emotions, and will was given to the personalities the therapist had empowered. Even though I had friends and a good job, my life felt empty. I felt guilty, unlovable and alone in the world. It was my second visit to a new therapist when, in the middle of a conversation about my troubles, she shattered my composure with an unexpected question. I was flooded with nausea. I felt lightheaded and breathless. My new therapist, a former nurse with a Ph. She was struck by the way I responded to her question about my mother.
Convinced we were on to something, she urged me to remember as much as I could of this traumatic event. In my apartment that evening, I dutifully began to "remember": I was four years old I reported this scene to my therapist. She was shocked and frightened by my accusations. She sent me a brief, angry note, letting me know that I should not blame my problems on her. My therapist interpreted her defensiveness as further proof that my mother had abused me. For the next four years, I had no contact with my mother, and almost none with my father. I believed that my parents were toxic, and my memories of sexual abuse gave me good reason to cut them out of my life.
After three years of weekly and twice-weekly therapy sessions, I was beginning to think there was no cure for my depressions.
I felt I was wasting time there, and wanted to get on with my life. The truth dawned slowly, gradually, in a process that intensified after I stopped seeing the therapist. My sense that I had made up my memories of abuse became stronger. I had recently married, but within six months my husband and I began having difficulties. We consulted a counselor, who was concerned about my estrangement from my parents, and who told me I could not resolve problems in my marriage until I came to terms with my family. That made a deep impression on me, and I became more and more certain that my mother had never abused me. Certainly, I was desperate for answers -- a drowning woman grasping at anything to keep afloat.
On the surface, I appeared to have everything -- a promising career, intelligence, attractive looks -- but I was miserable. My temper was explosive, my relationships with men stormy; I was extremely vulnerable to criticism; my self-esteem was non-existent. So when I was offered an explanation for my depression and problems, I lunged at it. It was easier to blame my mother than to accept responsibility for my unhappiness. Guided by my therapist -- and I believe she meant well -- I began to enjoy my status as a victim; she rewarded me with outpourings of sympathy and commiserations, as well as an entree into a select group of her patients, all incest survivors.
I now had an answer to all my questions about myself. I no longer had to think or struggle. Well, what could I expect? I had been sexually abused. It was almost like joining a cult, with my therapist as guru and me a faithful disciple, the pitiful casualty of a horrendous crime. Tavris stresses she is not speaking of real incest survivors, and acknowledges as I do the many thousands of women who have suffered real abuse as children and adults. Today, though, much of the fury is directed at mothers, who are blamed for failing to protect their daughters, for "enabling" the abuser. By falsely accusing my mother of sexual abuse, I tapped into a dark pit of rage against her; rage that had been repressed for more than 30 years.
An only Sexual abuse no memory false syndrome, I grew up under the thumb of authoritarian parents who pushed me to be the perfect daughter. Negative emotions were squelched, painful issues never discussed. Heading the list of taboo subjects was the stillbirth of a baby that happened when I was about four years old. Fifteen years later, that childhood event returned to haunt me. I got pregnant with my first serious boyfriend, and went through a hellish abortion. Even though I was living at home and going to university, I managed to keep the abortion secret from my parents.
I tried to ignore my anguish, in vain, just as my parents had tried to ignore the stillbirth long ago. But my guilt, anger and misery festered. By the time I was 38, I was a walking time bomb. My therapist unwittingly lit the fuse. For help, I turned to a new psychiatrist, a women recommended by my general practitioner. I was on her waiting list for a year. But finally, with her support, I was able to put to rest my haunting "memories. One occurred in a movie theater; I was about seven, and a man sitting next to me put his hand on my knee.
Both times, having been brought up to do Sexual abuse no memory false syndrome I was told, I complied. My psychiatrist suggested that since these two incidents were clear in my mind, it was unlikely I had repressed other memories of abuse by my mother. I did some belated maturing, and learned to recognize my feelings, communicate my needs and clarify my expectations. I began to understand that my depressions were likely caused by guilt and unexpressed anger at my mother, not sexual abuse. Unencumbered by guilt, I now trust that she loves me, even knowing the "worst," the parts I kept hidden. Hearing about other women with stories like mine, and speaking with mothers, fathers and siblings who have been falsely accused, has helped me understand a very difficult period in my life.
Another theme that runs through the reports from retractors is the spreading of stories within survivor groups. Psychiatric Bulletin, 21, I have been moved by the account of Laura Pasley in her article "Misplaced Trust" Skeptic 2 3May to give you an account of my own seduction into the false memory hysteria and subsequent retraction. I believe my experience indicative of a process that, once an irrational hysteria such as this gains momentum, it begins to show up in more generalized areas outside formal treatment milieus. Here is my story. These meetings are, as you probably know, run on a model similar to Alcoholics Anonymous or Alanon, but with a significant difference: In my case, these intense explorations seemed to be increasing my psychological distress, but I was assured by other members that "you have to get worse before you get better I bought all these reassurances and was determined to throw myself into the work of the group to achieve a "recovery" from my problems.
I began to attend meetings at least once a week, all the while sinking into greater and greater turmoil; I also avidly read all the then current books by the various people such as Whitfield, Bradshaw, etc. So, when some ACA members announced that they were forming a special, closed time-limited intensive group structured around the workbook "The 12 Steps for Everyone", I was quick to join. In the first two weeks I wrote overwords in my desperation to see this effort work for me. I spent endless hours on the phone between meetings with other group members; these conversations were often punctuated with tears, various formulaic exhortations from the program, particularly surrounding the Catch notion of "denial" the underlying assumption was that the real truth lay buried in repressed memories but that to avoid the pain of their devastating truth we all habitually relied upon various cover thoughts and behaviors that collectively comprised our "denial.
To demonstrate "progress" I found myself making more and more dramatic and condemning interpretations of my recollections of the past, for which I was rewarded by the group for showing "the courage to heal. Then another woman in the group suddenly broke down and said that something the first woman had said had triggered in her the recall of a scene of being sexually molested. During all this I was becoming more and more uncomfortable and upset. There was never another meeting. Meanwhile I was still deeply bothered by the vague memory, which was more of a feeling than anything else. Sure enough, under the probing of this "hypnotherapist", I began to fill in details of the supposed molestation.
I eventually concluded that it must have been my grandfather, although I never did have a clear mental picture of him. Still, I was plagued by uncertainty as to the details that I had "remembered" in the hypnotic trance. Later I began to change details, as to where, what and who was involved. Nonetheless, some tough-minded part of me allowed me to begin to question this sink hole of non-sequitur reasoning, so I pulled back from the meetings to get some distance from the influences. I began to realize that I had taken the uncomfortable feelings I had experienced from that episode with the chef and amplified them in response to the hysteria and group pressure to recall something truly horrible to account for my adult "dysfunction.
I tried going to a few more ACA meetings, but with my new perspective, I began to see clearly the extent to which there was an irrational cult atmosphere with people continually absorbed by their personal problems and the group process, but without any indication that they were truly becoming healthier individual if anything they seemed to be less in control of their lives and morbidly dependent of the group. So, there you have it; slightly unusual, but it fits the pattern. The writer of the next article provides a remarkable insight into the appeal to her of thinking of herself as a victim. This was a relief to me because it meant that I could be cured if I worked in therapy, whereas schizophrenia was more hopeless.
In the letters section on pages there is a letter from a Dad who is angry at his daughter for accusing him of abusing her. He seems unsure whether he is justified in feeling anger towards her, instead of feeling anger at her psychiatrist. I would like to comment on this letter, and speak about retracting in general, from my point of view. I have been wondering why more parents of retractors and so called survivors are not angry. It has to be horrible to face accusations of this sort. I am a person who is in the process of retracting her story. I have not yet reached any absolute conclusion about the events in my life.
It has only been in the last several months that I have been willing to look hard at False Memory Syndrome and how it may apply to me. Distressing as this incident was for Dr Cloete, it is a long way from an excited mob threatening physical violence. But for all that, the perception that there may be a violent backlash against anyone even suspected of paedophilia is a strong factor in explaining the reluctance of many accused to go public. There are now many cases of "retractors" whose stories could potentially be featured in media coverage. Retractors are individuals who initially believed that their memories of abuse were real but later came to realise they were not.
Again, one cannot overstate the courage of such individuals in acknowledging that they have put other family members through unimaginable pain and suffering on the basis of a sincerely held but mistaken belief. Understandably, however, such individuals are often too upset and possibly ashamed to want to tell their stories publicly. It is hard to find a silver lining inside such a grim and depressing cloud, but there is one. Although it may be of little consolation to those who continue to suffer as a consequence of "recovered" memories, the controversy did trigger a huge amount of research into false memories.
Since the mids, hundreds of papers have been published on the topic and it is probably fair to say that the results have come as something of a surprise even to the researchers themselves. Numerous experiments have shown that is much easier than anyone might have supposed to implant false memories in a large minority of the population. Reliable experimental procedures have been developed to study susceptibility to false memories and we now understand a great deal about the conditions that are most likely to give rise to false memories for an excellent introduction to the field, read Richard J.
It turns out that the conditions typically found in the psychotherapeutic context fit the bill perfectly.