|Dr. Tana Dineen, in Manufacturing
Victims: What the Psychology Industry is doing to People, states:
than being the best suited to evaluate therapy, Psychologists and their clients are the
most biased and the least able to answer the following:
Is therapy effective?
Is it better than friendship?
Do higher paid professionals do a better job than minimally trained
Does training and experience improve a therapist's skill?
Is therapy always helpful and safe?
Do professionals know more about human nature than the rest of us?
Would people naturally get worse without professional treatment?
Dr. Dineen indicates that the "over-riding answer to all of these
questions," based on scientific studies of which she provides ample evidence
NO! [original emphasis]
She qualifies that "NO" as being a warning and not to mean to imply that all
professional psychologists are ineffective or that all therapy is a scam, but that, rather
than to take the psychology industry's claims at face value, an informed decision must be
made to evaluate its merits. [page 154]
Dr. Dineen then proceeds to provide example after example of instances of concerns
expressed by workers in the field who state that therapy can be and often is harmful, with
some stating that "therapy is harmful as often as it is helpful, with an average
effect comparable to receiving no help." [page 160]
On page 161 she indicates the results from a study done of a population of randomly
selected patients, a group of 183 selected cases out of 670 repressed memory claims that
were filed in Washington State under the Crime Victims Act from 1991-1995. According
to a letter from Loftus, Grant, Franklin Parr and Brown in which the findings of a
"preliminary profile" of these case were reported:
97% of the patients were female.
97% were Caucasian, with their ages ranging from 15 to 67 years, with a mean of
All patients were fairly well educated.
50% of them had been working in the health-care industry.
87% of the clients had their first "memory" surface during therapy.
According to claims made, the first abuse occurred at an average age of 7 months.
100% were still in therapy three years after the first memory surfaced.
60% were still in therapy five years later.
Suicidal ideation or attempts by patients increased by a factor of 6.7 during
therapy, from 10% to 67%.
Hospitalization of patients increased by a factor of 5.5 during therapy, from 7%
Self-mutilation increased by a factor of 8, from 3% to 27%.
Employment of the patients decreased by a factor of 8.3 during therapy, from 83%
Engagement in marriages decreased by a factor of 1.92 during three years of
therapy, from 77% to 40.9%.
During three years of therapy, 48% of those who had been married became either
divorced or separated.
23% of the clients had lost custody of minor children during three years of
100% of the clients were estranged from their extended families.
97% contended that they had been abused in satanic rituals and that their parents
or other family members were involved in the ritual abuse.
Of those latter:
76% remembered birth and infant cannibalism.
76% remembered consuming body parts.
69% remembered being tortured with spiders.
100% remembered torture or mutilation (no exams were made to substantiate that
injuries had indeed occurred).
A most remarkable aspect of therapy mentioned in the letter was that "the average
cost of a mental health claim under the Crime Victim Compensation Program that did not
involve repressed memory was $2.672," whereas "the average cost for the 183
repressed memory claims was dramatically higher: $12,296." Obviously, even
though the patients were harmed by recovered memory therapy, the therapists did quite well
Dr. Dineen concludes that section of her book [page 164] by calling the
disregard of scientific principles employed by therapists an "...enthralling dance of
the patient and therapist, each responding to the moves and sways of the other and each
believing that they are getting somewhere together. But when the music stops, the
dance is over and therapy is finished, the most likely conclusion is that they aren't much
farther ahead, that they are about where they began, with both just a little tireder and
one a little (or a lot) poorer and the other a little (or a lot) richer."
How much poorer were the taxpayers on account of the cases of the clients analyzed in
the study that Dr. Dineen quoted from? According to Dr. Elizabeth Loftus:
"The total cost to the Crime Victims Compensation Program for this group of 30
repressed memory claims was $2,533,000."
False Memory Syndrome
Foundation Newsletter, Vol 5 No. 5, May 1, 1996, http://www.fmsfonline.org/fmsf96.501.html
That's just the cost to the tax payers of Washington State, costs that were accounted
for under the Crime Victims Compensation Program. In addition to the harm done to
the "clients," what was the true cost to them, to their employers, to their
relatives, children and friends, to their health care insurance schemes, and, last but not
least, the overall cost to the economy and to society?
From a web site
focused on recovered memory therapy:
Recovered memories are the focus of a twenty-year old controversy which is only now
- Some therapists view recovered memories as actual, accurate recollections of real events
from the past, the memory of which had been repressed.
- Essentially all memory researchers, all of the major mental health therapists'
associations and most therapists now believe that the "memories" are images
created during therapy which may or may not resemble events of the past.
The potential for great harm to patient/clients and their families of origin is
obvious, when the subject of these recollections are childhood sexual abuse, ritual abuse, and Satanic ritual abuse.
Although the cult of recovered memory appears to be subsiding and
"evidence" of recovered memeories is no longer admissible in some courts (e.g.
the U.K.), for some of the tens of thousands of families that were destroyed by it
even though some, as in the Wenatchee allegations, received judgments awarding them as
much as three million dollars in compensation, of which they most likely never see a cent
the damages done to them will never be undone. Some of the victims of the
devastating modern witch hunt of child sexual- and satanic ritual abuse are still in
|The Boston Herald
August 12, 2001 Sunday ; Pg. 026
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
A scandal continues
The cynical manipulation by the Middlesex County prosecutor's office of the child
witnesses against Gerald Amirault who are now young adults makes it depressingly clear
that the office of prosecutor is intended by its occupants to serve their political
ambitions and not the cause of justice ("Amirault victims come out of hiding to keep
him jailed," Aug. 3). Martha Coakley and her cohorts and precursors know full well
that children who were 3, 4 and 5 years old at the time of the Fells Acres trials some 15
years ago - 15 years filled with constant reassertions by prosecutors and parents of the
validity of the original claims - do not, cannot and will not ever be able to have
untainted memories of their experiences. Hauling these innocent young people out for a
press conference was disgraceful.
These children were victims of politically ambitious and woefully ignorant prosecutors who
chose to disregard the coercive interrogations by the inexperienced graduate student
assigned to dig the "truth" out of the children, to ignore bizarre claims that
defied all rationality (e.g. sodomy with lobsters and knives) and to close their eyes to
the utter lack of substantiating physical evidence.
- Margaret A. Hagen,
Department of Psychology
Margaret A. Hagen is the the author of Whores
of the Court: The Fraud of Psychiatric Testimony & the Rape of American Justice (1997);
Regan Books-Imprint of Harper-Collins: San Francisco, Hardcover - 352 pages 1 Ed edition
(March 1997) HarperCollins; ISBN: 0060391979