This is a mea culpa describing my failure to expose the tragic witch hunt of hysterical sex and satanic abuse accusations that dominated the U.S. 20 years ago. Read More
Thank you for keeping the bizarre nature and devastation of the sex abuse panic of the 1980s in the news.
Sexual abuse of children is real and society will continue to find it deplorable, but this type of mass hysteria that destroys patients and their families is a separate issue.
We have a responsibility to inform the public that we have been here before and this type psychotherapy is still for sale.
I had stopped hoping that there would ever be an apology from anyone over these false accusations of abuse. Thank you Dr. Frances for recognizing your failure to speak up against this dangerous fad. It takes a big person to do that.
I lost a daughter to FMS and she has lost so much as well.
Thank you for your comments, even if somewhat late. I also lost a daughter to this craziness. My husband died with this sorrow on his heart. And I have one grandson that grew up believing that he along with my daughter was sexually abused, thanks to a "therapist" in Eugene,OR. My daughter has never recanted. One of her sons, as an adult, though, has gotten to know me for who I really am, thank goodness.
But I have another issue that almost happened to me, sometime before my daughters False Memories kicked in.
I was going to a small Bible church; a lady "evangelist" came through and gave some talks to our women. I was put in a "hot" seat and told to remember someone who I was angry with. I had some mixed feeling about my dad, who was verbally abusive with my whole family. I remembered how he also hit my two younger brothers "bopping them on the head with his knuckles....This was all true...But I was asked about the beatings that I must have received...but could not remember them. I was told to yell out my anger, because if I couldn't remember getting hit, I had repressed it, since surly it happened to me also. Later that evening, I thought about all this and realized, that all my father had to do is look at me in a certain way and I was quivering in my boots!! There was never a need to hit me and he didn't. But I wonder how many people especially women have been taken in by this sort of thing through their church.
So years ater, when all this happened with my daughter, I realized how dangerous that woman probably was....
Thought this might be of some interest.
I was pleased to read what Dr. Frances has written. Now when can we expect to hear from the Chair of the DSM-V Task Force? Whenever that will be, it is too late for our family, also seriously harmed by 'recovered memory therapy' within the past four years.
I'd just like to add that many of the issues here are far too complex for today's lay public (and even some students of psychology) to take the time to contemplate and understand. The tragedies and harm caused by 'recovered memory therapy', hypnosis, and the misguided therapists who still practice it (and teach it! - Alliant U. San Diego) need to be kept in the news, in frequent and concise attention-getting bursts, to stop this thoroughly debunked practice from continuing to cause serious harm.
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Allen Frances, M.D., was chair of the DSM-IV Task Force and is currently professor emeritus at Duke.
It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.