FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - February 8, 1994 - Vol. 3, No. 2, HTML version

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3401 Market Street suite 130,  Philadelphia, PA 19104,  (215-387-1865)

This address and the phone numbers have changed as of July 15, 2000

Dear Friends,
  Science or belief systems? That is the fundamental issue underlying
the problems of FMS. What are those statements about the recovery of
repressed memories of abuse that come from scientific thought and what
come from belief systems?
  Professionals and professional organizations have begun to make
statements that relate to the difference between belief systems and
science. On December 12, 1993, the American Psychiatric Association
issued a Statement on Memories of Sexual Abuse. Some people have
written to tell us that "The statement doesn't say anything," while
others have said, "You have no idea how far this conservative
organization has come." The APA statement appears in this newsletter
so readers can form their own opinions.
  The statement does make clear one very important facet of the FMS
issue: the role of the therapist. "Psychiatrists should maintain an
empathic, non-judgmental, neutral stance towards reported memories of
sexual abuse. As in the treatment of all patients, care must be taken
to avoid prejudging the cause of the patient's difficulties, or the
veracity of the patient's reports." A basis for this recommendation is
scientific research evidence that shows that "While aspects of the
alleged abuse situation, as well as the context in which the memories
emerge, can contribute to the assessment, there is no completely
accurate way of determining the validity of reports in the absence of
corroborating information."
  The APA statement of neutrality is in direct contrast to recovered
memory therapists who see their role as validators of memories of
abuse, i.e.," If you think you were abused and your life shows the
symptoms, then you were," (Bass and Davis p 22 ) or "The existence of
profound disbelief is an indication that memories are real."
(Fredrickson, p 167). The role of therapist as validator arises from a
"belief system" rather than from a scientific base.
  The APA statement includes the advice that "Psychiatrists should
refrain from making public statements about the veracity or other
features of individual reports of sexual abuse." We are pleased to see
this statement. We hope that this means that there will be no more TV
documentaries featuring doctors with patients with multiple
personalities, which we are told arose because the patients had been
abused, especially when the alleged abusers are not given an
opportunity to respond. We hope that this means that hospitals such as
the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital will cease making statements
in their advertising brochures validating the claims of abuse of movie
stars. We hope that this means that psychiatrists such as Dr. Judith
Herman will cease making judgments about the percentage of true or
false reports received by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation -- at
least until they either read the reports or interview the families.

  The APA statement is a first step in calming the hysterical climate
and bringing reason into this vitally important area, but far more is
needed. "The American Psychiatric Association has been concerned that
the passionate debates about these issues have obscured the
recognition of a body of scientific evidence that underlies widespread
agreement among psychiatrists regarding psychiatric treatment in this
  We have written to thank the APA for this statement and also to
request further information. Specifically, we have requested the body
of scientific evidence that supports the evidence for and the
treatment for repressed memories. We have requested the specific
evidence that "Many individuals who recover memories of abuse have
been able to find corroborating information about their memories."
What is "many" and who has independently checked the evidence?  We
have requested the scientific outcome studies that determine whether
clients are better served by searching for memories of trauma or by
dealing with the here, the now and the future.
  SURVIVOR CHECK LISTS: On January 27, Dorothy Cantor, a Board Member
of the American Psychological Association, appeared on the ABC
program,"Good Morning America." She commented about 'sets of symptoms'
of abuse noting that "There are many, many symptoms that can be caused
by a variety of different reasons and one must wait and see how the
material emerges." We desperately need to have statements from
professional organizations addressing "survivor check lists" because
they influence so many people.  The incest survivor literature is
filled with check lists that supposedly indicate if a person has been
abused. Thousands of parents have reported to us that their children
told them they had "all the signs of being abused." What is the basis
for these check lists? Are they based in science or in belief systems?
Following is an example that took place when a caller phoned the
television program A.M. Philadelphia on December 9:

  HOST: Caller on line five, you say that in the last year you've
  discovered through suppressed memory coming forward that you were
  sexually abused. Why do you believe it? Why, why do you believe that
  our guests, in essence, this morning are wrong.  
  CALLER: One of the reasons is that at an education seminar I
  attended, a check list was passed out. Because of the type of work
  that I do, I am in contact with people who may have a catharsis type
  of situation. I'm a massage therapist and we're taught how to deal
  with it because it can be very emotionally cathartic when you have
  body work done. And on this check list which was maybe fifty
  different red flags that we should look for when we're working on
  people, I had about seventy-five percent of them myself. And I
  actually became physically ill at the seminar which was a pretty
  good indication.

  We include a checklist from one of the best known incest survivor
books in the box below.

   MEDIA CIRCUS: Dr. Cantor said that she believed that the problems
of repressed memories of abuse should not be played out in public but
rather in "professional and academic circles." We wrote to Dr. Cantor
to say that more than 10,000 families agreed with her. We noted that
if professional organizations and monitoring boards would consider
complaints by people accused of criminal behavior that arise in the
course of therapy, this might be a start.  If professional
organizations would establish guidelines for therapists when such
memories arise, this might be helpful. If professional organizations
such as the Michigan Psychological Association would stop inviting the
press when they sponsor personal vilification talks, it might be a

  THERAPY GUIDELINES: The January issue of National Association of
Social Workers News included an article that featured therapy
guidelines for readers' information, "Walking the Fine Line of Abuse
Recall." The guidelines are not formally issued by NASW. One of these
guidelines by Peter T. Dimock, Minneapolis therapist, seems to us to be
exceptionally important: "Consider a variety of possible explanations
for the symptoms a client exhibits."  Were we naive in assuming this
was an essential feature of a good diagnosis? According to the
article, "NASW's Council on the Practice of Clinical Social Work began
preparing a statement last fall" on issues of repressed memory of

  SYNDROME. For a while our critics attacked the word "foundation" in
our name.  That attack didn't work and now they've moved on to the
word "syndrome." Their favorite claim is that the false memory
syndrome isn't "a scientific syndrome."  We are encouraged that they
might begin to believe that science is relevant when the subject is
memory and we hesitate to discourage that belief. But we must point
out that the process that ends with a general acceptance of a syndrome
is rightly a slow one. It's one thing to say that FMS isn't yet listed
in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American
Psychiatric Association) and quite another thing to say that it
doesn't exist. Just as we were preparing this newsletter we were
reminded of how long it can take for a syndrome to reach the DSM by a
letter that appeared on February 5 in the New York Times from Robert
Kress, Professor of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia. Dr
Kress reviewed the history of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It first
appeared under the name "survivor syndrome" in 1952. The term was used
to describe people who had been imprisoned in German concentration
camps. "These previously normal people were so affected by beatings
and famine that they suffered symptoms like difficulty in
concentration, irritability, emotional instability, impaired memory
and sleep disturbances, including nightmares of captivity...This has
been called concentration camp syndrome, survivor syndrome and, in the
1980 DSM, post-traumatic stress disorder (chronic)."

  BRITISH FALSE MEMORY SOCIETY: The BFMS has held its first Advisory
Board Meeting and set out some directions for research. The Advisory
Board members are: DR.R.ALDRIDGE-MORRIS, Principal Psychology
Lecturer, University of Middlesex; PROFESSOR R.J.AUDLEY, Vice Provost,
University College London; PROFESSOR A.D.BADDELEY, F.R.S., Professor
of Cognitive Psychology, University of Cambridge; PROFESSOR
P.P.G.BATESON, F.R.S., Provost, King's College, Cambridge;
Dr.T.H.BEWLEY, C.B.E., Past President, Royal College of Psychiatrists;
PROFESSOR P.FONAGY, Freud Professor of Psychoanalysis, University
College London; DR.G.GUDJONNSON, Reader in Forensic Psychology,
University of London; DR.J.A.C.MacKEITH, Consultant Forensic
Psychiatrist, The Maudsley Hospital; PROFESSOR ELIZABETH NEWSON,
Professor of Developmental Psychology, University of Nottingham;
PROFESSOR J.SANDLER, Past President, International Psychoanalytical
Association; DR.W.THOMPSON, Lecturer in Forensic Psychology,
University of Reading; DR.B.TULLY, Chartered Clinical & Forensic
Psychologist; DR. ELIZABETH TYLDEN, Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist,
UCH & Middlesex Hospital Medical School; PROFESSOR L.WEISKRANTZ,
F.R.S., Professor of University of Oxford.

  RETRACTORS: We have received several letters in the past few weeks
from retractors and from families describing retractions. Some of
these have happened in difficult circumstances. Imagine waking up one
morning to find your yard filled with digging equipment and the police
informing you that you are being investigated for sexual torture and
murder reported by your daughter who had recovered memories. Imagine
the legal fees. Imagine the situation when friends of the family have
their yards dug up too. Imagine these accusations dragging on for
years in spite of the fact that there was no evidence. With the
support of a therapist who understands the FMS problem, the daughter
in a family to whom this happened has retracted, and the family has
welcomed her back.
  Families that thought they could never get back together are
discovering that when their child begins to act like the "before
memories" person they knew, they respond to that person. We know that
not all families will be able to reunite but we are learning that even
after lawsuits and police investigations, it is possible to pick up
the pieces and help others through this tragedy.

  THANKS: The FMS Foundation has now been in esixtence for almost two
years.  We've weathered the growing pains, and begun to establish a
more stable organization. Next year the position of Executive Director
will become salaried, for example. Thank you.
   How long will the FMS Foundation exist? How long will it take the
mental health community to solve the problem? There are now over
10,000 families who have complained that someone they love has
received radical therapy for a condition that did not exist. If any
other medical product or procedure had so many complaints, it would be
taken off the market and examined. No one seems to know how to do that
when the product is therapy. No professional organization, no
monitoring organization, no government organization is in charge.
  Child abuse is a tragedy, an unconscionable crime.  Destroying
families and lives is also a tragedy and a crime. Until people learn
to listen respectfully to each other, neither problem will be solved.
We need to place the research evidence in the public forum and examine
what is offered. What is science and what is a belief system?  Both
have places in society, but they should not be confused.
/                                                                    \
|                       SYMPTOM CHECKLIST  from                      |
|    Repressed Memories: A Journey to Recovery from Sexual Abuse     |
|    Renee Fredrickson, Ph.D., Simon and Schuster, 1992, p. 47-51    |
|                                                                    |
|   Check each item that applies to you, even if in a different way  |
| than the question indicates... People who have not been sexually   |
| abused have nightmares, overeat, and sometimes hate their bodies,  |
| but if you check several times in each category, or nearly all the |
| items in a single category, you will want to consider the          |
| possibility that you have repressed memories.                      |
|                                                                    |
| Sexuality 1.I began masturbating at a very early age. 2.As a       |
| child, I used to insert objects into my bottom, and I do not know  |
| where I learned to do this.  3.I seem to know some things about    |
| sex even before they were explained to me. 4.I showed no interest  |
| in sex until I was in my twenties. 5.I can't stand to be touched   |
| in certain sexual ways or on areas of my body. 6.My experiences    |
| with sex are degrading or short-lived. 7.I freeze up or can't say  |
| no when someone wants to be sexual with me. 8.I have a sexual      |
| dysfunction, such as premature ejaculation, inability to have an   |
| orgasm, or pain during intercourse. 9.I am preoccupied with        |
| thoughts about sex. 10.I feel as if there is something wrong or    |
| bad about me sexually. 11.There is only one way I can have an      |
| orgasm or one position that turns me on. 12.I have fantasies of    |
| sexual abuse during sex. 13.I have had a period of sexual          |
| promiscuity in my life.                                            |
|                                                                    |
| Sleep: 1.I often have nightmares. 2.I have difficulty falling or   |
| staying asleep. 3.I sometimes wake up feeling as if I am choking,  |
| gagging, or being suffocated. 4.Sometimes I fear or sense that     |
| someone is in my bedroom. 5.I had or have recurring dreams. 6.I    |
| remember vividly one or more nightmares from my childhood. 7.I     |
| have awakened from sleep trying to attack my partner. 8.I often    |
| wake up frightened at the same time every night.                   |
|                                                                    |
| Fears and Attractions 1.I am frightened of one or more common      |
| household objects. 2.I would never go into a closet or any dark,   |
| confined space. 3.Basements terrify me. 4.There are certain things |
| I seem to have a strange affection or attraction for. 5.I am       |
| scared to be alone or to leave my house.  6.I hate going to the    |
| dentist more than most people. 7.My mouth seems repulsive to me.   |
| 9.I hate to have someone touch my hair. 10.I am always alert to    |
| the possibility of sexual assault. 11.I have often taken foolish   |
| risks with my safety.                                              |
|                                                                    |
| Eating Disturbances 1.I have had periods in my life when I         |
| couldn't eat, or I had to force myself to eat. 2.Sometimes I binge |
| on huge amounts of food.  3.Certain foods or tastes frighten me or |
| nauseate me. 4.I am seriously underweight or overweight. 5.I gag   |
| or choke easily. 6.I make myself throw up, take laxatives, or      |
| exercise exhaustively to control my weight.                        |
|                                                                    |
| Body Problems 1.I do not take good care of my body. 2.I hate my    |
| body. 3.I have odd sensations in my genitals or rectum. 4.I avoid  |
| going to a gynecologist, or I dread it terribly. 5.Whenever I      |
| think of a certain person from my childhood, I get a sensation in  |
| my genitals.                                                       |
|                                                                    |
| Compulsive Behaviors 1.I sometimes hurt myself in a way that marks |
| or scars my body. 2.I have an addiction to drugs or alcohol. 3.My  |
| drug or alcohol use started before I was thirteen., 4.I do some    |
| things to excess and I just don't know when to quit. 5.I pick at   |
| my body too much. 6.I can't seem to control myself when it comes   |
| to spending money or gambling.                                     |
|                                                                    |
| Emotional Signals 1.There have been times when I was very          |
| suicidal.  2.I feel a sense of doom, as though my life will end in |
| tragedy or disaster. 3.I have unexplained bouts of depression. 4.I |
| have a strong sense that something terrible has happened to me.    |
| 5.I identify with abuse victims in the media, and often stores of  |
| abuse make me want to cry. 6.The pain in my life seems to big      |
| compared to what I know has happened to me. 7.Nothing seems very   |
| real sometimes. 8.I am not in touch with my feeling: I am usually  |
| numb. 9.Sometimes really violent or strange pictures flash through |
| my mind. 10.I startle easily.  11.I can't remember much of my      |
| childhood. 12.Other people seem to have childhood memories at an   |
| earlier age than I do. 13.There is a blank period in my childhood  |
| when I can remember nothing.  14.I space out or daydream.          |

/                                                                    \
| On the other hand, seeing that traumatic memories might be absent  |
| in other cases of neurosis (which would then have to be explained  |
| and treated in a different way), great care must be taken to avoid |
| discovering traumatic memories when they do not really exist.      |
|                                                       Pierre Janet |
|                                        Psychological Healing, 1925 |


  Although the work of Linda Meyer Williams is still in press, it has
been cited frequently on the radio and on television by people arguing
for the validity of repressed memories.(e.g., Kathy Pezdek, Ph.D.,
Dec. 6, 1993; Connie Kristiansen, Ph.D. SWAP, 20(2))

To FMSF Newsletter Editor:
  "When I sent you the original draft of my letter commenting on the
Linda Meyer Williams study, I did indeed state: "I consider the study
to be an excellent one and I consider the results to be valid." After
I sent you the letter, and thought more about the article, I realized
that there was a major flaw in it that I did not originally
appreciate. Because this flaw was beyond the purposes of my letter, I
called your office and asked you to delete the second half of this
sentence regarding my considering the results to be valid and to
publish only: "I consider the study to be an excellent one."
Unfortunately, this was not done, and the original sentence appeared
in print. I would appreciate your bringing this error to the attention
of your readers. Thank you."  
                                             Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

  Our sincere apologies. The correction had indeed been made but
  somehow in the process of a final proofreading was reinserted.

Terence W. Campbell, Ph.D.

  For some period of time, mental health professionals identifying
themselves as specialists in "repressed memories" have
enthusiastically cited the study of Williams regarding the alleged
incidence of repression related to childhood experiences of sexual
abuse. This study, which has yet to appear in a peer-reviewed
scientific journal, identified a sample of 129 women who had been
sexually abused as children. Specifically, the sexual abuse of these
women which occurred between April 1, 1973 and June 30, 1975 was
documented by hospital records. In 1990 and 1991, Williams interviewed
these women and reported that 38% did not remember their documented
history of sexual abuse. Unlike other studies, none of these women had
ever been in therapy; and as a result, their recall -- or apparent
inability to recall -- could not have been influenced by a
therapist. More recently, a paper corresponding to Williams'
presentation of this study at the Annual Meeting of the American
Society of Criminology in October 1993 has been available for review.
A careful examination of this paper reveals glaring errors in her
methodology necessitating a wholesale reinterpretation of her
  Williams reported that, "The interviewers were not blind to the
purpose of this study, but they were unaware of any of the
circumstances of the child sexual abuse reported in the 1970's." This
statement raises the question of exactly what did the interviewers
know about this study if they were "not blind" to its purpose.
Depending upon what the interviewers knew about the purpose of this
study, the likelihood of experimenter bias effects increases
  For example, related research has demonstrated that when
interviewers are asked to determine whether interviewees are
extroverts, they tend to ask leading and suggestive questions allowing
them to conclude that the interviewees were extroverted. Conversely,
when other interviewers were asked to determine whether the same
interviewees were introverted, they slanted their questions
accordingly and concluded that the interviewees were introverted. In
other words, the archives of behavioral research are littered with
examples of interviewers finding what they expect to find. Therefore,
Williams is obligated to clarify exactly what her interviewers knew
about the purpose of this study.
  Williams also explained, "Because many of the women reported
different or multiple incidents of child sexual abuse, two raters
later assessed whether the women had or had not recalled the 'index
event'." By 'index event,' Williams is referring to whether or not any
particular subject in the study recalled the specific episode of
sexual abuse documented by hospital records.Williams reports that 38%
of the women in the study (49 in number) could not recall the 'index
event.' Nevertheless, of the 49 women who did not recall the index
event, 33 of these women reported experiencing one or more other
incidents of sexual abuse as children.
  In interpreting her data, Williams neglected to consider the effects
of what is known as proactive and retroactive inhibition. Proactive
inhibition refers to circumstances where events occurring at an
earlier point in time interfere with memory for a similar event
occurring at a later point in time. Applied to Williams' study,
considerations of proactive inhibition account for why a subject may
have reported an incident of sexual abuse after the index event, and
not have recalled the index itself that occurred at an earlier point
in time. In other words, the later abuse can also interfere with
recall of earlier abuse.  Rather than acknowledge that the
well-established effects of proactive and retroactive inhibition
account for the apparent memory deficits of her subjects, Williams
tacitly encourages those who are so inclined to leap to unwarranted
conclusions regarding repression as they interpret her data.
  A closer examination of Williams' data reveals that while 49 of her
subjects apparently did not recall the "index event," 33 of those
subjects did report a history of childhood sexual abuse other than the
index event. Only 12% of the total sample (16 in number) reported no
memory for any episode of sexual abuse occurring in their
childhoods. In other words, the widely publicized 38% figure related
to this study -- supposedly indicating a substantial number of women
who have no memory for their documented sexual abuse as children --
just became 12% -- not 38%.
  In summary, then, careful evaluation of Williams' methodology
clearly indicated that this study cannot support the conclusions about
repression that too many ill-informed mental health professionals want
to draw from it. More than anything else, this study merely
demonstrates that Williams forgot to consider the documented effects
of proactive and retroactive inhibition on her data.

                        THE COST OF VIOLENCE?

  In February 1992, we reported the findings of the cost of repressed
memories to the Victims Compensation Fund in the state of
Washington. (Repressed memory claims are costing more than other types
of claims allowed (non-family sexual assault: $1,552; family sexual
assault: $1,997; repressed memory: $9,127; all other types:
$1,794). In following months we reported that new policies in the
state had drastically reduced the payments for repressed memories.
  In the Palm Beach Post on January 9, 1994, another set of statistics
caught our attention. An article by Andrew Mollison suggests that the
cost of violent crimes is one of the reasons why "Americans spend more
on health care than virtually any other country in the world." Results
of a new study were cited.

  The Cost of Violence, 1991-92
  MEDICAL CARE FOR VIOLENCE                            $14 Billion
  * Drunken driving:                                    $6.9 billion
  * Murder, rape, robbery, assault, arson:              $3.6 billion
  * Suicides and hospitalized suicide attempts:         $3   billion
  * Non-hospitalized suicide attempts, other:           $0.5 billion
  MENTAL HEALTH CARE FOR VIOLENCE:                     $13   billion
  * Caused by recent violent crimes:                    $3.5 billion
  * Adults physically or sexually abused as children:   $4   billion
  * Unmet mental health care needs related to violence: $5.5 billion    

  The authors of the study are Ted Miller, National Public Services
Research Institute, Landover, MD and Mark Cohen of Vanderbilt
University. Funding for the study came from the National Institute of
Justice in a grant to determine the cost of crimes to victims. The
results were presented in testimony before the Senate Finance
Committee in October 1993. The data for the cost of medical care are
from a variety of published sources. The data for the cost of mental
health care were collected through an exploratory telephone survey of
mental health care professionals (random sample of psychiatrists,
psychologists, social workers, counselors, pastoral counselors,
etc. There were 10 to 30 people in each group. N = 168) The questions
that they were asked were, "How many of your clients were served in
1991 primarily because of the aftereffects of: recent child sexual
abuse, recent child physical abuse - not sexual; child sexual abuse
years earlier; child physical abuse - not sexual - years earlier;
other attempted or completed rape, etc." This study has nothing to say
about repressed memories or the truth or falsity of any accusations.

  "My therapy cost over one-million dollars," a retractor told us.
"When my daughter is hospitalized for MPD, it costs more than $40,000
a month," said a father. "My daughter is in her 30's and had a good
job, but now she is living on social security disability," said a
mother. "She got social security because of post traumatic stress. She
said she had recovered memories of being sexually abused by me, but no
one checked. Her therapy is paid for by the government. The lawsuit
she brought against us was dismissed with prejudice. She is still on

  Psychiatry's Time Bomb was the headline of an "Opinion" column by
Adam Blatner, M.D. in The Psychiatric Times way back in November
1987. It arrived in our mail on the same day that we received the
statistics about the cost of violence. Blatner made some startlingly
accurate predictions.
  "In the early 1970s, concern about the influence of excessive
numbers of unused beds in hospitals on health care costs led to
regulatory programs.  'Certificates of Need' were required before more
hospitals (or units) could be constructed. However, in the
deregulating atmosphere of the Reagan Administration, these programs
have been allowed to lapse. It served as an invitation for the health
care industry to vigorously compete, and as a result, corporations
have exerted vigorous construction and marketing efforts. Hundreds of
hospitals and thousands of beds have been and continue to be opened...
  "The problem of having all these psychiatric inpatient units opening
up is that it's unclear where the patients will come from. Over the
previous 15 years, patients who have needed impatient care have not
been deprived of such services because the beds were unavailable. Few
existing hospitals were running at full census...
  "We are in the midst of a self-destructive trend. Our failure to
recognize and police our own tendencies to over-utilization of
expensive resources will lead to not only an economic backlash, but
also a besmirchment of our professional integrity...
  "More dangerous than the economic sanctions that will be forthcoming
is the threat to the intellectual and moral integrity of the
psychiatric profession.  This is not simply a matter of public
relations, but rather an issue of whether we in the profession are
willing to recognize and criticize our own failings and those of our
  As we read "Psychiatry's Time Bomb," we thought about the ongoing
federal investigations into private mental hospitals and about the
high costs of medical care that have finally pushed the current
restructuring of health care delivery.  We also thought about the
fortuitousness that the epidemic of MPD (which requires extensive
hospitalization) came just at the time that hospitals were adding beds
and dissociative units.
/                                                                    \
| "What is extraordinary is that the professions do so little by     |
| self-regulation to protect their reputations. The result is rot by |
| litigation. Professionals are unable to admit fault. Negligence    |
| insurance invites huge suits, and huge fees.  The trust that used  |
| to underpin dealings between professional and client, including    |
| the acknowledgement of error, is destroyed.  "I suppose what has   |
| really gone, and I doubt if this is recoverable, is the idea that  |
| life can be cruel without there being anybody to blame."           |
|                                Simon Jenkins, December 15, 1993    |
|                                    Opinion Page, The Australian    |


      This statement was approved by the Board of Trustees of the
American Psychiatric Association on December 12, 1993.

      This Statement is in response to the growing concern regarding
memories of sexual abuse. The rise in reports of documented cases of
child sexual abuse has been accompanied by a rise in reports of sexual
abuse that cannot be documented.  Members of the public, as well as
members of mental health and other professions, have debated the
validity of some memories of sexual abuse, as well as some of the
therapeutic techniques which have been used. The American Psychiatric
Association has been concerned that the passionate debates about these
issues have obscured the recognition of a body of scientific evidence
that underlies widespread agreement among psychiatrists regarding
psychiatric treatment in this area. We are especially concerned that
the public confusion and dismay over this issue and the possibility of
false accusations not discredit the reports of patients who have
indeed been traumatized by actual previous abuse. While much more
needs to be known, this Statement summarizes information about this
topic that is important for psychiatrists in their work with patients
for whom sexual abuse is an issue.
     Sexual abuse of children and adolescents leads to severe negative
consequences. Child sexual abuse is a risk factor for many classes of
psychiatric disorders, including anxiety disorders, affective
disorders, dissociative disorders and personality disorders.
    Children and adolescents may be abused by family members,
including parents and siblings, and by individuals outside of their
families, including adults in trusted positions (e.g., teachers,
clergy, camp counselors.). Abusers come from all walks of life. There,
is no uniform "profile" or other method to accurately distinguish
those who have sexually abused children from those who have not,
     Children and adolescents who have been abused cope with the
trauma by using a variety of psychological mechanisms. In some
instances, these coping mechanisms result in a lack of conscious
awareness of the abuse for varying periods of time. Conscious thoughts
and feelings stemming from the abuse may emerge at a later date.
     It is not known how to distinguish, with complete accuracy,
memories based on true events from those derived from other
sources. The following observations have been made:
         * Human memory is a complex process about which there is a
substantial base of scientific knowledge. Memory can be divided into
four stages: input (encoding), storage, retrieval, and recounting. All
of these processes can be influenced by a variety of factors,
including developmental stage, expectations and knowledge base prior
to an event; stress and bodily sensations experienced during an event;
post-event questioning; and the experience and context of the
recounting of the event. In addition, the retrieval and recounting of
a memory can modify the form of the memory, which may influence the
content and the conviction about the veracity of the memory in the
future. Scientific knowledge is not yet precise enough to predict how
a certain experience or factor will influence a memory in a given
        * Implicit and explicit memory are two different forms of
memory that have been identified. Explicit memory (also termed
declarative memory) refers to the ability to consciously recall facts
or events. Implicit memory (also termed procedural memory) refers to
behavioral knowledge of an experience without conscious recall. A
child who demonstrates knowledge of a skill (e.g., bicycle riding
without recalling how he/she learned it, or an adult who has an
affective reaction to an event without understanding the basis for
that reaction (e.g., a combat veteran who panics when he hears the
sound of a helicopter, but cannot remember that he was in a helicopter
crash which killed his best friend) are demonstrating implicit
memories in the absence of explicit recall. This distinction between
explicit and implicit memory is fundamental because they have been
shown to be supported by different brain systems, and because their
differentiation and identification may have important clinical
        * Some individuals who have experienced documented traumatic
events may nevertheless include some false or inconsistent elements in
their reports. In addition, hesitancy in making a report, and
recanting following the report can occur in victims of documented
abuse. Therefore, these seemingly contradictory findings do not
exclude the possibility that the report is based on a true event.
         * Memories can be significantly influenced by questioning,
especially in young children. Memories also can be significantly
influenced by a trusted person (e.g., therapist, parent involved in a
custody dispute) who suggests abuse as an explanation for
symptoms/problems, despite initial lack of memory of such abuse. It
has also been shown that repeated questioning may lead individuals to
report "memories" of events that never occurred.
       It is not known what proportion of adults who report memories
of sexual abuse were actually abused. Many individuals who recover
memories of abuse have been able to find corroborating information
about their memories. However, no such information can be found, or is
possible to obtain, in some situations.  While aspects of the alleged
abuse situation, as well as the context in which the memories emerge,
can contribute to the assessment, there is no completely accurate way
of determining the validity of reports in the absence of corroborating
      Psychiatrists are often consulted in situations in which
memories of sexual abuse are critical issues. Psychiatrists may be
involved in a variety of capacities, including as the treating
clinician for the alleged victim, for the alleged abuser, or for other
family member(s) as a school consultant; or in a forensic capacity.
      Basic clinical and ethical principles should guide the
psychiatrist's work in this difficult area. These include the need for
role clarity. It is essential that the psychiatrist and the other
involved parties understand and agree on the psychiatrist's role.
       Psychiatrists should maintain an empathic, non-judgmental,
neutral stance towards reported memories of sexual abuse. As in the
treatment of all patients, care must be taken to avoid prejudging the
cause of the patient's difficulties, or the veracity of the patient's
reports. A strong prior belief by the psychiatrist that sexual abuse,
or other factors, are or are not the cause of the patient's problems
is likely to interfere with appropriate assessment and treatment. Many
individuals who have, experienced sexual abuse have a history of not
being believed by their parents, or others in whom they have put their
trust. Expression of disbelief is likely to cause the patient further
pain and decrease his/her willingness to seek needed psychiatric
treatment. Similarly, clinicians should not exert pressure on patients
to believe in events that may not have occurred, or to prematurely
disrupt important relationships or make other important decisions
based on these speculations. Clinicians who have not had the training
necessary to evaluate and treat patients with a broad range of
psychiatric disorders are at risk of causing harm by providing
inadequate care for the patient's psychiatric problems and by
increasing the patient's resistance to obtaining and responding to
appropriate treatment in the future.  In addition, special knowledge
and experience are necessary to properly evaluate and/or treat
patients who report the emergence of memories during the use of
specialized interview techniques (e.g., the use of hypnosis or
amytal), or during the course of litigation.
    The treatment plan should be based on a complete psychiatric
assessment, and should address the full range of the patient's
clinical needs. In addition to specific treatments for any primary
psychiatric condition, the patient may need help recognizing and
integrating data that informs and defines the issues related to the
memories of abuse. As in the treatment of patients with any
psychiatric disorder, it may be important to caution the patient
against making major life decisions during the acute phase of
treatment. During the acute and later phases of treatment, the issues
of breaking off relationships with important attachment figures, of
pursuing legal actions, and of making public disclosures may need to
be addressed. The psychiatrist should help the patient assess the
likely impact (including emotional) of such decisions, given the
patient's overall clinical and social situation. Some patients will
be left with unclear memories of abuse and no corroborating
information. Psychiatric treatment may help these patients adapt to
the uncertainty regarding such emotionally important issues.
      The intensity of public interest and debate about these topics
should not influence psychiatrists to abandon their commitment to
basic principles of ethical practice, delineated in The Principles of
Medical Ethics with Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry.
  The following concerns are of particular relevance:

     Psychiatrists should refrain from making public statements about
the veracity or other features of individual reports of sexual abuse.
      Psychiatrists should vigilantly assess the impact of their
conduct on the boundaries of the doctor/patient relationship. This is
especially critical when treating patients, who are seeking care for
conditions that are associated with boundary violations in their past.
     The APA will continue to monitor developments in this area in an
effort to help psychiatrists provide the best possible care for their

/                                                                    \
|                             CORRECTION                             |
|                      From the issue of March 8                     |
| To obtain the full News Release of the American Psychiatric        |
| Association statement on Memories of Sexual abuse, write to:       |
|                                                                    |
|  American Psychiatric Association                                  |
|  1400 K Street, NW                                                 |
|  Washington, DC 20005                                              |

 Social workers are now the largest group of mental health providers.

A recent article, "The Changing Face of Social Work," by Beth Baker,
Common Boundary, Jan/Feb, 1994, documents the changes that have taken
place over the past two decades to explain how social workers now
outnumber psychologists and psychiatrists as mental-health
providers. The following data are provided:

Profession    #Practicing  #Graduates #Programs Fee
Psychiatrists        40,000   1,300   199      $101
Ph.D. Psychologists  45,000   1,300   174        90
Social Workers       80,000  11,500   106        75
Marriage & Family    40,000     N/A    73        80
Prof Counselors      42,000   9,400   230        75
Psychiatric Nurses   10,500     643    96       N/A
Pastoral Counselors   2,100     N/A   104       N/A

  Mental health is by far the most popular speciality of social
workers, "according to a recent study 'Who We Are,' published by the
146,000 member NASW." 32.7 percent of NASW members list it as their
primary practice area and 27.7 percent place it second.
  Social workers "say their approach is non-authoritarian and non-
threatening.  And while they cannot prescribe medication as
psychiatrists do or perform psychological tests as psychologists do,
their training in psychotherapy is on a par with that of other
professions. Before a social worker may be licensed at a clinical
level, he or she must complete a two-year master's program that
included 900 hours of field instruction. In addition, two years of
supervised clinical social-work experience are required. Like other
psychotherapists, the social worker also takes part in a wide variety
of workshops and other training."
  In the January newsletter, we reported the results of a survey of
social work schools in which Allen Feld documented the minuscule
amount of course work in memory and repression currently required in
schools of social work.  If it is indeed the case that the training of
social workers "in psychotherapy is on a par with that of other
professions," an examination of all professional training programs
whose graduates are allowed to do psychotherapy is immediately called
for. Lack of training about scientific information on memory by
professional schools could explain why Michael Yapko found a
significant percentage of therapists to hold misconceptions about
memory and hypnosis.  Yapko's data is reported in the January 1994
issue of American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis.
  In 1890, in Philadelphia, Sir William Osler referred to the
education of physicians as an example of "criminal laxity" in
education. It seems that a "criminal laxity" now confronts us in the
education of psychotherapists. Osler was instrumental in upgrading the
miserable status of education of medical practitioners at that
time. It is time that all professional organizations look at his focus
on education and apply it to psychotherapy.

/                                                                    \
|   Unfortunately, anybody can say anything about anyone, and the    |
| accused is then in the position of defending himself. All too      |
| often, if the maligned individual is a high-profile personality,   |
| the feeding frenzy begins, the headlines are a foot high and the   |
| TV coverage is relentless. By the time the facts are made public,  |
| the victim is thoroughly discredited and his reputation in shreds. |
|   Too often the culprits are the therapists who "help" their       |
| patients recall incidents they are led to believe have been        |
| repressed for dozens of years. Add to that mix, lawyers who see an |
| opportunity to make a killing by nailing a well-known (or well-    |
| heeled) person.                                                    |
|                      Ann Landers, December 12, 1993                |
|                      The Philadelphia Inquirer                     |

                        QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

   With the February 1994 issue, we introduce a new column:
August Piper, Jr., M.D. looks forward to receiving your questions.

                        WHERE WILL IT ALL END?

  The pleasant voice coming from the telephone receiver belonged to
Pamela Freyd, who was requesting a column on multiple personality
disorder for the False Memory Syndrome Foundation newsletter.
  I told Dr. Freyd that for her even to consider asking me to write
such an article was a real honor. However, I had some questions for
her. Should the FMS Foundation become involved in the multiple
personality disorder controversy?  Would members of the Foundation be
at all interested in the topic?
  "The Foundation is already involved, because the controversy has
come to our doorstep," she said, "and yes, I do think out readers
would like to know more about MPD."
  What did she think should be in the column?
  "Why not discuss the relationship between false memories and MPD?
And maybe talk about the history of MPD." She added.
  And so this column was born.
*  *  *
  A thimbleful of history to start. Before 1970, MPD was extremely
rare -- so rare, in fact, that psychiatric journals almost never
printed papers on the subject; less than one article each year
appeared in the literature. In 1980, the entire world literature
contained only about two hundred cases, with only eight having been
reported between 1960 and 1970.
  However, between 1980 and 1990, the number of professional papers on
MPD increased sixty times. The number of reported cases also
skyrocketed, so that by now, the MPD phenomenon has become an
epidemic. Over 6,000 cases are supposed to have been diagnosed in
North America by 1986; that year, one of the experts in the MPD field
commented that more cases of the condition had been reported within
the previous five years than in the preceding two centuries. One
advocate of this condition predicts that ten percent of all adults in
North America may have disorders similar to MPD; he believes that more
than one hundred million people worldwide may have one of these
disorders. Soon, the proponents say, any clinician who has not
recently seen a patient with MPD may expect to be questioned about his
or her diagnostic ability or lack of familiarity with recent
  Not only have the number of cases increased dramatically, but the
usual number of personalities per case has also soared. In the last
century, reported cases usually had two personalities, but now, cases
average between six and sixteen personalities; in one recent series
almost half the patients had more than ten alters. There have been
reports of three hundred, four hundred, and one thousand alter
  What is going on here? Those who champion the cause of MPD offer
several explanations for this unprecedented proliferation. None of
them, however, makes as much sense as the obvious: some clinicians are
simply grossly overdiagnosing the disorder.
  Where will it all end?
  False memories and MPD affect each other in two ways. First, because
a major criterion for the diagnosis of MPD is a history of sexual
abuse, a therapist obtaining such a history may be influenced to
diagnose MPD. Some of these reports are false; an erroneous history of
childhood victimization may well lead to a misdiagnosis of MPD, based
partly on that inaccurate report.
  The second aspect of this relationship is somewhat more subtle, but
ultimately may be more damaging to the patient. Imagine: a therapist
has diagnosed a patient, Ms. S, as having MPD. She has no memory of
being physically or sexually abused as a child. The therapist,
however, reasons as follows: "The MPD experts say that over ninety-
five percent of people who have MPD have been abused as children.
Since Ms. S has MPD, she almost certainly was abused. The fact that
she doesn't recall the abuse simply means she is repressing the memory
of it. In order for her to recover from her MPD, she must deal with
her abuse history.  Therefore, my task as her therapist is clear -- I
have to break through the repression barrier and unearth these hidden,
repressed memories." In other words, the patient must be convinced of
the correctness of the therapist's view.
  The patient in these situations not infrequently makes an effort to
be a "good patient," searching hard for the material the therapist
says must be there. The current professional literature contains
several reports of patients going so far as to make up stories to
please their therapists. On the other hand, members of the Foundation
know that some patients are now beginning to appreciate and become
outraged at the damage done to their lives, and to the lives of those
around them, by what another FMSF Board member calls this
"cookie-cutter therapy."
  MPD proponents will sometimes go to extremes to discredit beliefs,
memories, and experiences that are that are incompatible with the
diagnosis, and replace them with those that are. Does the patient deny
having been abused as a child?  The proponent can say that MPD
patients often attempt to hide their abuse histories. Does the patient
fail to show evidence of other personalities? The proponent can say
that a patient has "secret MPD," in which the other personalities do
not emerge unless the host is alone. Does the patient deny having MPD?
No problem -- people can have MPD and not even be aware of it
themselves. Does the patient fail to show any sign whatsoever of MPD?
Not a problem either, because the essential core of the disorder is
the presence of a mental -- an "entity" -- which, curiously, remains
obstinately invisible to all but those therapists who have the special
ability to discern it.
  Sometimes this discrediting involves an attack on the memories of
the patient him- or herself, or on those of the family. A hospital
once asked me to review the case of a Ms. B. This was a schoolteacher
who had been reasonably functional before her admission; she had gone
to work every day, for example. She was thought by the admitting
psychiatrist to have been satanically abused as a child by her
parents; he also thought she now had MPD. Ms. B stayed in the hospital
for 72 days -- about six times longer than the institution's average
at that time.
  During the hospitalization, the psychiatrist endlessly explored the
sexual abuse and the satanic rituals to which Ms. B had allegedly been
subjected. She progressively deteriorated, so that she had to be
committed to a state hospital at the end of the 72 days. It is
noteworthy that the patient initially disputed both the diagnosis as
well as the doctor's belief that she had been ritualistically
abused. However, by the time she left the hospital, the chart notes no
longer mentioned any disagreement. The family always disputed the
history -- but the physician did not interview them.
  In the words of another Board member: "The value and good sense of
psychiatry become suspect as wonders multiply."
  Where, indeed, will it all end?

  Dr. Piper will answer questions from families on a regular
basis. Please send your questions to Dr. Piper, c/o FMSF Newsletter.


   The update of the ongoing FMSF legal survey is nearing completion.
In November, 1993, 800 questionnaires were mailed to families that had
indicated they were involved in legal actions based on repressed
memories. As of January 31, 200 questionnaires had been returned.
Consistent with the data reported in April, 1993 the following is the
case: One out of seven families that contact the Foundation report
that they believe they have been threatened with legal action, while
one of sixteen families actually reports that legal action has been
brought against them. Three quarters of the legal actions are civil
suits and one quarter are criminal. Of the civil actions, we have
learned that 50% are dismissed with prejudice meaning that no further
action can be taken on those specific charges. We are currently making
a summary of the reasons cited for the dismissals and will report on
these soon.

  Lawsuits are considered part of the healing process. A number of
Florida professionals sent us copies of an identical letter that they
had received. The letter from a member of a Tallahassee, Florida law
firm informed them that the Florida Statute of Limitations had
recently changed to allow suits by "survivors of physical, sexual, or
mental abuse occurring in childhood, elder abuse, and incest" against
perpetrators. The letter noted that "victims of post traumatic stress
syndrome from this type of victimization often do not discover their
injury and its causal connection until their adult years." The lawyers
noted that "As a professional who may come into contact with persons
recovering from various forms of childhood abuse, elder abuse and
incest, you are in a position to raise the legal awareness of those
survivors whose rights might potentially be affected." The writer of
the letter states that, "for those for whom confrontation and
restitution would provide empowerment and closure, it could be an
important final step in the healing process. If someone you know,
currently treat or have treated in the past is an abuse or incest
survivor, please make them aware of Chapter 92-102."

                           FROM OUR READERS

  "Our daughter confronted her father in November 1991, the day after
Thanksgiving. I think it literally broke his heart. He was diagnosed
with liver cancer in early December, 1992 and died less than a year
later. Just one week before he died, she wrote to him saying that her
stories may be metaphors for her anger and that she loved him. She is
a part of the family circle again, but has never really recanted. It
remains a deep sorrow for me to know of the suffering that she and her
therapist brought to our family."  
                                                         A Mom
  "Let us never forget our human, parental imperfections are unrelated
to the incubation and cultivation of the hate disease spread by toxic
therapists and now ravaging and laying waste to the love that once
bound our families."
                                                          A Mom
  "Of course, the foundation is not going to remodel the whole
psychological community but we have opened the door to its abuses. We
are credible and we've got an army behind us of people who will never
let us down once they know they can trust us. We have gained great
power in a very short time."
                                                           A Mom
  "We've regained our self respect and started to live again. We won't
give up hope that our daughter will return one day because we gave the
same amount of love to her as we gave to the boys and they are
returning it already."
                                             Parents from Germany.
  This notice is to inform the parents, retractors and professionals
involved in the False Memory Syndrome Foundation that my daughter,
Jennifer, and I have successfully settled a lawsuit against two
therapists, in part, for creating false memories. The suit was filed
on December 19, 1991 (before the FMSF was founded) and was settled
July 29, 1993.
  In conjunction with the terms of the settlement, I will not name the
defendants, the location of my "treatment," or the amount of
  I am writing this due to many people having not received the
information and to help reaffirm the fact that this problem must be
stopped. For me, the lawsuit was successful and enabled me and my
daughter to be compensated, somewhat for damages, but more importantly
gain my mind and power back from those who took it from me. I can
never get the years my daughter and I lost and for this I grieve.
There is no way to put a price tag on the loss of years out of a
relationship.  However, I can have a fresh start and work towards
emotional health from this moment on.
                                               Laura Pasley
  I attended four Incest and Rape Support Group meetings in my state.
I wanted to obtain first-hand information about what goes on at these
meetings. Attending the meetings were a hypnotherapist, a retired
psychologist, two women who said they were sexual abuse victims and
myself. I also said I was a victim of childhood sexual abuse.
  The hypnotherapist said that she programs and reprograms the
subconscious so that the conscious can deal with the problem and
completely heal. She offered to give me a hypnosis treatment free, in
order to search my subconscious to see if I had any inner feelings
about a need for healing. (I had previously told her that I didn't
feel that I needed healing.)
  The psychologist walked into my first session and placed the book
Courage to Heal on the table and said that this is a book written by
women for women. He recommended that they should read it.
  At one session, the hypnotherapist introduced a Reiki master teacher
who relieves stress and tension through deep relaxation. She then
showed us a video tape on reincarnation.
  At the next session, after being asked how I enjoyed the last session, I 
replied that I was very uncomfortable and disturbed by all those pepople 
believing in reincarnation. The hypnotherapist admitted that she too had 
problems with reincarnation in the beginning.
  At the fourth and my last session, I was told that there are never
any records kept at therapy sessions in the event of a lawsuit.
Barnum and Bailey were sure right: "There's a sucker born every
                                        A Father (72 years old) 

                   MY MOTHER ABUSED ME, DIDN'T SHE?
                         by Elizabeth Godley
        Reprinted with permission  Modern Woman   January 1994  

  I was 38 and living alone, picking up the pieces after a failed
relationship.  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. "Elizabeth, do you think you might have been sexually abused
by your mother?" My reaction was immediate and devastating.  I was
flooded with nausea. I felt lightheaded and breathless. Was this the
reason I'd been in and out of therapists' offices for the past 20
years, seeking comfort for the debilitating depressions that plagued
  My new therapist, a former nurse with a Ph.D. in psychology, was
beginning to forge a reputation for treating incest survivors, an
emerging issue at the time.  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 mother and I were in the woods near our house, where we
often walked, picking huckleberries (my mom taught me the names of all
the trees and plants in the lush coastal forest)...we sat down under a
tree and my mother forced me to do certain things...
  I reported this scene to my therapist. Then, I acted on her
suggestion that I write letters to both my parents to vent the rage
and pain I felt about my discovery, and to say I didn't want to see
either of them in the foreseeable future -- perhaps ever.
  My mother's response was unwise, but understandable. 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. But
why had I accepted the therapist's theory so easily?
 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. At work, I couldn't get along with my supervisors
or my colleagues. 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. Problems
at work? With friends? With men? 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.
  The role of victim can be very appealing, as psychologist Carol
Tavris points out in The Mismeasure of Women (Simon & Schuster,
1992). 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. But she believes sexual
abuse "crystallizes many of society's anxieties, in these insecure
times, about the vulnerability of children, the changing roles of
women, and the norms of sexuality." Those who feel vulnerable and
victimized, and who wish to share in society's sympathy, are drawn to
identify with incest survivors, Tavris suggests. "For some women, the
sexual-victim identity is...a lightning rod for the feelings of
victimization they have as a result of their status in society at
large." When incest was first in the news a decade or so ago, "public
horror and outrage focused on the perpetrator" -- usually a man,
Tavris writes. Today, though, much of the fury is directed at mothers,
who are blamed for failing to protect their daughters, for "enabling"
the abuser.
  I can relate. 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 child, 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.
  It wasn't easy making up with my parents. 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." She asked me if I
recalled any molestation as a child, and I recalled two incidents. One
occurred in a movie theater; I was about seven, and a man sitting next
to me put his hand on my knee. The other occurred when I was 12 or so,
at the beach near my aunt's summer cottage; a man insisted I touch his
penis. both times, having been brought up to do what I was told, I
complied. But I never told a soul, thinking I'd done something
shameful.  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.
  That weight lifted. 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.
Deep down, I felt I'd failed her. Just as important, I felt she'd
failed me -- first, because of my sibling's death (I hated being an
only child) and second, because I hadn't been able to confide in her
about the abortion.
  Over the past few years, I've opened up to my mother, telling her
the secret I'd kept all those years, and the change in our
relationship has been dramatic.  No longer mystified by my moods --
and no longer worried that I blame her -- my mother feels more relaxed
when we're together. Unencumbered by guilt, I now trust that she loves
me, even knowing the "worst," the parts I kept hidden.  We've
recaptured some of the closeness we enjoyed when I was a small child.
  It's been a relief to find out I wasn't the only troubled woman to
seize upon sexual abuse as an explanation for everything that was
wrong with my life.  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.

                       NOTICE -- Ohio Families

  Families in Ohio continue to be very active in informing all
professionals who have any role in mental health about the devastation
of FMS.  They are finding that health insurance companies are
interested in the problem. The Director of the Financial
Investigations Department of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Ohio, for
example, expressed concerned about how the issue of FMS may be
affecting policyholders and whether there might be another issue in
the effectiveness of state oversight of mental health counseling. He
noted that Blue Cross and Blue Shield has a Financial Investigations
Department that investigates healthcare fraud and other abuses. Anyone
with information regarding questionable claims submitted to Blue Cross
and Blue Shield of Ohio should call the BCBSO fraud hotline at


  We have had our first report of a grandchild (16 years old) asking
to live with the accused grandparents. This raises two questions many
grandparents have asked: (1) What model is presented to children when
they see their parents cut off contact as a way to deal with issues?
(2) What will happen in families when children reach an age to make
their own decisions?  "What goes around, comes around," said one

  Canadian Grandparents Rights Association
  Westminster Highway  #10-8291
  Richmond, BC   V6X  1A7

  Grandparents Rights - National Office
  Ethel Dunn, Executive Director
  137 Larkin Street
  Madison, WI  53705

                            BERNARDIN CASE
  The accusations against Cardinal Bernardin have been news around the
world and have helped focus interest on basic issues: (1) the nature
of memory and repression and (2) the standard of practice in
  We thought that the following information reported by Andrew Greeley
in the St Louis Post-Dispatch, January 26, 1994 was relevant.

  "Larry Yellin, a reporter for Channel 32 News in Chicago, decided to
investigate the background of Michelle Moul, the therapist who worked
with Cook before he leveled his accusations.
  "In two copyrighted reports Yellin presented the following facts:
  "Moul received a degree in industrial planning from Syracuse
University in 1980 with a minor in psychology. For much of the decade
following her graduation, she seems to have operated a print shop and
a delicatessen.
  "Moul acquired a master's degree in applied psychology from Santa
Monica University, a weekend institution (not accredited by the Middle
States accrediting organization) in Philadelphia that conducts classes
in hotel rooms.  The president of Santa Monica told Yellin there was
absolutely nothing about hypnotism in any of the school's
programs. Moul is not licensed to practice psychology by the State of
  "Yellin could find no record of supervised clinical experience."

                       RETRACTOR GROUP FORMING

Sacramento Area
"Is Therapy Costing You Your Sanity?"

Have you been told that your "core issue" is repressed abuse? Did the
recovered memories damage you or your family.  Join The Retractors.

Call 702-747-6253

For more information about Retractors subscribe to The Retractor,
P.O. Box 5012, Reno, Nevada

4 issues a year.  $12.00

                            FMSF MEETINGS
              Families & Professionals Working Together


Memory and Reality
June 3-5, 1994
Kansas City

Speakers will include members of the FMSF Advisory Board. Sessions
will be held Friday through Sunday noon to be followed with a public
lecture Sunday afternoon.

May 21-22, 1994
Michigan State University
Lansing, MI

American Psychiatric Association
Doubletree Hotel
Philadelphia, PA
Wednesday, May 25, 1994
2-5:00 pm Seminar Speakers:
Drs. Green, Lief,
McHugh, Singer


Call the contact person listed for time and location of meeting.
key:  (MO) = monthly
Little Rock
  Al & Lela (501) 363-4368
  Spring Meeting - Saturday, March 26
Central Coast 
  Carole (805) 967-8058

North County Escondido  
  Joe & Marlene (619)745-5518

Rancho Cucamonga Group  
  Marilyn (909) 985-7890  
  1st Monday, (MO) - 7:30 pm

San Jose-San Francisco Bay Area  
  Jack & Pat (408) 425-1430  
  Last Saturday, Bi-Monthly, 

  Jane & Mark (805) 947-4376  
  4th Saturday (MO)10:00 am

  Roy (303) 221-4816
  4th Saturday, (MO)1:00 pm
South Florida  
  Esther (407) 364-8290  
  Every Thursday, 1:30 pm at SIRS

Florida State Meeting
being planned for  April 23-24, 1994
Call Esther/Bernie (407) 364-8290
Indianapolis area (150 mile radius)
  Gene (317) 861-4720 or 861-5832
  Nickie (317) 471-0922 (phone & fax)
  Bernice (219) 753-2779
Des Moines
  Saturday, April 16, 9am -3pm
  Call for reservations:
  Betty/Gayle (515) 270-6976
Kansas City
  Pat (913) 238-2447 or
  Jan (816) 276-8964
  2nd Sunday (MO)
  Dixie (606) 356-9309
  Wally (207) 865-4044
Annapolis area  
  Carol (410) 647-6339  
  1st Sunday, bi-monthly
Grand Rapids Area - Jenison
  Catharine (606) 363-1354
  2nd Monday (MO)

Michigan Information Newsletter
P O Box 15044, Ann Arbor, MI 48106
(313) 461-6213
Meeting notices & state topics
  Terry & Collette (507) 642-3630
Cincinnati Area
  Bob (502) 957-2378
Chelmsford, Massachusetts  
  Jean  (508) 250-1055  
  2nd Sunday (MO) 1:00 pm
NEW JERSEY (South) - See Pennsylvania
  Bob (513) 541-5272 for meeting info &
  2-day workshop featuring FMS Debate
Wayne, PA  
  Jim & Joanne (215) 783-0396
  Nancy & Jim  (512) 478-8395

  Jo or Beverly (713) 464-8970
  Saturday, March 19, 1-5 pm
  Meeting:  Tuesday, March 8, 1994
  Call (802) 253-4159
  Katie & Leo (414) 476-0285
  To participate in a phone tree.

Vancouver & Mainland
  Ruth (604) 925-1539
  Last Saturday (MO) 1:00-4:00 pm

Victoria & Vancouver Island
  John (604) 721-3219
  3rd Tuesday (MO) 7:30 pm

  Joan (204) 257-9444
  1st Sunday (MO)

  Pat (416) 445-1995
 Ken Goodwin 08-296-6695

Dr. Goodyear-Smith
tel 0-9-415-8095
fax 0-9-415-8471 
Affiliated Group
Adult Children Accusing Parents
Roger Scotford (0) 225-868682

To list a meeting: Mail or fax information to Nancy two (2) months in
advance of meeting date, i.e., for April newsletter, send by Feb
28th. Standing meetings will continue to be listed unless notified
otherwise by contact.

                        PROFESSIONAL ARTICLES: 

__513 Dawes, R.M.  (1993) "Prediction of the future versus an under-
standing of the past: A basic asymmetry." American Journal of
Psychology, Vol.  106, No. 1, pp.1-24.  [$4.00]
__562 Loftus, E.F. & Rosenwald, L.A.  (1993) "Buried Memories
Shattered Lives."ABA Journal, November 1993, pp.70-73.   [$1.00]
__574 Passantino, R. & Passantino, G. (1992) "Hard Facts About Satanic
Ritual Abuse." Christian Research Journal, Winter 1992.  [$2.00]
__592 Wakefield, H. & Underwager, R. (1993) "A Paradigm Shift for
Expert Witnesses," Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, Summer 1993, 3:
156-167 [$3.00]

__080 "Victims, All? Recovery, co-dependency, and the art of blaming
somebody else," David Rieff. Harper's Magazine, October 1991 [$3.00]
__095 "Oedipal Wrecks," E. Fuller Torrey. The Washington Monthly,
January/February 1992.  [$3.00]
__173 "False memory group looks into abuse that never happened," John
Lyons. Winnipeg Free Press, December 7, 1992.  [$1.00]
__245 "Total Recall Versus Tricks of the Mind," by Gayle Hanson.
Insight, May 24, 1993.  [$2.00]
__285 "Falsely Accused," by Anne Bayin. Homemaker's Magazine,
 September 1993    [$1.00]
__287 "Haunted Dreams: real or implanted?" by Mark Smith.  Houston
Chronicle, September 12, 1993.  [$1.00]
__288 "Why does nobody run herd on therapists?," by Pierre Berton. The
Toronto Star, September 18, 1993.  [$1.00]
__291 "I Forgot to Remember to Forget," by Wes Eichenwald. The Boston
Phoenix, October 15, 1993.  [$2.00]
__292 "Multiple Personalities: the Experts are Split," by Chi Chi
Sileo.  Insight, October 25, 1993.  [$2.00]
__293 "The Unknown Freud," by Frederick Crews. The New York Review of
Books, November 18, 1993.  [$3.00]
__294 "Defining Deviancy Up," by Charles Krauthammer. The New
Republic, November 22, 1993.  [$1.00]
__295 "Memories of Abuse," by Glenn Kessler. Newsday, November 28,
1993.  [$2.00]
__296 "Trial by Accusation," Review & Outlook commentary.The Wall
Street Journal, December 1, 1993.  [$1.00]
__297 "Child Abuse, Suppressed Memory, and Coercion," by Dr. X. Whole
Earth Review, Winter 1993.  [$2.00]
__298 "Family gets blamed for everything," commentary by Kathleen
Parker. Orlando Sentinel, December 31, 1993.  [$1.00]

Criminal Lawyers' Association Conference
The Abuse and Misuse of Science:
 Recovered Memories 
November 5-7, 1993  Toronto
Contact Alan D. Gold, Barrister, 20 Adelaid Street East, Suite 210,
Toronto, On M5C 2T6, 416-368-1726,fax:416-368-6811

The FMSF Newsletter is published 10 times a year by the False Memory
Syndrome Foundation. A subscription is included in membership fees.
Others may subscribe by sending a check or money order, payable to FMS
Foundation, to the address below. 1994 subscription rates: USA: 1 year
$20, Student $10; Canada: 1 year $25; (in U.S. dollars); Foreign: 1
year $35. Single issue price: $3

FMS Foundation
3401 Market Street, Suite 130

This address and the phone numbers have changed as of July 15, 2000
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3315
Phone 215-387-1865
ISSN # 1069-0484

Pamela Freyd, Ph.D.,  Executive Director

           FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board 
February 8, 1993
Terence W. Campbell, Ph.D., Clinical and Forensic Psychology, Sterling
Heights, MI; Rosalind Cartwright, Rush Presbyterian St. Lukes Medical
Center, Chicago, IL; Jean Chapman, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin,
Madison, WI; Loren Chapman, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison,
WI; Robyn M. Dawes, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA;
David F. Dinges, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, The Institute of
Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA; Fred Frankel, M.B.Ch.B.,
D.P.M., Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA;
George K. Ganaway, M.D., Emory University of Medicine, Atlanta, GA;
Martin Gardner, Author, Hendersonville, NC; Rochel Gelman, Ph.D.,
University of California, Los Angeles, CA; Henry Gleitman, Ph.D.,
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Lila Gleitman, Ph.D.,
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Richard Green, M.D.,
J.D., UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA; David A. Halperin,
M.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY; Ernest Hilgard,
Ph.D., Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA; John Hochman, M.D., UCLA
Medical School, Los Angeles, CA; David S. Holmes, Ph.D., University of
Kansas, Lawrence, KS; Philip S. Holzman, Ph.D., Harvard University,
Cambridge, MA; John Kihlstrom, Ph.D., University of Arizona, Tucson,
AZ; Harold Lief, M.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle, WA; Paul
McHugh, M.D., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; Harold Merskey,
D.M., University of Western Ontario, London, Canada; Ulric Neisser,
Ph.D., Emory University, Atlanta, GA; Richard Ofshe, Ph.D., University
of California, Berkeley, CA; Martin Orne, M.D., Ph.D., University of
Pennsylvania, The Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia,
PA; Loren Pankratz, Ph.D., Oregon Health Sciences University,
Portland, OR; Campbell Perry, Ph.D., Concordia University, Montreal,
Canada; Michael A. Persinger, Ph.D., Laurentian University, Ontario,
Canada; August T.  Piper, Jr., M.D., Seattle, WA; Harrison Pope, Jr.,
M.D., Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA; James Randi, Author and
Magician, Plantation, FL; Carolyn Saari, Ph.D., Loyola University,
Chicago, IL; Theodore Sarbin, Ph.D., University of California, Santa
Cruz, CA; Thomas A. Sebeok, Ph.D., Indiana Univeristy, Bloomington,
IN; Louise Shoemaker, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia,
PA; Margaret Singer, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, CA;
Ralph Slovenko, J.D., Ph.D., Wayne State University Law School,
Detroit, MI; Donald Spence, Ph.D., Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center,
Princeton, NJ; Jeffrey Victor, Ph.D., Jamestown Community College,
Jamestown, NY; Hollida Wakefield, M.A., Institute of Psychological
Therapies, Northfield, MN; Louis Jolyon West, M.D., UCLA School of
Medicine, Los Angeles, CA.