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How I should have acted to begin with » daisym

Posted by pseudoname on July 28, 2006, at 21:02:22

In reply to Re: Shame on the silent skeptics » pseudoname, posted by daisym on July 28, 2006, at 18:39:29

> but that was a pretty scathing statement.

Yeah, it was. It was uncalled for.

> Never assume that "other people on this board" are not helping.

My statement was overheated and unfairly rhetorical. I was reacting to the fact that no one had posted anything skeptical in the thread. I wish I had not personalized it and just posted something skeptical myself.

> Many of us talk in "live" time, on email or whatever. I realize there is no way for you to know that

I feel awkward saying this, but I am badhaircut. I am not new to Babble. I changed my name last fall for dumb reasons. I regret any feelings of deception or misuse that may have created, since deception was not my intent.

As you might (or not) recall, we've had civil and I thought good (helpful to me anyway) discussions about these issues in years past.

I've gotten off to such an poor, unproductive start in this thread, I almost feel I should sit it out now, but you & Antigua have thoughtfully engaged the issues I brought up, so…

> The other is this - the Anti-Recovered Memories movement has just as many "problems" as those working with recovered memories.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "Anti" movement's problems; though there are some various ones. I agree (despite my own tone earlier) that the Anti movement does seem peremptory and closed-minded. However, the activists there are mostly active in regard to recovered memory's legal status and the courts, aren't they? Their closed-mindedness doesn't bother me in regard to the courts, where the standards used with other branches of science would not *currently* qualify recovered memory as scientific evidence there (for example, the consensus opinion statements of professional societies).

There are ways in which recovered memory questions — even if not appropriate for a courtroom — do seem worth investigating; as you say, like with some brain research. Closed-mindedness there seems more of problem, even though the weight of evidence so far doesn't support it.

In therapy, the therapist and the client may both be satisfied of a memory's historic accuracy, and that belief may be important to them and the therapy process, but if they are not legally imposing it on others, then the political "Anti" activists are overstepping their bounds by interfering there. I assume they're motivated by a larger goals in regard to recovered memory and the courts.

But I disagree that the "problems" of the two camps are equivalent. I've read stories about the Anti movement's political shenanigans and scandals. But those are different sorts of problems entirely from the scientific evidence problems of recovered memory.

Opponents of recovered memory therapy do not have the problem of rejection or no-confidence statements by virtually all of the major relevant scientific and professional societies. They don't have the problem of a lack of scientific evidence currently available supporting their current specific assertions. Those are not "just as many problems" nor as severe.

I agree that as we learn more about the brain and collect more information about, for example, CSA victims, we may in fact discover that active repression does occur and can influence later behavior and that it can be reversed in therapy and that the results are beneficial. But for now it's a speculation and, as far as I understand, it goes against currently available evidence. So it might be true, and someone might want to do therapy work based on that possibility, but the basis for doing so would not be equivalent to that of any other mainstream therapy. On the other hand, it might accomplish more.

The problem I'm most concerned about is when such a tactic causes harm without benefit. False memories have been implanted, as even Bass & Davis acknowledge. Given that risk, and no means for assessing what the risk is, I don't know how a disinterested therapist could support it. A client may choose on her own to go that route anyway (I've done it and taken other treatment risks), but the therapist's requirement to do no harm would seem to preclude the therapist's participation. To me, it seems that way.

> I think it is how it is managed afterwards AND the trauma itself. It is all very complicated.

Yes, I agree. And we can throw in genetics, too. Events sure do impact different people very differently. My "tree" analogy was taken from "Robyn Dawes", who was talking about studies of later-life differences between people exposed to early-life trauma and those without trauma, which found statistically very little differences in the areas they measured. I'll concede that it's complicated and we will probably be surprised by further research. (But that surprise could also come to those who believe that recovered memories are real, couldn't it?)

> I hope this was civil enough and you don't feel chastised. That wasn't my intent.

You are civil and generous. Thank you for treating me with such respect even though I was so thoughtless before.




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