Monday, 1 May 2006

Multiple Acronym Disorder.

Some Australian psychotherapists suffer from this condition.
Multiple Acronym Disorder (MAD) describes a group of symptoms in which a practitioner comes to believe that a long string of letters will enhance his or her credibility.
One example is Professor Tracie O'Keefe DCH, BCH, N-SHAP ADV DIP THP, IADCH, RMCAPA, PACFA.
Based in Sydney, she describes herself as Principal and Founder of – yet another acronym – AHECSHAP.
Ms O'Keefe is nothing if not versatile, offering clients an array of services that includes life coaching, age regression, past life therapy – even non-surgical facelifts and skin re-surfacing.
Although for some reason, the O'Keefe acronyms do seem to be deployed selectively – at a recent workshop on Women and Depression for example, a somewhat more modest 'Dr Tracie O'Keefe DCH' was deemed sufficient.
Last year, in a newspaper article, 'young' journalist Lisa Pryor had the temerity to question some of Ms O'Keefe's qualifications. The article and a rebuttal from the professor are linked below.
According to her website, Tracie O'Keefe is a member of PACFA. And it might be reasonable to assume that this means consumers would be protected in some way.
But unfortunately – when it comes to warning practitioners about the dangers of recovered memories – PACFA appears to be merely another meaningless acronym.

Further reading:
By Lisa Pryor – Be careful what the doctor may have ordered.
By Tracie O'Keefe – The Lisa Pryor effect of hypnotic journalistic terrorism: rebuttal & meta-analysis.

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