Saturday, 8 September 2012

The hardest 'therapy' to debunk

From Madness of Psychiatry by Saxby Pridmore:

Recovered memory therapy (RMT) emerged in the 1980s. It was very popular for a time, it is less so now, although it is still practiced and conferences attract large, eager audiences.

There is evidence that RMT may do more harm than good. The basic theory is that, 1) childhood sexual abuse leads to psychiatric problems in later life, 2) memory of this sexual abuse is forgotten, and 3) uncovering these memories will cure the psychiatric problems.

The best lie is the one which is closest to the truth. And the hardest 'therapy' to debunk is one which is closest to orthodox practice. All would agree that childhood sexual abuse may cause psychological or psychiatric difficulties in adult life. Not always, but often....

Saxby Pridmore is a part-time Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Tasmania, Australia, and has a private practice in general and forensic psychiatry.