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"The evidence shows that memories of events which did not in fact occur may develop and be held with total conviction. Such memories commonly develop under the influence of individuals or situations which encourage he development of strong beliefs .... Psychiatrists are advised to avoid engaging in any 'memory recovery techniques' which are based upon the expectation of past sexual abuse of which the patient has no memory. Such 'memory recovery techniques' may include drug-mediated interviews, hypnosis, regression therapies, guided imagery, 'body memories', literal dream interpretation and journaling .... Techniques of regression therapy including 'age regression' and hypnotic regression are of unproven effectiveness." -- "Reported Recovered Memories of Child Sexual Abuse: Recommendations for Good Practice", Report of Royal College of Psychiatrists' Working Group on Reported Recovered Memories of Child Sexual Abuse

Welcome to Homecoming! WARNING: The beliefs which you will be likely be taught today are theories, not scientific facts. The techniques which will likely be used have not been tested for safety and effectiveness, and some are known to carry the risk of creating "false memories" of events which never occurred. Compare Bradshaw's statements with the positions taken by trained psychiatrists and professional organizations:
What John Bradshaw Says: What the Professionals Say:
"If you identify with five or more [symptoms], yet have no memory of incest, you might try an exercise. Accept the theory that you were abused, live consciously with an awareness of the traits you acknowledge, and see whether any memories come to you." -- John Bradshaw, "Incest: When You Wonder If It Happened To You," Lear's, Aug. 92, p. 43 "Previous sexual abuse in the absence of memories of these events cannot be diagnosed through a checklist of symptoms." -- "Reported Recovered Memories of Child Sexual Abuse: Recommendations for Good Practice", Report of Royal College of Psychiatrists' Working Group on Reported Recovered Memories of Child Sexual Abuse 

"Forceful or persuasive interviewing techniques are not acceptable in psychiatric practice. Doctors should be aware that patients are susceptible to subtle suggestions and reinforcements whether these communications are intended or unintended." -- ibid.

"Something in the neighborhood of 60 percent of all incest victims don't remember the sexual abuse for many years after the fact." -- John Bradshaw, "Incest: When You Wonder If It Happened To You," Lear's, Aug. 92, p. 43 "Most people who were sexually abused as children remember all or part of what happened to them." -- Interim Report of the American Psychological Association Working Group on Investigation of Memories of Childhood Abuse
"Consider the abuse guru John Bradshaw who, through a series of television programs and books, persuaded a large number of Americans to believe they have an 'inner child.' People now literally talk to their inner child, comfort it, give it a name and personality, defend its right to exist, and find ways to get to know it better. There is no inner child--it is simply a metaphor! But to millions its existence is now a 'fact' and dictates their way of life. That is a very effective use of suggestion." -- Michael Yapko, Ph.D., Suggestions of Abuse, p. 34

"The 'recovery movement' consistently falls back on the claim that it does not encourage people to blame their parents for their problems. Rather, John Bradshaw says, he wants them to be held 'accountable.' While Bradshaw may be able to differentiate between 'blame' and 'accountability,' a great many Americans are not quite so discriminating. They blame their parents relentlessly, and who can blame them, when leaders like Bradshaw suggest that they recover, in vivid detail, episode after episode of childhood experiences that reflect family dysfunction and parental neglect or abuse? He offers the parents that parents are really not the target of the anger or rage that accompanies all these memories he cultivates while he encourages followers to view them through the lens of victimhood. It is much like telling a child about the dangers of smoking and admonishing him not to smoke while you are puffing away. 'Do as I say, not as I do' has never been an effective strategy for shaping desirable behavior. Bradshaw's steady fanning of the flames of anger and resentment as a necessary path to eventual acceptance of things that happened and a greater sense of personal responsibility (which he claims are his goals) sends a very mixed message." -- Michael Yapko, Ph.D., Suggestions of Abuse, p. 145-146

"Numerous studies in children (Terr, 1983; Malmquist, 1986; Pynoos & Nader, 1989) and adults (Leopold & Dillon, 1963) have shown that psychologically traumatic events are vividly though not always accurately recalled and are frequently followed by intrusive recollections in one form or another. The problem following most forms of trauma is an inability to forget, rather than a complete expulsion from awareness, and amnesia for violent events is rare." -- Sydney Brandon, M.D., et al, "Recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse: implications for clinical practice," British Journal of Psychiatry, April 98, p. 300

"I also believe that recovery movement gurus like John Bradshaw owe an apology to the many new victims they have created with guided visualization and inner child therapy." -- Melody Gavigan, retractor who developed false memories of childhood abuse while in therapy, in True Stories of False Memories, p. 283

Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and neglect of adults and children are real problems, and "childhood sexual abuse is a vulnerability factor for psychiatric disorder in general but for no condition in particular." (Brandon, 98) However, that doesn't mean that the specific therapy techniques being promoted at this event are safe or effective!

Characteristics of good therapy:

Questions to ask yourself today:

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