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Dear Friend,

I'm writing to let you know about a new web site called which is for anyone who
is in therapy or considering it or has a friend or loved
one in therapy. This web site is filled with educational
information about the importance of good therapy, the 
dangers of bad therapy, and how to tell the difference.

Psychotherapy with a trained, licensed, responsible mental
health provider using safe, tested techniques can be a 
positive experience. For example, cognitive-behavioral 
therapy has been shown in controlled clinical trials to be
safe and effective for treating depression. Even people who
aren't suffering from clinical depression may find such 
techniques useful for stress management. For people who
are suffering from major depression or a personality 
disorder like manic depression, getting effective therapy 
can be vital.

Unfortunately, it's very difficult to tell the difference
between therapists who use safe, tested, effective 
techniques and those who use untested and potentially harmful
techniques.  Unlike medicines, there is no requirement that 
therapies be tested for safety and effectiveness before 
they are used on patients, and mental health providers like 
psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors often 
fail to warn their clients about the risks, benefits, and 
alternatives to a proposed technique.  Unfortunately, there
is no nationwide requirement that mental health providers
get informed consent from their clients before beginning
therapy or getting reimbursement from health insurers and
the government, so patients are frequently subjected to
untested, unsafe "therapies" which are known to carry a 
high risk of making people worse (or even suicidal!) 
instead of better. All too often, this is even done at
taxpayer expense or with the money deducted from our 
paychecks every month for health insurance!

As a result, anyone who is considering therapy or has a 
friend or loved one in therapy needs to be an informed 
consumer for their own protection.  It is totally up to 
you to protect yourself and your family from therapists who
use unsafe, untested techniques or the latest therapeutic
fad, because no one else will protect you.

But how can a person who is not an expert tell the 
difference between competent and incompetent therapy?
Unfortunately, there's no simple answer or test, but has some information
which may help your family avoid the worst dangers:

- has a 
  list of questions which are useful for evaluating
  ongoing therapy or a therapist whose services you might
- has 
  a list of recommended reading with reviews of each 
  book. An especially good book for anyone considering
  therapy is Beware the Talking Cure by Terence Campbell,
  Ph.D., which discusses the characteristics of good and
  bad therapy, how to tell the difference, and the strengths
  and weaknesses of the major schools of psychotherapy.

The danger posed by untested therapy techniques is all 
too real. Imagine how dangerous it would be to take 
medicines if they weren't tested first for safety and 
effectiveness. Imagine how many quacks would push untested, 
ineffective, or downright dangerous "cures" if they could 
bill health insurers and the government and get rich in 
the process!

Unfortunately, that is the situation in the mental health 
industry today. There is no requirement that therapies be 
tested for safety and effectiveness.  Therapists are free 
to do anything they want so long as they call it "therapy." 

The epidemic of so-called "memory recovery therapy" 
during the 80s and early 90s is the latest example of
this problem. has links
on its home page to newspaper articles about one therapist 
whose patient came to believe she had "recovered repressed 
memories" of "ritual satanic abuse", who showed the woman's
children a gun and handcuffs "for therapeutic reasons,"
and who billed the family's insurers $3 million for 
these "services"! (After the woman got out of therapy,
she sued and received a $10.6 million settlement, but
that therapist is still practicing medicine today!)

Memory recovery therapy has since been discredited.
Research has shown that it is neither safe nor effective
and that it actually makes patients suicidal! But the 
damage has already been done. Tens of thousands of 
American families have been shattered by therapists whose 
leading questions made their clients believe that their 
parents, grandparents, or others headed satanic cults or 
committed violent abuse for years on end without anyone 
noticing. Abuse is a real and tragic problem, but in many
cases, therapists have unknowingly created "false memories"
of events which never occurred by suggestion and asking
leading questions, sometimes during hypnosis. For example, 
Beth Rutherford came to believe during therapy that her father 
had made her pregnant twice and she'd had two abortions--but
later medical exams showed that she was still a virgin and
her father had had a vasectomy!  (The Rutherford family has 
now reunited and works to educate people about the danger of
so-called "memory recovery therapy.") Meanwhile, the therapists 
who are responsible for such cases are almost all still 
practicing, putting vulnerable clients at risk. Only a handful 
have had their licenses taken away, and some were unlicensed 
to begin with.

In addition to the human suffering they cause, such 
tragedies waste taxpayer and health insurance dollars.
This drives our health insurance premiums even higher to 
pay for years of ineffective or harmful therapy and the 
rising malpractice insurance premiums therapists must pay. 
To reform the mental health industry and end this crisis, includes letters to send to 
your state and federal elected officials asking that they 
introduce the Truth and Responsibility in Mental Health 
Practices Act, legislation requiring mental health providers to
get informed consent from clients BEFORE therapy begins and
BEFORE they get reimbursement from the government and health 
For your family's sake, please take a few minutes to visit and learn about the dangers
of untested, unsafe therapeutic techniques.  Also, please 
send the sample letters on the site to your elected 
representatives so that future generations will not suffer at 
taxpayer expense from the next mental health fad.  Remember,
your family could be next.

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