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[This excerpt is from Second Thoughts: Understanding the False Memory Crisis and How It Could Affect You, pp. 107-108, by Paul Simpson. Thomas Nelson Publishers, Atlanta, GA. Copyright (c) 1996. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Read our review or order it from]

Caution: Deadly Therapy Ahead

Washington State allows individuals to receive treatment under the Crime Victims Act, including those who claim repressed memories of childhood abuse.  Recently the Washington Department of Labor and Industries completed a preliminary study to see how effective regression therapy has been.  A researcher randomly selected thirty cases to investigate.  Her findings are compelling:6
  • 97 percent of the patients were women.
  • 97 percent were Caucasian.
  • 87 percent received their first "memories" of abuse while in therapy.
  • The average age of the first "'recalled" abuse was 7 months of age.
  • 100 percent were still in therapy three years after the first "memory" (60 percent were

  • still in therapy five after years after their first "memory").
  • Prior to recovered memory therapy only 10 percent exhibited suicidal ideation or

  • attempts, after therapy began this jumped up to 67 percent.
  • Prior to therapy 10 percent had been hospitalized, after therapy this expanded to 37

  • percent.
  • Prior to therapy only 3 percent had engaged in self-mutilation, after therapy this grew to 27 percent.
  • Prior to therapy 83 percent were employed, after therapy only 10 percent were still

  • employed.
  • Prior to therapy 77 percent were married.  Three years later 48 percent were separated or divorced.
  • After therapy began 23 percent had lost custody of their chilldren.
  • After therapy began 100 percent were estranged from their extended family.
  • The average cost for the Crime Victim Compensation Program to pay for treatment of patients that did not involve recovered memories was $2,672.  The average cost for recovered memory therapy was dramatically higher: $12,296 (more than four-and-a-half times the normal cost).
The implications are clear.  Regressionism is a massively expensive 'therapy" in which patients get worse, dramatically worse, with no end or recovery in sight.  Imagine if regressionism were pills in a bottle sitting on the shelf at your local pharmacy.  Based on the clearly destructive results of these "pills" the Food and Drug Administration would have them off the shelf yesterday.  But the field of psychology lacks any kind of independent safety board.  The exotic, deadly claims of regressionists go unchecked, destroying thousands in their wake.  Even if there are actual cases of repression, we now know that the proposed "cure" of regression therapies is often deadlier than the disease.

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