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SUGGESTIONS OF ABUSE:
TRUE AND FALSE MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD SEXUAL TRAUMA

Chapter Two: Therapists Reveal Their Attitudes about Memories and Suggestions of Abuse

By Michael Yapko, Ph.D.

New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994.

Reprinted with permission of the author.


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A therapist who professes to be an abuse expert appeared on the CNBC program Real Personal on April 27, 1992. Interviewed by host Bob Berkowitz, the therapist confidently discussed her uncanny ability to identify individuals with sexual abuse in their backgrounds, even if they don’t know it themselves.

It’s so common that I’ll tell you, I can within ten minutes, I can spot it as a person walks in the door, often before they even realize it. There’s a trust, a lack of trust, that’s the most common issue. There’s a way that a person presents themselves. There’s a certain body language that says, "I’m afraid to expose myself. I’m afraid you’re going to hurt me."

The general public seems to believe that mental health professionals serve their clients on the basis of objective diagnosis and well-established, reliable methods of treatment. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Psychotherapy involves a unique blend of art and science, but it is mostly art. Consequently, skill levels vary quite dramatically, as do perspectives about treatment. During the time I have been in practice, I have seen many diagnostic and treatment fads come and go. At any given time, there is an in diagnosis and a "revolutionary new approach" to therapy, which are often greeted enthusiastically by the profession but with little of the objectivity necessary to evaluate accuracy and effectiveness. Half a century ago, orthodox psychoanalysis was the mainstream approach. Techniques like "free association" and "dream analysis" were typical in trcatment. Then came behaviorism and its more mechanistic approaches. The 1960s gave rise to humanism, and on the wave of the drug craze came "LSD therapy" and encounter groups. More recently, the "adult children of alcoholics" have been in the limelight, and there has been an enormous surge of recovery groups for these and other "adult children" harmed by parents. Diagnoses and treatments are often products of the era in which they arise.

In the age of entrepreneurial approaches to clinical practice, "flash" often counts considerably more than "substance." A therapist who doesn’t attend the latest trendy workshop or learn the newest methods and jargon may be seen as failing to evolve, as too rigid or too narrow in method at clients’ expense. Yet if therapists get drawn into each new promise to make their clients get better faster, they risk lapsing into noncritical thinking and adopting potentially dangerous practices. The consequences with respect to the diagnosis and treatment of abuse are particularly serious. Do we know enough about abuse to infer its presence accurately in the absence of specific memories of its occurrence? Is It a successful therapeutic intervention when the family splinters as a result of speculative allegations? Wanting to find out directly from my colleagues how they viewed this and related issues. I undertook a survey.

In 1992, 1 devised two questionnaires. The first was called the Memory Attitude Questionnaire (MAQ); it listed a series of statements regarding various aspects of memory, to each of which respondents were given the option of agreeing strongly or slightly, or disagreeing strongly or slightly. The second questionnaire was called the Hypnosis Attitude Questionnaire (HAQ); it listed a series of statements regarding suggestibility and hypnosis with which, again, respondents could agree or disagree, either strongly or slightly.

The MAQ was created to assess the range and depth of therapists’ understanding of the workings of human memory, especially in relation to clinical issues and treatment. Memory is an inevitable core component of any therapy approach, since it is the client’s recollections about his or her history that serve as the basis for creating and understanding his or her current predicament. Even the most "here and now" therapy approaches, such as the newer "brief therapy" approaches (strategic therapy, solution-oriented therapy, directive therapy), which deemphasize the value of insight in treatment, still rely on a client’s memory to a large extent. Therapy approaches that demand a detailed review and analysis of past experiences rely even more heavily on the workings of memory.

When a therapist first suspects and then looks intently for a history of abuse that may have been repressed in a particular client, his or her beliefs about memory are directly involved in the "search and rescue" mission. Believing, for example, that one can accurately store and later remember memories of conversations from the very first moments of one’s life leads to some very different therapy techniques than if you held no such belief.

The HAQ was created to assess how therapists view hypnosis as a method for retrieving memories and about the role of suggestibility in the therapy process. The chief advantage the use of clinical hypnosis affords to a competent clinician is that it allows the client to be absorbed in "a different reality" -- one more helpful and therapeutic than the "reality" he or she lives in and finds distressing. Hypnosis is, to quote one of the pioneer hypnosis researchers, Dr. Ernest Hilgard, "believed-in imagination." The things we believe -- our "everyday trance states," so to speak -- can either help or harm us. Believing, for example, you are worthwhile as a person and can enjoy good relationships with others feels a lot better than believing you’re no good and no one will ever like you. Both beliefs are arbitrary, but they sure don’t feel the same! Getting absorbed in a different and more adaptive way of thinking and feeling about life experiences can diminish symptoms or even make them disappear.

Most therapists, as the survey shows, have a positive attitude about hypnosis as a clinical tool. As one who teaches hypnosis courses to therapists on a regular basis, I am aware that most therapists get their only formal training in hypnosis through brief workshops, usually only several days in length. The quality of the various trainings varies dramatically, and the range of skills of therapists who learn and use hypnosis is quite broad. It bears mentioning that there are no laws about who may practice hypnosis -- not even a high school diploma is required -- and many people are practicing hypnosis at levels well beyond their actual skills.

Hypnosis, in one form or another, is commonly used as a tool for "uncovering" memories of abuse. But some therapists employ methods like hypnosis to do memory work without recognizing that they may contaminate the investigative process through suggestive questioning, creating the very problems they must then treat.

The MAQ and HAQ were presented to more than 1,000 therapists all across the country during 1992, mostly (about 90 percent) at national and international psychotherapy conventions they were attending. (These included meetings held by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), the Family Therapy Network, the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH), and the Milton H. Erickson Foundation. All meetings were attended only by qualified professionals with advanced degrees.) The other 10 percent were attendees at therapy training courses I taught, none of which involved the subject matter of these questionnaires. Eight hundred sixty-four usable MAQs and 869 usable HAQs were returned by respondents. This is objectively considered a significant data base, one large enough from which to make a realistic assessment of therapists’ attitudes and practices, although no questionnaire is entirely accurate in the relationship it suggests between thought and practice.

The "average" respondent was forty-four years old, had formal education slightly beyond a master’s degree, had been in professional practice for more than eleven years, and was most likely in private clinical practice. Keep in mind, this sketch is a composite of all respondents and does not represent any one individual. The specific demographic data are reported In Appendix A.

Of 869 respondents to the HAQ, only 43 percent said they had received formal training in hypnosis, yet 53 percent said they use hypnosis in their work. Eight percent said they frequently use hypnosis to recover memories, while an additional 28 percent said they do so occasionally. Twenty percent said they rarely employ hypnosis to recover memories, and 40 percent said they never engage in the practice.

More than one in six therapists surveyed -- 16 percent -- admitted that their knowledge of how memory works was below aver age. Sixty-six percent described their level of knowledge as average, while a paltry 12 percent thought of their knowledge as above average.

RESPONSES TO KEY ASPECTS OF THE MEMORY ATTITUDE QUESTIONNAIRE (MAQ)

Data frequencies and averages for all the MAQ items are reported in Appendix B. The ten main items of the MAQ can be divided into three categories for the purpose of general discussion:

1. Therapists’ attitudes regarding the nature of memory, specifically its relative degree of both accuracy and reliability

2. Therapists’ attitudes regarding the degree to which memory is affected by the defense mechanism of repression

3. Therapists’ attitudes regarding the role memory plays in the therapy process

These three categories together form the underlying philosophical framework for the therapeutic practices derived from them, although the correlation between the two is not exact, as I have mentioned.

THERAPISTS’ ATTITUDES REGARDING THE NATURE OF MEMORY

How a therapist views memory naturally plays a key role in determining his or her responses both to clients’ memories and to methods for retrieving and working with them. The single greatest issue in this category is whether or not a therapist views memory as objective and infallible -- whether, as the questionnaire states, he or she believes that "the mind is like a computer, accurately recording events as they actually occurred." Approximately one third of all respondents agreed with this statement, and about one in eight (12 percent) agreed strongly.

About one in ten therapists surveyed believed that "memory is not significantly influenced by suggestion," In direct contradiction to one of the most basic and well-known facts about memory. The statement "One’s level of certainty about a memory is strongly positively correlated with that memory’s accuracy" was designed to get at beliefs about the relationship between feeling right and being right. Feeling certain you are correct has no more to do with actually being right -- as you will see in the next chapter -- than shouting louder in an argument does, but nearly one in four respondents believed that feeling certain about a memory means the memory is more likely to be correct. And 41 percent believed that ". . . early memories, even from the first year of life, are accurately stored and retrievable."

THERAPISTS’ ATTITUDES REGARDING REPRESSION AND MEMORY

Nearly six in ten respondents agreed that "events that we know occurred but can’t remember are repressed memories -- i.e., memories that are psychologically defended against."

Conflicting notions about the classic defense mechanism of repression is the complicating factor in the phenomenon of suggested abuse. The notion that any time you forget something there must be some deep psychological motivation for doing so is widely held, particularly among more traditional psychodynamically oriented and insight-oriented therapists. A therapeutic goal, then, is to discover the source of the forgotten material and resolve any associated emotional conflicts.

Does repression, or defensively motivated forgetting, exist? Despite some extreme views to the contrary, the wealth of cumulative clinical experience suggests that it does. However, repression is not the only reason why people forget. The ability to forget is, in some ways, as biologically necessary as the ability to remember, and there is a variety of mechanisms for forgetting that have nothing to do with trauma or repression. But a therapist who believes that if someone forgets, it automatically means there is something negative associated with the memory, will likely initiate a search for the source of the presumed repression. This is a major reason why therapists unintentionally ask leading or suggestive questions of their clients.

A related set of questions includes whether memories are reliable once repression is lifted, and whether a generalized lack of childhood memory is to be interpreted as likely evidence of trauma. The underlying assumption of those who believe that "memory is a reliable mechanism when the self-defensive need for repression is lifted" -- as nearly half the respondents did -- is that when emotions are dealt with effectively, as they would be in therapy (theoretically, anyway), then recollection can be assumed to be accurate. Therapists who believe this do not consider the possibility that memories may be inaccurate or the product of confabulation.

Forty-three percent of the respondents believed that "if someone doesn’t remember much about his or her childhood, it is most likely because it was somehow traumatic." In other words, they believed that so-called "childhood amnesia" (the lack of memory for early life) is a "functional amnesia," meaning it is psychologically motivated. Most people’s memory for early childhood experiences is nearly nonexistent before around ages two to three, and is quite sparse and only episodic until around ages six to eight. To assume, however, that the reasons for this must be emotional (rather than due to other, less sensational, reasons such as the biology of the brain’s development) again leads therapists to conduct a search for "the reason."

THERAPISTS’ ATTITUDES REGARDING MEMORIES IN THERAPY

The way a therapist perceives the nature of memory and the effects of repression on memory naturally influences clinical demeanor and methods of treatment. A therapist who believes that memories are fundamentally accurate and true will not be inclined to doubt a client’s narratives or to consider whether they have been influenced by other factors.

If a client reports a memory from the age of three months, should it be considered accurate? What about memories in utero! Both age and context are significant influences on the accuracy of memory. More than a quarter of the respondents agreed with the statement "I trust my client such that if he or she says something happened, it must have happened, regardless of the age or context in which the event occurred."

I took this issue a step further with the statement "If a client believes a memory is true, I must also believe it to be true if I am to help him or her." More than one third of the respondents (36 percent) said they agreed.

Nearly a fifth (19 percent) of respondents felt that "it is necessary to recover detailed memories of traumatic events if someone is to improve in therapy." Many therapists hold a "no pain, no gain" philosophy regarding treatment. In their view, unless you are willing to bring forth all your hurtful memories and openly release your feelings associated with those painful experiences, you are in denial and will be viewed as emotionally restricted. Their assumption is that your symptoms cannot improve unless you follow the prescribed steps to acknowledge and "work through" your feelings.

THERAPISTS’ ATTITUDES ABOUT DISTINGUISHING FALSE FROM TRUE MEMORIES

In the final MAQ item, "Do you attempt to distinguish between what appear to you to be true memories and false memories?" many therapists would simply like to believe that if a client believes something to be true, it may as well be true. But such a "narrative truth" viewpoint evades the real issues of therapy. If a therapist treats fiction as if it were true, then what happens to the real issues in the client’s life? (Remember the supposed Vietnam vet who killed himself?) Can therapy succeed reliably when it is aimed in the wrong direction?

More than half of the therapists who completed the questionnaire (57 percent) openly admitted that they do nothing at all to differentiate truth from fiction. This question also yielded the highest rate -- 6 percent -- of "no response" answers of all the survey items apart from the demographic ones (evidence of denial, perhaps?) and provoked a number of indignant written comments. A typical one was, "As a therapist and not an investigator, It is not my responsibility to verify the accuracy of my client’s reports. To my mind, this attitude evades the crucial issues surrounding therapies that are built on the foundation of what might very well be suggested memories or beliefs, benevolent intentions notwithstanding.

RESPONSES TO KEY ASPECTS OF THE HYPNOSIS ATTITUDE QUESTIONNAIRE (HAQ)

The fifteen main items of the HAQ cover four general topics:

1. Therapists’ attitudes about the relative value of hypnosis as a therapeutic tool

2. Therapists’ attitudes about the value of hypnosis as a memory enhancer or memory recovery tool

3. Therapists’ erroneous beliefs about hypnosis

4. Therapists’ attitudes about the relationship between hypnosis and false memories

Data frequencies and averages (Or all the HAQ items are reported in Appendix C.

THERAPISTS’ ATTITUDES ABOUT THE VALUE OF HYPNOSIS

Hypnosis and hypnosis-related techniques (imagery, visualization, guided meditations, guided dreams) are widely employed in therapies that attempt to uncover memories of abuse. A belief in the intrinsic value of hypnosis may predispose therapists to accept its use less critically, even where it has been misapplied. Indeed, the overwhelming majority, 97 percent, of respondents viewed hypnosis in a very positive light. As a strong proponent of responsible uses of clinical hypnosis, I was pleased to discover that it is held in such high regard by my colleagues. But I also know that my field is filled with misconceptions about and indefensible applications of the technique (such as so-called "past-lives regression"), and so it is a source of considerable concern to me that hypnosis and all its subtle aspects be carefully and sensitively applied.

"Age regression" is a hypnotic procedure in which the client is immersed in the experience of memory. The client may be encouraged to remember events in vivid detail, a procedure called "hypermnesia." Or, the client may be encouraged to relive the events of the past as if they were going on right now, a procedure called "revivification." Either or both of these procedures are commonly used in memory recovery-oriented therapies. A great majority, 84 percent, of respondents viewed age regression in a positive light, suggesting a greater likelihood that they would use It themselves or encourage others to use it as a component of treatment -- and also increasing the risk of its misuse if they are not welt informed about it.

THERAPISTS’ ATTITUDES ABOUT HYPNOSIS AND MEMORY ENHANCEMENT

Considerable research has been done on hypnosis as an investigative tool, and it generally yields conflicting conclusions about hypnosis as a reliable memory retriever. Some studies suggest that hypnosis can be used to enhance recall, while others demonstrate that it only increases the tendency to accept suggested memories or create confabulations and incorporate them into firmly held beliefs as if they were true. Despite the conflicting evidence, 75 percent of respondents thought of hypnosis as a tool for facilitating accurate recall whenever memories are otherwise not forthcoming.

Few therapists, or their clients, seem to know that the use of hypnosis will disqualify the client from testifying in court in the majority of states and may subject the therapist to a potential liability if hypnosis is performed without informing the client that it may preclude his or her testifying in court later, and the client sues the therapist for withholding this information.

Responses to the statement "Hypnosis seems to counteract the defense mechanism of repression. lifting repressed material into conscious awareness" indicate that 83 percent of respondents agreed. So if a therapist is motivated to find a repressed trauma in the client’s background, he or she will likely think that hypnosis (or hypnotically based methods) is the way to do so.

Nearly half the respondents (47 percent) agreed with the statement "Therapists can have greater faith in details of a traumatic event when obtained hypnotically than otherwise." Attributing greater accuracy to a memory recovered hypnotically is a distortion of fact with potentially hazardous consequences for the client. Conducting investigative (uncovering) sessions is an art requiring considerable skill, and without a keen awareness for all the ways hypnosis can be misapplied, it is too easy to be gullible about information obtained. Nearly as many (43 percent) believed that "hypnotically obtained memories are more accurate than simply just remembering." This is a significantly smaller number of positive responses than in other items that make the same point but less forcefully. It seems that the more explicitly therapists must commit to a specific view of the effects of hypnosis on memory, the less certain they show themselves to be.

Does the mere fact of being hypnotized indicate that the memory is authentic? Nearly one in three respondents agreed that "when someone has a memory of a trauma while in hypnosis, it objectively must actually have occurred."

The majority (54 percent) also agreed that "hypnosis can be used to recover memories of actual events as far back as birth." Associated with this belief is the notion that a memory can be stored in infancy at a physical (nonverbal, noncognitive) level that can be interpreted and understood years later when awareness and understanding develop. This is what is known as a "body memory," a memory stored at a physical level as a result of powerful emotional experiences of a physical nature, like abuse, rape, or extreme physical danger, as in wartime experiences. The presence of body memories stored in childhood from presumed sexual traumas is a leading basis for the diagnosis of repressed memories of abuse. Physical symptoms such as nausea or headaches are often viewed as body memories of repressed trauma, even from as far back as birth.

Many people hold the belief that this life is not all there is. They believe in reincarnation, the notion that a person’s essence lives many lives over time -- dying and being reborn later in the form of another. Some therapists who believe in reincarnation practice "past-lives regression therapy." They do imagery or other hypnotic procedures and encourage people to discover memories of having lived before in other incarnations. The client predisposed to participate in such sessions may "discover" that he or she lived as other individuals in other centuries. A basic premise of the therapy is that current issues faced in this lifetime are a consequence of events that took place in a past life. By "reliving" that past life and resolving whatever issues existed then, the person is empowered to improve his or her current circumstances. More than one in four survey respondents (28 percent) thought that "hypnosis can be used to recover accurate memories of past lives."

Sixty-one percent of respondents were aware that "hypnosis increases one’s level of certainty about the accuracy of one’s memories." This item asks about how one’s level of certainty about a memory influences perceptions of its accuracy. Whatever the memory, the more certain you are in reporting it, the more likely it is to engender in your audience belief in its accuracy. Likewise, the more certain you feel a memory is accurate, the more likely you will believe it is accurate, even though greater certainty does not mean greater accuracy.

THERAPISTS’ BELIEFS IN MYTHS ABOUT HYPNOSIS

Whether or not therapists use hypnosis in their own clinical practices, their preconceived ideas and subscription to common myths about it can influence how they respond to other clinical situations. A commonly held misconception is that "people cannot tie when in hypnosis." Nothing could be further from the truth.

Hypnosis is not a lie detector, nor does it prevent either intentional or unintentional deception on the part of the hypnotized person. Yet, nearly one in five respondents (18 percent) actually believed this myth. Even if they do not conduct the hypnosis sessions themselves, they will likely believe those clients who tell them, "During a hypnosis session, I discovered I was sexually abused."

A similar percentage (19 percent) subscribed to the myth that "someone could be hypnotically age regressed and get ‘stuck’ at a prior age." It is a virtual impossibility to get "stuck" in age regression in particular, or in any hypnotic experience in general. Hypnosis involves being absorbed in some important experience (a memory, an image, a fantasy, a feeling) to the exclusion of other peripheral goings-on. A common experience of hypnosis is being absorbed in a good book, a movie, a conversation, daydreams, television, a hobby, or anything else that engages your full attention and gives you a sense of detachment from all else. Can you get "stuck" reading a book? Obviously not, nor can you get stuck in any frame of mind. Conscious awareness jumps from place to place, noticing whatever happens to capture our attention at the moment, and belief in this myth reflects a basic ignorance of the characteristics and capabilities of the mind.

It was interesting to find that in comparing therapists who were and were not formally trained in hypnosis, those who were formally trained were also prone to misconception, though a little less so. Personal bias can overwhelm facts.

THERAPISTS’ ATTITUDES ABOUT HYPNOSIS AND FALSE MEMORIES

It is somewhat heartening to note that 79 percent of respondents believed "it is possible to suggest false memories to someone who then incorporates them as true memories." Yet, 16 percent, nearly one in six respondents, did not seem to recognize this possibility.

A related item states "There is legitimate basis for believing that hypnosis can be used in such a way as to create false memories." Nearly two thirds of respondents (64 percent) agreed. But more than a quarter (27 percent) of those surveyed did not think of hypnosis as capable of generating false memories. Thus, it would not be likely to occur to them that a client who had undergone hypnosis for the purpose of recovering apparently repressed memories might be confabulating or otherwise in error. Treatment would then proceed along different lines than if the prospect of false memories being present was considered.

The line between what is "true" versus what is "believed" can blur significantly under any circumstance. Contrary to popular belief, in hypnosis the line can blur to an even greater extent, making it difficult, sometimes impossible, to distinguish fantasy from reality. Yet a fifth of those surveyed felt that "the hypnotized individual can easily tell the difference between a true memory and a pseudomemory" while 71 percent were aware that hypnosis assures neither greater nor lesser accuracy of recall. Only objective evidence can prove matters one way or the other.

THERAPISTS’ BELIEFS THAT TRAUMAS MAY BE SUGGESTED

The final item on the HAQ asks, "Do you know of any cases where it seemed highly likely that a trauma victim’s trauma was somehow suggested by a therapist rather than a genuine experience?" Almost one in five respondents (19 percent) said they could point to such cases.

The responses to this last item, along with the response patterns overall, indicate grave cause for concern. While the great majority of therapists are well-intentioned people who genuinely want to help their clients, the survey data make it abundantly clear that too many therapists hold beliefs that are sometimes arbitrary, sometimes sheer myth, and sometimes outright dangerous to their clients’ well-being.

It is clearly time for us to give some attention to what we do know about memory, its suggestibility, and the implications for therapy when peoples’ lives and the lives of their families rest on the way these volatile issues are handled. That is what the rest of this book is about.

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER

* Therapy typically involves more art than science, and how it is practiced is largely a product of a therapist’s subjective beliefs.

* Most therapists surveyed claimed their knowledge of memory was average to below average.

* Therapists often hold erroneous views on the workings of memory, repression, and hypnosis.

* Most therapists surveyed admitted they do nothing to differentiate truth from fiction in their clients’ narratives.

* Nearly one in five therapists surveyed claimed they know of cases where a trauma victim’s trauma was more likely suggested by a therapist than a genuine experience.

* Therapists are deeply divided among themselves on the key issues of memory and suggestibility.

 

MEMORY ATTITUDE QUESTIONNAIRE

Demographics

Age _____ Degree_____

Years In clinical practice ______

Setting in which you work ___________________

Is your knowledge of the workings of memory:

Below Average ___ Average ___ Above Average ___

Do you use hypnosis in your work? Yes___ No ___

Do you work hypnotically to recover memories?

Often __ Sometimes ___ Rarely ___ Never ___

Below are 10 statements which you are asked to state your relative agreement or disagreement with. Please place a check mark in the appropriate place by each item.
Items Agree Strongly Agree Slightly Disagree Slightly Disagree Strongly
1. The mind is like a computer, accurately recording events as they actually occurred.        
2. Events that we know occurred but can’t remember are repressed memories -- i.e., memories that are psychologically defended against.        
3. Memory is a reliable mechanism when the self-defensive need for repression is lifted.        
4. If someone doesn’t remember much about his or her childhood, it is most likely because it was somehow traumatic.        
5. It is necessary to recover detailed memories of traumatic events if someone is to improve in therapy.        
6. Memory is not significantly influenced by suggestion.        
7. One’s level of certainty about a memory is strongly positively correlated with that memory’s accuracy.        
8. 1 trust my client such that if he or she says something happened, it must have happened, regardless of the age or context in which the event occurred.        
9. I believe that early memories, even from the first year of life, are accurately stored and retrievable.        
10. If a client believes a memory is true, I must also believe it to be true if I am to help him or her.        

Do you attempt to distinguish between what appear to you to be true memories and false memories?

Yes _________ No _________

If yes, how do you do so? Please write your response on the back of this form. Thank you. Include your name, address, and telephone number if you are willing to discuss your response.

 

HYPNOSIS ATTITUDE QUESTIONNAIRE

Demographics

Age _____ Degree_____

Years In clinical practice ______

Setting in which you work ___________________

Is your knowledge of the workings of memory:

Below Average ___ Average ___ Above Average ___

Do you use hypnosis in your work? Yes ___ No ___

Do you work hypnotically to recover memories?

Often ___ Sometimes ___ Rarely ___ Never ___

Below are 15 statements which you are asked to state your relative agreement or disagreement with. Please place a check mark In the appropriate place by each item.

Items Agree Strongly Agree Slightly Disagree Slightly Disagree Strongly
1. Hypnosis is a worthwhile therapy tool.        
2. Hypnosis enables people to accurately remember things they otherwise could not.        
3. Hypnosis seems to counteract the defense mechanism of repression, lifting repressed material unto conscious awareness.        
4. People cannot lie when in hypnosis.        
5. Therapists can have greater faith in details of a traumatic event when obtained hypnotically than otherwise.        
6. When someone has a memory of a trauma while in hypnosis, it objectively must actually have occurred.        
7. Hypnosis can be used to recover memories of actual events as far back as birth.        
8. Hypnosis can be used to recover accurate memories of past lives.        
9. It is possible to suggest false memories to someone who then incorporates them as true memories.        
10. Hypnotic age regression has positive value as a therapeutic tool.        
11. Someone could be hypnotically age regressed and get ‘stuck" at a prior age.        
12. Hypnotically obtained memories are more accurate than simply just remembering.        
13. Hypnosis increases one’s level of certainty about the accuracy of one’s memories.        
14. There is legitimate basis for believing that hypnosis can be used in such a way as to create false memories.        
15. The hypnotized individual can easily tell the difference betwccn a true memory and a pseudomemory.        

Do you know of any cases where it seemed highly likely that a trauma victim’s trauma was somehow suggested by a therapist rather than a genuine experience?

Yes ____ No ____

If yes, could you briefly describe such a case scenario on the other side of this form? Thank you. Include your name, address, and telephone number if you are willing to be contacted about your scenario.

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