"Recovered memory therapy, like lobotomy, illustrates the worst of all possible medical or psychiatric mistakes."
Those are the words of social psychologist Dr. Richard Ofshe in his book, Making Monsters (with Ethan Watters), a 340-page critique of repressed memory therapy. The authors argue "that the practice of uncovering repressed memories, along with the attendant theories of multiple personality disorder and satanic-cult abuse, are fads that are as widespread and as damaging as any the mental-health field has produced this century."
Never one to shrink from controversy, University of California at Berkeley Professor Ofshe has been in the front ranks of the recovered-memory debunkers from the beginning. A prolific writer and a forceful speaker, Dr. Ofshe seldom pulls his punches, a situation reflected by his topics: Police Brainwashing in America, Making Monsters: The New Dr. Frankenstein, Psychology's Phlogiston - Robust Repression and Misused Influence, Pseudomemories and Real Malpractice, Beware Americans Bearing Gifts: The Spreading Satanic Cult Hysteria, and many others.
For his role in the Point Reyes Light newspaper's exposé of Synanon, Dr. Ofshe shared in the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service that was awarded to the Light.
A recent area of interest to Dr. Ofshe is that of false confessions, and he has written and presented on this subject.