Sunday, September 26, 2021

Comments by pdwpdw

Showing 6 of 6 comments.

  • Alethea, of course balance of perspective open to weighing the specifics in a particular case is a preferred heuristic. Here is a recent letter co-signed by a bevy of therapists responding to an open letter by neuropsychologists that was seeking to have the courts outlaw evidence of recovered memories:
    That response of the therapists adopts your balanced line of reasoning.

  • Here is a letter I wrote to the editor of the Pacific Standard regarding the recovered memory article published there:

    Ms. Streshinsky ([email protected]) ,

    It has come to my attention that the Pacific Standard will soon publish an
    article on recovered memories. From your editorial description of the
    forthcoming piece I thought you may wish to “fact-check” what appears to
    be the article’s claim that there is no such phenomenon as dissociative
    amnesia. Scientific endeavor has provided evidence that stress and
    psychological trauma can induce memory loss, and that such loss can be
    recovered at some time down the road. The dissociative amnesia phenomenon
    is well know in combat stress situations, and as those in the dissociative
    field are aware from their patient presentations, it is also known to happen
    within the civilian population. Here is a link to a recent news article
    detailing an extreme case of memory loss due to dissociative amnesia:

    Many courts have recognized that one’s traumatic memories can be hidden
    from oneself, only to rise to the level of consciousness at some later
    date. I provide the following link to documents in a case Anonymous v
    Vella, where the plaintiff recovered memories of abuse many years after
    the fact and pursued the case to judgement in her favor:

    These documents are the psychologist’s report on the patient (so you can
    gain an appreciation for the psychological analysis that is done in
    substantiation), a list of journal citations upon which he rests his
    opinion, and also a most unusual affidavit where that same psychologist
    had to defend himself from an attempt by those known as experts working
    against the notion of recovered memories to have this psychologist
    sanctioned for fraud in his findings. The affidavit is the psychologist’s
    defense from such claims, which I believe you may find compelling.

    The psychologist in this case, Dr. Dan Brown, is a widely acknowledged
    expert on recovered memory matters, and has effectively provided rebuttal
    of Dr. Loftus’ claims, including at a very high profile case in the
    international court in the Hague. Dr. Brown’s web page is at:

    As another example of a court’s ruling on the admissibility of testimony
    on recovered memory, you may wish to review a relatively recent Daubert
    opinion on the matter:

    I hope these documents are helpful for use in your editorial role of
    assuring balanced and thoughtful content in the Pacific Standard.

  • Another point of possible interest to AngryDad ,who mentions that Dissociative PTSD fits his son’s symptoms “to the letter.”. The dissociation-specific criteria within the PTSD diagnostic criteria, and particularly that of “dissociative PTSD” (the so-called PTSD subtype) is a complete overlay with the dissociative disorder criteria spectrum diagnosis, something which has been successfully treated using psychotherapy by those therapists specializing in such presentations.

  • Noel, I noticed Ron Unger suggested that the 1,200 member Dissociative-disorders listserv might perhaps be a community worthwhile for you to join. If interested, see their registration page:

    ISTSS, which if I am not mistaken is the conference you attended in Miami is, organizationally, very slow on the dissociation uptake, and many of its members do tend to regard a dissociation-based diagnosis as a political football. The DSM5 changes to explicitly add a dissociative subtype to PTSD was an effort to move the trauma field forward in considering the impact of dissociative experiences in trauma sufferers, and to perhaps lead to more effective treatments.

    Regarding a definition of dysfunctional or distressing dissociation, how about the diagnostic definition: “a disruption of and/or discontinuity in the normal integration of consciousness, memory, identity, emotion, perception, body representation, motor control, and behavior”. If it strikes you that many with a “psychosis” diagnosis would fall under this definition, your thinking would be in accord with even the earliest studies of dissociation within the putatively psychotic population:

    Moreover, those within the putatively psychotic population whose subjective experiences, as related by them, deemed to be dissociative in quality are very likely those who can benefit from dissociation-treatment principles, including those like Hearing Voices, plus those additional dissociation-treatment principles not addressed by Hearing Voices, but which are used successfully by those treating suffers diagnosed as having a dissociative disorder.