Archive for the 'Research' Category

Nov 28 2011

Recovered Memory: Freud’s Belief, Then Rejection of Recovered Memories of Abuse

One only needs to examine the work of Freud to see the origins of the recovered memory debate.

In 1896, Freud wrote of a pattern of sexual abuse of women in eighteen consecutive cases.

Robert Dewey quotes Freud in his “Introduction to Psychology”:

“The event of which the subject has retained an unconscious memory is a precocious [unusually early] experience of sexual relations with actual excitement of the genitals,

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Nov 19 2011

Yes, Rage And Fear Are Automatic Responses Triggered By The Sympathetic Nervous System

The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for triggering the “fight, flight, or freeze” reaction in human beings.

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Apr 16 2011

The Catholic Church’s 2,000 Year History of Sexual Abuse of Children and Others: Recovered Memories Series III

If you were raised a Catholic in the 50’s and 60’s as I was, you will also be shocked to find out the Catholic clergy have been sexually abusing children, adolescents and adults since the early days of the church.

The notion that sexual abuse by Catholic clergy is a modern phenomenon is the public relations and legal strategy used today to explain and defend against responsibility for this betrayal of children and families.

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Jan 20 2011

Scope of the Child Abuse Problem in America

The numbers of children abused in America each year are staggering.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services estimates 879,000 children were victims of child maltreatment in 2000. Of this total, 63% of the children were neglected, 19% were physically abused, 10% were sexually abused and 8% were psychologically abused.

I think we all have to agree it’s easier to ignore or deny the estimate that 87,900 children may be sexually abused in our country each year.

How do we wrap our minds around these very high numbers of children abused and neglected?

Continue Reading »

Comments Off on Scope of the Child Abuse Problem in America

Jan 20 2011

Psychologists and Lawyers Facing Professional and International Legal Action for Their Participation in the United States Torture Program

The United Nations Convention Against Torture  define torture as:“any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”

Mental health professionals, especially psychologists, have been grappling with the realization that licensed psychologists were involved in the design and implementation of the US torture program.
Continue Reading »

One response so far

Jan 20 2011

Memory Wars: Exploring the Science in the Recovered Memory Debate

Recovered memories refers to the phenomenon of human beings forgetting aspects of their personal history, then remembering it later, often decades later.

Although therapists have witnessed recovered memories of their clients in the sanctity of the therapist room, mistakes made by overzealous therapists, law enforcement officers and others evaluating possible abuse gave rise to research and legal advocacy efforts to cast doubt on the reliability of recovered memories.

The debate about the reliability of recovered memories became known as “the memory wars.”

I am dedicating the next series of posts to an exploration of this debate. There are many prominent researchers who you will hear about, especially Elizabeth Loftus, Bessel Van der Kolk, Jim Hopper, Ken Pope, Richard McNally, Ross Chiet among others, along with the “talking points” of the skeptics and deniers of recovered memory.
To start off, we need to understand the culture giving rise to this debate.

Comments Off on Memory Wars: Exploring the Science in the Recovered Memory Debate

Jan 05 2011

Use of Cognitive Restructuring for Evaluating Alcohol Use

If you are reading my blog or know me, you realize I like to use the cognitive restructuring exercise a lot. It is a great tool to help clients evaluate their own thoughts, beliefs, feelings and behavior.

It works great in evaluating alcohol problems. Here is how it works…

A- Activating Event: you or someone you know worries about your drinking…this may cause an internal or inter-personal conflict.
B-Automatic Beliefs: so, when you or someone worries about your drinking, you have automatic beliefs that may or may not be rational.

If they are irrational,then they will cause you to continue to behave in the same way over and over.

Your wife may complain about your drinking, especially when you drink and pass out on the couch. When she complains, you may have the following automatic thoughts:

  • I do not have a drinking problem
  • I do not drink any more than any of my friends
  • I don’t drink and drive
  • You (the wife) are hypersensitive about my drinking
  • I am really sick of hearing you (the wife) complaining

As you can see, these automatic thoughts are quite negative and usually lead to one of two options:

  • flight (avoidance, disconnection, running away, discounting, running away from the problem)
  • or fight (yelling back, blaming the (wife) for false judgments, arguing, denial, tons and tons of unresolved fights)

C-Consequence: The consequence is the flight or fight described above…all in all, not a good outcome.
Many people who are confronted about their drinking feel defensive and angry. This often leads to fighting or running away from confronting whether or not there is a problem with their drinking.
D-Debate (with yourself): this is the best strategy. Challenge your automatic beliefs and any defensiveness, anger or other strong feelings you experience.

To make any progress here, you MUST start to be realistic and rationale about the role of drinking in your life.

Go back and do the 3 Step evaluation process…be scientific about this…

Maybe your (wife) is right about this…there are many ways to look at the use of alcohol that may be a source of good information about yourself.

Just because all of your friends will drink 5-8 drinks when out may mean your friends drink too much, not that you are all normal drinkers.
When embrace someone’s concerns for you and really look at the way you drink more objectively, you and your partner are entering into an intimate and helpful problem-solving process.

So,here are some of the key questions you can use to debate and challenge yourself:

  • What is the role alcohol plays in your life?
  • Why do you drink?
  • Are you able to stop drinking easily or does one lead to more?
  • What would you miss if you stopped drinking?
  • How would your life change if you stopped drinking?

E-Effective Plan: Answer these questions as best you can, and then develop an action plan with more effective coping behaviors to address this issue.
For example, if your drinking is not a problem, you will have plenty of evidence to argue your case.
If you need to reduce or cut back, you can work on a strategy to do this.
Maybe you need to stop completely…again, you can develop a plan that fits you.

Approach this scientifically, using research based methods. It will help.

No responses yet

Nov 01 2010

2010 Victories of the Heart Shadow Weekend: Not Recommended as Currently Advertised

Writers note: I have been informed the Shadow weekend has been redesigned and is a good experience for participants. There also are testimonials from participants who write about their positive experiences at the weekend. I trust the men who tell me about the improved program. I am keeping the post below as part of the history of my writing about the Shadow weekend from 2010. (September 2016)

From the original 2010 post:
As the lack of information on it’s website indicates, the Victories of the Heart Shadow Weekend remains shrouded in the darkness it’s (“powerful advanced weekend”) hype claims to illuminate.

Therefore, I do not recommend the Shadow Weekend program to any men or mental health professionals.

The Mankind Project’s New Warrior Adventure Weekend offers a better organized and more complete weekend helping men explore deeper aspects of themselves.

The Warrior Weekend includes a structured follow-up group to help men further explore and integrate their weekend experience. The leaders of this integration group are trained, certified, and follow specific program protocols.

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Oct 29 2010

Anita Hill: I Will Apologize to You…

When Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, called and left a voice mail message asking you to apologize, I was shocked, but not surprised.

Like many others, I wondered what in the world she was thinking. Then I realized she probably believes what her husband testified under oath and then wrote in his book…that you are a liar.

Really, does anyone else believe Clarence Thomas besides his wife?

I know there were opinion polls showing that many people did believe Clarence Thomas at the time, but I understand how power works.

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Aug 05 2010

Victories of the Heart: My 2005 Psychodrama Training Outline

Special thanks to MKP leaders, David Karr, George Olson, Demetri Begli who provided training for me in psychodrama, then later Kurt Schultz and I which helped provide a foundation of knowledge for the creation of the Victories psychodrama training. Also thanks to the many Victories guys who helped with the early trainings. It was a really meaningful time.

Psychodrama Training

June 2005

I.  Training Goals

  1. The major focus of the training will be on teaching the theory and practice of “heartwork” or what is more commonly known as psychodrama. Participants will have the opportunity to facilitate, experience, and discuss “heartwork” as it is done on the Initial Weekends.
  2. Develop an understanding of each component of the Initial Weekend and how they are interrelated.
  3. Provide an overnight training experience similar to the Initial Weekend format for interested VOH individuals and groups to meet and build relationships.

Continue Reading »

2 responses so far

Next »