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since June 19, 2001


Anorexia Nervosa

Changing Ideal of Beauty or insane Obsession?

Statistics relating to recovered memory therapy

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Tana Dineen, author of Manufacturing Victims, identifies that:

"…rather than being the best suited to evaluate therapy, Psychologists and their clients are the most biased and the least able to answer the following:

  • Is therapy effective?

  • Is it better than friendship?

  • Do higher paid professionals do a better job than minimally trained counsellors?

  • Does training and experience improve a therapist's skill?

  • Is therapy always helpful and safe?

  • Do professionals know more about human nature than the rest of us?

  • Would people naturally get worse without professional treatment?"

Dr. Dineen indicates that the "over-riding answer to all of these questions," based on scientific studies — of which she provides ample evidence — is:

NO! [original emphasis]

She qualifies that "NO" as being a warning and not to mean to imply that all professional psychologists are ineffective or that all therapy is a scam, but that, rather than to take the psychology industry's claims at face value, an informed decision must be made to evaluate its merits. [page 154]

skeleton1.jpg (16464 bytes)No matter how intensely any woman starving herself tries to stay healthy, complications do occur that eventually require her to obtain medical treatment and perhaps even hospitalization.  Chances are that she'll need that not just once but repeatedly, if not on account of health complications due to the starvation she imposes on herself, then very likely on account of the extended psychological counseling she receives.

According to a letter from Loftus, Grant, Franklin Parr and Brown in which the findings of a "preliminary profile" of these cases were reported:

  • 97% of the patients were female.
  • 97% were Caucasian, with their ages ranging from 15 to 67 years, with a mean of 43 years.
  • All patients were fairly well educated.
  • 50% of them had been working in the health-care industry.
  • 87% of the clients had their first "memory" surface during therapy.
  • According to claims made, the first abuse occurred at an average age of 7 months.
  • 100% were still in therapy three years after the first memory surfaced.
  • 60% were still in therapy five years later.
  • Suicidal ideation or attempts by patients increased by a factor of 6.7 during therapy, from 10% to 67%.
  • Hospitalization of patients increased by a factor of 5.5 during therapy, from 7% to 37%.
  • Self-mutilation increased by a factor of 8, from 3% to 27%.
  • Employment of the patients decreased by a factor of 8.3 during therapy, from 83% to 10%.
  • Engagement in marriages decreased by a factor of 1.92 during three years of therapy, from 77% to 40.9%.
  • During three years of therapy, 48% of those who had been married became either divorced or separated.
  • 23% of the clients had lost custody of minor children during three years of therapy, and
  • 100% of the clients were estranged from their extended families.
  • 97% contended that they had been abused in satanic rituals and that their parents or other family members were involved in the ritual abuse.

Of those latter:

  • 76% remembered birth and infant cannibalism.
  • 76% remembered consuming body parts.
  • 69% remembered being tortured with spiders.
  • 100% remembered torture or mutilation (no exams were made to substantiate that injuries had indeed occurred).

A most remarkable aspect of therapy mentioned in the letter was that "the average cost of a mental health claim under the Crime Victim Compensation Program that did not involve repressed memory was $2,672," whereas "the average cost for the 183 repressed memory claims was dramatically higher: $12,296."  Obviously, even though the patients were harmed by the recovered memory therapy they received, the therapists did quite well by it.

Dr. Dineen concludes that section of her book [page 164] by calling the disregard of scientific principles employed by therapists,

[an] enthralling dance of the patient and therapist, each responding to the moves and sways of the other and each believing that they are getting somewhere together.  But when the music stops, the dance is over and therapy is finished, the most likely conclusion is that they aren't much farther ahead, that they are about where they began, with both just a little tireder and one a little (or a lot) poorer and the other a little (or a lot) richer.

Its seems that psychotherapy may well be a cure that is worse than the "disease" it attempts to cure.  Perhaps the casualties that Dr. Ted Weltzin referred to may represent more the tally of the victims of psychotherapy than those of anorexia nervosa.  Until a detailed study is done according to scientifically acceptable standards to determine what causes death in anorexics, to see whether it was their lifestyle or the attempts by psychotherapists that killed them, it is best to go by the figures presented by Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers.

The following page goes into some details of a case of anorexia nervosa and some of the consequences of psychological counselling in connection with that.  The regime of deliberate starvation in that case has been going on for a good number of years, and only after the client experienced episodes of disorientation and hallucination were medical doctors consulted.  Following that, psychological counselling was ordered.   After a good number of years of that, in connection with further hospitalizations, no cure is in sight, but the counselor and the client built a wonderful and lasting relationship during which false abuse allegations began to surface.
   Aside from that, the family lost its house that had been free of debt before the sequence of events began to run its course.  The family is now living in a rented trailer home.  The woman has been hospitalized repeatedly and came to believe that she is possessed by a demon and that even her children are possessed by demons.  She believes that nothing can be done about that, because "when one tries to drive demons out, they come back seven times as strong."

Next Page: A case of anorexia nervosa


Bill Brandt, Taken 'down Lambeth Way' one March afternoon; Source: International Photography Year Book, 1956, (New York, St. Martin's Press, L.o.C. Card Number 35-13575) Photograph # 3

The photographs of Hans Makart's paintings The five Senses are from Des Lebens Überfluss (Mohndruck, Gütersloh, Germany, Buch-Nr. 407/12), Illustration 52, after p. 352.

THE CONTAX WAY — The Contax Photographer's Companion, 4th Edition, March 1954; Focal Press Limited, p. 38

Portrait by Daniel Masclet; Source: International Photography Year Book, 1956, (New York, St. Martin's Press, L.o.C. Card Number 35-13575) Photograph # 136

The photographs of the anorexics were converted from GIF files that had been posted at a pro-anorexia Web site (no longer active), at which girls and women were being provided with tips on how to indulge in their passion to starve themselves, with special advice on how to escape detection by relatives.

Next Page: Anorexia Nervosa & False Abuse Allegations

Back to Anorexia-Nervosa Index Page

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Thoughts are Free

Posted 2001 08 28