Is Dr. Phil Exploiting Patients and Their Families by Interviewing a Woman with Multiple Personalities?

Television would not exist without high ratings. Multiple personalities usually get high ratings as Oprah Winfrey has shown many times by airing shows about self-proclaimed multiples like Trudy Chase.

I think the public need to know and physically “see” what multiple personalities look like.

The show has not aired where I live so more later.

I want to know why the Dr. Phil show is airing this particular topic at this particular time?

The show has not aired where I live so more later. In the meantime, take a look at Debbie Nathan‘s recent release about the history behind Sybil, her therapist, and the block-buster movie.

http://www.amazon.com/Sybil-Exposed-Extraordinary-Multiple-Personality-

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OK, I’ve just viewed the show.

I think Dr. Phil is an expert at people skills because he balanced respect for the patient – with disseminating information – with Not supporting the diagnosis by saying that it’s rare – which he repeated several times. He also said several times that in his 35 years in the field of psychology he has never met a multiple. Very clever, very crafty.

I appreciate that Dr. Phil took every opportunity to point out the inconsistencies in Tracy’s statements as she portrayed different personalities/alters upon request. For example, several times she said “I” instead of “her” when talking about a different personality. That is a major slip-up that people who define themselves as “multiple” make a lot and I am glad Dr. Phil pointed it out it every time.

Dr. Phil did not mention the children in this family which is another plus. These children live a chaotic life and he spared them further trauma.

Overall, I think Dr. Phil gave the public a glimpse into this bizarre diagnosis and was able to show quite clearly the lifestyle of those involved.

I have to give the man credit for explaining to Tracy that often there are several diagnosis involved and any given patient. He was able to steer her in another direction regarding possibilities of treatment and perhaps she will find a therapist to treat her for a mental condition that actually exists. Dr. Phil also offered that the plethora of pharmaceuticals she is and has been on can contribute to issues.

Overall I am pleasantly pleased with this show given the fact that I don’t think multiple personalities exist.

Follow the live conversation at the Dr. Phil show website.

http://community.drphil.com/boards/?EntryID=32168

 

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82 Comments

  1. Altus

     /  05/14/2012

    Doug, reading through your info a bit, I think we hold some similar views on how certain types of thinking or lack of critical thinking skills can result in things like SRA and UFO conspiracies. I just think there is a continuum and that PLENTY of damage can and has been done by therapists without ever getting to the level of SRA and UFOs. We don’t hear about those stories because they are not as sensational as Castlewood but still they are very sad for those involved. I looked on your site and can’t find an email…I’ll just register there under this name so you’ll have mine.

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  2. Altus

     /  05/13/2012

    Jeannette,

    I do find it astounding that so few professionals come out against these practices. I really had a lot more faith in the system until I started doing a little research. The stories that are hitting the media about the DSM-V are pretty sad…lack of transparency, working groups with with folks who have a stake in the outcome, etc.

    Hopefully, the informative postings by people like you and Doug (read your other blogs, Doug, good stuff) and others will get read by a larger audience and people will start to question these potentially harmful therapies. The industry itself has to move toward more evidence and science based therapies if it is to lessen the effects of poor and outright harmful therapies. Thanks for setting up and maintaining this space for dialogue. I would assume it often feels like and uphill battle, but it is so necessary to question this stuff.

    Best,
    Altus

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    • Thank you, Altus for your support. You, too, contribute much to the betterment of mental health care.

      I think mental health care, as it falls further into disgrace, goes far beyond sad. It gives rise to the egos of those who work the system and maintain itself at the peril of the patient.

      My hope is that people question all types of health care, but particularly mental health care because so little is known about it by the general public. Surgeons, in comparison, would not be permitted to continue treating patients if patients only got worse and many died. Mental health patients and their families, on the other hand, suffer in silence and endure potentially dangerous treatment trusting that the system will care for them properly. There is little accountability except by patients who hold mental health care professionals responsible only after they are gravely injured. Even then, the wrongdoing is hushed.

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    • Yeah, I really feel that it is with the DSM-V that the APA stands to lose all credibility. One can understand that, by and large, we do not know the causes of most discrete mental disorders, so we’re left trying to label dysfunctions by their various consistent concomitant attributes — but the APA is proving itself inflexible to new discoveries and empirical data.
      In regards to the comments below regarding Castlewood: please note that this is what I’m talking about when I reference bizarre conspiracy theories. And I’m not just talking about Castlewood and the extremely disturbed delusions of satanic abuse that this Schwartz asshole seems to be planting in his clients’ minds — I’m also talking about Tanya’s failure to address the question at all, the broad failure of the DID field to address their legacy of witch-hunts and malpractice. At best, we are told “there are always going to be bad therapists”, but never consideration that the prevalence of delusion among therapists who treat DID is evidence of a bad therapeutic practice. When the False Memory Syndrome Foundation is cast aside as some fanatical, “agenda”- driven shadowy political force, I don’t think it is reaching too far to infer that Bennett Braun is also seen as a credible doctor who was brought down by their “propaganda”. It implies Richard Kluft’s perspective that the FBI’s Lanning Report — stating the evidence for widespread satanic abuse is nil — was a “bullshit cover-up”. A failure to address the specifics of Castlewood, while showing an interest in learning a detailed history of dissociation and multiplicity, indicates a failure to admit that anything about Castlewood was wrong. This could mean that the “revelations” of satanic abuse coming from Castlewood are believed to have been true — or it could simply be a refusal to face the facts of Castlewood at all, a self-deception of large proportion. The broad failure of DID proponents to directly address known false memories that are also traumatic — from alien abduction to past-life regression — also indicates all of these things. I believe the field of DID specialists is overrun with irresponsible therapists who have devolved into delusional conspiracy theorists in the course of interpreting confabulations as real-world reports.
      Altus, I would love to put together a report about Castlewood. Do you have my email address?

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  3. Altus

     /  05/12/2012

    Re: Castlewood Treatment Center and Schwartz and Galperin

    Here is Dr. Dean’s very detailed account of Schwartz and Galperin’s techniques from an article in 2000 where she is warning about this type of therapy. The article cites how it leads to deterioration of clients.

    http://www.pitch.com/kansascity/could-it-be-satan/Content?oid=2161553

    After a woman almost kills herself from the therapy a few months ago the EXACT same techniques are detailed in TWO lawsuits.

    http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/fitness/other-women-come-forward-in-castlewood-center-complaint/article_b4e3ed54-b12d-55cf-8218-37b2390505da.html

    Here is a video of woman who is not suing but like the doctor and the two women who are details the SAME techniques. “Sue happy” does not explain why all these people would make the same allegations a decade apart and two of them have nothing to gain financially from speaking out except to warn of the harm.

    http://www.ksdk.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=1305265276001

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  4. Altus

     /  05/12/2012

    Tanya,

    I have a very dear friend who was injured by internal family systems therapy, She was led through IFS therapy and the outcome was a trauma story that has no bearing in reality. She didn’t believe it herself, but her therapist kept on working for YEARS “helping” her to recall a story that has no rooting in reality. She was broken down into “parts” which led to a DID diagnosis and some pretty horrible emotional pain and she became almost catatonic. Her therapist recommended she go to a Somatoemotional Release body therapist so that she could work out the trauma. Somatoemotional is considered pseudoscience. It is it based on a belief that body parts can “talk” to the therapist and client. The worst part for my friend though is that it meant more hours spent constructing a “trauma.” For years she lived in a hell created by the therapy and spiraled down. I don’t know if she will ever get back to the state before the therapy. Watching someone go through horrible, horrible pain like this is awful. There is just no need for it. My dear friend had a job and relationship challenges at the time she visited her therapist, but nothing the average person does not experience. She walked into the wrong door for help. This was only a few years ago. The woman she visited was getting certified in Internal Family Systems and was eager to practice it on people.

    This is just wrong. Internal Family Systems can result in multiple personalities in suggestible people. I saw the dark side of IFS therapy not from Castlewood but from a therapist using the same IFS techniques on someone after taking a few weekend workshops.

    From the former President of the American Psychoanalytic Association commenting on Castlewood .

    “People who are suggestible in certain ways can take a suggestion from a therapist and begin to split themselves into parts that they then name, and they will begin to think of themselves as having multiple personalities,” said Dr. Lynne Moritz of the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute. “The issue is you don’t want to encourage that in susceptible people.”

    She is not suing, she is saying this therapy is wrong.

    Neither was the doctor who observed Mark Schwartz and Lori Galperin engaging in hypnosis and the facilitation of stories of satanic ritual abuse in leading group therapy several years ago suing anybody—she was warning. That doctor is now a forensic psychiatrist. Here is what she observed in 1998. From an article written long before Castlewood.Treatment Center.

    “By 1998, the majority of the psychiatric community had realized that encouraging patients to relive such memories led not to their recovery but, instead, to their deterioration. Yet such a group was encouraged in the Masters and Johnson Trauma Unit at River Oaks. Dean continued to watch in silence.

    “A woman would say, ‘I need to talk about what happened to me.’ Then she would say something like, ‘My parents took me out into the woods at night. Our preacher and the police chief were there. They were all wearing hoods and standing around an altar with candles. Suddenly my grandfather was pulled from the crowd. They murdered him in front of me, and then they ripped open his chest and forced me to eat his heart.'”

    She wrote a letter to the owners of the institute where this “therapy” was being practiced.

    “Schwartz and Galperin rigidly cling to the types of procedures I have just described,” Dean wrote. “(B)ut they are not providing the actual clinical services to patients, so they are not exposed to legal liability for any damages and malpractice resulting from the practices they promote. Who will get sued? You and your clinicians who have agreed to Schwartz and Galperin’s ‘model’ of treatment.”

    How prophetic from a letter from 1998…a decade later and they are doing the same stuff. It’s relevant because nothing has changed in their treatment. It facilitates lawsuits because women almost die from the therapy, not because they are “sue happy.” If you followed the case you would notice that there are women today who are not suing who are saying the exact same things because they experienced them. I will include links to the articles above again in another post which hopefully will make it through Jeannette’s spam filter.

    At the time Castlewood hit there was a schedule online of Castlewoods daily activities. I should have taken a screenshot. One of the groups led by Schwartz and Galperin was DID group. Castlewood has a resident population of 26 people. The incidence of DID is said tor is .01% to 1% of the general population by WebMD. The women who entered Castlewood in the lawsuit did not have DID diagnosis prior to Castlewood. How do you get to hold “group meetings” in a population that statistically should not have a single case of DID yet you put in a calendar in ADVANCE of any given population on WEEKLY basis? They have since changed the name to “core group.”

    I don’t know how many women have to suffer from this harmful therapy before someone says, “Stop, lives are being ruined here.” There are many ways to address trauma without harmful therapies. The therapies that demonstrate harm should be banned, just as harmful drugs are. The oath of medical professionals is “cause no harm.” There is ample evidence in Castlewood that oath was outright ignored.

    Best,
    Altus

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    • Altus, your statement” “By 1998, the majority of the psychiatric community had realized that encouraging patients to relive such memories led not to their recovery but, instead, to their deterioration.” This sums up MPD/DID therapy perfectly.

      Take all the arguments, the cited research studies, the credentials that some people have amassed and it all boils down to that one simple statement you made above.

      I wish people didn’t have to go to therapy and think that “getting worse before getting better” is productive and a sign that therapy is progressing. I can’t imagine what it feels like to watch a friend deteriorate in therapy and be helpless to do anything about it. When I was in treatment, I watched my friends (other multiples) deteriorate to the point of being unable to function – as was I – and it was distressing. I can’t begin to know what it was like for you and my family to trust in mental health professionals only to find their loved one is getting worse with each passing month.

      I don’t know what it will take to make this particular harmful therapy to stop. Dead patients didn’t do it. The American Psychiatric/Psychological/Medical Associations address aspects of it – like recovering memories are unreliable – but they do not stop it as you state.

      What it will take is for the masses of mental health personnel out there to ban together and make a political move. I cannot see this happening. For one, mental health professionals are busy making a living and raising families. They also do not want to be ostracized by their peers. And, once a researcher has made repeated support for MPD/DID therapy, how can they turn around and say “I was wrong”? Only a few therapists/researchers have had the fortitude to do so.

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      • p.s. regarding mental health professionals and being ostracized.

        When I filed the medical malpractice/negligence suit against my former psychiatrist and the hospital there was only One nurse willing to be a witness and testify on my behalf. There were many, many people who called my lawyer offering information. A few other hospital personnel offered to testify, but backed out.

        This lone psychiatric-nurse was repeatedly warned by her colleagues NOT to testify against a psychiatrist and psychiatric hospital. They all ran for cover but her. Of the hundreds of mental health care professionals I met during the 7 years of treatment ONE had courage and the ethics to do the right thing.

        So there you have it. Mental health care professionals would have to risk their jobs, their pensions, and be willing to be ostracized and/or black balled by their profession. Given that, how many people do you think will stand up? My money says …. few to none.

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  5. doug mesner

     /  05/12/2012

    Sorry – don’t know why I was “anonymous” last 2 posts

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