Carol Tavris, Ph.D.: How to Spot Pseudoneuroscience and Biobunk

“When it comes to pseudoscience, social psychologist and writer Carol A. Tavris is a self-appointed curmudgeon.”

“I have spent many years lobbing hand grenades at psychobabble — that wonderful assortment of pop psych ideas that permeate our culture in spite of having no means of empirical support,” said Tavris at the 24th APS Annual Convention.“Today, however, we face an even greater challenge because in this era of the medical-pharmaceutical-industrial complex, where psychobabble goes, can biobunk be far behind?””

Carol Tavris is one of the most engaging speakers I’ve heard. Her teaching methods, wit, wisdom, and endless wonder at the absurdities of human nature bring her audiences to laughter frequently. At the end of this post are several lectures you may find enlightening and perspective adjusting.

“Not every aspect of this “biomedical revolution,” as Tavris calls it, is unwelcome. She admitted that she gets very excited about many of these discoveries. What she takes issue with is the perception that biomedical explanations are infallible. Similar to the psychobabble that plagues psychological science, “brainless neuroscience” should be giving the field an image problem, but because most people don’t know how to spot biobunk, they are more willing to accept bad neuroscience findings over good psychological ones.”

Carol Tavris IIG.jpg *

According to Dr. Tavris there are a few surefire ways to spot biobunk:

1. Technomyopia – Technology knows more that I do

2. Murky Methods – Questionable methods are a sure sign of pseudoneuroscience. Statistical problems and artifacts are often hidden behind flashy findings. Imaging studies are one of the most common culprits

3. Rampant Reductionism Be wary of conclusions that seem too neat and simple

4. Neuromarketing – Watch out for hype and overselling. Often “neuromarketers” will hawk impressive sounding devices or treatments to desperate parents, students, and teachers that are backed by questionable science.

More Abaoaut Psychobabble and Brain Silliness

How to Spot Pseudoneuroscience and Biobunk

A Skeptical Look at Pseudoneuroscience  YouTube

Books

Psychoababbly and BioBunk: Using Psychological Science to Think Critically about Popular Psychology, 3rd Edition

Mistakes were Made (But Not by Me):Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad  Decisions, and Hurtful Acts

The Mismeasure of Woman

Psychology 10th Edition

Invitation to Psychology with DSM-5 Update

Invitition to Psychology 5th Edition

 

*Photo credit unknown, owner please contact blogger at questioningdid@gmail.com so I can offer you the byline.

Alters in Dissociative Identity Disorder Metaphors or Genuine Entities?

Clinical Psychology Review 22 (2002) 481–497

Harald Merckelbacha,Grant J. Devillyc, Eric Rassina,

Abstract
How should the different identities (i.e., alters) that are thought to be typical for dissociative identity disorder (DID) be interpreted? Are they just metaphors for different emotional states or are they truly autonomous entities that are capable of willful action?

This issue is important because it has implications for the way in which courts may handle cases that involve DID patients.

Referring to studies demonstrating that alters of DID patients differ in their memory performance or physiological profile, some authors have concluded that alters are more than just metaphors.

We argue that such line of reasoning is highly problematic.

There is little consensus among authors about the degree to which various types of memory information (implicit, explicit, procedural) may leak from one to the other alter. Without such theoretical accord, any given outcome of memory studies on DID may be taken as support for the assumption that alters are in some sense ‘‘real.’’

As physiological studies on alter activity often lack proper control conditions, most of them are inconclusive as to the status of alters. To date, neither memory studies nor psychobiological studies have delivered compelling evidence that alters of DID patients exist in a factual sense. As a matter of fact, results of these studies are open to multiple interpretations and in no way refute an interpretation of alters in terms of metaphors for different emotional states.

Conclusion
The older literature on DID offers some strong claims as to the literal status of alters. Anecdotal reports of alters differing in their allergic reactions, in their response to medication, and in their optical functioning abound (e.g., Miller, 1989). These anecdotes
led Simpson (1997, p. 124) to pose the following question: ‘‘Why not claim that they wear different size shoes?’’ …

Still, a literal interpretation of alters can also be found in the DSM-IV and in many serious articles on DID. In their thought-provoking essay on DID, Lilienfeld et al. (1999) present several examples of treatment interventions that seem to be predicated on the belief that alters in DID are independent agents. These examples include asking to meet an alter, giving names to alters, and encouraging alters to write letters to each other. On the basis of these examples, Lilienfeld et al. (p. 513) conclude that ‘‘many or most influential authors in the DID treatment literature treat alters as independent entities or even personalities, at least during the early phase of treatment.’’

It is this literal view on alters …. Yet, theoretical and methodological shortcomings of these studies restrict any conclusions that can be drawn from them. Memory studies on DID suffer from the absence of articulated theories about memory functioning in DID.

Psychobiological studies, on the other hand, primarily suffer from the absence of proper control conditions. This is unfortunate, becauseit is now perfectly possible to specify control conditions for this type of research.

…Neither memory studies, nor psychobiological studies have elicited compelling evidence
that supports a literal view on alters in DID. …A case in point is Gleaves (1996, p. 48) who notes that ‘‘what is critical to understand is that acknowledging a patient with DID to have genuine experiences of alters as real people or entities is not the same as stating that alters are actually real people or entities.’’ Obviously, this conceptualization of alters is reminiscent of the position that alters exist largely as a result of role enactment in which patients become absorbed.

Thus, it is probably time to de-emphasize the literal interpretation of alters advocated by the DSM-IV. …

…Meanwhile, the hypothesis that alters in DID may be nothing more than the result of some patients’ tendency to attribute causality to inside agents, only becomes a coherent position when one seriously considers the possibility that expressed alters are metaphors rather than real entities.

Ticker Tape: Mental Health Topics & More

Mental health issues are vast and expand quickly. Keeping up with the constant stream of news reports and peer-reviewed articles 24/7/365 is a daunting task so here is a list of links and titles of news reports you may find interesting or useful.*

“““““““““`

Sybil: A Brilliant Hysteric? New York Times | 11-25-14. Barbara Dury, producer (Includes interview with this blogger)

The alliance in adult psychotherapy: A meta-analytic synthesis. http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-23951-001

United Kingdom: Couple with 400 Different Personalities Between Them, Stephanie Linning, Daily Mail, 03-28-18.

Why Handwriting Changes as you Age. CBS News, 02-01-11

Bullies Win: Elizabeth Loftus Awarded 2016 John-Maddox Prize for Courage

Two who resigned from the DSM-5 work group explain why. Psychology Today 10-01-15.

Child Taken from Mum with Multiple Personalities (Dissociative Identity Disorder)

Psychiatrists Maryann Weisman & Stacey Zuniga Arrested on Alleged Prescription Drug Crimes, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, USA.

False Memory Syndrome Led Woman to Make Farm Rape Claims in Devon. North Devon Journal, 5-21-15.

The Forgotten Childhood: Why early memories fade. National Public Radio: All things considered. 4-8-14

The Devil and Mercy Ministries: A conversation with Chelsea Darhower | Dysgenics| 05-04-15.

The San Antonio Four Go Back to Court | Texas Public Radio | Apr 20, 2015

Reforming Mental Health Care: How recovered memory treatments brought informed-consent Psychiatric Times | June 05, 2015  by Christopher Barden, J.D., Ph.D.
retrieved 03-24-15.

Could You Be Convinced You Committed a Crime That You Didn’t Commit?

 Constructing Rich False Memories of Committing Crime | Psychological Science | 11-04-14.

Testimony Reliance Unsettles U.S. Courts

False Memory Syndrome Foundation Advisory Board Profiles

Researchers are now able to erase and restore memories in rats

Out of Mind Out of Sight: Suppressing unwanted memories reduces their unconscious influence.

A Life in Pieces by Richard K. Baer

England: Suicide among mental health patients receiving home treatment doubles

*For information purposes only.

Debunking Byington: Book Review of Twenty-Two Faces – a Story of Multiple Personalities

This is an ongoing book review. As time allows, I will add to the text.

You are welcome to make comments on this publication. I ask is that you be respectful to the author and others who voice opinions.

Thank you in advance for your patience in reviewing this highly controversial book and for following guidelines set forth. This book includes acts of murder, rape, and other felonies that is why I ask that comments address the writing – not people making comments.

I decided to write what will be an exhaustive analysis and critique of 22 Faces because of the positive impact it is having on patients diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, commonly known as multiple personalities and because of arguments and opinions against the contents of this book found on the Amazon book review section and the forum of the Dr. Phil Show.

In my opinion, there is a resurgence of the discovery of multiple personalities among American women and the subsequent psychiatric diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), therefore, it is extremely important to comb through this book to illustrate the inconsistencies in the narrative and the implausibility of the events the author declares occurred.

Supporting women abused as children is what society should do …. supporting a work of fiction touted as nonfiction is an act society needs to scrutinize particularly when crimes and childhood malfeasance are alleged.

This book is self-published and, therefore, was probably not scrutinized by a legal department with the vigor a conventional-publishing house would conduct prior to publication, therefore, statements made by the author require the reader to research whether or not the text is accurate.

Sexual abuse is horrid and dealing with the aftermath is difficult. Acts of ritual abuse undoubtedly occur. Satanists exist as a religion but I do not believe Byington’s depiction of this group are accurate.

Caveat: I am a former believer in multiple personalities and Dissociative Identity Disorder. I was entrenched in this lifestyle and psychotherapy for over 6 years and I have an excellent grasp of the inner workings of the events portrayed and alleged in this book.

Here we go…

~~~~~~~~~~

Judy Byington (Mrs.Weindorf) describes Twenty-Two Faces as a biography of Jenny Hill although the author also states that Jenny wrote the book. First question: is this an autobiography or a biography?

Byington states that Jenny Hill endured childhood sexual abuse, ritual abuse, satanic ritual abuse, kidnapping, parental abuse & neglect, sibling abuse, domestic abuse, Nazi mind control, divine intervention by God, psychiatric hospitalization, multiple personalities, and Dissociative Identity Disorder, to name a few. This book was published by Tate Publishing (May 15, 2012).

The author, Judy Byington, appeared on the Dr. Phil show on January 11, 2013 as did Jenny Hill and her son, Robert. (Note: Robert stated that Byington did not depict his family history accurately)

Retrieved 01-23-13.

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

 1. About the Author from her media kit @ www.22faces.com

Twenty Two Faces, A Division of Trauma Research Center, Inc.

Trauma Research Center CEO is Judy Byington, MSW, LCSW, retired. Author, Twenty-Two Faces,  and panel members are Linda Quinton-Burr, Ph.d, J.D. ; Susan Peterson, L.P.C. Therapist, Neurofeedback Specialist and Practitioner and Sharon Reese, mother to five children and 49 alter personalities and Author, Healing Broken Wings.

There is no such designation as LCSW – Licensed Clinical Social Worker, retired. One is either licensed or not licensed. One does not “retire” from this profession and retain a license to practice. The designation of “retired” is meaningless, misleading, and a professional designation created by the author.

2. Let’s look at the endorsement from the back cover:

Robert Kroon (1924 – June 24, 2007). According to Wikipedia (01-23-13) Kroon… “was a prominent Dutch journalist who reported on conflicts and other stories as a foreign correspondent from Africa, Asia and Europe for nearly 60 years.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Kroon

.Although Mr. Kroon died four (4) years before the publication of this work, the author secured an endorsement from him.

This blogger finds it highly unlikely that a journalist of Kroon’s stature would endorse a book without reading the final draft and highly unlikely to do so after death.

update: 03-29-13. There will be no further review of Judy Byington’s book. There is little credible evidence that any of the event occurred. I, and many others, critiqued this Amazon book reviews and asked the author specific questions – each and every time, the author did not address the questions, rather she attacked the questioner.

~~~~~~~~~~ Will not be back later. ~~~~~~~~~~

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Debunking Byington: Book Review of Twenty-Two Faces – a Story of Multiple Personalities by Jeanette Bartha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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The Illusive Satanists: What Many in the Multiple Personality Community Believe about Satanic Ritual Abuse

Mr. Satan Head

Mr. Satan Head (Photo credit: Scott Beale)

Last year, at Halloween, I designed a costume and attended Kate’s annual
party. She decorated her property, starting at the curb, with blinking orange
lights, cob webs, and hidden boxes that made unpredictable sounds when I
walked by. The house was dark with intrigue. I wondered what scary characters
awaited my arrival.

After dark, her neighborhood was full of adults and children in costume. We
pretended to be witches or walking trees or scarecrows. We gave ourselves
permission to create, fantasize, and play. For one night, we became someone,
or something, other than ourselves. Mystery and intrigue are what make Kate’s
Halloween parties enticing.

Oddly, treatment for Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), now known as Dissociative
Identity Disorder (DID), has similar enticing qualities. For example, once
labeled a “multiple,” I was often viewed as exotic and mysterious. My thought
patterns and subsequent behaviors were intriguing and bewildering to therapists.
Treatment twisted my thinking. I became a devoted student of repressed memory
therapy
, believing I was raised in a Satanic cult. Therapy helped me “remember”
cult meetings with gory smoldering cauldrons of blood, dismembered animals,
the screech of tormented women, and the foul smell of burning flesh. The
Halloween season, once a time of fun and theatrics, became an annual nightmare
referred to as “The Satanic High Holidays.” Therapy transformed the play of yesteryear into terror.
The Halloween season became life-threatening. My doctor instructed me to
beware of encoded messages sent by Satanists, either by mail or by telephone,
programming me to suicide. He said I needed protection from them because I was
exposing their cult secrets. I agreed to be hospitalized, drugged and
quarantined.

My doctor’s thinking was not logical. In fact, it was pure nonsense. The
tricks, illusions, and deceits of treatment lured me in.

What made it impossible to distinguish fact from fancy? Prior to therapy, I
knew nothing about Satanism. While hospitalized, however, I was inundated with
information about Satanic cults from my doctor, therapists, nurses, other
patients, self- proclaimed “professionals” who survived Satanic abuse, and books.
Initially, I was a willing participant in the exchange of information. Later,
I was a captive audience and my caretakers’ professional opinions quickly
flipped my belief system upside-down.

I often proclaimed that my uncovered “memories” were fabrications, but I was
ignored. New “memories” weren’t as real as those I’d never forgotten; they
were dream-like and fuzzy. The idolatrous manner in which I related to my
doctor blinded me to the truth regarding my history. I was tricked into
believing there was Satanic abuse when, in fact, there wasn’t.

The illusive Satanists never surfaced at Halloween. Just the same, my feelings
of terror were real. Therapy created panic, insomnia, anorexia, abuse of
prescription drugs, gastrointestinal distress and fatigue. My behavior was
irrational. I hid under the bed, shrouded myself in blankets, and hugged
Leroy, my teddy bear.

Unknowingly, I was caught in the web of my doctor’s delusions. Halloween is
payday for some therapists and hospitals because clients are often in a
heightened emotional state. The fabricated Halloween horrors create chaos;
they breed confusion and anxiety. Clients seek comfort and often require extra
with therapists while needing more prescription drugs,additional phone contact,                                               and even hospitalization.

I challenge therapists who treat clients for Satanic abuse to follow their own treatment regime this year. By mid-October, check into a hospital, stay behind locked doors, speak to no one, ingest mass quantities of narcotics, and starve yourselves — then stay awake while watching horror movies night and day.

Since leaving treatment I learned the illusive Satanists, created in therapy, don’t exist. Halloween has returned to what it’s always been — a day of fun, fantasy, and theater. I’m looking forward to Kate’s party.

~~~~~~~~~~

Originally published in the False Memory Syndrome Foundation Newsletter,
October, 1999

Apologies for the formatting. The original article does not translate well.

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The Illusive Satanists by Jeanette Bartha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.

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Reposted 10-23-18

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