Control and false memory

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MemThere has been much debate around therapy and false memory. How can therapists be sure that they not suggest anything that hasn`t happened? Like the recent revelation about the false memories of Thomas Quick, who remembered he murdered 8 people he did not actually kill. A recent documentary about the pscyhiatric ward that installed these memories in him, shows how destructive it can be if therapists lead their clients towards their own understanding of the world (lack of real empathy and mentalization). To not say things that provoke mental events that didn`t occur, can be harder than one thinks. So, what is important to think about to prevent this from happening?

To not “create” a child part that isn`t real: If you ask if a part has a certain age, you can ask: Are you the same age as the ANP? Are you older? Are you younger?

When one asks about the perpetrator: Was it someone you knew? Was it a stranger? Was he/her young, old, related, a neigbor?

When you ask about memories, you must be careful not to hint there HAS been something there. When doing EMDR, you just say: Whatever comes up, is okay. If nothing comes up, that is okay too.

When exploring, have an open mind, don`t think that you know what has happened, as we don`t. The most important thing we can do, is to just be there. It is actually very difficult to just Accept what is, without interpreting everything, but it`s something all therapist must try if they want to do a good job.



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