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Recovered memories, satanic abuse, Dissociative Identity Disorder and false memories in the UK: a survey of Clinical Psychologists and Hypnotherapists

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An online survey was conducted to examine psychological therapists' experiences of, and beliefs about, cases of recovered memory, satanic/ritualistic abuse, Multiple Personality Disorder/Dissociative Identity Disorder, and false memory. Chartered Clinical Psychologists (n=183) and Hypnotherapists (n=119) responded. In terms of their experiences, Chartered Clinical Psychologists reported seeing more cases of satanic/ritualistic abuse compared to Hypnotherapists who, in turn, reported encountering more cases of childhood sexual abuse recovered for the first time in therapy, and more cases of suspected false memory. Chartered Clinical Psychologists were more likely to rate the essential accuracy of reports of satanic/ritualistic abuse as higher than Hypnotherapists. Belief in the accuracy of satanic/ritualistic abuse and Multiple Personality Disorder/Dissociative Identity Disorder reports correlated negatively with the belief that false memories were possible.

Keywords: beliefs; false memory; recovered memory; sexual abuse; therapy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology,University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK 2: Florida International University, Psychology, Miami, USA 3: Goldsmiths College, University of London, Psychology, London, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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