June 5, 2016 Comments Off on It’s easy to implant false childhood memories, right? Wrong, says a new review
It’s easy to implant false childhood memories, right? Wrong, says a new review
During the 1990s, groundbreaking work by psychologists demonstrated that human memory is flexible and vulnerable and that it’s very easy for people to experience “false memories” that feel real, but which are actually a fiction. One major implication of this was in the evaluation of adults’ accounts of how they’d been abused in childhood. In a recent journal editorial, for instance, one of the pioneers of false memory research argued that the same techniques used by therapists to recover repressed memories of abuse have been shown in the lab to “produce false memories in substantial numbers of research participants”.
But there are some experts who believe the false memory researchers have gone too far. Chris Brewin and Bernice Andrews are two British psychologists with these concerns. In their new systematic review in Applied Cognitive Psychology they have taken a hard look at all the evidence, and they argue that we need to rethink the idea that false memories are so easily induced….
Consider one key experimental technique known as “imagination inflation”, which aims to provoke false memories in participants simply by asking them to write about fictitious events as if they had really happened.
As a first step participants are surveyed about a range of things that might happen in a typical childhood, and then they are asked to use their imagination to write about one of these events that they believe didn’t actually happen in their own childhood. After this writing task, participants are asked again to rate how likely it is that they actually experienced this event in their own childhood.
Overall, after completing the imaginative writing task, most people tend to shift their beliefs, to think that it’s more plausible that they may actually have experienced the event they wrote about. But in 13 of 14 the published datasets that Brewin and Andrews reviewed where this technique was used, belief only changed by one point or less on an eight-point scale (from strongly believing it didn’t happen on one end of the scale, to strongly believing it did on the other). As these shifts in belief often weren’t enough to tip participants over the scale’s half-way point, this supposed induction of “false memories” involved the sowing of doubt but not the creation of a new memory – most participants still considered that the events they’d written about hadn’t happen to them, it’s just that they were less confident in that belief….
The most powerful technique used to induce false memories is memory implantation. This approach involves parents and authority figures conniving over multiple sessions to persuade a participant that an event really happened in their childhood, going as far in some cases as doctoring photographs to produce incontrovertible proof. These studies often produce new recollections of some kind – up to 78 per cent of participants report new, false memories when doctored photographs are used – but Brewin and Andrews show that when an even more stringent definition of a false memory is used – that it must involve mental images – then this rate of new recollection drops to 25 per cent, and regarding memories that the participant is actually confident in, to only 15 per cent.
Overwhelmingly, most participants in these studies disbelieve the childhood event ever happened, and they doubt any apparently new memories that arise, despite the pressure to think otherwise. Tellingly, when studies have collected ratings of the strength of any new memories from both the participants and the researchers, the researchers’ ratings are routinely higher. After hearing their parents’ stories, the participants typically become better able to narrate a plausible and even elaborate account that persuades the researcher a memory has been created. But often the participants themselves aren’t buying it, and they can draw the distinction between memory-like content and a true memory.
It’s clear that false memory paradigms can shift how we evaluate past events, and can for a minority of participants provoke memory-like experiences. But the rates are very low and the effects variable, and the one that produces the strongest effect – memory implantation – is also the most invasive, and least likely to match the experiences of people in normal life or within a therapy session. Brewin and Andrews suggest their review “indicates that the majority of participants are resistant to the suggestions they are given” and that the rhetoric that false beliefs are easy to instil should be re-examined.
Creating Memories for False Autobiographical Events in Childhood: A Systematic Review
Brewin, C., & Andrews, B. (2016). Creating Memories for False Autobiographical Events in Childhood: A Systematic Review Applied Cognitive Psychology DOI: 10.1002/acp.3220
Using a framework that distinguishes autobiographical belief, recollective experience, and confidence in memory, we review three major paradigms used to suggest false childhood events to adults: imagination inflation, false feedback and memory implantation. Imagination inflation and false feedback studies increase the belief that a suggested event occurred by a small amount such that events are still thought unlikely to have happened. In memory implantation studies, some recollective experience for the suggested events is induced on average in 47% of participants, but only in 15% are these experiences likely to be rated as full memories.
We conclude that susceptibility to false memories of childhood events appears more limited than has been suggested. The data emphasise the complex judgements involved in distinguishing real from imaginary recollections and caution against accepting investigator-based ratings as necessarily corresponding to participants’ self-reports.
November 6, 2014 Comments Off on False Memory Syndrome: A False Construct
False Memory Syndrome: A False Construct
The term False Memory Syndrome was created in 1992. Research has shown that most delayed memories of childhood abuse are true. In general, it has been shown that false allegations of childhood sexual abuse are rare, with some studies showing rates as low as one percent and some studies showing slightly higher rates. It has been found that children tend to understate rather than overstate the extent of any abuse experienced. http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=False_Memory_Syndrome
Dallam, S. J. (2002). Crisis or Creation: A systematic examination of false memory claims. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse,9 (3/4), 9-36. “A review of the relevant literature demonstrates that the existence of such a syndrome lacks general acceptance in the mental health field, and that the construct is based on a series of faulty assumptions, many of which have been scientifically disproven. There is a similar lack of empirical validation for claims of a “false memory” epidemic.” http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/res/dallam/6.html
Memory, Abuse, and Science: Questioning Claims about the False Memory Syndrome Epidemic
Kenneth S. Pope http://www.kspope.com/memory/memory.php
False Memory Syndrome Facts Website http://fmsf.com/media.html
Memory & FMS https://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/
Recovered Memory Data https://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/recovered-memory-data/
Hall, J., Kondora, L. (2005) “True” and “False” Child Sexual Abuse Memories and Casey’s Phenomenological View of Remembering American Behavioral Scientist, 48, 10 p. 1339-1359 DOI: 10.1177/0002764205277012 “The notion of false accusation is often raised in cases where physical evidence is not available and a period of time has passed or when there has been a delay in recall of the events by a survivor of child sexual abuse. This is not to imply that false memories are not possible. This article outlines how rare they must be, however, based on historical factors and a phenomenological analysis of memory itself….Most scientists investigating traumatic memory doubt that memories of abuse could be planted.”
“The hypothesis that false memories can easily be implanted in psychotherapy…seriously overstates the available data. Since no studies have been conducted on suggested effects in psychotherapy per se, the idea of iatrogenic suggestion of false memories remains an untested hypothesis. Brown, Scheflin and Hammond (1998).” Memory, Trauma Treatment, And the Law” (W. W. Norton) ISBN 0-393-70254-5
False Memory Syndrome : A False Construct by Juliette Cutler Page “The concept of “recovered memory”, that is, memory of a traumatic event that had been forgotten for some period of time, has been variously explained by such mechanisms as repression, amnesia, and dissociation. However, there are over 100 years of reports and descriptions of recovered memory in the literature, including instances from times of war, torture, bereavement, natural disasters, and concentration camp imprisonment. (HOROWITZ) Many corroborated cases have been documented in instances of recovered memory of sexual abuse…”
Ground Lost: The False Memory/Recovered Memory Therapy Debate, by Alan Scheflin, Psychiatric Times 11/99, Vol. XVI Issue 11, “The appearance in the DSM-IV indicates that the concept of repressed memory is generally accepted in the relevant scientific community. This satisfies courts following the Frye v United States, 293 F.1013 (1923) or Daubert v Merrell Dow Pharmaceutical, 113 S. Ct. 2786 (1993) rules regarding the admissibility of scientific testimony into evidence in court.” And “Although the science is limited on this issue, the only three relevant studies conclude that repressed memories are no more and no less accurate than continuous memories (Dalenberg, 1996; Widom and Morris, 1997; Williams, 1995). Thus, courts and therapists should consider repressed memories no differently than they consider ordinary memories.” At http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/p991137.html
The “False Memory” Defense: Using Disinformation and Junk Science in and out of Court
Charles L. Whitfield, M.D., F.A.S.A.M. “This article describes a seemingly sophisticated, but mostly contrived and often erroneous “false memory” defense, and compares it in a brief review to what the science says about the effect of trauma on memory. Child sexual abuse is widespread and dissociative/traumatic amnesia for it is common.” http://web.archive.org/web/20070914163211/http://childabuse.georgiacenter.uga.edu/both/whitfield/whitfield1.phtml
Commonwealth vs. Paul Shanley.
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, decided Jan. 15, 2010
The Leadership Council submitted an amicus brief in to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court advising the court on scientific knowledge regarding dissociative memory loss. On February 7, 2005, Paul Shanley was convicted of sexually abusing a child. The abuse occurred between 1983 and 1989 when the victim was attending classes at the church where the defendant served as a Catholic priest. Shanley appealed his conviction saying that it was based on recovered memory. His defense team contended that “…’repressed memory’ is a pernicious, unreliable, junk science notion without scientific verification.”
The LC submitted a brief explaining why this position regarding scientific acceptance of dissociative memory loss is inaccurate, and why the Court’s determination that testimony on dissociative memory loss and recovery is admissible was correct. The Court affirmed the conviction and held that ” the judge’s finding that the lack of scientific testing did not make unreliable the theory that an individual may experience dissociative amnesia was supported in the record, not only by expert testimony but by a wide collection of clinical observations and a survey of academic literature.”
Silencing the Victim: The Politics of Discrediting Child Abuse Survivors
As a victim of child abuse who proved my claims in a landmark civil suit, there have been many attempts to silence and discredit me. This article provides an overview of my court case and its effects.
DOI: 10.1207/s15327019eb0802_3 Jennifer Hoult pages 125-140
Ralph Underwager….Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Anna Salter, Et Al., Defendants-Appellees., 22 F.3d 730 (7th Cir. 1994) http://vlex.com/vid/36092881
Media and Information
Originally published in Moving Forward, Volume 3, No. 3, pp 1, 12-21, 1995. The Highly Misleading Truth and Responsibility in Mental Health Practices Act: The “False Memory” Movement’s Remedy for a Nonexistent Problem by Judith M. Simon “Over the past few years, the “false memory” movement has manifested primarily as a media presence that discounts sexual abuse survivors as first-hand witnesses to their own experiences.” http://web.archive.org/web/20050906011329/http://members.aol.com/conch8/antiTRMP1.html
False memory syndrome proponents tactics – False memory syndrome proponents have done the following to try and ensure that only their point of view is in the public view. Harassing debate opponents, misrepresenting the data in the field and controlling the media.
U-Turn on Memory Lane by Mike Stanton – Columbia Journalism Review – July/August 1997
“Rarely has such a strange and little-understood organization had such a profound effect on media coverage of such a controversial matter.” http://web.archive.org/web/20071216011151/http://backissues.cjrarchives.org/year/97/4/memory.asp
Confessions of a Whistle-Blower: Lessons Learned Author: Anna C. Salter DOI: 10.1207/s15327019eb0802_2 Ethics & Behavior, Volume 8, Issue 2 June 1998 , pages 115 – 124
Calof, D.L. (1998). Notes from a practice under siege: Harassment, defamation, and intimidation in the name of science, Ethics and Behavior, 8(2) pp. 161-187. http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/notes-from-a-practice-under-siege/
Disinformation and DID: the Politics of Memory Brian Moss, MA, MFT
Recovered Memories of Child Abuse: Accuracy and Veracity, 110 Corroborated Cases of Recovered Memory
November 4, 2014 Comments Off on Recovered Memories of Child Abuse: Accuracy and Veracity, 110 Corroborated Cases of Recovered Memory
110 Corroborated Cases of Recovered Memory:
53 Cases from Legal Proceedings
25 Clinical Cases and other Academic/Scientific Case Studies
33 Other Corroborated Cases of Recovered Memory
Recovered Memories of Sexual Abuse Scientific Research & Scholarly Resources
Amnesia for childhood sexual abuse is a condition.
The existence of this condition is beyond dispute.
Repression is merely one explanation
– often a confusing and misleading one –
for what causes the condition of amnesia.
Some people sexually abused in childhood
will have periods of amnesia for their abuse,
followed by experiences of delayed recall.
Research on the Effect of Trauma on Memory
Research has shown that traumatized individuals respond by using a variety of psychological mechanisms. One of the most common means of dealing with the pain is to try and push it out of awareness. Some label the phenomenon of the process whereby the mind avoids conscious acknowledgment of traumatic experiences as dissociative amnesia . Others use terms such as repression , dissociative state , traumatic amnesia, psychogenic shock, or motivated forgetting . Semantics aside, there is near-universal scientific acceptance of the fact that the mind is capable of avoiding conscious recall of traumatic experiences.
What about Recovered Memories?
Jennifer J. Freyd, University of Oregon
The Recovered Memory Project
Research discussing corroboration and accuracy of recovered memories
Recovered memory corroboration rates
“Between 31 and 64 percent of abuse survivors in six major studies reported that they forgot “some of the abuse.” Numbers reporting severe amnesia ranged from under 12% to 59%….Studies report 50-75% of abuse survivors corroborating the facts of their abuse through an outside source.”
Memory disturbances and dissociative amnesia in Holocaust survivors http://blogs.brown.edu/recoveredmemory/scholarly-resources/holocaust/
The following articles provide compelling scientific evidence in support of the phenomena of dissociation and recovered memory in Holocaust survivors.
Recovered Memory Data
Recovered Memories – Child Abuse Wiki
Recovered memories have been defined as the phenomenon of partially or fully losing parts of memories of traumatic events, and then later recovering part or all of the memories into conscious awareness. They have also been defined as the recollections of memories that are believed to have been unavailable for a certain period of time. There is very strong scientific evidence that recovered memories exist. This has been shown in many scientific studies. The content of recovered memories have fairly high corroboration rates.
There are many studies that have proven that the recovered memories of traumatic events exist. Brown, Scheflin and Hammond found 43 studies that showed recovered memories for traumatic events. The Recovered Memory Project has collected 101 corroborated cases of recovered memories. Hopper’s research shows that amnesia for childhood sexual abuse is “beyond dispute.” He states that “at least 10% of people sexually abused in childhood will have periods of complete amnesia for their abuse, followed by experiences of delayed recall”  In one study of women with previously documented histories of sexual abuse, 38% of the women did not remember the abuse that had happened 17 years before. Most recovered memories either precede therapy or the use of memory recovery techniques. One studied showed that five out of 19 women with histories of familial sexual abuse either forgot specific details or had “blank periods” for these memories. Another study showed that “40% reported a period of forgetting some or all of the abuse”. Herman and Harvey’s study showed that 16% of abuse survivors had “complete amnesia followed by delayed recall”. Corwin’s individual case study provides evidence of the existence of recovered memories on videotape.
Other researchers state:
Research has shown that traumatized individuals respond by using a variety of psychological mechanisms. One of the most common means of dealing with the pain is to try and push it out of awareness. Some label the phenomenon of the process whereby the mind avoids conscious acknowledgment of traumatic experiences as dissociative amnesia. Others use terms such as repression, dissociative state, traumatic amnesia, psychogenic shock, or motivated forgetting. Semantics aside, there is near-universal scientific acceptance of the fact that the mind is capable of avoiding conscious recall of traumatic experiences.
A body of empirical evidence indicates that it is common for abused children to reach adulthood without conscious awareness of the trauma
There is scientific evidence in support of the phenomena of dissociation and recovered memory in Holocaust survivors.                      
Many studies show high corroboration rates for recovered memories of traumatic events. These rates vary from 50 – 75%, 64%, 77%, 50%, 75% 68% 47%, and 70% . One study showed amnesia in 12 murderers, with “objective evidence of severe abuse…obtained in 11 cases”. There are also additional studies showing the corroboration of recovered memories.
excerpt used with permission from http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Recovered_Memories
Ariel Castro’s home to be demolished, Rolf Harris faces new Yewtree sex offences allegations, Sister of mystery man with amnesia says family had no idea where he was
August 7, 2013 Comments Off on Ariel Castro’s home to be demolished, Rolf Harris faces new Yewtree sex offences allegations, Sister of mystery man with amnesia says family had no idea where he was
Ariel Castro’s home to be demolished Wednesday
Jennifer Lindgren, WKYC-TV, Cleveland August 6, 2013
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland home where Ariel Castro held three young women for more than a decade will be begin to be demolished Wednesday morning. The demolition comes less than a week after he was sentenced.
After Ariel Castro’s sentencing last week, Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Prosecutor Tim McGinty said the plan was to raze the house as soon as possible.
Castro, who was sentenced to life, plus 1,000 years, without the possibility of parole repeatedly denied during his sentencing that he had tortured Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight after he kidnapped them between 2002 to 2004, holding them captive in his home until Berry managed to escape and alert a neighbor May 6.
Castro, 53, pleaded guilty to 937 charges, including aggravated murder, rape and kidnapping, to avoid the death penalty.
The house on Seymour Avenue is not only condemned, it represents the horrors the three survivors faced for 10 years….
Rolf Harris faces new Yewtree sex offences allegations
Rolf Harris Rolf Harris has been a fixture on British TV screens for more than 40 years 5 August 2013
Australian entertainer Rolf Harris has been re-arrested by police over further allegations of sexual offences.
He was first arrested in March by officers from Operation Yewtree, set up after claims of sex abuse were made against BBC presenter Jimmy Savile.
His arrests are not connected to the Savile investigation.
The Metropolitan Police said an 83-year-old had been “further arrested in connection with further allegations”, and rebailed until later in August.
Operation Yewtree was set up following the death of Savile in 2011, when hundreds of sex abuse allegations came to light.
The Met Police have not named Mr Harris, instead describing him as Yewtree 5.
He has been a fixture on British TV screens for more than 40 years, having arrived in the UK from his native Australia in 1952.
Sister of mystery man with amnesia says family had no idea where he was
16 Jul 2013
By Andrew Rafferty, Staff Writer, NBC News
A mysterious Florida man who awoke in a California hotel room with no recollection of his past has a sister, it was revealed Tuesday— and she says she hasn’t seen her brother in about 10 years and did not know if he was alive or dead.
Michael Boatwright, 61, was found unconscious in a Motel 6 room in Palm Springs, Cali. four months ago. When he regained consciousness, he called himself John Ek and, bizarrely, spoke only Swedish, The Desert Sun reported.
The newspaper was able to track down Michelle Brewer, Boatwright’s sister, in Louisiana. She said she and her family had no idea where her brother was and had no way to get in touch with him.
“He’s always been just a wanderer. Then he’d come back when he needed some money or something from somebody. Then he’d take off again,” Brewer told the Sun.
Authorities have struggled to piece together the story of the mystery man….
Doctors diagnosed Boatwright with Transient Global Amnesia in March. The condition can last for several months and is often triggered by trauma. It was unclear what, if any, trauma Boatwright may have experienced.
Friends told the Desert Sun that Boatwright was raised in Florida and first visited Sweden in 1981.
While there he fell in love with Ewa Espling, who told the newspaper that the two had planned to marry but that Boatwright was haunted by nightmares of what he saw during the Vietnam War….
Kim Noble – Mom with Over 20 Different Personalities on Anderson Cooper – Wednesday, January 2, 2013
January 2, 2013 Comments Off on Kim Noble – Mom with Over 20 Different Personalities on Anderson Cooper – Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Kim Noble – Mom with Over 20 Different Personalities on Anderson Cooper – Wednesday, January 2, 2013
DAYTIME EXCLUSIVE: Mom with Over 20 Different Personalities: A mom living with over 20 personalities, including a man, a teenage boy, and a bulimic, breaks her silence about her struggle. http://www.andersoncooper.com/episodes/carmen-electra-jorge-cruise-2013-resolution-solutions-best-3-moves-to-lose-your-belly-fat-for-good-exclusive-a-mom-with-over-20-personalities/
Kim Noble is a woman who, from the age of 14 years, spent 20 years in and out of hospital until she made contact with Dr Valerie Sinason and Dr Rob Hale at the Tavistock and Portman Clinics. In 1995 she began therapy and was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (originally named multiple personality disorder). D.I.D is a creative way to cope with unbearable pain. The main personality splits into several parts with dissociative or amnesic barriers between them. It used to be a controversial disorder but Kim has had extensive tests over 2 years by leading psychology professor at UCL, John Morton, who has established there is no memory between the personalities. http://www.kimnoble.com/
August 18, 2012 Comments Off on Lawyer doesn’t remember stealing paintings – Dissociative Amnesia
Lawyer doesn’t remember stealing paintings Thu Aug 16, 2012
Michael Gerard Sullivan, 54, has pleaded guilty to stealing two paintings from the Katoomba Fine Art Gallery in December 2008….CCTV vision clearly shows Mr Sullivan stealing two James Willebrant paintings between courses.
During his court case Mr Sullivan’s lawyers tendered two psychiatric reports which concluded he had dissociative amnesia and his actions were totally out of character.
The court heard the disorder caused him to take on the identity of an art thief and not remember his actions
Judge Jennifer English accepted the diagnosis, saying Mr Sullivan had previously lived an exemplary life.
She did not record a conviction.
The Lawyer Who Forgot He Was a Thief
August 16, 2012 By Joe Palazzolo
Michael Gerard Sullivan, a lawyer in Sydney, Australia, was dining one night in 2008 at an art gallery restaurant when, according to the security cameras that recorded him, he excused himself between courses and stole two paintings worth $14,500.
Mr. Sullivan, who previously worked at some of the country’s top firms – including Freehills, Gadens and Mallesons (now King & Wood Mallesons after a big merger earlier this year) – pleaded guilty, with one caveat: He said he didn’t remember committing the crime….
The psychiatrists said Mr. Sullivan, who faced up to seven years in jail, was playing the character of an art thief. Australia’s ABC News reported Thursday that Judge English accepted Mr. Sullivan’s defense.
Judge English dismissed the charges but placed Mr. Sullivan on a two-year good behavior bond, saying he had lived an otherwise exemplary life, according to the ABC report.
The Cleveland Clinic, by the way, describes dissociative amnesia thus:
Dissociative amnesia occurs when a person blocks out certain information, usually associated with a stressful or traumatic event, leaving him or her unable to remember important personal information. With this disorder, the degree of memory loss goes beyond normal forgetfulness and includes gaps in memory for long periods of time or of memories involving the traumatic event.
July 14, 2012 Comments Off on Sandusky inquiry remains very active, Survivorship Webinar “From Fragmentation to Integration”
Sandusky inquiry remains ‘very active’
By Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY 7/13/12
Pennsylvania prosecutors are developing “new information” in their continuing investigation into former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and how the university handled the initial allegations against the now-convicted pedophile, a spokesman for the state attorney general said Friday.
Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman for Attorney General Linda Kelly, described the inquiry as “very active” after Thursday’s release of a scathing internal investigation of the university headed by Louis Freeh. The former FBI director found that top Penn State officials concealed information related to Sandusky’s abuse of children dating back to 1998.
Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse last month and is in a central Pennsylvania jail awaiting formal sentencing.
Some of the information being reviewed by prosecutors, according to court documents filed in a Harrisburg court last month, are e-mails and other correspondence that reference an incident in 1998 in which Sandusky was accused of sexually abusing a boy in a university shower-room. The correspondence, which references communication involving university President Graham Spanier, Athletic Director Tim Curley, now on leave, retired university vice president Gary Schultz and head football coach Joe Paterno, was only recently turned over to prosecutors, according to court papers.
Some of the information was turned over to prosecutors by investigators working for Freeh. The cache includes e-mail references to Paterno’s apparent knowledge of the incident in 1998. That information was not available to prosecutors when Paterno told a grand jury he was not aware of any allegations of misconduct involving Sandusky apart from an incident in 2001, when Paterno was told by football assistant Michael McQueary that Sandusky was involved in sexual activity with a young boy in a university shower-room….
Frederiksen declined to elaborate on the focus of the criminal inquiry, but he said Freeh’s report “reinforces our findings that there was an effort by top administrators at Penn State to conceal the truth.”….
Attorneys for Spanier, Curley and Schultz have challenged Freeh’s report, saying their clients did not conceal information about Sandusky’s activities. Paterno’s son, Jay, said Freeh’s conclusions were based on “incomplete information.” “Joe did not cover up for Jerry Sandusky or conceal information,” the son said.
Survivorship Webinar “From Fragmentation to Integration” Dr. Cathy Kezelman Saturday, June 16 3 pm Pacific Time –
This webinar will depict my personal psychotherapeutic journey to explore the process of recovery from an extreme dissociative state, which was characterised by a complete amnesia for 10 years of my childhood and fragmentation of my self onto integration and recovery. Despite my therapist providing a safe reliable and contained space it took me a long time to trust her or appreciate that she could keep me in mind. She was empathic, compassionate and skilled and the relationship we developed was core to my survival and my recovery. Over years she bore witness to the dissociated fragments of trauma returning to my consciousness and the intense emotions which were overwhelming me. Through a committed analytical psychotherapeutic process she guided me from terror and confusion through chaos and onto acceptance and understanding.