WARNING: Hypnosis Can Be Hazardous to Your Mental Health! Protect Yourself!
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"The evidence shows that memories of events which did not in fact occur may develop and be held with total conviction. Such memories commonly develop under the influence of individuals or situations which encourage he development of strong beliefs .... Psychiatrists are advised to avoid engaging in any 'memory recovery techniques' which are based upon the expectation of past sexual abuse of which the patient has no memory. Such 'memory recovery techniques' may include drug-mediated interviews, hypnosis, regression therapies, guided imagery, 'body memories', literal dream interpretation and journaling .... Techniques of regression therapy including 'age regression' and hypnotic regression are of unproven effectiveness." -- "Reported Recovered Memories of Child Sexual Abuse: Recommendations for Good Practice", Report of Royal College of Psychiatrists' Working Group on Reported Recovered Memories of Child Sexual Abuse, Fall 1997

Welcome to David Calof's speech at the Exploratorium on the topic of hypnosis and memory! WARNING: Treat this speech and any statements Calof makes with skepticism; take nothing on faith. Ask him what the known risks of hypnosis are. Ask him whether therapy techniques he advocates have been tested for safety and effectiveness in controlled scientific studies. Ask him for peer-reviewed scientific journal articles to support each statement he makes. Ask him what his qualifications to speak on the topics of hypnosis and memory are. Ask him what academic degrees he has and what institutions he received them from.

If you would like to judge for yourself David Calof's qualifications and knowledge about hypnosis and therapy, read the transcript of his recent court deposition which can be found online at the URL  ftp://ftp.calweb.com/users/j/jmprice/calof-deposition
 
Point: Counterpoint:
Hypnosis can "reverse long term 
amnesia and restore lost memory." 
-- statement in the notice on the 
Exploratorium web page at http://www.exploratorium.edu/
events/august_98.html 
advertising David Calof's 
speech today
"Contrary to what is generally believed by the public, recollections obtained during hypnosis not only fail to be more accurate but actually appear to be generally less reliable than nonhypnotic recall." -- "Scientific Status of Refreshing Recollection by the Use of Hypnosis," American Medical Associationís Council on Scientific Affairs, 1985 

"There is no evidence that the use of consciousness-altering techniques, such as drug-mediated interviews or hypnosis, can reveal or accurately elaborate factual information about any past experiences including childhood sexual abuse." -- Royal College of Psychiatrists, U.K., 1997 

 
Quotes from a Past Speech by David Calof

"For example, we're finding a lot of undiagnosed, unrecovered multiples in nursing homes. Well, don't ever let me hear about any of you doing abreactive work with an eighty-six year old person. It's just not the thing to do. I learned the hard way. One of my multiples had a stroke during an abreaction.  Fortunately, she recovered from it but it sure makes a point to me about considering constitutional issues."

 
"Which is my point that I made this morning. That when you tell these stories, the fact that they sound incredible virtually is the proof of them."
 -- both quotes from David Calof, February 5-7, 1993, Anaheim, CA  Tape, F113-3, Presentation at Advances in Treating Survivors of Sexual Abuse, quoted in the 1 January 1996 False Memory Syndrome Foundation Newsletter

Quotes from Doctors and Professional Organizations Regarding Memory

"Numerous studies in children (Terr, 1983; Malmquist, 1986; Pynoos & Nader, 1989) and adults (Leopold & Dillon, 1963) have shown that psychologically traumatic events are vividly though not always accurately recalled and are frequently followed by intrusive recollections in one form or another. The problem following most forms of trauma is an inability to forget, rather than a complete expulsion from awareness, and amnesia for violent events is rare." -- Sydney Brandon, M.D., et al, "Recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse: implications for clinical practice," British Journal of Psychiatry, April 98, p. 300

"Most people who were sexually abused as children remember all or part of what happened to them." -- Interim Report of the American Psychological Association Working Group on Investigation of Memories of Childhood Abuse

Quotes Regarding Hypnosis from the AMA Council on Scientific Affairs

"Forceful or persuasive interviewing techniques are not acceptable in psychiatric practice. Doctors should be aware that patients are susceptible to subtle suggestions and reinforcements whether these communications are intended or unintended." -- "Reported Recovered Memories of Child Sexual Abuse: Recommendations for Good Practice", Report of Royal College of Psychiatrists' Working Group on Reported Recovered Memories of Child Sexual Abuse

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