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Therapists' Attitudes and Practices
DID/Trauma/Memory Reference List
Therapists' Attitudes and Practices

Andrews, B, Morton, J, Bekerian, DA, Brewin, CR, Davies, GM, & Mollon, P. (May, 1995). The recovery of memories in clinical practice: Experiences and beliefs of British Psychological Society Practitioners. The Psychologist, 209-214. 
Dammeyer, MD, Nightingale, NN, & McCoy, ML (1997). Repressed memory and other controversial origins of sexual abuse allegations: Beliefs among psychologists and clinical social workers. Child Maltreatment, 2(3), 252-263.
110 PhD experiemental psychologists, 111 PhD clinical psychologists, 105 PsyD psychologists, and 72 MSWs participated in the study to assess beliefs about repressed memory. Clinicians expressed more confidence that such memories can and do exist than experimental psychologists. No differences were found between clinicians with different types of academic training. 58% of PhD clinicians, 71% of PsyDs, and 60% of MSWs endorsed a firm belief in repressed memory.

Dell, PF (1988). Professional skepticism about multiple personality. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 176, 528-531.

Dunn, GE, Paolo, AM, Ryann, JJ, & van Fleet, JN. (1994). Belief in the existence of multiple personality disorder among psychologists and psychiatrists. Journal of Clinical and Consulting Psychology, 50, 454-457.

Feldman-Summers, S, & Pope, KS. (1994). The experience of "forgetting" childhood abuse: A national survey of psychologists. Journal of Clinical and Consulting Psychology, 62, 636-639.  

Feldman-Summers, S. & Pope, KS (1995). Recovered memories of abuse among therapy patients: A national survey. Ethics and Behavior, 5(3), 237-248.
Survey of 205 female and 173 male psychologists found that 73% had a least 1 patient who claimed to recover previously forgotten memories of childhood sexual abuse. 8-9 patients out of every thousand. About half of those who recovered memory found external validation.
Hayes, JA, & Mitchell, JC. (1994). Mental health professionals' skepticism about multiple personality disorder. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 25, 410-415.
Study on accuracy of diagnosis. Clinicians, including psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers, were given vignettes of schizophrenic and DID patients. Accurate diagnosis of DID was made by only 21.9% of clinicians. There was only 1 false positive diagnosis of DID. 79.1% missed the diagnosis. Skepticism and lack of knowledge of DID was measured and both predicted DID diagnostic inaccuracy. Supports the claim that DID is seriously underdiagnosed.
This study is similar to the one done by Ford & Wideiger (1989), who gave clinicians cases of antisocial and histrionic personality disorders, and assigned patient sex to the cases. Therapists, regardless of which case they had been given, generally assigned males to antisocial PD and females to histrionic PD. The authors demonstrated it was the therapist's own biases, stereotypes, and preconceptions that were at fault.
Mai, F. (1995). Psychiatrists' attitudes to multiple personality disorder: A questionnaire study. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 40, 154-157.
71% "believed" in diagnosis; 29% skeptical.

McMinn, MR, & Wade, NG (1995). Beliefs about the prevalence of dissociative identity disorder, sexual abuse, and ritual abuse among religious and nonreligious therapists. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 26 (3), 257-261.  

Polusny, MA, & Follette, VM. (1996). Remembering child sexual abuse: A national survey of psychologists' clinical practices, beliefs, and personal experiences. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 27, 41-52.
223 psychologists in a national survey. 25% reported using guided imagery, dream interpretation, and bibliotherapy in regards to sexual abuse, referral to abuse groups, and free association of childhood memories. However, the majority of therapists reported they had not seen any cases of adult clients entering therapy with no memory of CSA and subsequently recovering memory.

Poole, DA, Lindsay, DS, Memon, A, & Bull, R. (1995). Psychotherapy and the recovery of memories of childhood sexual abuse: US and British practitioners' opinions, practices, and experiences. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 63(3), 426-437.  

Tabachnick, BG, & Pope, KS. (1997). Therapist responses to recovered and never-forgotten memories of child sexual abuse. Violence Against Women, 3(4), 348-360.
National survey of 300 female and 300 male licensed psychologists. Participants presented with vignettes in which a 14-year-old girl told a therapist that her father had sexually abuse from for a year at a specific age (either 2 or 8), that she either had or had not forgotten the abuse, and that the therapist is the first one that she has told. The age at which the alleged abuse occurred and the therapist's age produced significant effects on evaluations of credibility, as did an interaction of the therapist's sex and theoretical orientation.

Yapko, MD (1994). Suggestibility and repressed memories of abuse: A survey of psychotherapist's beliefs. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 36(3), 163-171.


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