Satanic Ritual Abuse: Principles of Treatment

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University of Toronto Press, 1995 - Psychology - 228 pages
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In recent years the subject of satanic ritual abuse (SRA) has incited widespread controversy focused primarily on whether or not such abuse actually occurs. Much like child sexual abuse, SRA was initially dismissed as an isolated or even imaginary phenomenon. Although there is increasing evidence that ritual abuse does take place, clinicians working with individual patients cannot be sure whether they are dealing with fact or fantasy. Dr Colin Ross, an expert in the treatment of dissociative disorders, has encountered more than three hundred patients with memories of alleged satanic ritual abuse. In this book, he provides a well-documented discussion of the psychological, social, and historical aspects of SRA and presents principles and techniques for its clinical treatment.

Although Dr Ross has found no evidence of a widespread Satanic network he is open to the possibility that a certain percentage of his patients' memories may be entirely or partially historically accurate. In treatment, he recommends that the therapist adopt an attitude hovering between disbelief and credulous entrapment.

Dr Ross has encountered memories of SRA primarily among people who suffer from multiple personality disorders, and the principles of treatment he outlines here focus on such individuals. Treatment is described in terms of both general principles and specific techniques, with case examples. Ross's recommendation that the same interventions be used regardless of the percentage of memories that are historically accurate bridges the gap between those who adopt a `believer' stance and those who take a false-memory stance.

This is the most detailed and comprehensive account of SRA from a clinical perspective available to date. As reports of SRA continue to escalate, it will be a valuable resource for all practicing therapists and psychiatrists.

  

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Contents

Secret Societies throughout History
5
The Psychology and History of Satan
18
The Malleus Maleficarum and the Catholic Inquisition
34
NonSatanic Cult Activity in North America
47
Five Levels of Satanism
61
Satanism and Multiple Personality Disorder
73
Alternative Hypotheses of Ritual Abuse
90
How to Recognize Satanic Ritual Abuse Survivors
103
General Principles of Survivor Therapy
119
Treatment Techniques for Satanic Ritual Abuse Survivors
145
Extremes of Skepticism and Denial
179
Future Directions
195
Afterword by Elizabeth F Loftus PhD University of Washington
203
REFERENCES
211
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Page 211 - J. (1993) Dissociative processes: Theoretical underpinnings of a working model for clinician and patient. Bulletin of Menninger Clinic, 57(3), 287-308.

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About the author (1995)

COLIN A. ROSS, MD, is Medical Director of the Dissociative Disorders Program at the Charter Behavioral Health System of Dallas, a private psychiatric facility. In 1995 he formed the Colin A. Ross Institute for Psychological Trauma, which provides education, conducts research, and delivers clinical services with a focus on psychological trauma and dissociative disorders. A past president of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation, he is the author of The Osiris Complex: Case Studies in Multiple Personality Disorder, Satanic Ritual Abuse: Principles of Treatment, and Pseudoscience in Biological Psychiatry.

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