To: MIT.EDU!WITCHHUNT Date: Wed, 30 Nov 1994 16:34:00 -0800 November 30, 1994 American Ass

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From:!!melody.gavigan (Melody Gavigan) To: MIT.EDU!WITCHHUNT Date: Wed, 30 Nov 1994 16:34:00 -0800 November 30, 1994 American Association of Marriage & Family Therapists 1100 17 St. NW 10 Floor Washington, D.C. 20036 FAX # (202) 223-2329 Re: Continuing Education Credit Approval for John Bradshaw seminars Dear Sir or Madam: I believe that your organization has given approval for Continuing Education Credits to therapists for the following John Bradshaw seminars: December 1-4 White Plains, New York December 8-11 Boston, MA. I am interested in finding out what your standards and criteria for approval are. Are you aware, for instance, that in John Bradshaw's brochure of upcoming events, it is stated that his lectures cover the following topics: "Reclaiming Your Infant Self: How unfulfilled infancy needs can affect adult life" (Is it the Association's position that it is possible to retrieve accurate memories from infancy?) and, "Supplying unmet childhood needs by choosing a new "family of choice" (Isn't the goal of family therapy to bring a family together, rather than to discard and replace the family because of a few selfish unmet "childhood needs"?) The brochure also states that Mr. Bradshaw uses "group exercises to help access childhood memories" for the goal of "recovery, uncovery, and discovery." I have been to several of Mr. Bradshaw's seminars and he utilizes hypnosis in the form of guided imagery exercises, and left-hand dominant writing to access "repressed memories" of familial abuse. The American Medical Association has issued a statement saying that such memory retrieval methods are "fraught with potential misapplication." Mr. Bradshaw does not offer a disclaimer that such exercises are likely to produce imaginative scenes as well as real memories, and I have had occasion to come into contact with several women who have come away from his seminars suddenly and erroneously believing that they had been traumatically sexually abused by their father at an early age and "repressed" the memory. This was usually "validated" at the seminar by one of Bradshaw's roving therapists. I consider this psychological abuse of the worst kind. My own experience with Mr. Bradshaw's books, tapes, and seminars has been a similarly destructive one - destructive to both my own mental health and to my family. After my own California licensed Marriage and Family Therapist exposed me to Bradshaw's writings and speeches, I believed for a time that I came from a sexually abusive and thoroughly "dysfunctional family" and following his probably sincere but very misleading advice, sought to discard and replace them with a "family of choice." Would you have this be the goal of therapy for your licensed Marriage and Family practitioners? It seems that Mr. Bradshaw is doing many things to alienate family members from each other, so why would your organization approve continuing education for family therapists who will go out and do the same thing? Why are you approving educational credits for a "pop psychologist" anyway, rather than helping to further more scientific applications in the field? Why propagate harmful therapy in the name of education?


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