Echoes of Orkney? Unstructured Therapeutic Disclosure (UTD) is Causing Concern in VIP Sex Scandal
Today’s topic is a very serious one and has the potential to polarise. As a teacher of hypno-psychotherapists and hypnotherapists, one of the key things I drive home is that certain techniques we use (regression to cause being the most prominent example) there is a risk of implanting false memories in the client if the language used is not “clean” and that we must take special care that those vulnerable people we work with do not get led down a particular line of thought because the therapist inadvertently leads them there.
You would have to have had your head in the sand if you were not aware of the massive media coverage on the subject of potential, historical abuse committed by the great and good of this country who were protected by the fact that they were part of the “establishment”. Is this possible, absolutely, child abuse, a topic that most people do not want to discuss down the pub with their mates, is far more rampant than most people would like to admit. It is right and proper that cases of historical abuse be brought into the light and the perpetrators be punished and the victims consoled and heard.
Unfortunately, it appears that one of the “therapeutic approaches” being used to “support” some of the alleged victims of these heinous crimes is an approach which no proper evidence base, which even to a layman, would seem to foster the idea of abuse in the mind of the client. This approach is called Unstructured Therapeutic Disclosure (UTD). The simple explanation of the approach is that the therapist discloses to the client their own experience with abuse in the hopes that this will make it easier for the client to disclose information about their abuse.
Any therapist knows that the more we disclose about ourselves to clients, the more likely it is for the client to match our experiences, if for no other reason other than to be accepted by the therapist on a human level. For those of use who were around during the Satanic abuse scandal of the 1990’s in Orkney, can easily remember how well meaning, though inept therapeutic interventions can cause real damage to vulnerable people who already have difficulties, by adding a dynamic which simply does not exist by creating false memories.
It is my profound hope, as both a therapist and a human being, that those who are guilty of heinous crimes against children are brought to justice (no matter how important they might/may have been) and that the sufferers are supported in the best way possible. I DO NOT want to see people traumatised by the actions of well meaning people practising an approach without any real evidence to its efficacy.