A MIDDLE GROUND : Mediation or Reconciliation?

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Measures & Links


Project Middle Ground was started in America by Dr Paul Simpson a therapist who wrote Second Thoughts: Understanding the false memory crisis and how it could affect you. Click on the link to see useful reviews at Amazon.

Perhaps Dr Simpson's experiences, or his approach of working with families involved in the controversy are not directly applicable in the UK, but that does not mean there may not be an approach that suits our culture better.

Various academics at UK universities have written papers about bridging what might seem an impossible divide. Sadly people tend to fight a particular corner, but Dr Simpson showed that it is possible to try for a middle ground, with some considerable effect. Type into Google for the UK:

middle ground false memories

BOOKS: Several books shedding light on how some misunderstandings could have arisen have been written in America since 1995. It seems a pity to let all of that, plus what has been achieved in the UK, remain unattended for the most part. For ease of reference see the page for Books and Weblinks

Justice for Carol website
Also see the Links page there

Memory Distortion website
Site by Maxine Berry with useful Links and info


All it really needs is for someone involved in these practices to spell out the 'spells', to tell us honestly what is done and why, and what can be done. It could be done like The Masked Magician on TV so no-one would know their ID.


'Users and Abusers of Psychiatry: A Critical Look at Psychiatric Practice' by Lucy Johnstone:
Using real-life examples and her own experience as a clinical psychologist, Lucy Johnstone argues that the traditional way of treating mental illness can often exacerbate people's original difficulties leaving them powerless, disabled and distressed.

In this completely revised and updated second edition, she draws on a range of evidence to present a very different understanding of psychiatric breakdown than that found in standard medical textbooks.


Bad Therapy

TELL - Therapy Exploitation Link Line
Useful advice and resources at www.therapyabuse.org

Short essays on issues of interest to victims/survivors of emotional and sexual abuse by psychotherapists and other health care professionals.at www.therapyabuse.org/topics.htm


VEX organisation for support, info and links at http://website.lineone.net/~vex/


More links are on the Mediation page on this Site

If you can't watch videos, most of the relevant information can be found via the Links
YouTube Videos plus others at http://www.youtube.com/user/middlegroundable
- Mediation, Conflict, Trauma www.youtube.com/user/middlegroundable#grid/user/52C862BEAA7C979F

Finding Middle Ground

Ostracism, Rejection, Blamed?



Mediation - More Harm Than Good?

It would be good to think that a responsible mediator, counsellor or impartial observer working with parties involved in a dispute or misunderstanding would be helpful in a reasonable proportion of situations.

As one might expect, experts tend to polarise - even in the field of mediation.

When problems relate to personal feelings and family situations, it is not going to be easy. Through watching Neighbours from Hell or being unfortunate yourself, you'll know that neighbours are not always terribly neighbourly - in fact terrible is an apt description.

Regarding allegations of abuse within the family, scroll down to the section on Counselling or Quackery (William Burgoyne) with reconciliation approaches to try from Mark Pendergrast's book Victims of Memory. A search on Google or Amazon will show a range of publications and views on mediation in general, or on specific aspects or approaches.

Narrative mediation sounds as though it could help here. People may also have to learn to accept a big difference in opinion over what actually happened, and to leave some issues in moratorium or a no-man's-land without resolution for the foreseeable future.

See Advice to Parents and Children below and MEDIATION page


Our children - Whose Investment?

Project Caressing: A cause for concern?
See Youtube Playlist on ARK Academies and more specifically 'Children: Whose Investment?' http://www.youtube.com/user/exgenic#grid/user/E0D2E05D8ED7903B

Are people inclined to project their own ideas or wishes onto children, for instance, and promote them as a good idea or experience for children to have? Shouldn't we look at this more, rather than just allow something unwise or unsuitable to get through?

Videos on Youtube channel Cazzac111

Websites for further information



Common Purpose Exposed website
Video link http://www.cpexposed.com/video/?video=

Search on Youtube or Google for Brian Gerrish Common Purpose

Two Videos from the 2010 Survivor Rally in Trafalgar Square below

Books, Web links
Mediation Page
To Beliefs Page

Alter Ego: Alternate Views

This video lists some books offering insights into what makes us tick as we do - sometimes! Everyone is different, and some people change over time more than others. No single approach makes sense for all scenarios or individuals. If we use labels to describe people, they should be helpful for those people in that situation rather than counter-productive. The sad thing about extremes of opinion is that people can easily get hurt or ostracised through no fault of their own.

If you have experience or knowledge that is upsetting, the video is not meant to make things worse. It may be of interest, and could help people to find approaches or ideas that make sense for them. If something does not feel helpful there is nothing to feel ashamed of in steering away from it. It is not a failure on your part. Learn what suits you, be ready to change an approach, or look for things to be doing to help yourself.

The placebo effect seems relevant for whether we get better or how quickly. Does this apply to how convincing a psychotherapist is, or how damaging the wrong emphasis is for some vulnerable people? If you had unsuitable help, perhaps you can gain strength from that in some way.

Since preparing the video, we have come across other material agreeing with some issues, disagreeing with others or providing further information. What makes sense for us is individual, depending on what happens and how we experience it. Areas need to be open to discussion without putting all one's eggs into one ideological basket, or doing things to jeopardise other people's wellbeing or reality.

How we remember things may differ from actual events and many factors are involved. Laboratory experiments on memory are not ideal, but people who have studied memory say we probably don't repress memories to surface later on. Other people think traumatic events get stored differently, or perhaps there are even more types of memory?

This is a difficult subject to raise because of people's painful experiences and the accusations that can follow. When someone is abused they may want to set the record straight and tell people, which is natural. Sometimes the wrong person is accused through confusion over facts or impressions, and their life gets damaged too. Some issues may be straightened out over time but not always.

Core Self, Core Complex, Core Values, Core Beliefs

What is Vital? What DO we Fight for? What Would we Fight for?

These terms mean different things, and they may also be used differently in an attempt to describe what is very basic and important to us as individuals, our very self, our values, what we regard as 'us', 'ours', or our 'territory' - emotional or physical, or even another person.

People get into difficulties, fights or wars over any or all of them. It helps to work out what really relates to us, or to others, where boundaries are, where they probably should be, or where they can get confused.

Readers with a philosophical bent may know of Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist who wrote The Feeling of What Happens describing 3 types of self: a proto-self, a core self and an autobiographical self.

We could have some feelings or emotions without knowing what they are or where they came from. Would we necessarily know why we reacted in a certain way, or did something or wanted something that we cannot now fathom?

Perhaps the best we can do is try to understand why something has gone amiss, in actuality, in memory, or in narrative.

What other aspects could come into play? What needs looking at, leaving alone, or just regarding as inexplicable?



Counselling or Quackery - True or False?

In 2004 William Burgoyne wrote a small but significant book in the UK entitled Counselling or Quackery? outlining 'a personal view of the Therapy Industry and the Therapy Culture that underpins it'.

A number of other writers have written about the general issue of whether counselling or psychotherapy are generally beneficial for people, or may on occasion be harmful, virtually taking them apart under the guise of helping them.

Some people feel that a regulatory system needs putting in place to ensure that standards are kept up, and that people have suitable recourse if they feel something has gone wrong. Others feel that such a system would not necessarily improve the current situation, or would likely send bad practices further underground.

ADVICE to PARENTS and CHILDREN (p.119 Counselling or Quackery?)

William Burgoyne quotes pages 631-637 of Mark Pendergrast's book Victims of Memory (available from Amazon) on some considerations when trying to build trust within families affected by allegations of abuse.

Summaries of chapters from Victims of Memory are online http://markpendergrast.com/victims-of-memory-table-of-contents

Click here for A Summary of Myths and Realities on Memory and Therapy

Also see www.fmsfonline.org/fmsf96.330.html#mediation
appearing in FMS Foundation Newsletter Vol 5 No. 4, April 1, 1996

Meredith Maran has written a book entitled My Lie due for publication on 22 September 2010, available online at Amazon UK and WHSmith, see www.meredithmaran.com/MyLie.htm Psychology Today excerpt, September/October 2010: My Lie
See Guardian article of Saturday 9 October 2010 www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/oct/09/meredith-maran-father-abuse-false-memory


True or False?

In a 1995 book Survivor Psychology: the dark side of a Mental Health mission Susan Smith raises concerns that 'mental health practitioners... are using a system of theory and therapy with common elements identified as survivor psychology. The system is based on myth, superstition, folklore and folk psychology and incorporates powerful persuasion techniques, sales psychology and aggressive therapeutic modalities.'

It would be possible to cite book after book along broadly similar lines, but you can seek them out for yourself and see what you think.

A number of papers have been written by academics at universities in the UK, who have tried to bridge the gap between views that polarise. Views on emotive and personal matters are likely to polarise by their very nature, but it should be possible to get a stage beyond that and move forward from there.

Implicit or explicit in some material on survivors is that a lot more people are getting drawn into a 'helping situation' and being labelled as survivors who need longterm help. Sadly what can happen is they become less able to cope, and may find they are effectively being abused by the very system they relied on for help.

What are we doing? What can we do about it!


Abuse in Therapy or Helping Relationships

Click this link to watch a video on Double Standards in general and how the principles involved may be affecting the sort of help that is on offer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7CwxB6qxtU

More videos are on YouTube theCojent channel


It can take a long while for someone to realise that the person who was meant to be helping them, is actually not helping, or is being controlling or abusive.

Elsewhere 'Doc Matrix' argues that if we don't know our basic rights, the more easily they get eroded - by others who DO know, or who over-ride them anyway!

See 'Doc Matrix' webpage 'Let's Reduce Abuse' with books and links for information and support:

Did you ever watch Videos of so-called holding therapy where adults harangue children with their OWN projections? Here is an article at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebirthing_(attachment_therapy) Note: This form of treatment differs significantly from mainstream attachment-based therapies



Books, Web links
Mediation Page
To Beliefs Page

Mirror Neurons, Cults, Persuasion, Therapy, Help

If we accept that memes or mirror neurons could play a part in religion or beliefs, might cults or movements, or even therapy, operate via a similar mechanism? Are further factors likely to be involved in complex issues?

The placebo effect seems relevant for whether or how quickly we get better. Does this apply to how convincing a psychotherapist is, or how damaging the wrong emphasis is for some vulnerable people who go for help?

Do some therapists seem like cult-leaders, strongly motivated by a belief system - regardless of how relevant or damaging they may be for an individual?

Two books worth looking at, or finding out about!

Making Minds and Madness by Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen
Feet of Clay by Anthony Storr (about Gurus - including Freud and Jung)

Two videos outlining some properties of cults, or even ordinary groups HERE


Links to Playlists on Youtube

Survivors, Safety, Rights, Law http://www.youtube.com/user/survivorway#grid/user/B9223ACB03EC93B3

Videos leading to information for Survivors of various kinds:
Bullying, Domestic violence, Coercion;
Child abuse, Abuse survivors; Sadistic abuse;
Homelessness, Missing from Home;
Con-tricks, Scams, Getting set-up or hustled; 'The Real Hustle';
Consumer information, BBC Watchdog, Rogue Traders;
Ageing, Alzheimer's;
Mental health, MIND;
Citizens' Advice Bureaux, Advice;
United Against Injustice: Miscarriages of Justice;
Liberty: Human rights, Civil liberties;
Your rights & liberties - versions for young people & older people;
Safety online & off; Safety tips for meeting up with someone - Phone a Friend!
Boundaries in therapy

Mirror Neurons, Cults, Placebos, Therapy

Boundaries in Therapy, Regulation

Hypnosis, Abuse, Cults

If you can't watch videos, most of the relevant information can be found via the Links



Visit the False page at http://whorls.angelfire.com for links on:
False confessions, Eye witnesses; Miscarriages of Justice;
Allegations of abuse, Memories; Therapy Culture


Measures & Counter-Measures - links for those in trouble

morning glory

Copyright 2012

A Middle Ground is not affiliated to any organisation or approach:
Material and links appearing may lead towards a wider view, or to something more specific