By Hans TenDam
Published in the Journal of Regression Therapy, 1999
The False Memory Syndrome is a bogeyman hindering the acceptance of our profession. It has been discovered that clients who relived graphically sexual abuse by a parent when they were very young, remembered something that did not happen. It has led to court cases and negative publicity. It sometimes leads also to extra work for us. I have had several clients utterly shaken because of the false accusations of a daughter. The therapist or psychiatrist involved worsened things by prohibiting the daughter to have contact with her denying parents anymore. If memories from childhood may be false, memories from previous life must be much more unreliable even. Though I cannot prove it, I’m pretty sure this reasoning is rubbish. Let me explain why this is most probably so.
False memories exist, but they don’t have the character of a syndrome. This is just added to make it sound like it is a professional diagnosis, as if people talking in this way know what they are talking about. They don’t. Let us assume for the moment that 20% of all hypnotherapists and regression therapists use past-life therapy, that is, accept experiences from apparent previous lives as at least therapeutically valid. What is the percentage of therapists involved in false memory cases that are past-life therapists? I would not be surprised if that percentage would be nearer to 2% than to 20%. Read more