Refutation of the disinformation about Monica Pignotti

Posts tagged ‘Thought Field Therapy’

Monica Pignotti and Florida State University: Setting the Record Straight

As detailed in the lead article on this blog, I have been the target of an ongoing internet smear campaign for the past two and a half years, which has included the posting of highly defamatory fabrications about my life and career by individuals who are upset by my expression of concern and criticisms of the claims being made by proponents of certain mental health interventions.  The purpose of this posting is to set the record straight regarding my relationship with Florida State University (FSU). Here are the facts:

  • I attended FSU from 2006 to 2009 as a PhD Student/PhD Candidate..
  • I graduated from FSU with a PhD in 2009.
  • While I was a PhD candidate I was a teaching assistant and also independently taught courses at the College of Social Work to undergraduates.
  • All PhD Social Work Students and Candidates at FSU are paid a set amount every year for their first three years (at the time I was there, it was $12,000 per year, although it may be more currently). In exchange, the student is a research assistant for the first two years and teaches during the third year and in some cases later years for as long as they are a student/candidate.
  • All of my teaching at FSU was done under the above arrangement. I only taught as a PhD Candidate.
  • FSU Social Work has a policy against hiring their own PhD students as tenure track faculty and since priority for non-tenure track is given to existing students, once someone graduates, they do not teach at FSU, not because they were ‘fired’ but because that is the arrangement.
  • I have not been “fired” from FSU.
  • No student ever complained about my teaching. Since FSU is very diligent about giving their instructors feedback, they definitely would have let me know if anyone had.
  • I received acceptable teaching evaluations. Several students commented that they found me highly approachable, easy to talk to, kind, tolerant and open minded. One of the questions on the evaluation asked if the instructor was arrogant and 0% (none) of my students agreed with that statement (I mention this because the lie has repeatedly been posted that my students found me arrogant and dogmatic when precisely the opposite was the case).
  • I never, at any time, was involved in any kind of sexual misconduct whatsoever.
  • I never, at any time made any derogatory remarks about faculty, students or anyone else at FSU.
  • I left FSU in good standing in every way.
  • Since graduating from FSU, I have delivered a number of guest lectures to both Graduate and Undergraduate social work students at FSU, the most recent being two in October 2011. These were lectures that I was invited to give, something that obviously would not have been possible, had I been “fired”.
  • To anyone with a legitimate reason, I can provide references of people I actually worked with at FSU who can verify all of the above.

The following falsehoods have been posted about me and FSU:

  • The lie that I flunked out of FSU. Click here for proof that I graduated.
  • After I presented irrefutable proof from the FSU website that I did, in fact, graduate, the lie was posted that I was allowed to graduate only because FSU was afraid I would sue them. This is ludicrous defamation, not only against me, but also FSU. FSU would never allow someone to graduate out of fear of lawsuit. In fact, PhD students and candidates are evaluated on a yearly basis and FSU has not hesitated to dismiss PhD students or candidates who were not performing up to par. I passed all my evaluations, fulfilled all the requirements ahead of schedule and was the first in my particular cohort to graduate. My transcript, which I will provide to anyone with a legitimate reason for needing to see it, demonstrates that I fully and honestly met all the requirements, including a 3.9 GPA and passing my preliminary examination and dissertation.
  • The additional lie was posted that I graduated and then was “fired”. Again, this is false. All of the teaching I did at FSU was as a PhD candidate. I held no other position at FSU because, as I mentioned above, they have a policy against hiring their own graduates in tenure track positions and give priority to their candidates for all the others, so there are no open slots for graduates to teach there. The fact, verifiable via my references, is that I left FSU in good standing in every way.

The following absurd fabrications were posted about me and FSU. Although absurd and unlikely to be believed, I want to state them here, for the record, just to demonstrate how sick and ugly this smear campaign has gotten. I am not mentioning the names of the faculty members because I do not want to add to the way in which their names have already been denigrated.

  • The lie that I called a faculty member a “bag lady”. I would never call anyone by such a derogatory name.
  • The lie that I denigrated a faculty member for wearing sexy clothing and called her a “tramp”. Again, an absurd lie.
  • The lie that I propositioned two faculty members who are a married couple and that they reported me and had me fired for “voyeurism”. I was not fired and this is a complete fabrication.
  • The lie that I called for the end to the College of Education and that their dean asked to have me “fired”. On the contrary, I hold a certificate in statistics and measurement from the FSU College of Education and have never said anything negative about them.
  • The lie that I “wasted class time” talking about my experiences in Scientology and “time travel”. I have never discussed my experiences in Scientology with any of my classes, nor have I discussed “time travel”.  The only time I have discussed Scientology at all is when I presented some scholarly qualitative research that was done on it, which was a relevant topic of the course being taught.
  • I have also been denigrated by smear campaigners for talking about Thought Field Therapy (TFT). Since I have published research and other peer reviewed articles on TFT, this is a legitimate topic and in fact, I have been invited by faculty members to guest lecture to their classes on TFT and present the research I published in a peer reviewed journal, a controlled study showing no difference between TFT Voice Technology (VT) and a sham VT control group. I also was a guest lecturer, by invitation, to a group of PhD psychology students at SUNY Binghamton. Again, this was all by invitation by people who obviously found my work in that area of enough value to their students to want me to speak to them on that topic and I obliged them. The feedback I received on my presentations was very positive.
  • That I “wasted class time” talking about “being single”. Although I have done no such thing, what I have done is spent time presenting on discrimination and stigmatization against people who are single. Again, I have published research on this topic in a top ranked social work journal. This is a legitimate topic, given that diversity is part of the social work curriculum and in fact, I was invited by one of the FSU faculty members to speak to his diversity class on this topic.

These are the facts about my relationship with FSU. If anyone has further questions, I will be glad to address them.

More Disinformation from Anonymous WordPress Bloggers: This time regarding medical marijuana

Once again, I need to correct the disinformation from the anonymous WordPress bloggers. Ironically, although they have accused me of being a prolific poster and blogger, they are the ones who have erected numerous blogs that appear to have the sole intent of doing whatever they can to smear me as well as any of my colleagues who have been critical of various “attachment” and coercive restraint therapies. The latest is a blog devoted to the topic of marijuana although its very first and thus far, only posting appears to be one that is continuing to spread misinformation about me.

In the blog posting, they jumped to the false conclusion that because I expressed a simple statement of my opinion and position on the issue of the legalization of medical marijuana, that I am an active crusader for this cause, which I am not (perhaps this is wishful thinking on their part that I would switch causes?). While I am in favor of the legalization of medical marijuana (I do not use marijuana myself), that was a simple statement of my position. I am not, nor have I ever been, nor do I plan to engage in any kind of activism regarding that issue. I would suspect that a number of others in the social worker profession are also in favor of the legalization of medical marijuana so the bad news for the anonymous blogger is that I doubt taking such a stance will harm my reputation.

Medical marijuana has been shown to have some positive effects for people who are suffering from nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, so if that helps someone to get through a difficult but lifesaving treatment, namely chemotherapy for cancer, that the person might have otherwise dropped out of, it makes sense to make it legally available. If it can alleviate a person’s suffering who is going through chemotherapy, why not? Legalizing it takes it off the black market and its associated crime and would help ensure that what patients obtained was not adulterated with dangerous additives that some of the illegal street versions have. That’s my opinion, for what it’s worth, but it is not a “cause” I am actively involved in. I already have my hands quite full with the current cause I am involved in, which is exposing potentially harmful and other questionable mental health practices.

Additionally, they repeated the lie that Thought Field Therapy and Voice Technology diagnoses diseases over the telephone. This is false. They have never claimed to diagnose disease. I fully repudiated TFT and VT over 7 years ago, but when I did practice, I bent over backwards to inform my clients, both in writing and verbally that I was NOT diagnosing or treating any diseases.

In TFT and VT, the word “diagnosis” was never intended to mean the diagnosis of disease, not even mental illness. The word “diagnosis” simply means a procedure that is claimed to identify which acupressure points on the body to stimulate. It is most unfortunate that Roger Callahan chose to call it “diagnosis” as it has led to much misunderstanding, but it is very clear what he means by that to anyone who actually reads about TFT. Again, this is also a procedure that I consider bogus pseudoscience, but let’s be accurate. It does not involve the diagnosis of any disease. It is claimed to “diagnose” which acupressure meridians are out of balance or perturbed and since that is what Roger Callahan believes is the root cause of all disturbances. He called it causal diagnosis, meaning diagnosis of perturbations in what Callahan called thought fields, related to meridian points. Yes, I know it is rather confusing and meaningless jargon, but it is not diagnosis of disease.

As for “zeal”, that is a term that would be best used to describe the perpetrators of the ongoing smear campaign against me that has been going on for the past two years, not my own involvement in anything. Even when I was involved in Scientology, I was a rebel, not a zealot. I continually questioned and protested abuse where I saw it and as a result was always getting into trouble. I also continually questioned things I saw with TFT that I did not agree with, much to the annoyance of some of the true believers on their list serv. So much so, that the Callahans eventually kicked me off the list serv. So no, zealot is not accurate. Once again, terms are being applied to me that would best be applied to the internet smear campaigners.

Are people with strange belief systems not of sound mind?

There is a commonly believed myth that people with strange belief systems are always psychotic or not of sound mind in some way. In fact, the research of Richard J. McNally and his team of researchers at Harvard University and others demonstrates that by and large, people with strange belief systems are not psychotic.

McNally and his colleagues studied people who believed they had been abducted by aliens. Some even had the delusion that they had been taken up to spaceships, medically examined, and impregnated by aliens. Understandably, people uninformed in this area would make the assumption that such people had to be psychotic. However, when McNally and his team performed an extensive battery of psychological and psychiatric testing, they found that the vast majority were not psychotic and their mental health pathology was no different from a comparison group of normals who were subjected to the same tests.

This has implications for people in cults who adopt strange beliefs. Furthermore, the DSM IV-TR excludes a diagnosis of schizophrenia if the delusion is culturally based. If a person, for example, lives full time among Scientologists who have the Scientology belief system, which includes at its most advanced levels, a belief in Xenu and body thetans and incredible past life incidents, that could be considered a cultural belief because Scientology is that person’s culture (note the first four letters of the word). People who leave Scientology, usually drop that belief although there are some Scientologists who leave the organization and continue to affiliate with independent Scientologists who have that belief. Since leaving Scientology, I completely dropped that belief.

UPDATE: In a recent other WordPress blog, an absurd comparison was made that betrays the author’s ignorance about extensive social psychology research on social influence dynamics and techniques. The statement was made that most people laugh when they heard the OT III materials, but I did not. This completely and probably intentionally drops the context in which this belief evolved. If I had heard the OT III materials when I was new to Scientology I too would have laughed it off. I was not introduced to these materials until more than two years after I first became involved with Scientology and by that time was very much a part of the culture and under their social influence. Most people who stick with Scientology and get to OT III do believe it when they see it, not because they are gullible, stupid or kooky people but because they have come under social influence and have gradually accepted the belief system. The fact is that most people who have come under the influence of Scientology’s belief system do not “laugh” when they see the OT III materials. There is a very large body of social psychology research showing that susceptibility to influence techniques has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence, nor doe it mean that the person is in any way mentally ill or odd. Normal, intelligent people, given the right (or the wrong) circumstances can be influenced to believing some very strange things.

If we examine the belief systems of many mainstream religions, if looked at from the perspective of an objective outsider, many of those beliefs could be considered just as strange as those of nonmainstream religions. What makes them not seem strange is that the beliefs are held by millions of people, not their content.

It is a highly stigmatizing myth that people in cults are psychotic. The vast majority are not. In fact, although of course there are tragic exceptions to this, such as Lisa McPherson (who became psychotic long after her initial involvement) people who are truly psychotic usually do not last long in cults because in many cults, they would not be on medication and would not be able to function in the community. Eileen Barker cites a number of studies that dispel the myth that all or even most people in cults are mentally ill. On the contrary, most are not.

People leaving cults, especially those who were in for most of their adult life, have very real challenges adjusting to life in the outside world. Let’s not compound that by stigmatizing them with myths.

My attackers have written that I am “not of sound mind” because of my long-past experience in Scientology, so I thought I would use this as a opportunity to debunk myths and educate people on cults. There is no evidence to support this claim. Since leaving Scientology  in 1976 (which I was in for less than 6 years in the 1970s) I have operated as a high functioning adult with credible mental health professional references, who has held down long-term jobs, and acquired a BA, MSW, and PHD and have never received a diagnosis of psychosis or serious mental illness of any sort.

Similar assertions are made about my experience with TFT. TFT involves the stimulation of acupressure points. Millions of Americans believe in acupuncture/acupressure and in Eastern cultures, belief is even more widespread. The theory of meridians have no scientific basis, but believing in something that has no scientific basis hardly means that someone is mentally unstable. Were that the case, the vast majority of Americans (who surveys show believe in all kinds of unscientific things such as ESP) would have to be diagnosed. If so many believe in ESP, people believing in distance healing is not such a stretch, although VT is claimed to be based on a specific technology, not ESP.

More potentially dangerous than that, are therapists who recommend interventions for children that involve instructing parents to put disobedient children in a prone restraint position. While it is unlikely that these therapists are mentally ill, the intervention, like TFT, has no randomized clinical trials to support its efficacy and according to a 2002 review published review in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry by David M. Day, the theories behind such therapies have virtually no empirical evidence to support them. Day wrote (p. 274):

Second, as stated previously, none of the theories has been subjected to careful and systematic empirical evaluation. To be sure, there is a need for research to assess the propounded theoretical models to determine which are sound and which need to be revised or discarded. For example, Singh et al. (1999) commented that the underlying theory of restraint “is based partly on the unproven assumption that coercive interactions, which impose control through force, effectively reduce an individual’s aggression and lead to more socially acceptable behaviors” (p. 251). Drawing on the work of Patterson (1982), they went on to note that “in fact the opposite occurs” (p. 251), in that restraining children may serve to reinforce the aggressive behavior by fostering the coercive cycle of escalating aversive reactions. Such assumptions need to be carefully examined and revised on the basis of empirical observations. Moreover, there is a paucity of high-quality, methodologically sound research to inform clinical practice.

Rather than personally malign people with whom one disagrees as being psychotic or not of sound mind (which is unlikely to be the case), I find it is more useful to discuss the theories themselves and the degree of  research support for the interventions. In this case, it is sorely lacking. Given that the prime directive in any health/mental health professional code of ethics is to first, do no harm and given the controversy over the safety of restraints, the ethical thing to do would be to refrain from such practices or in a true emergency, which is defined as an immediate (not longer-term) threat of harm, use the least possible restrictive method for as short a time as possible. For example, if a child backs down and promises to be good, there would no longer be what the hospital restraint guidelines would consider an acceptable emergency. Some people believe otherwise, however and unlike my detractors I do not assume that people who disagree with me are mentally unstable. The literature does show, however, that there is very little support for these methods and burden of proof is on the therapists who are using these methods to show they are safe and effective with well designed controlled studies. So far, as Day’s review and several more recent systematic literature reviews have demonstrated, this has not occurred. Note that this is not an argument from “polemics” or authority. This is an argument from evidence or in this case, lack thereof.

Moreover, we, as a society, need to be really careful about labeling people who are different from the mainstream as mentally ill. History has shown that the infamous dictatorships that have done this have not created societies in which any rational, humane, decent person would want to live.

Monica Pignotti: An Objective Account of My Work

Much lip service has been paid to the word “objective”. There have been people who are obviously selectively presenting the most negative parts of my past they can find, while ignoring the rest. I provide the following link, not to toot my own horn, but to provide some balance to the selectively negative and inaccurate misinformation that exists on the internet, written by people who are upset by my scholarly criticisms.

There is, however, an account on the internet of my experience that I do consider objective: When Pseudoscience Takes Hold: in Clinical Psychology: The Saga of Thought Field Therapy (TFT). Read it here. Although this was written by someone who is a Doctoral Candidate at Florida State University, Michael D. Anestis, M.S., he has never met me in person (he is in a different department that is across campus from the one I was in at FSU) and had never even corresponded with me until he contacted me after writing this article about me, so he has no reason to have any sort of favorable bias towards my work or an unfavorable one. Here is an excerpt:

I have two goals for today’s post:

  1. To discuss the impressive (on multiple levels) work of Monica Pignotti. Pignotti not only conducted the only trial to date involving an empirical investigation of TFT components, but also published a remarkably honest description of her journey from a devotion to scientific principles to a time spent as one of the most prominent TFT proponents, and then back to the scientific community.  Furthermore, she published retractions of prior work she had published in which she had made strong claims regarding the efficacy of TFT.  I have never before seen a professional hold her own work up to scrutiny on a public stage in this manner and I find myself remarkably impressed by her actions.
  2. To explain the many flaws in the claims of TFT proponents, while demonstrating the many ways in which it exemplifies the core of pseudoscience.

In accomplishing these goals, it is not my intent to criticize anyone personally or to imply that there is malice involved in the proliferation of TFT.  That being said, it is well within the bounds of this endeavor to openly critique the methods utilized to support the claims of efficacy for TFT and to discuss the dangers of therapeutic modalities that charge excessive sums for training and require that trained individuals keep the specific techniques secret.

And this:

Pignotti’s Journey

There is simply no way I can do justice to this story in a short PBB summary tucked into a larger article on TFT in general, so I hope that you will take the time to read the original article, which was incredibly well-written (see our References page for the full citation).  In short, Pignotti received her master’s in social work (MSW) in the early 1990’s with a strong background in research methods.  At that time, she had every intention of pursuing a Ph.D. in a scientifically-oriented program.  She first heard about TFT through a list serv and immediately attacked it as pseudoscience.  After an extensive exchange with a number of people on the topic, she eventually got in touch with Callahan himself and realized that they shared some common background info (e.g., they both graduates from the University of Michigan) and their conversation turned civil.  Callahan asked Pignotti to try the technique out on herself and she obliged (of course, she was told to keep the methods secret).  Much to her own surprise, when she tried an algorithm for anxiety, her own anxiety immediately disappeared and she felt an “emotional high.”  By her own admission, this experience led Pignotti to stop thinking critically about TFT.  Incredibly complimentary and supportive interactions with Callahan further contributed to this shift in mindset.

Shortly after this experience, she began a meteoric rise in the TFT community.  At her peak in this community, she was the fifth person to ever receive VT training, she was Callahan’s go to person to take phone calls from his clients when he was not available, she was the only person in the US allowed to teach an approved training of TFT Diagnostics, and she had co-written several pieces on TFT.  In the Pignotti (2007) article, she elegantly describes how, even with her impressive research background and education, the promise of TFT was alluring enough to pull her in and lead her away from her training.

Over the course of several years, Pignotti began developing nagging discomforts with particular aspects of TFT.  These discomforts were sometimes met with anger by other TFT proponents and sometimes simply explained away in a manner that would not hold weight in a scientific debate, but which felt compelling in the midst of a saga like this. Eventually, however, her discomfort became strong enough that she felt compelled to collect data on her own, as Callahan refused to engage in such activities along with her.  She randomly assigned clients (n = 66) to receive either Callahan’s algorithms or a completely arbitrary pattern of tapping and found that the two groups exhibited equivalent outcomes.  In other words, Callahan’s specific algorithms had no impact on the outcome.

For a while after conducting this study, Pignotti did nothing with the results.  She was still working through her thoughts with respect to TFT and whether to stay the course with this direction she had chosen in life.  In 2003, Pignotti discovered two books that, ultimately, played a pivotal role in her eventual reversal of her position on TFT: Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology by Scott Lilienfeld, Steven Lynn, and Jeffrey Lohr and Remembering Trauma by Richard McNally.  After reading these books and having a subsequent frank and extended conversation with Dr.McNally, Pignotti found herself at a crossroads that ultimately led her back to her roots.  She had come to realize that the methods used to explain and promote TFT ran completely counter to her scientific ideals and she ceased practicing TFT with clients.  In 2005, she published the results of her study (Pignotti, 2005) and, just recently, she graduated with her Ph.D in social work.

I can not overstate how impressive it is that Pignotti not only wrote the article that details this saga, but also published public retractions of prior work she had written hailing TFT’s efficacy.  Her actions are an impressive display of devotion to the principles of science and the goal of ensuring that misinformation is put in its place, even at her own expense.  In a profession in which many of us are loathe to admit to even our smallest of errors, this represents a stunning and invaluable gesture.

Click here to read the entire article.

Mr. Anestis also wrote an excellent review of another recently published article that I co-authored.

Although, of course, my detractors have tried to argue from authority, make obscene innuendos about my relationship with him when he and I have never even met in person, belittle Mr. Anestis and the article by pointing out that Mike Anestis is a “student” (actually he’s a Doctoral Candidate who will soon be defending his dissertation and will be doing his final predoctoral internship in 2010-11), many people don’t realize what it really means to be “only a student” in clinical doctoral psychology programs in major research one universities such as FSU. These programs are highly competitive to get into in the first place and they have very rigorous standards for completion, in both clinical practice requirements and scholarly research.

Typically, a good PhD clinical psychology program receives from 200-400 applications and only accepts around 6-8 new students each year. There are even very bright students with stellar GPAs, high GRE scores and impressive publications, who cannot get into such programs, so people who do get in, are the proverbial cream of the crop.  One guide for graduate programs in clinical psychology advised people who were having difficulty getting in to consider going to medical school for psychiatry instead, since medical school is easier to get into than a PhD Clinical Psychology program in a good university.

This is very different from PsyD programs in free standing, non-university based professional schools of psychology which, although most are accredited and legitimate, accept many students each year, provided they can pay the tuition and meet minimal requirements. A graduate of such a freestanding PsyD program is no position to trash a PhD candidate such as Mike Anestis, who has completed all his coursework and his dissertation in a highly rigorous program, for both clinical work and scholarly research. This is not to say all PsyD’s are bad, I know some very good ones, but the good ones usually don’t turn up their noses at PhD candidates.

I consider this a highly accurate, fair and objective account of my work, so if people do not care to read my lengthier account, I highly recommend Mike Anestis’ synopsis. The blog contains a number of other highly informative, excellent articles as well.

P.S. To the commenter who perhaps thought she was being helpful by telling me to “get a job”, I have a job and as I always have, I fully support myself.  I do not “talk to myself in comment threads”. I respond to refute the lies that are being spread about me, just as rape victims sometimes choose to fight back. Click here to read more dos and don’ts about what I feel, based on my own experience, is and is not helpful to victims of cyber abuse. At this point, we have no research, so experience of the victims is all we have.

Your assumption that I do nothing but post all day long is incorrect. I do work and in addition to that, I have had two additional articles accepted for publication in the past few months. Your comment is not the least bit helpful to me and only tells me how little most people understand cyber abuse. This only makes me more determined to stand up to my cyber abusers and help the world to understand this very new form of abuse that few people have any clue about. Put yourself in my shoes, get some compassion, and stop blaming the victim. Just because I take time to stand up to cyber abuse does not mean I do nothing else. I work for a living, as always.

Thankfully, not everybody is gullible enough to believe the lies that have been posted about me. Thankfully, there are people in the world who have the intelligence, insight and sensitivity to understand that my standing up to a cyber abuser is a legitimate choice and does not make me crazy and such people, unlike the commenter, appreciate that I am in a situation where I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t. Thankfully, there are people willing to hire me who recognize that I continue to be the stable, dependable worker I have always been who gets the job done and I have been told by several employers I have worked for over the years, that they feel lucky to have me. For those who want to believe the negative propaganda against me, their loss. And again, I am not claiming I am perfect or “unlimited awesome” as one of the cyber punks put it. I am a human being with strengths and weaknesses and here, I am highlighting my strengths in order to provide some balance.

Propaganda Against Monica Pignotti: The Big Picture

In a previous posting (which I have since removed from this blog because it may have been unnecessarily defensive) I made a lengthy point-by-point rebuttal to several aspects of the extensive propaganda campaign against my colleagues and me because we dared to criticize and challenge certain therapists who are delivering what in our opinion is dangerous therapy. The result has been an all-out smear campaign that has consisted of distortions and outright lies by proponents of such therapies.

The latest antics of the propagandists are to dwell and blow out of proportion aspects of my past that I have always been very honest and transparent about, namely my involvement with Thought Field Therapy (TFT). Humorously, this is presented as some kind of major revelation, when it is common knowledge that I completely repudiated six years ago in 2004 and am now known as one of the foremost critics who has more critical publications than any other TFT/VT critic. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop the propagandists from blogging about my past experience with TFT/VT as if it were some startling new revelation when really it is something that I have always been up front and honest about.

If nothing else, this makes a good teaching example of propaganda in action. One of the tactics of propagandists is to take the most negative material they can find and then blow it all out of proportion and present it in a very misleading way. For instance, they take that fact that I worked for a psychologist who practices TFT/VT along with many other approaches between 2001 and 2006, neglecting to mention that I completely stopped doing TFT/VT in 2004 and my work for him between March 2004 and 2006 did not involve the practice of TFT/VT in any way, shape, or form. Even prior to 2004, TFT was only a very small part of the work I did for this psychologist — around 10%. Yet this is completely blown out of proportion and presented as if it were some sort of stunning revelation about me. I would add that although I know nothing at all about his practice since I left in 2006, at the time I was working for him (2001-2006) TFT/VT practice comprised only a very small percentage of his practice. Most of the work he did was administering neuro-psychological testing to children, training parents in behavior modification techniques which have a strong degree of empirical support, and delivering biofeedback sessions. He offered TFT/VT to people but most people did not go for it, at least not during the period I was working for him — again, I don’t know what has happened since then.

Newsflash to my cyber-smearers: People are getting tired of you and many people on the usenet say that they have blocked any postings with my name in the subject header because your smears against me have become tedious and boring to them. This is really getting old. No one cares about my past involvement with TFT except, perhaps current TFT proponents who wish I would go away. I have to add, though, that with a few minor exceptions from true believers, TFT proponents are not responsible for the current large-scale smear campaign against me, which I believe is being conducted by supporters of Ronald Federici and Arthur Becker-Weidman (I concluded this because in some of their postings, they praise these two therapists while slamming me and attack others who have criticized them but have not criticized TFT). Once in awhile a TFT or EFT supporter will jump on their bandwagon, but based on what I’ve had passed along to me, TFT proponents are smart enough to understand that if they engage in nasty attacks on me, it will only make them look bad and they know they have no rebuttal to my criticisms. It is not Roger Callahan’s style to engage in confrontations with people who criticize him — I knew him well and his personality was one that would go to great lengths to avoid interpersonal conflict. Although Callahan’s blog has blocked me from access, the Callahans have made no aggressive moves against me.

In any case, professionals who I deal with on a day-to-day basis are well aware that I have moved on and have a CV full of publications to prove it. What’s likely perceived a threat is that my most recent publications review therapies and theories involving children and have nothing to do with TFT. One department head told me that if I were to take a position on her faculty, that I would be eligible for tenure in three years rather than the usual five years because I have so many publications and this is very unusual. I say this not to brag, but rather to put things into perspective to correct the distortions of the propagandists. That is what objective people see when they look at my CV. The propagandists, however, with an agenda and an axe to grind can see only that which they think will discredit me, but they’re wrong because I have freely admitted to my past mistakes and they have only made me stronger and more aware of such issues. My mistakes have made me a better person with something to teach people because I admitted to and corrected them. But of course propagandists believe that if they repeat something enough, it will be believed — well, at least by the gullible unable to spot propaganda and think critically, it will.

For what these propaganda tactics are designed to distract people from, click here. Instead of addressing the substantive issues I raise, they dwell on past events that have no relevance at all to the issues at hand. Newsflash to the propagandists: You are fooling no one but yourselves. So, shall we have a discussion about whether face-down prone restraints ought to be recommended for parents to use at home on their child or anywhere else, for that matter? That is a current issue because that is what a certain therapist I have criticized is recommending.

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