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Archive for the ‘Monica Pignotti’ Category

As part of a smear campaign against me that has nothing to do with TFT, there has been rumor mongering recently on the internet that I have in some way returned to TFT, simply because I choose to call myself an “Independent Scholar”, a title which has been used by TFT proponent Steven Barger, but also many other people who have nothing whatsoever to do with TFT.

Even though to the best of my knowledge, the people involved in this smear campaign are upset about other therapies I have criticized, not TFT, they are attempting to use my past association with TFT to discredit me and are now making insinuations I have returned to TFT when nothing could be further from the truth. I want to state clearly that I have not returned to TFT. I remain and have remained since March 2004, firm and unwavering in my repudiation of TFT. I have had absolutely no regrets or second thoughts about this since that time and as my upcoming publications will show, I remain a critic of  TFT, which still has not met the burden of proof to support its many, grandiose claims.

Steven Barger certainly has no monopoly on the term “Independent Scholar” and I doubt very much he would claim to.

In point of fact, the term Independent Scholar is used by highly respected scholars such as the social psychologist Carol Tavris who uses the term on her CV under “EMPLOYMENT” from 1976 onward, to describe herself. Dr. Tavris’ usage predates Barger’s usage of the term by decades. I consider the work of Carol Tavris, who is among other things, known as a critic of pseudoscientific practices as well as being a feminist writer, to be highly influential on my current work. I consider the career path she has chosen for herself to be a possible role model for my own post-PhD career path and a possible alternative to obtaining a tenure track faculty position. Given the internet smear campaign I have been subjected to, such a faculty position might no longer be possible, although I still remain open to the possibility of accepting such a faculty appointment, should one be offered to me. In any case, Carol Tavris is a prominent example that one does not have to be affiliated with any faculty in order to be a highly respected scholar and make valuable contributions to the field. In addition to being a highly respected scholar, Dr. Tavris also highly values activism and for that reason, I regard her as a kindred spirit since this combination is quite rare and one I value and aspire to as well.

Also relevant to the topic of this article, Carol Tavris and social psychologist Eliot Aronson recently published a book Mistakes Were Made but Not By Me which discusses the unwillingness of people to admit they have made mistakes and the admission of having made mistakes and willingness to change ones position as an admirable quality to be valued, not something to trash a person for as my detractors have attempted to do with me for changing my mind about Scientology and TFT. This topic is even more important for people who are continuing to practice potentially dangerous therapies for children and parents who are listening to such “professionals” who have failed to update themselves on the latest data on the dangers of techniques such as prone restraints and harsh boot-camp style interventions which I consider to be far more dangerous than any tapping therapy. At least no one has ever been asphyxiated by tapping therapies.

In any case to get back to Barger, who at the time he wrote his response to critics of TFT (I have no idea what his current status is), made his living as a bicycle security guard and possessed no advanced degrees in mental health or mental health credentials of any kind, by his own admission, has nothing to do with my choice to use the title Independent Scholar. Barger’s response to critics is still available on the Callahan’s Thought Field Therapy website. Last I heard from Mr. Barger (which was in 2006), he indicated to me that he was working on writing a response to my Journal of Clinical Psychology retraction article and rejoinder to Callahan’s response to me that he claimed would be a devastating rebuttal to my critique of TFT that he indicated he intended to submit to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, but as far as I know, nothing to date has been published in his name in any peer reviewed journal.

Will I ever again embrace TFT? I consider myself an open-minded skeptic, which means I remain open to actual evidence, but I set the bar very high. The only way I would ever again approve of TFT is if double-blind randomized clinical trials were conducted by people who had no vested interest in the practice of TFT and 1) those trials compared tapping on TFT points to sham points; 2) a wait list no treatment control group was also included; 3) the results showed a both a statistically and a clinically significant difference between the group that received tapping on actual TFT points and the group that received the sham points with the TFT group showing superior results.

Such a study would need to be published in a peer reviewed journal with a decent impact factor and would need to meet all the accepted reporting requirements and include features such as fidelity checks and a full detailed description of how the randomization to treatment and control groups was conducted, as well as a full “intention to treat” analysis for any drop-outs.  The study would also need to have a follow-up period of at least one year and would need to use reliable and valid standardized assessment measures for the condition being addressed, not the SUD as an outcome measure. It would need to be replicated at least once. If such evidence were presented, then I might begin to reconsider my current position. I emphasis begin because what it would take to fully convince me is a full, Cochrane-style meta-analysis that included a systematic review and adhered to all the guidelines for conducting and reporting on meta-analyses, showing that TFT vs. sham points produced large effect sizes of between-group differences.

Note that studies comparing TFT to some kind of other control group such as supportive therapy or something not involving alleged “meridian points” would not be acceptable. The mechanism of action would need to be directly tested by having sham points as the control group. Note that changing ones mind based on evidence is not flip-flopping although to date, no such evidence has been forthcoming even though TFT proponents have had decades now to produce it.

These two peer reviewed published critiques of mine from the Journal of Clinical Psychology, which are highly critical of TFT also illustrate that contrary to what those who would smear me online would like people to believe, my use of “Independent Scholar” to describe myself is nothing new. I used that term in both of those critical articles since at the time (written 2004, published in 2005), I was unaffiliated with any academic institution. In 2006 when I began the PhD program at Florida State University, I dropped that term since I was the affiliated with FSU and I resumed using it following my graduation.

I hope this clarifies any confusion generated by thus-far-unidentified anonymous individuals who lack the courage to put their name to what they post about me — who now (following the dismissal of Federici v Pignotti et al) appear to be desperate to discredit me with any far fetched lie they can make up.

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Since my Psychjourney blog, Monica Pignotti, MSW has closed down due to all Psychjourney Blogs on Typepad being discontinued, I am going to begin reposting some of the more salient articles from that blog. I will repost the TFT articles on this blog and certain others on another blog that will be replacing the Psychjourney blog. The following is a reposting of  two blog articles I wrote on a 2006 NPR program on TFT and its use with survivors of Hurricane Katrina, for which I was interviewed. Other guests included Drexel Professor of Psychology James Herbert and Roger Callahan. Fortunately, the links to this program on the NPR website that I provided, still work.

For those who would prefer to read rather than listen, a transcript is also available on the NPR website.

National Public Radio Program on Thought Field Therapy

March 26, 2006

This is an announcement to let you all know that on Wednesday, March 29th I will be a guest on the National Public Radio program “All Things Considered”. The topic will be the Thought Field Therapy.

James Herbert, who is a Psychology Professor at Drexel University and was co-author (with Brandon Gaudiano) of the 2000 Skeptical Inquirer article on TFT, will also be a guest on the show.

The Association for Thought Field Therapy has managed to get a team of TFT therapists into a Charity Hospital program in New Orleans to work with survivors of Katrina.  One of the reporters from NPR picked up on this and decided to devote a program to this topic.  I will be speaking about my experiences with TFT and my recently-published study on the TFT Voice Technology.

Link and my Comments on NPR Program on TFT
March 30, 2006

There is now a direct link for the NPR program (aired 3/29/06) on TFT, now available for people who wish to listen to the program on the internet:

In response to the comments, yes, I was very pleased with how Alix Spiegel put together this program. Given the tremendous amount of interview material she had to put together for a 12-minute segment, I thought she made wise choices on what to include and she gave a well balanced presentation and that the way she put together segments from my interview was very accurate. I give her kudos for not taking the ATFT’s claims at face value and really doing her homework.

Had there been more time available, there were a few additional points I would have like to have made. The saddest part of the entire program was the interview with the survivor of Katrina who blamed herself for not tapping enough when the results of the TFT treatment did not last with her and her panic returned. Callahan’s explanation is even worse than that; if TFT treatment results do not hold up over time, he maintains this is due to “toxins” and this (for paying clients) would require signing up for the more expensive TFT “Diagnostic” or VT treatments (I have discussed toxins elsewhere in this blog).

The biggest surprise for me was that Callahan actually claimed on the program that TFT could treat Malaria — he didn’t say the stress from Malaria — just “Malaria”! I was aware of the ATFT team’s activities in Africa but didn’t think he would openly claim such a thing without any qualifying statements. This amounts to making medical claims, as I understood him. Of course, I have known that privately many TFT proponents really do believe that they can actually treat diseases, but I thought that for PR purposes they would be more subtle about the claims they made in order to protect themselves. It looks like I was wrong about that.

Bottom line: The NPR program did an excellent job in conveying the message that Callahan and other TFT proponents are making grandiose claims that are unsupported by good evidence. I only hope that the hospitals and relief organizations that are supporting the ATFT team being there will take notice and do something about this. What they are endorsing is inexcusable. There are empirically supported, effective treatments for trauma and the kinds of symptoms the survivor on the show was experiencing. There are very effective existing treatments for panic so I have to ask these hospitals why this woman did not receive those and instead received a bogus therapy that did not help her in the long run? The administrators of these hospitals and relief organizations can expect to hear from me and a number of other concerned mental health professionals and doctors very soon asking why they are depriving their patients of empirically supported treatments and giving them quackery instead. We expect some answers.

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Those other bloggers who lack the courage to put their names to what they write, are at it again, once again misrepresenting my Journal of Clinical Psychology article that I formally retracted. They misrepresented the article by posting two of the tables we presented with pre and post changes, incorrectly stating that this means that we are claiming TFT “cures” those conditions. No, we were not. The blogger obviously needs to take a basic research course. Presenting pre and post changes is not the same thing as claiming a cure or even claiming “efficacy”. Update: After I called them out on doing this, they edited it and took out the part about curing. Apparently they know by now that WordPress will not let them get away with this kind of false statement. Ironically, they call the blog Complete Disclosure when what it actually is, is a highly selective presentation of facts out of context that give a highly misleading impression. What they are revealing about me is hardly a “disclosure” since this article has been public knowledge that I have openly been discussing for the past six years since I left TFT.

My response to their blog has also been mischaracterized. I am not “ashamed” of the article. I see it for what it is: an honest mistake on my part that I have since corrected. This brings to mind a discussion I had with psychologist and well known advocate for scientific mental health practice, James Herbert back in 2005. At that time I was feeling pretty down on myself for having practiced TFT and James helped me to realize that there was no reason for me to feel that way because I had made an honest error, the error that he pointed out has nothing whatsoever to do with lack of intelligence or lack of ethics. In other words, he helped me to realize that I had nothing to be ashamed of or to feel guilty about. In fact, TFT is not even in the same ballpark in terms of harm, that many of the therapies I now criticize are and yet it is those proponents who attempt to shame me. The real scientific mental health professionals have been very forgiving and have never shamed me.

In fact, I have consistently been very open and up front about the article and have many, many postings on the internet about it, giving the FULL STORY. What I object to is the fact that the article is being presented out of context and it was accompanied by lies that Dr. Steinberg and I claimed to cure those conditions in the article, which we did not. That was the basis for my complaint to WordPress. Now that the lies have been removed, I have no objection to their posting the two tables from the article, but they add absolutely nothing new to what I have already revealed about this article and its circumstances.

Also observe how my words constantly get twisted. I called them out on their shaming mentality (see paragraph below), the same kind of abusive mentality that gets conveyed in the therapies I have so strongly criticized. That does not, however, mean that I am “ashamed” of the article because their attempts to shame me fail, each and every time. You see, I am not the vulnerable child that gets hurt by this attitude. This is the same mentality that holds children down and screams in their faces for hours on end about their own projections about the child and this is the kind of brutal therapy I will continue to criticize and will not back down on, no matter how many times followers of these types of therapists attempt to trot out my past, a past I have never been anything less than open and up front about. The fact that cannot be changed is that I have the endorsement of respected scientific mental health professionals for having written this retraction. It is only the pseudoscientists and their followers who attempt unsuccessfully to shame me for it.

Nowhere in the paper did we claim to “cure” any of those physical conditions. To say we were is libel and defamation of both me and of Dr. Mark Steinberg. Yes, I did make claims about TFT and helping with psychological conditions I should not have made and I have fully owned up to that, but I never, ever have claimed that TFT cures diseases and there is no way anything in this paper says that. Presenting pre treatment and post treatment changes is not the same as claiming a cure. The changes I reported were what they were and were truthfully reported but that doesn’t mean I am claiming a cure. Anyone who has even taken so much as an introductory research course should know that. Even when I was involved with TFT I was outspokenly against any claims to cure diseases and I made that known.

They also state that I “renounced” the article. I did not just “renounce” it. I published a full formal retraction of the article that can be read by clicking here.

Additionally, this is a rather ridiculous way to try to smear me, since this paper is very old news and I have never been anything less than up front, open and honest about it.  I still get expressions of admiration from scientifically minded professionals for having written the retraction, who have repeatedly told me that they found it courageous of me to write such a retraction. How many other mental health professionals are willing to admit they were wrong? Perhaps this is what really stings and really hits a raw nerve with the people who have launched this all out smear campaign against me. My openness and honesty about my own mistakes is a constant reminder of the mistakes certain mental health professionals they follow have failed to own up to. One of my main criticisms of their interventions with children is that the cruelty and shame that is involved. We can observe this same attempt to shame me. The thing is, I’m not a helpless child and have the support of the scientific mental health community who, on the contrary, has commended me for being open and honest about my past mistakes.

Apparently, what they are attempting to imply is that because I made mistakes regarding my long past endorsement of TFT which I fully owned up to and repudiated, that I cannot have any further credibility, ever again.  Well, a number of prominent mental health professionals in the scientific community strongly disagree and have given me highly favorable endorsements and trust me enough to co-author papers with me. Of course, part of the smear campaign against me are anonymous posters telling ridiculous and absurd lies about how I got those endorsements. They would not dare put that on a WordPress blog, though because that would be a clear TOS violation so they only post that kind of smut anonymously on unmoderated internet newsgroups.

It seems that the only people who are trying to smear me for my past mistakes are people who are, themselves, practicing or otherwise supporting questionable interventions that have no more peer reviewed randomized controlled trials to support their efficacy than TFT does. It’s a bit like a drunk staggering over to his computer and claiming that someone who has been clean and sober for 6+ years is an alcoholic.

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On March 1, 2010, I celebrated my 6th anniversary of being clean and sober from pseudoscience. I severed my ties with Thought Field Therapy and related associations on March 1, 2004. Since that time, I have authored numerous publications related to pseudoscience and critiques of interventions that make unsupported claims. The result has been that I have been the target of personal attacks. Most of these attacks have been not from TFT proponents, but rather, from proponents of so-called attachment therapies and therapies that employ coercive restraints or questionable parenting methods with children. These interventions lack evidence to support their efficacy and yet make claims of superiority to existing interventions that do have evidence.

An analogy occurred to me. Suppose there was someone who had an alcohol abuse and dependency problem who managed to remain clean and sober for more than six years. Now, suppose that a person who currently has a serious problem with alcohol abuse and dependency, while in a drunken stupor, begins to attack the clean and sober person, put blogs up about that person and repeatedly attack that person for being an “alcoholic” neglecting to mention their own current problem and neglecting to mention that the person they are attacking has been clean and sober for six years. Any rational person would immediately see how ridiculous that would be.

Something very similar to this is happening with me, having nothing to do with drugs or alcohol, to which I have never felt any particular attraction. Although, I do not consider the practice of pseudoscience to be an addiction, the fact is that I have not practiced or endorsed any form of pseudoscience for over six years. Clean and sober is an appropriate description because refraining from the lure and highs one can get from pseudoscientific placebos indicate a sort of sobriety and clean, honest, critical thought. Yet there are malicious blog postings being spread all over the internet, playing up my association with Thought Field Therapy, which I have not practiced for over six years. The people doing these postings have current involvement in pseudoscientific practices that like TFT, pretend to be based on scientific theories, yet actually have no scientific evidence to support their efficacy and have no more evidence than TFT does. Having my past so excessively focused on by people who are currently practicing unsupported therapies would be like a drunk, raging person staggering over to his computer and posting blog after blog about someone who has been clean and sober for six years, calling them a drunk. It is all too obvious who has the real problem.

Instead of twelve-step programs (which are actually controversial for alcohol problems, but that would be a topic for a different blog entry), the way to become clean and sober from pseudoscience is to learn all about science and evidence-based practice and why it is important to do well-designed, randomized controlled studies rather than to rely solely on anecdotes from personal and/or clinical experience. Understanding cognitive biases that all human beings have is key. My aha moment came after increasing doubts, while reading the book, Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology and coming to realize that TFT proponents, including myself, were engaging in confirmation bias, focusing on successes and explaining away failures, not because we were being dishonest, but because we were unaware of the tendency all human beings have to do this. As Paul Meehl pointed out, therapists are vulnerable to the same kinds of biases all human beings are and thus have to move beyond their own experience into rigorous testing in order to know whether what they are doing is effective.

I have been clean and sober from pseudoscience for six years. My critics, unfortunately cannot validly claim the same although they are probably only at the first stage of Prochaska’s levels of change, pre-contemplation. In other words, they don’t even know they have a problem.

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Here is the link to the full text of my article published in 2005 in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, Callahan Fails to Meet the Burden of Proof for Thought Field Therapy’s Claims. Please note that no one else has the rights to post this article. The author agreement with the journal is that only authors can post articles on their own websites. This is also the reason I am not able to post Roger Callahan’s article, so people who are interested in reading it will have to request it from him.

Here is the link to my article that retracted the earlier 2001 article I co-authored with Dr. Mark Steinberg, which was misrepresented on the now-defunct Axis of Quackery blog.

I hope that reading these articles will help explain to people who are wondering, why I changed my mind about Thought Field Therapy.

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Update: WordPress has just informed me that they suspended the Axis of Quackery blog and have told me that it is gone, permanently. Thank you, WordPress, for not tolerating cyber abuse of his sort.

Another wordpress blog, Axis of Quackery has been deliberately misrepresented an article that I co-authored with Dr. Mark Steinberg in the October 2001 issue of The Journal of Clinical Psychology (JClP) and have since retracted. Click here to read the abstract of the retraction. I say this is deliberate because I have informed them of this, yet they still post about it, neglecting to mention the fact of its retraction, presenting a highly misleading picture of me that essentially amounts to defamation and if they post more of it and go beyond the limits of fair use, they will also be infringing on copyright laws. The journal owns the copyrights and they allow authors of the articles to post them on their own websites, but nowhere else.

I have to add that Dr. Steinberg is also violating an agreement that authors of these 2001 articles made with the journal to publish a disclaimer that they were not peer reviewed. Click here to read about the details of the special circumstances under which these articles were published. While authors of JClP articles do have the right to publish them on their own websites, the agreement was to post the disclaimer along with the articles. I drew this to his attention years ago, but he adamantly refused to post the disclaimer, saying, in essence, that he felt entitled to post it the way it is. Since that time, in 2005, I published a retraction of the article and TFT proponents have also neglected to mention this. This creates a highly misleading impression of TFT, that these were peer reviewed articles. The JClP would normally only publish peer reviewed articles so that is the assumption people would make, reading the articles without the disclaimers.

I find the postings on Axis of Quackery to be disingenuous. If they were sincerely concerned about debunking TFT, they would be supporting me as someone who has been TFT’s most highly published critic over the last five years. Instead, they do nothing but attack me and seem to be completely ignoring what current TFT proponents are doing, unless it has some relation to my activities.  Obviously, they believe that this will discredit me, although if they were even remotely familiar with my recent writings, they would see that I have been completely up front and above board about my past associations with TFT, which I completely repudiated and I have published a formal retraction of this article, something that the real critics of TFT have told me they highly respect me for doing. What is their real motivation? Their beef with me has nothing to do with TFT and everything to do with the scholarly criticism I have published on the therapies they promote, coercive restraint therapies and other abusive forms of so-called “attachment” therapies.

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Monica Pignotti TFT Article Journal of Clinical Psychology 2001 Retracted

My cyber-smearers are once again misrepresenting my work. They posted the half truth that I had a “scholarly article” on TFT in 2001 and have lifted the first two pages of the article from Mark Steinberg’s website, yet failed to mention that in 2005, I published a full retraction of that article. The article in no way supports the efficacy of TFT for the reasons the critics of the article stated.

Click here to read the full text of my retraction article.

Click here to read the full text of my response to Dr. Roger Callahan

Click here to read the abstract at the journal website.

This article is a retraction of the conclusions drawn in a previous article, published as part of a special October 2001 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychology on Thought Field Therapy (TFT). I decided to write this retraction after reconsidering a number of issues raised in the critiques of the articles. Additionally, subsequent misinterpretations of the literature on heart rate variability (HRV) by Roger Callahan, which led to further questioning of his premises and claims regarding TFT and HRV as represented in the articles, are discussed. I conclude that the burden of proof is on TFT proponents to demonstrate its efficacy and that well-designed controlled studies using standardized assessment measures and long-term follow-up must be performed to allow the scientific community to take claims made for TFT seriously.

Unfortunately, my co-author, Dr. Mark Steinberg, continues to post this on his website, neglecting to mention the fact that it was retracted by the first author and failing to honor the agreement that we made with the journal, to put the disclaimer that the article had not been peer reviewed. He also recently mentioned this article in an appearance on a local television station, again, neglecting to mention the retraction and the fact that it was published under special circumstances and not peer reviewed. When he first posted this article on his website, I reminded him of the agreement we had that we were to post a disclaimer that it had not been peer reviewed, but he would not agree to do this. Essentially, he refused to post any disclaimer because he felt he was entitled to claim publication of this article without it, in spite of the fact we had made an agreement that the disclaimer would be published. Since I have no control over the contents of his website, there was nothing I could do to force him. Hence, my need to correct this now. What follows is the whole truth about this article, which I have always been completely honest about and written about in numerous places. In no way is this news, but here we go again.

I have written about the special circumstances under which this article and the special issue was published elsewhere, but I will once again explain it here. Back in 2000, Roger Callahan was invited to come onto the list serv of the Society of a Science for a Clinical Psychology (a subdivision of APA Division 12) to discuss Thought Field Therapy. When he was asked for peer reviewed publications to support the efficacy of TFT, he had to admit that there were none. He claimed that this was the case because editors and journal reviewers were biased against TFT. The Editor of the Journal of Clinical Psychology at the time, Larry Beutler, made an offer to Dr. Callahan. He offered to allow Dr. Callahan to publish five articles of his choosing that he believed supported TFT and Beutler agreed to publish them without peer review. The conditions for the publication would be two-fold: 1) The authors would have to agree to put a disclaimer on the articles that they were not peer reviewed and were not to misrepresent them and 2) Critiques would be published alongside each article. The special issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychology appeared in October 2001 with five articles (I was first author of one of them) and indeed, critiques were published along each article, which were highly negative and essentially stated that had they been peer reviewed, they would not have been acceptable for publication. Click here to read the abstracts.

In 2004, when I came to realize that TFT was not what it was claimed to be, I wrote a retraction of my 2001 article and the retraction was published in 2005 (see link to abstract above).

I also would like to point out that there are tenure-track faculty in major universities who are involved in research on Thought Field Therapy that is funded by believers in TFT and the university appears to have no problem with this at all, so if my detractors think they are going to spoil my academic reputation by posting these things about me, think again. A notable recent example is Dr. Dominique Roe Sepowitz, of Arizona State University who is not only involved in research, but according to her CV, has accepted $13,000 in funding in 2008-2009 from the Association of TFT (ATFT) to be involved in such research. Note that she is being funded by TFT believers since Roger and Joanne Callahan are Board members of ATFT and have been since its inception and the Board of ATFT has only believers in TFT, not critics. In spite of the fact she has been funded by an organization of TFT believers, she is a faculty member in good standing at Arizona State University, who apparently has no problem whatsoever with her involvement and the fact she is funded by the ATFT. Another notable example are two tenured faculty members at FSU (Joyce Carbonell in Psychology and Charles Figley who was at the time in Social Work at FSU) who have conducted research on TFT.  Isn’t it strange that people want to feature me on an “Axis of Quackery” blog for research on something that two major universities (FSU and ASU) had no problem with?

So once again, my cyber-smearers believe they are coming forward with some kind of startling revelation about me when I have been completely open and transparent about this whole matter and I have completely repudiated that article. Go figure. Perhaps this is their way of diverting attention away from questions I have been asking in another blog about the recommendation of restraints, which have nothing to do with TFT. Yes, I believe that TFT is a pseudoscience which makes unsupported claims, but at least no one has been killed by TFT. The same cannot be said for prone restraint procedures which have resulted in numerous deaths and this has been the case, even when the procedures were said to have been carried out correctly. My long-ago mistake with TFT pales in comparison to that.

This constant hammering away at ancient history also is a lame attempt to ignore my recent publications, including this one published in the journal, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics:

Is Longer-Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy More Effective than Shorter-Term Therapies? Review and Critique of the Evidence
Sunil S. Bhara, Brett D. Thombsb, Monica Pignottic, Marielle Basselb, Lisa Jewettb, James C. Coyned, Aaron T. Beckd

aSwinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Vic., Australia;
bMcGill University and Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, Qué., Canada;
cFlorida State University, Tallahassee, Fla., and
dUniversity of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa., USA

Psychother Psychosom 2010;79:208-216 (DOI: 10.1159/000313689)

That can hardly be called fringe, but apparently, they think if they keep calling me a fringe “quack” all the evidence I am producing will just go away. Newsflash: It won’t. The truth always comes out eventually and more and more people are seeing it.

In conclusion, the concerns expressed on the Axis of Quackery blog that appear to be focusing on me, appear to be disingenuous. If the anonymous bloggers were genuinely concerned about quackery, it seems to me that they would focus on people who are currently practicing quackery, not someone such as myself who completely repudiated the practice of quackery over six years ago and is a well known, and highly published critic of pseudoscience and quackery. Genuine critics of pseudoscience such as Dr. Scott Lilienfeld, Dr. Steven Jay Lynn and Dr. Brandon Gaudiano, endorse my work. In stark contrast, people who support an intervention for children that has no controlled studies to support its efficacy attack me, while ignoring current TFT proponents other than the one I used to practice with. That speaks volumes for what they truly stand for and what their real agenda is.

Perhaps what really hits a nerve for the “Axis of Quackery” folks is that I am someone who actually admitted to my mistakes and retracted them, something I am highly respected by genuine critics of quackery for doing. In contrast, my critics continue to promote and defend face-down prone restraint methods which, according to my opinion based on my extensive review of the current literature, have been shown to be dangerous and interventions that have no evidence for their efficacy and will not admit, even when confronted with evidence in the literature, that they are wrong and are making serious mistakes. I must be a constant reminder to them of mistakes they are making that they refuse to admit to. No wonder they’re so upset with me that they have go spend so much time creating blogs smearing me.

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