Satanic Ritual Abuse: Principles of Treatment

Overview

In recent years, the subject of Satanic ritual abuse (SRA) has incited widespread controversy, focused primarily on whether or not such abuse actually occurs. Much like child sexual abuse, SRA was initially dismissed as an isolated or even imaginary phenomenon. Although there is increasing evidence that ritual abuse does take place, clinicians working with individual patients cannot be sure whether they are dealing with fact or fantasy. Dr. Colin Ross, an expert in the treatment of dissociative disorders, has ...
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Overview

In recent years, the subject of Satanic ritual abuse (SRA) has incited widespread controversy, focused primarily on whether or not such abuse actually occurs. Much like child sexual abuse, SRA was initially dismissed as an isolated or even imaginary phenomenon. Although there is increasing evidence that ritual abuse does take place, clinicians working with individual patients cannot be sure whether they are dealing with fact or fantasy. Dr. Colin Ross, an expert in the treatment of dissociative disorders, has encountered more than three hundred patients with memories of alleged Satanic ritual abuse. In this book, he provides a well-documented discussion of the psychological, social, and historical aspects of SRA and presents principles and techniques for its clinical treatment. Although Dr. Ross has found no evidence of a widespread Satanic network, he is open to the possibility that a certain percentage of his patients' memories may be entirely or partially historically accurate. In treatment, he recommends that the therapist adopt an attitude hovering between disbelief and credulous entrapment. Dr. Ross has encountered memories of SRA primarily among people who suffer from multiple personality disorder, and the principles of treatment he outlines here focus on such individuals. Treatment is described in terms of both general principles and specific techniques, with case examples. Ross's recommendation that the same interventions be used regardless of the percentage of memories that are historically accurate bridges the gap between clinicians who adopt a 'believer' stance and those who take a false-memory stance. This is the most detailed and comprehensive account of SRA from a clinical perspective available to date. As reports of SRA continue to escalate, it will be a valuable resource for all practising therapists and psychiatrists.
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Editorial Reviews

AAT & D Newsletter

'At last, a comprehensive, scholarly and ideologically balanced book has been written for the therapist treating Organized Sadistic Abuse....Satanic Ritual Abuse: Principles of Treatment is by far the finest publication to date in the field of Organized Sadistic Abuse. It is highly readable and certainly destined to become a classic in the literature of trauma and dissociation.'

— David W. Neswald

Canadian Child Psychiatric Review

'This is an inherently provocative, controversial and challenging book to read ... Dr. Ross boldly enters an embattled and controversial area that bristles with politics, therapeutic thematics and the question of memory validity. Dr. Ross possesses a very readable lucid writing style.'

— William Fleisher

David W. Neswald
'At last, a comprehensive, scholarly and ideologically balanced book has been written for the therapist treating Organized Sadistic Abuse....Satanic Ritual Abuse: Principles of Treatment is by far the finest publication to date in the field of Organized Sadistic Abuse. It is highly readable and certainly destined to become a classic in the literature of trauma and dissociation.'
William Fleisher
'This is an inherently provocative, controversial and challenging book to read ... Dr. Ross boldly enters an embattled and controversial area that bristles with politics, therapeutic thematics and the question of memory validity. Dr. Ross possesses a very readable lucid writing style.'
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802028570
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1995
  • Pages: 490

Meet the Author

Colin Ross is Director of the Dissociative Disorders Unit at the Charter Behavioral Health System of Dallas and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He is author of The Osiris Complex: Case Studies in Multiple Personality Disorder.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Pt. I The Historical and Social Background
1 Secret Societies throughout History 5
2 The Psychology and History of Satan 18
3 The Malleus Maleficarum and the Catholic Inquisition 34
4 Non-Satanic Cult Activity in North America 47
Pt. II Satanic Cults Today
5 Five Levels of Satanism 61
6 Satanism and Multiple Personality Disorder 73
7 Alternative Hypotheses of Ritual Abuse 90
Pt. III Therapy of Satanic Ritual Abuse Survivors
8 How to Recognize Satanic Ritual Abuse Survivors 103
9 General Principles of Survivor Therapy 119
10 Treatment Techniques for Satanic Ritual Abuse Survivors 145
Pt. IV Society's Response to Satanism
11 Extremes of Skepticism and Denial 179
12 Future Directions 195
Afterword 203
References 211
Index 219
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