A victim has contacted us in response to this disgraceful comment posted by Charlotte “Jacqui Farmer” Ward:
“Oh no! This makes me feel sick to my stomach, and here’s why:
A few years ago, I was having some mental health issues…depression and anxiety mostly, and sometimes a voice that told me to just end it all, and I decided to get help. A friend at the time said she thought my symptoms might mean I’d been abused as a child, which I didn’t believe…I had a happy childhood, for the most part, though my teen years were a bit difficult.
I was at university when the depression hit, and having trouble concentrating on my courses, so I went to the local learning centre, where a counsellor (who I later found out was actually just an educational counsellor with no clinical training at all) talked to me and agreed with my friend…she said the depression and the voices meant I’d been abused, that my parents had allowed it to happen, or maybe they were even involved!
I was shocked, but I wasn’t a mental health professional, whereas she was…or so I thought. She told me she’d try hypnotherapy on me, to “get at the buried memories” that I must be repressing….turned out I was a pretty good hypnotic subject
I experienced the treatment sessions as kind of blurry nightmares, in which my granddad chased me with knives, screaming that he’d slit my throat and drain my blood if he caught me…then there were people in black robes, and chanting, and my granddad standing at a kind of altar with me on it. I hated these hypnosis sessions, because each time the pictures in my head seemed to get worse and worse and I couldn’t stop them, and sometimes it felt like they were real.
But how could they be? My granddad was the love of my life when I was a little girl. He used to carry me on his shoulders, he taught me to read, he used to take me fishing with him….he died when I was 10, and I cried for weeks. How could he have done these terrible things? It just didn’t make sense to me, and I found my depression getting worse instead of better.
Diane, my therapist, assured me that “the unconscious mind doesn’t lie”…and she insisted that I keep going with the hypnosis, no matter how painful and disorienting I found it. Then she told me that while I was hypnotised, I sometimes talked to her in “different” voices, like I was someone else. She told me she thought I had multiple personality disorder. Sometimes I’d come out of trance and find that she’d invited other people into her office to watch me, like I was a dancing monkey or something.
I was getting worse and worse in my depression, and started thinking about killing myself by jumping off a high bridge near my house. I can’t swim so I knew that when I hit the water I’d go under, no problem. Luckily for me, my roommate at the time saw that I was in bad shape and took me to see a real therapist, with a real degree in psychology.
Long story short, it took months of work with her before the nightmares started going away, and I started to feel a bit more like myself again. It was hard, but I started to realise that my first “therapist” had used me, and in doing that she’d caused so much damage that I almost lost my life. She had her own agenda…and even although she didn’t know what she was doing, she kept doing it anyway, with no regard for what it might mean to me.
The thought of this happening to other people who might be bamboozled into thinking they were “ritually abused” just makes me ill…I really WAS abused, but it wasn’t by my parents or my granddad, it was by the unqualified, untrained woman who thought she could mess around with my head and “help” me and nearly ended up killing me. Jacqui might mean well, but she cannot be allowed to do this. Please, if anyone knows where she is or how to reach her, you MUST tell her that what she’s planning is dangerous and could result in doing terrible damage.”
Wow, that’s a harrowing story, RR. Not surprising, though, as charlatans like Jacqui and your counsellor, masquerading as mental health professionals, are 10-a-penny. They have their own highly questionable agenda and don’t give a toss what damage they do. I’m so glad you eventually saw through the crap and I hope your life and health are back on track an that you now have support from people who actually care.
Should you – or anyone else who’s been affected by these issues – need advice or support, please visit the False Memory Syndrome Foundation website: