What did the defenses of Ted Bundy, O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, Phil Spectre, Bill Crosby, Harvey Weinstein and Ghislaine Maxwell have in common? Each of these sickening cases used the misnomer, ‘False Memory Syndrome’ (FMS) as a strategy to discredit their accusers. The other common factor in these cases is calling Professor Elizabeth Loftus as an expert witness on memory.
It was 10.00pm on 30 October 2002. I was sitting in my car at traffic lights on the crossroads of North Road and Nepean Highway. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw two figures step off the pavement. I didn’t pay attention as it appeared they were crossing the road behind me. Suddenly, the front and back passenger doors were yanked open.
The Problem is not the Problem but a Solution to another Problem: The role of self-harm, addiction and other ‘apparently’ sabotaging behaviour
“Is your foot sore?”, I innocently asked. Part way through a session I noticed my client pressing her foot into the floor. Her face froze. She looked like the proverbial deer caught in the headlights. Her expression was a combination of shock (at my noticing) and shame (for something of which I had no idea). I was perplexed by her reaction. I sat quietly and waited. After a few seconds she replied, “No. I have a thumb-tack in my shoe and I’m pressing my foot down on it.”
The final of the memory trilogy explores complexities in navigating historical memories of child sexual abuse in psychotherapy with adult victim-survivors.
In the five years since the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, a chorus of victim’s voices has broken the silence and cover-ups surrounding sexual harassment and assault. The alleged perpetrators were predominantly but not only men, typically in positions of power over the victim’s employment and career. Many of the accused claimed allegations were false and that their careers and reputations have been ruined unjustly.
On 3 February 2023, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced approval of the psychedelic substances in magic mushrooms and MDMA for use by people with certain mental health conditions, specifically PTSD and treatment resistant depression. This makes Australia the first country in the world to recognise psychedelics as medicines. In this interview, I explore the current psychedelic research in Australia with Martin Williams, PhD.
In this article, the authors reflect on the VT experience of lawyers and mental health professionals working with victim-survivors of sexual abuse, harassment, assault and rape. Josh Bornstein is Principal lawyer in Industrial Relations and Employment Law at Maurice Blackburn, practicing in this field for over 20 years. Naomi Halpern is director of Delphi Training and Consulting. She has over 30 years’ experience working with victim-survivors of trauma and abuse.