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Theophostic Counseling:

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Sponsored link.

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Conflicting Quotations:

bullet"I doubt [that] it [repressed / recovered memory therapy] will die out completely. Once an idea enters the cultural mainstream, it has a way of resurfacing like a bloated corpse every few years." Mark Pendergrast, reporter. 1,2
bullet"If you think you were abused, and your life shows the symptoms, then you were." Ellen Bass & Laura Davis, feminist RMT therapists and authors. 3
bullet"Avoid being tentative about your repressed memories. Do not just tell them; express them as truth. If months or years down the road, you find you are mistaken about details, you can always apologize and set the record straight. You cannot wait until you are doubt-free to disclose to your family. This may never happen." Renee Fredrickson, RMT author. 4
bullet"The Advanced Training in using TP [Theophostic Counseling] with Satanic Ritual Abuse...will be held...at Alathia Equipping Center, near Campbellsville, KY. Must have completed the Basic and Advance levels of training prior to attendance. The cost will be $895.00 per person." 5
bullet"...we conclude that TheoPhostic counseling came out of the evil cauldron of the perverted wisdom of men rather than from the mind of God." Martin and Deidre Bobgan, 6,7
bullet"Even though Smith claims TheoPhostic counseling was the result of direct, divine revelation from God, we will demonstrate that TheoPhostic is more likely a Smith-contrived, eclectic therapy that came from his 'over twenty year' practice as a psychotherapist using 'every available method of therapy'. Martin and Deidre Bobgan. 7

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Theophostic Counseling (a.k.a. TPM, TheoPhostic Counseling, Theophostic Ministry) appears to be largely based upon Recovered Memory Therapy (RMT), to which beliefs have been added about:

bulletIndwelling demonic spirits,
bulletThe role of Satan in people's emotional problems,
bulletDirect communication by the client with Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit, and
bulletUnique concepts about the inner workings of the mind.

TPM contrasts strongly with mainline mental health therapy. Secular therapists  abandoned the possibility of possession by demonic spirits many generations ago.

Theophostic Counseling appears to be a rapidly growing therapeutic technique within counseling services at many conservative Protestant churches. One source indicates that 38,000 Theophostic training tapes have been sold at about $165.00 each. Training seminars cost about $800 per attendee.

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Our assessment:

If TPM is safe and effective, then it is a powerful force for good. If TPM is unsafe and ineffective, it is a powerful force for evil.

TPM appears to have many factors in common with Recovered Memory Therapy (RMT) which was quite popular during the 1980s and early 1990s. Through guided imagery, visualization, hypnosis and/or the occasional administration of "truth drugs," RMT generated "memories" of horrendously abusive events in many clients. RMT collapsed as a therapeutic technique when it was discovered that the recovered "memories" were almost never related to real events. Many tens of thousands of families were disrupted by the therapy. RMT destroyed many clients' lives -- sometimes literally through suicide.

We urge extreme caution to anyone considering undergoing TPM until its safety and efficacy have been independently studied with results published in peer-reviewed journals. To our knowledge this has yet to happen.

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Topics covered in this section:

bulletAbout TPM;
bulletThis web site's policy on unproven therapeutic techniques;
bulletPotential dangers of TPM
bulletInformation about memories:
bulletAbout Recovered Memory Therapy: the core of TPM
bulletTypes of memories
bulletDetails of TPM:
bulletWhat is involved in TPM counseling
bulletReactions of other conservative Christians to TPM
bulletTwo congregations' experience with PTM
bulletA conflict within TPM
bulletResources about TPM:
bulletInternet sites and books

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Sponsored link:

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  1. Mark Pendergrast, "The bloated corpse," False Memory Syndrome Newsletter, Volume 11, #3, 2002-MAY/JUN, Pages 3 & 4.
  2. Mark Pendergrast & Melody Gavigan, "Victims of Memory, Sex Abuse Accusations and Shattered Lives," Upper Access, (1996). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store.
  3. From the first edition of "The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse", Harper Collins, (1992). P. 22"
  4. Renee Fredrickson, "Repressed Memories: A journey to recovery from sexual abuse", (1992), Page 203.
  5. Taken from "Theophostic Office" news release, 2002-FEB-28.
  6. Quoted in: Martin and Deidre Bobgan, "Theophostic Counseling: Divine Revelation or Psycho  Heresy?" Eastgate Publishers, (1999). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store 
  7. Bobgans' book is online at: http://www.psychoheresy-aware.org/ This is a PDF file. You may need software to read these files. It can be obtained free from: Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store

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Navigation: Home page > "Hot" religious topics and conflicts > here

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Copyright 2002 to 2006 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2002-MAY-19
Latest update: 2006-NOV-23
Author: B.A. Robinson

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