• Susan Hermann

Dismissal of Castlewood Treatment Center lawsuit lets psychologist continue using debunked therapy


A letter to the Editor, St. Louis Dispatch, December 20, 2013

Regarding "Castlewood lawsuit is drawing to a close" (Dec. 16):

Those familiar with Mark Schwartz were not surprised when several former patients filed suit claiming his therapy led them to recover horrific memories of abuse that never occurred.

His history of lectures, interviews, workshops and teachings shows he's been subjecting patients to the debunked and outmoded craze of repressed/recovered memories for decades. A winter 2001 Franklin & Marshall magazine interview with him reports he (and Lori Galperin) found hypnotherapy useful in helping patients uncover repressed memories.

Even after so many lawsuits and so many responsible therapists, recanters and researchers brought to light the fallibility and absurdities of recovered memories and the unspeakable damage they have wreaked on countless innocent lives, he continued to market them to vulnerable and unsuspecting patients. Stunned and shattered families were left reeling in his wake.

Sadly, the dismissals of these lawsuits could give him the opportunity to harm more patients.

Therapists who feed impossible narratives into fragile minds for financial gain are nothing short of criminal. That they are still practicing speaks volumes about the integrity of the psychology industry.

Susan Herrmann • Chesterfield