Review of Alsana aka Castlewood States that DID and Recovered Memory Therapy Still Used
In response to Deanna’s claim that that is not a current review of this program here is a current review
1. They use hardly any evidenced based treatments. Their main treatment of choice is something called Internal Family Systems which has NO empirical evidence behind it. It is dangerous and encompasses such things as dark energy – the staff at Castlewood believe that when someone has been traumatized they take on some of the “dark energy” of their abuser, and, in some ways, start acting like them. All it is is an excellent exercise in victim blaming and I guarantee you there is NO evidence suggesting this concept works, exists or even just to say it doesn’t hurt clients.
2. They diagnose a ridiculously high amount of cases of Dissociative Identity Disorder. For those unfamiliar with this, DID is an exceptionally RARE form of mental illness, so rare in fact that the field of mental health is divided on whether it exists at all. So the fact that Castlewood at any one time has MORE THAN ONE person with DID in their facility (who were diagnosed AT Castlewood or by someone who used to work at Castlewood) is an abnormality so great that honestly either they know something the rest of the psychology world does not or they are MISDIAGNOSING many many people.
3. Many many clients walk into Castlewood with NO history of trauma and walk out with horrendous trauma histories. Apparently they “recover” these memories while in treatment. Castlewood encourages this. Again, the field of psychology is split on the validity of repressed memories in general and those that do believe they are possible know that you NEVER push someone with gaps in their memory because that it the fastest way to create false memories. Castlewood makes a living from pushing people to remember trauma.
Deanna James is right – Mark and Lori no longer work at Castlewood. But Nancy Albus (CEO) and Jim Gerber (Clinical Director) both worked WITH Mark and Lori and have picked up right where they left off.
For the record, I have been to Castlewood since Lori and Mark left. Very recently in fact. I know people that are currently there. I was not kicked out of Castlewood nor do I have any kind of grudge. In fact for a long time I thought they were helping me. And in all honesty, in many ways they did. I was not one to “recover” memories of trauma. I did not receive a diagnosis of DID but my friends did. Off the top of my head I know 8 people who have been diagnosed with DID BY Castlewood. 8. 8 people, all in one city, at one facility who were diagnosed with the rarest mental illness. Check into what I am saying about the rarity. It’s true. There is NO WAY anyone in their lifetime would know 8 people with DID, whether or not they had been to a treatment center, 10 treatment centers etc. Do your research on IFS. I guarantee you you will not find that it is “evidence based” as Deanna states above. Chances are if you do find any kind of articles they were written by Mark Schwartz himself or other past or present staff members at Castlewood.
Castlewood is a very dangerous place. But don’t take my word for it. Simply do your research and pay a little more attention than usual. Please.