Mark Schwartz, who founded the west St. Louis County inpatient center about 16 years ago, was listed as a staff member on the websites of Castlewood and Monarch Cove facility in northern California. The references have since been removed. Schwartz and his partner Lori Galperin stepped down from daily operation of the centers in December, 2013.
Nancy Albus, who previously worked as a director at Castlewood, was elected CEO in December by the board of directors, which included Schwartz and Galperin before they stepped down.
Four women have filed separate lawsuits in St. Louis County Circuit Court since 2011 against Castlewood and Schwartz with similar allegations that they were hypnotized between 2007 and 2010 and brainwashed into believing they were members of satanic cults. The women said Schwartz also implanted them with false memories of sexual abuse.
In April 2012, Castlewood revealed plans to open the 12-bed facility in California. Galperin was to run the California center while Schwartz stayed primarily in St. Louis.
Schwartz is licensed as a marriage and family therapist in California and a psychologist in Missouri, with no discipline in either state, despite all the lawsuits and patients who have come forward with complaints of abuse. Galperin has a clear record as a clinical social worker eventhough she has bben at Schwartz's side and involved in many similar cases since the 1980's.
Therapy techniques at the center include internal family systems, which involves encouraging patients to counteract their destructive qualities, according to former patients and Castlewood’s website. IFS founder, Richward Schwartz, has worked closely with Mark Schwartz and Lori Galperin since the early 1990's. In fact he credits Castlewood for making his therapy model popular among therapists.
Internal family systems is not the standard of care for eating disorders primarily because patients are malnourished and vulnerable to psychological damage, according to interviews with several experts in the disorders.
Now Schwartz, Galperin and Richard Schwartz the Founder of Internal Family Systems are all working together again at Harmony Place.