by David Ritchey, Ph.D.
In the following paper, David Ritchey, as does Rabia Clark in the next article, discusses the “false memory syndrome” and its relevance to past-life therapists. Among other things, Ritchey reviews the history and definitions of false memory syndrome, the arguments “pro” and “con” that circulate around it, and the possible states of consciousness that are involved. Like Clark, Ritchey ends with a warning for caution in our interpretations of “past lives.”
While this paper is specifically directed toward those who work with memories of “other lives” (a term I will use henceforth in lieu of “past lives,” so as not to limit too narrowly the boundaries of my thesis), the dynamics involved apply as well to other transpersonal experiences. I will, therefore, be using the terms “other lives” and “transpersonal experiences” interchangeably.
The “Recovered Repressed Memory” or “False Memory” syndrome controversy is likely to go down in history as the controversy which defined psychotherapeutic dynamics in the 1990s. This issue is causing unprecedented conflict between psychotherapists and their clients, between these clients and their families, between the clients’ families and psychotherapists, and between psychotherapist and psychotherapist. It has also brought into the mainstream of our vocabulary such terms as “adult children,” “codependency,” “abuse survivor/victim,” “perpetrator,” and “retractor.”