Sept. 11, 2013

“Why did the epidemic of day care hysteria happen just when and where it did? Why in 1982? Why in the United States?…. You can’t have a panic about day care centers unless you have day care centers. These had become a necessary fixture of American life as more mothers entered the work force, families traveled far distances to chase available jobs and there were fewer available grandmothers to help babysit. Undoubtedly parental guilt in turning over parental responsibility played a role.

“Among therapists, there was concern over previously not taking seriously enough the statements of kids who had actually experienced sexual abuse. There were also too many therapists with too little expertise who were able nonetheless to self-promote and gain authority as fake ‘experts.’ This sad episode is the clearest caution imaginable to any therapist feeling the impulse to jump onto a current or future fad bandwagon.”

– From “Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life” by Allen Frances (2013)

Despite Dr. Frances’s timidity in exposing the “complete bunk” of multiple personality disorder, his influence across psychiatry is undisputed. But will his words be sufficient to deter the next generation of overreaching therapists from jumping onto the “fad bandwagon”?