In recent years the subject of satanic ritual abuse (SRA) has incited widespread controversy focused primarily on whether or not such abuse actually occurs. Much like child sexual abuse, SRA was initially dismissed as an isolated or even imaginary phenomenon. Although there is increasing evidence that ritual abuse does take place, clinicians working with individual patients cannot be sure whether they are dealing with fact or fantasy. Dr Colin Ross, an expert in the treatment of dissociative disorders, has encountered more than three hundred patients with memories of alleged satanic ritual abuse. In this book, he provides a well-documented discussion of the psychological, social, and historical aspects of SRA and presents principles and techniques for its clinical treatment.
Although Dr Ross has found no evidence of a widespread Satanic network he is open to the possibility that a certain percentage of his patients' memories may be entirely or partially historically accurate. In treatment, he recommends that the therapist adopt an attitude hovering between disbelief and credulous entrapment.
Dr Ross has encountered memories of SRA primarily among people who suffer from multiple personality disorders, and the principles of treatment he outlines here focus on such individuals. Treatment is described in terms of both general principles and specific techniques, with case examples. Ross's recommendation that the same interventions be used regardless of the percentage of memories that are historically accurate bridges the gap between those who adopt a `believer' stance and those who take a false-memory stance.
This is the most detailed and comprehensive account of SRA from a clinical perspective available to date. As reports of SRA continue to escalate, it will be a valuable resource for all practicing therapists and psychiatrists.