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Smoke And Mirrors Hardcover – August 21, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (August 21, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306459841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306459849
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,272,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

A psychologist castigates his own profession for its role in false sexual abuse claims that have put innocent people behind bars, ruined families, and damaged patients in therapy. Campbell, a member of the Professional and Scientific Advisory Board of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, has previously published portions of the present work in a number of peer-reviewed journals. Here, he first examines the role of anxious parents, ill-informed health-care professionals, and overzealous prosecutors in legal cases involving false allegations of sexual abuse. He describes numerous disturbing cases, some that have been well publicized and others that have not, to reveal the error-prone procedures for assessing child abuse and the way in which play therapy for children can dramatically alter their memories. Next, he looks closely at the practice of recovered memory therapy, in which therapists persuade adult clients that their troubles originated in childhood sexual abuse, memories of which they have repressed. Campbell contends that recovered memory therapists, who may be doctoral-level psychologists, not just marginally trained practitioners, are bringing discredit to psychotherapy with their use of the blame-and-change approach (clients in therapy must blame family members in order to change themselves) and their persistence in clinging to misinformed theories about memory and repression. Campbell, who cites studies showing that therapists rely much more on subjective impressions than on scientific research, charges that within the American Psychological Association and other member organizations, political correctness and marketing concerns prevail over ethical responsibility and accuracy of information. In his final chapter, Campbell outlines the changes that he thinks psychotherapy must make, the likelihood of which he finds remote. A hard-hitting indictment - full of appalling human stories, impressive research, tough language, and charges that demand a response. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book speaks for the falsely accused so well that I plan on purchasing many copies to share with legislators, lawyers and others who need to know the how, why, and what's in reference to accusations of child sexual abuse. Terence Campbell pinpoints how these charges come about, who makes them and what should be done in order to correct the problem. Too many professionals (I use this word loosely) evaluate, investigate and use therapy through the use of "accentual perception." The see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear. Many times when accusations come by way of professionals they don't consider whether or not it is true, they just go about proving that it is. Through the use of alternative hyposthesis, a non-biased attitude and changes in the laws that enact guidelines for the interviewing of children false accusations can be thwarted. There have already been some changes in the use area of repressed memories. Changes that were a long time in the making. This book is an excellent learning tool for those who have never been devastated by the misuse of the court system through false accusations and a comfort for those who have.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is another excellent book in reaction to the satanic abuse and false memory hysteria that swept this country like a plague in 80s and early 90s. Written by a clinical psychologist who is a director of the False Memory Foundation, this book shows in detail how social workers, police and the courts helped to send innocent people to jail. In particular the indoctrination of the children is presented, step by ugly step, leaving no doubt about what really happened. A sad, sad chapter in American history gets another documentation. I am hoping that next we will have books on just why so many "well-meaning" people went astray and/or were led astray. I think the underlying guilt of parents with latch-key children projected onto others is a largely unexplored psychological factor. The American puritanical obsession with sex is another. The feminazi attack on men as well, of course. With this book it appears that the word has finally gotten around and the courts are beginning to throw out the tainted "evidence" and the counseling profession is beginning to see the error of its ways.
Campbell speaks with authority since it was his profession, although not him personally, that was a central part of the insanity. If the therapists had read the studies from their own journals they would have known that the sensational "recovered memories"of sexual abuse could only be highly suspect. One weakness of the book is Campbell's understandable reluctance to fully criticize these clinical psychologists. The truth is, not just some, but a significant portion of abuse counselors proved to be incompetent, mercenary and under educated. The harm done to patients and their families and friends by the worst of the therapists exceeds in some respects the harm done through the use of electric shock therapy and frontal lobotomies by witch doctors of a previous era.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Rivkah Maccaby on November 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Terence Campbell, a psychologist himself, delves deep into the muck of false accusations of child sexual abuse, the blame for which he lays squarely on the heads of those charged with interviewing children. It is very important to note that at no point does he say children should not be believed a priori, he only claims that current methods of interrogating children taint their testimony so the it is no longer useful.
Campbell would like nothing more than for this to change. He outlines his own method for interviewing children, and it is obvious that his technique would elicit far cleaner information than the usual methods.
Also suspect are claims of past abuse suffered as children, suddenly remembered by adults who claim to have "repressed" it.
That false memories can be created, he demonstrates by citing several objective studies, and I found them quite convincing. He further proves from objective studies that traumatic events are rarely forgotten. What's more, most of the case studies of "recovered memory" patients documented patients who had sought counseling for something other than lost time. In addition, many false memory patients recanted.
This is a much needed book. When people like Raymond Buckey spend five years in jail during a travesty of a trial, at the end of which he is acquitted, someone needs to stand up and cry "Foul!" I applaud Dr. Campbell for doing so.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Wall on July 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The organization that this man is a prominent member of, the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, is the first spot that pedophiles turn to when they are accused of sexual abuse. This book uses the guise of denying the legitimacy of childhood reporting to deny the existence of sexual assault. I just don't understand how in a culture that is so silencing to those that have been abused, Smoke and Mirrors is hailed as "much needed," "a great counter to the feminazis." The way that America handles sexual assault runs so much deeper than political labels and theories. The fact that he suggests that sexual assault is all just Smoke and Mirrors neatly meshes with the overwhelming message that abuse and incest does not happen in our homes. As someone who has been abused who has meet dozens of others by chance, this attack on survivors is nothing short of devastating. As one of nearly million of examples of such attacks, my support group for survivors of incest was shut down by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.
His writing has coldly objective clinical tone (made depressingly hilarious by his impossible claim of his solutions having no bias). Before you trust anything in this book remember that this man is a poster child for a lobbying agency that keeps wealthy pedophiles on the street, and victims of abuse written off as loonies making up stories.
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