Among academics and mental health professionals, there is a widespread belief that hypnosis has the power to retrieve lost memories. In 1980, Elizabeth and Geoffrey Loftus found that 84% of psychologists and 69% of non-psychologists endorsed the statement that “memory is permanently stored in the mind” and that “with hypnosis, or other specialized techniques, these inaccessible details could eventually be recovered.” The idea of whether people can truly forget traumatic memories has been debated for years. Early psychologists and psychiatrists such as Sigmund Freud, Joseph Breuer, and Pierre Janet also endorsed the memory-enhancing powers of hypnosis. In addition, belief in the power of hypnosis has spilled over into the mainstream with the help of TV shows, movies, and books. However, experts in general agree that “hypnosis either has no effect on memory or that it can impair and distort recall.” While people can certainly remember events they haven’t thought about for years, the issue at question is whether a special mechanism of repression exists that accounts for the forgetting of traumatic experiences. While there are many reports of people who seem to have recovered memories of abuse through hypnosis, David Holmes reviewed 60 years of research and found no convincing laboratory evidence for repression. In his book, Remembering Trauma, psychologist Richard McNally concludes that repressed memories are “a piece of psychiatric folklore devoid of convincing empirical support.” In addition, McNally gives an alternate explanation for the recovery of repressed memories: “Children may be more confused than upset by sexual advances from a relative, yet years later recall the event with revulsion as they realize that it was, in fact, an instance of abuse.” People sometimes forget significant life events, such as accidents and hospitalizations, even a year after they occur; therefore, a delay in the recall of events isn’t unusual. While hypnosis may not be the magic potion that uncovers traumatic memories, not all uses of hypnosis are scientifically problematic. Controlled research evidence suggests that hypnosis may be useful in pain management, treating medical conditions, eliminating habits such as smoking addiction, and as therapy for anxiety, obesity, and other conditions. Memories recalled even decades later aren’t necessarily false; however, it shouldn’t be assumed that recovered memories are valid unless corroborating evidence exists. What do you think? Is hypnosis the real deal? PAR wants to hear from you, so leave a comment and join the conversation!  
SDS_HBThe Handbook for Using the Self-Directed Search®: Integrating RIASEC and CIP Theories in Practice by Robert C. Reardon, PhD, and Janet G. Lenz, PhD, is now available!  A second edition to The Self-Directed Search® and Related Holland Career Materials: A Practitioner’s Guide, this book is designed for professional counselors, psychologists, career development facilitators, career guidance technicians, librarians, social workers, and graduate students learning to be career counselors. It incorporates John Holland’s RIASEC theory with cognitive information processing (CIP) theory and studies four aspects of the career choice process: self-knowledge, options, decision making, and executive processing.  Order your copy today!  
logoPAR is happy to announce the recipient of our second-annual “Pay It Forward” program to benefit worthy charities. “PAR has been incredibly fortunate as a company,” stated R. Bob Smith III, PhD, Chairman and CEO. “Rather than sending our Customers an end-of-year gift, last year, we decided to do something new—we made a charitable contribution on behalf of our Customers to organizations chosen by those we serve. We decided to make it an annual tradition, and continued the program this fall, selecting new charities.” In November, PAR mailed an end-of-year communication to select Customers, thanking them for their business and asking them to choose their favorite organization from a list as a way to acknowledge the important work they do throughout the year. Now that results have been tallied, PAR is proud to announce that on behalf of our Customers, a $5,000 donation will be made to Feeding America. “We are so inspired by the work our Customers do, and Feeding America inspires them,” said Smith. “It is an honor to be able to pay it forward.”
MVP_18We are pleased to announce the release of the Memory Validity Profile™ (MVP) by Elisabeth M.S. Sherman, PhD, and Brian Brooks, PhD. The MVP determines whether an examinee is providing valid test scores and is designed to be used in tandem with other assessments. It is the first and only performance validity test (PVT) designed for and nationally standardized on children, adolescents, and young adults ages 5-21. The MVP is conormed with the Child and Adolescent Memory Profile™ (ChAMP™), which provides comprehensive information about learning and memory and an embedded indicator of validity. Highlights of the MVP
  • It is the first PVT to provide age-adjusted cutoff scores to minimize false positives in younger children.
  • It has no motor requirements and can be administered to youth with motor impairments, visual impairments, developmental delays, and acquired cognitive, academic, or behavioral concerns.
  • It takes less than 10 minutes to administer and score.
  • It’s easy to learn and practical, with just one stimulus book and one record form.
  • It features colorful, engaging stimuli.
Check out the MVP Fact Sheet!