Treating Survivors of Satanist Abuse

Treating Survivors of Satanist Abuse

by 1 (Foreword), ValerieSinason (Editor), ValerieSinason (Author)


The moment the words 'ritual' or 'satanic' are used in a case of abuse, the victim becomes an invisible refugee and the worker is in danger of being discredited. One patient commented: 'I watch the starved faces of men and women in Somalia and I feel for them. But I also get angry. At least everyone can see what is happening to them. For us, nobody believes where we come from.' Ritual abuse engenders an extreme level of fear and trauma in its victims. Those professionals who try to help them also have to cope with their own fear and the disbelief of colleagues and the media. Valerie Sinason has been involved in working with victims of ritual satanist abuse for the last two years. The impact of these cases and her meetings with other professionals involved in such work has convinced her that a cool, clear look at the clinical issues is both timely and essential. First and foremost the book deals with the experiences that lead children, adolescents, men and women to come to the attention of mental health services. The process of their treatment is fully recorded as well as the fears and doubts of the therapist at the awful details they are listening to. Substantial space is given to the meaning and impact of terror and horror for the victim, the therapist and all professionals who come into contact with such information, including the police. A psychoanalytic critique of these issues is offered as well as an analysis of the perversions involved in satanist ritual. The book also aims to answer other questions. It offers definitions of ritual satanist abuse and analyses some of the reasons for societal disbelief. It considers what changes have to be made in therapeutic techniques to deal with patients who are in a trance state. It discusses the ethical and legal issues, and initial police inaction when child and adult patients are reporting appalling crimes they have been involved in. It makes a thorough appraisal of all the services available in such cases, gives details of the organisations with experience of working in the area., and a critical bibliography for further reference. In the 1980s the early pioneers who spoke out about sexual abuse were disbelieved; ten years later the high incidence and prevalence of child sexual abuse is culturally understood. In the 1990s professionals are witnessing a similar response to ritual satanist abuse and this book will be welcomes by many working in the field.



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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Edition: 1
Publisher: Routledge
Published: 24 Feb 1994

ISBN 10: 0415105439
ISBN 13: 9780415105439