A fourth former patient of the Castlewood Treatment Center in Ballwin is filing a lawsuit, alleging the therapy there gave her false memories of sexual abuse.
The woman’s attorney, Ken Vuylsteke, says she was in her late 30s in 2010 when she spent several months at Castlewood for an eating disorder.
“She was subjected to hypnosis, psychotropic drugs, and she came to believe she had suffered physical and sexual abuse by a relative, she had suffered multiple rapes by a family member,” Vuylsteke said. “These are all memories she did not have before she went to Castlewood.”
All four of the former Castlewood patients in the suits claim they were given false memories of past abuse, two of them claim the false memories involved satanic rituals. No trial date has been set in any of the cases.
“The instances of this type of thing, if at all, specifically satanic ritual abuse, if it ever occurs, certainly is not occurring to patients who happen to cluster in this particular treatment facility in St. Louis, Missouri,” Vuylsteke said. “It’s just not possible.”
The treatment facility uses Recovered memory therapy (RMT) a term coined by affiliates of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation referring to what they described as a range of psychotherapy methods based on recalling memories of abuse that had previously been forgotten by the patient. The term is not listed in DSM-IV or used by mainstream formal psychotherapy modality.Opponents of the therapy advance the hypothesis that therapy can create false memories through suggestion techniques.