"Seared into the Hypo-something"

The UN is funding psychologists who promise to help migrants 'recover' memories of oppression that will entitle them to asylum claims in the USA.

“The most common mistake migrants make during interviews . . . is that they are saying that they are suffering economic hardship. It’s not one of the criteria for refugee status,” Vidal explained during a lengthy recorded telephone interview January 20 with the Center for Immigration Studies in Tapachula. “That may cover up one of the true reasons why they are coming. They need psychological help so they can remember the situation they experienced.”

Asked if recovering asylum-qualifying memories for better interview outcomes is the main purpose of employing psychologists with United Nations money, Vidal answered: “Yes, through the psychological help we give them.”

They claim a 90% success rate in helping migrants describe their experiences in ways that accord with international conventions on asylum. 


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Recovered memory is basically unscientific crap. There are some interesting things at the margin, that if we move along in life we might not think of unpleasant things right off, because we have trained ourselves to avoid thinking about them. Which is fine. It's a good strategy. But those memories do not require extensive intervention to recover, they require cuing only. "Were you there when the soldiers came right after that poor harvest, and the mayor ran off?" "Oh, yes! I remember that now," and can give plausible details. What is called recovered memory is much more slippery and not well evidenced. Getting the details wrong about severe trauma is also common, but not the same thing. That a skilled therapist can make you believe that you experienced something you did not is more common, and not that hard to do, with patience.

Aggie said...

...Formerly employed by the McMartin Pre-School prosecutorial investigation team.