Saturday, November 14, 2009

Monica Pignotti Refutes the Disinformation Campaign

If you Google "Monica Pignotti" you will find postings filled with false statements and distortions. An all out internet smear campaign over the past six months has been initiated against some of my colleagues and me because we criticized what we consider to be abusive, dangerous interventions. My name originally got pulled into this because I published scholarly criticism of these interventions.

I am really not usually one to toot my own horn in this way, but given the situation, I find it necessary to refute this misinformation. Some of the smears have gotten so personal, juvenile, misogynist and nasty (e.g. calling me "Miss Piggy" and "Fat Cow" although even that is false, since my weight is pretty average for a woman my age) they are hardly worth responding to. However, others are false allegations (for example, the lie that I was fired from FSU, easily refutable by my transcripts and references and the lie that I am selling quack devices in Central America) and distortions of my background [e.g. lying that most of my clinical experience was with TFT when really I have plenty of experience in many other modalities and never even made a full time living from TFT at any point in time]. Here are some endorsements of my work by top scientific people in the mental health profession, to counteract my cyberstalkers' constant repetition of ancient history and neglecting to mention the genuine respect I have worked very hard to earn within the scientific community.

The first is from Dr. Scott Lilienfeld:

I understand from Monica that Dr. [name deleted] has written a lengthy letter of complaint [to her Dean] in response to her criticisms of his therapeutic practices. I wish to offer my own perspective on these matters. By way of background, I am a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Emory University in Atlanta where I have taught since 1994 (I received my Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Minnesota in 1990, and was a faculty member at SUNY Albany from 1990 to 1994). I am past president of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (Section 3 of the Clinical Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association), recipient of the David Shakow Award for Early Career Contributions to Clinical Psychology from Division 12 of the American Psychological Association, editor-in-chief of a peer reviewed journal (Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice).

I have been fortunate to get to know Ms. Pignotti through both formal and informal interactions, primarily via e-mail and phone correspondence and secondarily via academic conferences. In my experience, she is a highly intelligent and intellectually curious person with great academic integrity. She is also gutsy, and willing to speak out when she observes therapeutic practices that are potentially ineffective or harmful. But she bases her claims solidly on the best available research evidence. Monica is well respected among scientifically-oriented clinical psychologists, including some of the field’s leaders. I wanted to offer my strong support of Monica Pignotti, whom I view as a courageous scholar of considerable academic integrity.

Scott O. Lilienfeld, Ph.D., Professor
Department of Psychology, Emory University

And here is another endorsement from psychologist Steven Jay Lynn:

Monica Pignotti is a courageous champion of science in clinical practice. Her efforts to combat pseudoscience with critical thinking, scrupulous attention to "what the data say," and rigorous research are impressive and laudable.

Steven Jay Lynn, Ph.D., ABPP (Clinical, Forensic)
Professor of Psychology
Director, Psychological Clinic
Binghamton University
Binghamton, NY 13902

And this one, from Dr. Brandon Gaudiano:

I have witnessed firsthand Dr. Pignotti’s deep and abiding commitment to science and her tireless efforts to improve the health and well-being of individuals suffering from mental illness. Her promotion of evidence-based practices and her courage to speak out against controversial and potentially dangerous therapies is truly commendable and is a testament to her selfless dedication to the field.

Brandon Gaudiano, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor (Research)
Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Sunday, November 8, 2009

There is no such thing as a Pigno-o-Meter

My cyberstalker has grown more and more brazen in his libelous postings about me. Today, he posted in Live journal a blatantly false statement that I am selling a device called a "Pigno-o-Meter" in foreign countries. Of course, I have never had anything to do with any such device, which is a work of fiction. The stalker obviously has a lot of time on his hands, as he went to the trouble to photoshop a picture of this made up machine with the name on it. These things come up on Google searches on "Monica Pignotti" so I want to once again state, for the record, that there is no such device, I have no interest in inventing or marketing any sort of device. I debunk quack devices, not invent them. The evidence that I debunk such devices is in the forthcoming book chapter:

Thyer, B. A. & Pignotti, M. (in press). Science and pseudoscience in clinical assessment. In C. Jordan & C. Franklin (Eds.)Clinical assessment for social workers: Quantitative and qualitative approaches (third edition). Chicago IL: Lyceum Press.

Plus, I have a contract with an academic publisher to co-author a complete book on pseudoscience in social work where I will be including a debunking of quack devices.

The blog entry reaches the height of absurdity when it states that it simulates TFT tapping when the fact is that I completely left and repudiated TFT over 5 years ago and have not had anything to do with it since that time, other than to criticize it.