051 – Organising Your Class-Notes – False Memory Syndrome – UK Professional Bodies

Counselling Tutor Podcast Ep 051 – Organising Your Class-Notes – False Memory Syndrome – UK Professional Bodies

051 – Organising Your Class-Notes – False Memory Syndrome – UK Professional Bodies

subscribe_itunes button small

In episode 51 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, Ken and Rory provide tips on how best to organise your class-notes. ‘Theory with Rory’ discusses false memory syndrome, which Rory illustrates with a live experiment on Ken! Finally, the presenters list the many ethical bodies relating to counselling and psychotherapy in the UK, examining the similarities and differences.

Organising Your Class-Notes (starts at 2.47 mins)

As a counselling student, you may often feel bombarded with new information. While your tutor may give you handouts, it is often useful to take your own notes too, as a way of helping you to remember your learning. Ken and Rory offer insights from their own experience of writing class-notes, and of using them in writing assignments:

  • Rather than writing linear notes, try using mind-maps. Start with a bubble in the middle of your page, and branch off from there. This provides a much more visual presentation of the information, and better shows connections between the different elements.
  • Find out the details of your next assignment before taking notes in the classroom session. You can list the questions on a piece of paper, then add a mini mind-map for each. Then, when writing your assignment, you just need to join up all the points, and add references.
  • Didactic teaching (the ‘chalk and talk’ method) doesn’t in itself lead to students retaining much information. Vicarious learning is a really helpful addition – that means getting yourself a study buddy and meeting up afterwards to compare notes and thoughts on what you both heard. As phenomenology shows, we all see things differently, from our own perspective, so you can greatly add to each other’s learning. Why not use our Facebook page or the Counselling Study Resource private-study forums to find an online study buddy?
  • Download a voice-recorder app for your phone, and record everything you can remember from a lecture straight afterwards, then play it back later.


False Memory Syndrome (starts at 12.30 mins)

While some people believe that false memory syndrome is based on Sigmund Freud’s concept of repression (a mechanism to place uncomfortable thoughts into our subconscious memory in the hope that they will go away), Phil Mollon – in his book Freud and False Memory Syndrome (Icon Books, 2000) – refutes this.

Related to false memory syndrome, recovered memory therapy started in the USA in the early 1990s; therapists used techniques such as guided imagery, visualisation, interpretation of bodily sensations and dream analysis. But whether the ‘memories’ recovered were real was debatable. For example, US sitcom star Roseanne Barr shared 30-year-old memories of both her parents molesting her, yet they vehemently denied this.

Much research into false memory syndrome has been carried out by US psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, who came to prominence in the 1980s, having served as an expert witness in the case of Steve Titus, a restaurant manager falsely accused of rape. Loftus has carried out many experiments demonstrating false memory syndrome. Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget has also illustrated false memory syndrome through his own experience, in which his childhood nanny described an attempted kidnapping (which Piaget remembers clearly) yet later came forward to admit that she had fabricated the whole story.

However, some people feel aggrieved at such work exposing false memory syndrome, claiming that their real memories have been dismissed as a result of this. The lesson for therapists is that recovered memory therapy is generally now considered to be an unethical practice. Key to effective and ethical therapy is not to interpret what has happened to clients but instead to enter their frame of reference; this has the added bonus of encouraging client autonomy as opposed to dependence.

You can read more about false memory syndrome in Rory’s handout, which is free to download here. This will also be available in the Digital Handout Vault.

Free Handout Download

False Memory Syndrome


UK Ethical Bodies (starts at 26.57 mins)

We tend to refer often to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, but there are many other professional bodies that are relevant to the profession of counselling and psychotherapy. These include the:

  • British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies
  • British Psychoanalytical Council
  • College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists
  • Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland
  • Federation of Drug and Addiction Practitioners
  • Health and Care Professions Council
  • Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • National Counselling Society
  • UK Association for Humanistic Psychological Practitioners
  • UK Association for Transactional Analysis.

The presenters discuss the differences and similarities between the different bodies and their members. This provides really useful information for an assignment comparing the ethical frameworks of different professions.


Links and Resources

Counselling Study Resource

Counselling Tutor Facebook group

Counselling Tutor website

Basic Counselling Skills: A Student Guide