The Christchurch Civic Creche Case

News Reports Index

1993 June-Dec

The Press
November 18, 2003

Therapist receives mixed reaction
by Martin Van Beynen

An American ritual-abuse therapist, Ms Pamela Hudson, received a mixed reaction from a group of Christchurch therapists, social workers and parents, a participant said yesterday

About 40 people attended Ms Hudson's workshop at the George Hotel where it will continue today. A separate meeting between parents of children who attended the Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre will be held on Friday.

In 1988, Ms Hudson, a Californian mental health worker, produced a now well-known checklist of children's symptoms and allegations that she claimed indicated ritual abuse.

Checklist allegations such as confinement, live burial, use of needles, defecation, and circle dancing surfaced during the Civic creche court proceedings where, former creche workers faced child abuse charges. Symptoms suggested by Ms Hudson were also exhibited by many of the child complainants.

The workshop participant, who did not want to be named, said she had enrolled for the $120 seminar because she expected to treat patients suffering from the effects of ritual abuse in the next 10 to 15 years She said Ms Hudson had presented some sensible material and other material that was very controversial. The participant said she was. keeping an open: mind and would need more hard data before accepting some of Ms Hudson's propositions. "I'm not convinced,'' she said.

Whether the workshop confirmed descriptions of Ms Hudson, as hysterical, gullible, and paranoid depended on where "you stood on the issue", she said.