Foreclosures, Multiple Personalities, and Swampy's

Nobody's Home

Who was it? Great article ["The Dirt on Foreclosures," by Paul Knight, April 24]. But it irritates me no end that (most) media for some reason refuse to identify the real culprits in news reports. For example, they never give the name of the apartment owner when reporting on decrepit conditions. They just say "­owners."

You did the same thing in this article. Why not name those lenders who were deliberately targeting lower-income, less-educated prospective homebuyers with funding they knew was going to result in disaster?

Example: "Banks are also spending more money on homes to make them more attractive to buyers..." Which banks made the most of these exotic loans for starter homes? The same ones most likely to have drawn in the least educated, most culpable consumers?

"One subdivision...hit particularly hard is Bear Creek Meadows...marketed to first-time buyers." Who were those marketing to these folks? Name the contractors/banks/mortgage companies with the most foreclosures.

Your story — though otherwise great — was incomplete without this ­information.

Brenda Beust Smith
Houston

DID Not

A bad ending: It is unfortunate that in an otherwise balanced article on dissociative identity disorder ("Going to Pieces," by Craig Malisow, April 17), Malisow ended with the biased conclusion that "[t]hey [DID therapists] know that a diagnosis of DID can be true, even if the patient's story is not."

Sadly, this gives credence to the small cadre of professionals who continue to engage in therapeutic practices that have been questioned or discredited by every major professional organization that regulates mental health counseling.

Malisow also failed to check Richard Hodgin's erroneous claim that "Emotions cannot be researched." In fact, there is a growing body of research on emotions in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, sociology and social work, among others.

We have long known that not all claims of MPD/DID have their genesis in therapy. Social and cultural milieus that unquestioningly accept personal narratives, no matter how bizarre and untenable, as being either factually true or a symptom of "unresolved emotions" can lead people to create alleged "alters" as well as memories of abuse that never occurred. The DID diagnosis becomes a circular, self-sustaining system, with the therapist and patient each playing their respective and complementary roles that serve to validate the diagnosis. Sadly, victims of this misguided therapeutic "neutrality" are left with a seriously impaired ability to test reality, and their delusions become further entrenched. If a patient's story is demonstrably false, it is incumbent on the therapist to address this as a part of the overall treatment plan.

Susan P. Robbins, Ph.D., LCSW
Associate Professor
University of Houston
Graduate College of Social Work
Houston

Down at Swampy's

The full story: It has always been a pleasure, and certainly entertaining, to read Robb Walsh's reviews of the Houston restaurant scene over the years. Swampy's is honored to have been a recent feature story ["Crawfish Cravings," by Robb Walsh, April 3]. Trying to recall any recent conversations with customers relating the story of Swampy's or my story, my sixtysomething brain kind of has gotten an idea of who he is. The reason for my writing is to tell him the rest of the story, one which I would have shared had he asked. Walsh failed to mention that Swampy's would not be what it is without the other person involved in the restaurant. Fortysomething Veronica "Ronnie" Kelley, who has been on the Houston scene for years running Floyd's Cajun Shack (Mardis Gras Grill) on Durham, left there to partner up with me to open Swampy's. Ronnie brought to the table a wealth of knowledge and experience spanning more than 20 years. She started in Florida in her teens and then moved to Houston, where she began at Red Lobster as a server, and then moved up the ladder to a training position and then one as general manager of many of their local units. I think it only fair that Walsh have the total picture. Incidentally, the industrial potato salad is freshly made baked potato salad. His taste buds must have been on vacation that day.

Bob Ginsburg
Katy

Hola, Amigos

Online readers comment on "Disappearing Washington," by Robb Walsh, April 17:

Great spot: Los Dos Amigos is one of my family's favorite spots. We hope they stay around for a long time.

Comment by omar

No dump: Armando's wife said this is her favorite little "dump"? It's not a dump, lady. It's a family-run business run by a very nice family. It may be a "dump" to you, but it's like home to me. It's like eating at my favorite aunt's house. Rosie always makes you feel welcome and loved. I think you would be offended if someone referred to your husband's restaurant as a "dump." I know you like going to Dos Amigos, and I certainly hope the reporter took your comment out of context. If not, you owe the Cantus an apology.

Comment by Alvajo

 
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