The Mentalist & My Own Worst Enemy portray very different uses of hypnosis and psychological strategies. Tim Kang is Kendall Cho, the stage hypnotist turned California Bureau of Investigation adjunct. While his skeptical colleagues look on, Cho uses (Milton) Ericksonian hypnotic techniques to befuddle, assist recall, and produce telling reactions in witnesses and "persons of interest" in California state cases. I enjoyed watching his technique. The advisors to this program must be having a great time. By the second show, I was already tired of the skeptical administrator vs. earnest investigator dynamic. And the two cases I've seen Cho crack had a high "ick" factor. I may not watch it every week, but the protaganist is handsome, the hypnotic technique stellar, and about half the scenes are on the beach.

    Worst Enemy stars Christian Slater as an MK-Ultra operative (Edward) and a married efficiency expert (Henry), who share a body and didn't know each other. MK-Ultra was a CIA-based mind control project that ran for at least 20 years. There were centers scattered around the US and Canada in which people, including children, were tortured and given drugs in order to cause tightly-controlled dissociation. According to Wikipedia, ,it's still going on. There was a center in Seattle, at the Pacific Medical Center. I knew a man whose father, a psychiatrist, worked there. The psychiatrist later commit suicide and said, in his note to his family, that he couldn't continue torturing children and wouldn't have been allowed to quit.

The switching techniques in Worst Enemy are flashy and high tech. In the first episode, they stop working and Henry, the innocent "normal" part starts showing up in high risk explosive situations, while Edward, the brilliant, psychopathic spy part, shows up in Henry's life, with Henry's wife. They figure out how to leave video notes for each other and the series is set.

I've worked with only one survivor of the Ultra experiments. I can't talk about the person, but I can say that most of these folks are poly-fragmented DID with huge memory gaps. They often seem to be victims of ritual abuse (and some were) and some of them, because of what they experienced in their "training" think that they were abducted by aliens. There are clinicians who know how to deprogram them using specific protocols developed by Jim McCarthy, a sociologist, who, while studying cult deprogramming, ran into MKUltra survivors, and figured out how to help them. There is a 1997 movie, Conspiracy Theory, with Mel Gibson, that portrays an MKUltra operative. The movie does a pretty good job of portraying the messes that these people become. If you think you've got a client like this, get some training about them, or refer to someone who knows how to work them. The work is very specific and very complex.

In the mean time, because of my interest in Dissociative Identity Disorder and hypnosis, I've got both of these shows on permanent Tivo.