Child sexual abuse and false memory syndrome

TitleChild sexual abuse and false memory syndrome
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsBaker, RAllen
PublisherPrometheus Books Amherst, NY

The five papers in Part One, "Memory and Its Recovery," focus on the nature of human memory and what scientists currently know and do not know about it. One paper notes the dangers of uncritical acceptance of recovered memories and the filing of false charges based on them. Another paper considers how easy it is for therapists to dominate a client's thinking through subtle suggestion. Another author's work on children's memory for stressful events reveals that children's memory is not affected by stress until it gets to a very high level. Four papers in Part Two, "Repression and Amnesia," examine the evidence for repression of stressful events, whether memories of childhood sexual abuse can be repressed, and the distinction between true and false repressed memories. Four papers address hypnosis, suggestion, and iatrogenesis (psychopathology worse than the patient's initial presenting problem) in connection with therapeutic efforts to recover repressed memories. Five papers consider professional problems and ethical issues in conducting therapy with persons who may have experienced child sexual abuse. Three papers discuss the status of research on the issues related to recovered memories of alleged sexual abuse and the legal implications of such research. 33 recommended readings and a subject index