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The Myth of Repressed Memory: False Memories and Allegations of Sexual Abuse

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According to many clinical psychologists, when the mind is forced to endure a horrifying experience, it has the ability to bury the entire memory of it so deeply within the unconscious that it can only be recalled in the form of a flashback triggered by a sight, a smell, or a sound. Indeed, therapists and lawyers have created an industry based on treating and litigating th According to many clinical psychologists, when the mind is forced to endure a horrifying experience, it has the ability to bury the entire memory of it so deeply within the unconscious that it can only be recalled in the form of a flashback triggered by a sight, a smell, or a sound. Indeed, therapists and lawyers have created an industry based on treating and litigating the cases of people who suddenly claim to have "recovered" memories of everything from child abuse to murder. This book reveals that despite decades of research, there is absolutely no controlled scientific support for the idea that memories of trauma are routinely banished into the unconscious and then reliably recovered years later. Since it is not actually a legitimate psychological phenomenon, the idea of "recovered memory"--and the movement that has developed alongside it--is thus closer to a dangerous fad or trendy witch hunt.


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According to many clinical psychologists, when the mind is forced to endure a horrifying experience, it has the ability to bury the entire memory of it so deeply within the unconscious that it can only be recalled in the form of a flashback triggered by a sight, a smell, or a sound. Indeed, therapists and lawyers have created an industry based on treating and litigating th According to many clinical psychologists, when the mind is forced to endure a horrifying experience, it has the ability to bury the entire memory of it so deeply within the unconscious that it can only be recalled in the form of a flashback triggered by a sight, a smell, or a sound. Indeed, therapists and lawyers have created an industry based on treating and litigating the cases of people who suddenly claim to have "recovered" memories of everything from child abuse to murder. This book reveals that despite decades of research, there is absolutely no controlled scientific support for the idea that memories of trauma are routinely banished into the unconscious and then reliably recovered years later. Since it is not actually a legitimate psychological phenomenon, the idea of "recovered memory"--and the movement that has developed alongside it--is thus closer to a dangerous fad or trendy witch hunt.

30 review for The Myth of Repressed Memory: False Memories and Allegations of Sexual Abuse

  1. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    As another reviewer of this book as pointed out, it is advisable to investigate the background of individuals who write books about controversial topics. So, here is some background on Dr. Loftus. This is her website at the University of California, Irvine, where she is currently employed as a Distinguished Professor in the Psychology and Social Behavior and Criminology, Law and Society Departments: http://socialecology.uci.edu/faculty/... If you download her CV (academic resume) available on the As another reviewer of this book as pointed out, it is advisable to investigate the background of individuals who write books about controversial topics. So, here is some background on Dr. Loftus. This is her website at the University of California, Irvine, where she is currently employed as a Distinguished Professor in the Psychology and Social Behavior and Criminology, Law and Society Departments: http://socialecology.uci.edu/faculty/... If you download her CV (academic resume) available on the page, you will see a 40 page document outlining her educational experience, publication history, teaching experience, and awards. The awards section alone is two pages and includes honorary degrees from six universities, awards granted from six honorary societies and organizations, four fellowships (three from Stanford and one from Harvard), etc. Dr. Loftus is the acknowledged world-leading expert in false memories. She was listed by the American Psychological Association as the #58 most eminent psychologist in the 20th Century. She has also served as the President for professional organizations such as the Association for Psychological Science and the Western Psychological Association. The list of professional achievements goes on and on. Mainstream professional psychologists recognize Dr. Loftus as an accomplished expert. This book is a bit old, but still contains good research and examples. For current reading on the topic, refer to any of the dozens of peer-reviewed publications listed on her website.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paul Jr.

    A dangerous book. It is very, very important that you know the full background of Dr. Loftus before reading this book and choosing to believe it. Dr. Loftus has a long and interesting involvement in issues of recovered memories, including a period of time where she not only supported the evidence that repressed memories existed, but actually wrote a "study" supporting repressed memories. Mainstream psychologists and trauma specialists have decried this book. Dr. Loftus "research" methods have be A dangerous book. It is very, very important that you know the full background of Dr. Loftus before reading this book and choosing to believe it. Dr. Loftus has a long and interesting involvement in issues of recovered memories, including a period of time where she not only supported the evidence that repressed memories existed, but actually wrote a "study" supporting repressed memories. Mainstream psychologists and trauma specialists have decried this book. Dr. Loftus "research" methods have been shown to be faulty and unreliable, and the organization with which she has allied herself has a fascinating and slightly frightening history in and of itself. All of this information is accessible on the web, with varying perspectives. Please educate yourself on Dr. Loftus' background before believing all that is put forward in this book. If you really desire to know the facts of repressed memories there are far better books out there which do not mislead and misrepresent the facts and scientific evidence the way Dr. Loftus has done. These books look at all angles and issues from a scientific perspective and do not -- unlike Dr. Loftus -- take on the political agenda of the FMSF.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Angie crosby

    This book angered me. Although I am sure some people do falsely accuse, It is not most people. Repressed memories are real. They do exist.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cara

    As is clear from the other reviews of this book, its subject matter is still quite controversial. However, make no mistake about it, science comes down quite clearly on one side of the controversy - that is, Dr Loftus' side. False memories are easy to create in a laboratory, under carefully controlled scientific conditions. This has been done many times, in many laboratories around the world. False memories are likewise easy to create out in the "real world" (intentionally or otherwise). This bo As is clear from the other reviews of this book, its subject matter is still quite controversial. However, make no mistake about it, science comes down quite clearly on one side of the controversy - that is, Dr Loftus' side. False memories are easy to create in a laboratory, under carefully controlled scientific conditions. This has been done many times, in many laboratories around the world. False memories are likewise easy to create out in the "real world" (intentionally or otherwise). This book describes the tremendous consequences that these false memories can have. Sexual abuse happens - too often, to too many people, and it can have horrible consequences. But so can false accusations.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Poppy

    Incredible

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    A very disappointing book. I read it for Psych 100 because I was interested in Dr. Loftus' memory research. However I was disappointed to find that the book contains only the briefest mention of that research, and no details or even summaries of the the experiments conducted. Instead, the book concerns itself entirely with the sexual abuse/incest accusations that arise from the allegedly recovered "repressed" memories. Even if I had been looking for information about that wave of accusations and A very disappointing book. I read it for Psych 100 because I was interested in Dr. Loftus' memory research. However I was disappointed to find that the book contains only the briefest mention of that research, and no details or even summaries of the the experiments conducted. Instead, the book concerns itself entirely with the sexual abuse/incest accusations that arise from the allegedly recovered "repressed" memories. Even if I had been looking for information about that wave of accusations and trials, I would not recommend this book. It is clearly biased against the existence of repressed memories, which would not be a problem if she would present the experimental data which supports that conclusion in enough detail to be meaningful. Instead, she merely memtions it in passing before going back to sensational descriptions of outlandish and crucible-esque trials. Very little hard science, and her discussion of the differences between implanted memories and so-called "repressed" memories was superficial and incomplete, so minus 1 star there. The second star is taken off for the unnecessarily graphic and frankly sensationalist details of alleged sexual abuse and satanic torture that makes up the bulk of this book, or at least the most memorable portion. Such lurid details are irrelevant to the question of whether or not there is such a thing as repressed memory. The third star is taken away because I get the feeling that Dr. Loftus has focused heavily on the extreme fringe cases of a wave of sexual abuse cases, and, perhaps because she is not a sociologist, she does not provide any data or even estimate of what percentage of the overall sexual abuse cases in that time period rested solely upon the testimony of recovered memory. I do not recommend this book. The history of cases is hand-picked and biased, and the lack of hard science, which is purportedly her area of expertise, makes it little more than an opinion piece.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mizuki

    It's an informative and educational book about the fact and the myth of repressed memory and psychology. I'm aware that the topic of repressed memory is still a sensitive issue and I don't (and the author also doesn't) deny victims of rape and child abuse may be in denial and/or suffering from difficulties recalling and dealing with their traumatic experiences. However! When an abused victim told her psychiatrist about getting raped by her uncle when she was a girl, then said psychiatrist insist It's an informative and educational book about the fact and the myth of repressed memory and psychology. I'm aware that the topic of repressed memory is still a sensitive issue and I don't (and the author also doesn't) deny victims of rape and child abuse may be in denial and/or suffering from difficulties recalling and dealing with their traumatic experiences. However! When an abused victim told her psychiatrist about getting raped by her uncle when she was a girl, then said psychiatrist insisted her to *start digging her subconscious mind for (nonexistent) memory about being abused and raped by her own parents, which she had no memory about*, or when the authority started prosecuting a father for rape and satanic ritual abuse against his daughter when they couldn't find a single physical evidence to back the girl's accusation. I think these people had gone too far.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Cranney

    The author's tendency to recite conversations as if they were recorded verbatim bothered me, but I'm giving it five stars just because the central themes in the book (the inaccuracy, suggestibility, and malleability of memory, etc.) are paradigm-changing enough that everybody should read it, and as a pioneer in the field this author is as qualified as anyone to talk about these issues (although the book is a little dated). The author's tendency to recite conversations as if they were recorded verbatim bothered me, but I'm giving it five stars just because the central themes in the book (the inaccuracy, suggestibility, and malleability of memory, etc.) are paradigm-changing enough that everybody should read it, and as a pioneer in the field this author is as qualified as anyone to talk about these issues (although the book is a little dated).

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Very, very interesting --- if confusingly structured and sometimes awkwardly written --- discussion of something really bizarre that happened in American psychology during the 1980s and 1990s. People would go into therapists' offices, looking for help with various psychological problems --- eating disorders, depression, relationship problems, etc. --- and, sometimes, the overzealous therapist would leap to the conclusion that the person must have been abused as a child, and would insist that mem Very, very interesting --- if confusingly structured and sometimes awkwardly written --- discussion of something really bizarre that happened in American psychology during the 1980s and 1990s. People would go into therapists' offices, looking for help with various psychological problems --- eating disorders, depression, relationship problems, etc. --- and, sometimes, the overzealous therapist would leap to the conclusion that the person must have been abused as a child, and would insist that memories of the abuse must lie buried within the patient's unconscious mind, waiting to be dug up. One of the writers of this book, Elizabeth Loftus, is a memory researcher who found herself in the middle of a bunch of court cases relating to repressed memories, which she believes were mostly fictitious. (She doesn't think anyone knowingly lied about being abused; she just thinks some very desperate and suggestible people and some therapists who were very, very strongly committed to the idea that all psychopathology stems from childhood trauma got together and created these lurid, nightmarish stories of abuse, which both patient and therapist believed in). Loftus describes her research, especially the turns it took as she tried to prove her suspicions about the origins of these bizarre memories: at one point, she is able to demonstrate that you *can* create a memory of a traumatic event where none existed before, just by suggesting to someone that they actually experienced whatever it is you want them to remember. (Loftus's example was getting lost in a mall --- something scary enough, to a child, that "remembering" it caused distress, but not so horrific as to do lasting psychological damage to the people she suggested it to). Besides the bizarre, unreal nature of so many of the uncovered memories, I was also struck by just how *unhelpful* so much of the recovered-memory "therapy" was to the people undergoing it. In the cases Loftus describes, the patients would go into the therapist's office with persistent, but manageable, psychological problems, and would become so consumed by the memories of abuse they discovered in therapy that they would become totally unable to cope with daily life. It really brings home the magnitude of the ethical violations these therapists committed, giving traumatic memories to people who had none.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shani

    Dr. Loftus writes about sexual allegations arising from recovery of repressed memories, and claims that these memories are false and there is no such thing as repressed memories. Memories tend to fade and change with time, and not to disappear, locked away until they are one day unlocked and found in crystal clear condition. This book is way to long because there is so much repetition and no new information from about half way through. It seems she is trying to convince you by repeating the same Dr. Loftus writes about sexual allegations arising from recovery of repressed memories, and claims that these memories are false and there is no such thing as repressed memories. Memories tend to fade and change with time, and not to disappear, locked away until they are one day unlocked and found in crystal clear condition. This book is way to long because there is so much repetition and no new information from about half way through. It seems she is trying to convince you by repeating the same point over and over again. And while Dr. Loftus tries to appear fair and not make over generalized claims, the name of the book (" The Myth of...") gives her away and gives a cynical tone to her otherwise neural words. The order of the chapters was strange and there were problems with the editing (quoting other books, sometimes as separate paragraphs, sometimes inside her own words). The true stories (very interesting, and horrific, some made me lose sleep) were told in a story-like fashion which makes you wonder how she has all the details of how people felt and what was said. Also, I was lacking an interview perhaps with someone who had memories and then later retracted them, about how it feels. What bothered me the most was the story of her scientific experiment of creating false memories was never completed! We are never told about the results of the experiment or even given a reference (I didn't read the reference chapter). I thought her whole point was that if you cannot prove it then you cannot assume it is true, so I was really looking forward to reading more about her relevant experiments!! I don't understand how that could be missing. Overall it was interesting to read and made me think a lot.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gilahk

    This book was written in the 1990's, which is about 20 years ago and so is not recent, but the research and the conclusions are all still very valid. And scary. It is much more accepted today that memories are not like tape recorders. Our recollections of the past are a mixture of imagination, emotion, desire and some actual event.Certainly not enough to convict someone of a crime without physical proof and yet people went to jail just on the basis of a recovered memory, without any physical evi This book was written in the 1990's, which is about 20 years ago and so is not recent, but the research and the conclusions are all still very valid. And scary. It is much more accepted today that memories are not like tape recorders. Our recollections of the past are a mixture of imagination, emotion, desire and some actual event.Certainly not enough to convict someone of a crime without physical proof and yet people went to jail just on the basis of a recovered memory, without any physical evidence of a crime. Pretty scary stuff. This book could have been edied better, there was a lot of repetition and anecdotes muxd in with the research, maybe she was in a rush to publish because she thought she might reach enough poeple to prevent another innocent person from going to jail. Good read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Frrobins

    I am a fan of Dr. Loftus' research and find it fascinating. That said, this book was a mess. It was not well organized or written. There were some good insights and some good background, ie: how the idea to do the shopping mall experiments was born. However, after spending almost an entire chapter detailing how the idea was born, no time at all was spent on how the experiments were conducted, the findings, etc. If I'd not already been familiar with the research I would have been confused. After s I am a fan of Dr. Loftus' research and find it fascinating. That said, this book was a mess. It was not well organized or written. There were some good insights and some good background, ie: how the idea to do the shopping mall experiments was born. However, after spending almost an entire chapter detailing how the idea was born, no time at all was spent on how the experiments were conducted, the findings, etc. If I'd not already been familiar with the research I would have been confused. After some reflection it seems really obvious that two people wrote this book. Some parts read like a poorly written crime drama, while others read like the memoir of a scientist reflecting on her life's work and the backlash that has resulted from it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kymm

    I totally am in agreement with Loftus on her viewpoint and skepticism. The book had too many examples for me, making it almost uncomfortable to read. I would have liked to hear more about her personal research and what she has found out about memory and repression, and less bizarre case studies that just make all humans seem crazy. Not quite what I thought it was going to be.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    Loftus makes valid points around the alterability of memories and caution one must use particularly around accusations. However a book full of anecdotes contrary to repressed memories is not proof. Memory is suggestible, as we know in psychology, yet I think defenses and repression are real issues with there own anecdotal evidence.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tia

    Not just hero worship, I swear! This book explains how mistaken memory destroys lives.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    Really interesting, though I had picked up much of it on various podcasts. It kind of concluded that repressed memory was unlikely and did not fit in with what we do know of memory, but that there was perhaps room for some genuine cases, if not on the scale that was seen in the 90s. It also came out as clear that the techniques many therapists were using to "recover" memories were no different from techniques used to create false memories or distort new ones, even if the amount of trauma associa Really interesting, though I had picked up much of it on various podcasts. It kind of concluded that repressed memory was unlikely and did not fit in with what we do know of memory, but that there was perhaps room for some genuine cases, if not on the scale that was seen in the 90s. It also came out as clear that the techniques many therapists were using to "recover" memories were no different from techniques used to create false memories or distort new ones, even if the amount of trauma associated was wildely different. I'm not sure how it could be experimentally demonstrated if such memories can be repressed, but there have been so many cases it should be possible to determine how many were shown to be true by actual corroborating evidence and how many false in the same way (including the majority, probably all of the ones where people remembered sacrificing babies to satan then eating them). We may also consider difference in guilty pleas between recovered and constant memories. It was often said by the prosecutors or supporters that perpetrators often repress such memories so that they don't have to face what they've done. Unfortunately, this was not addressed at all, but for me, though it seems conceivable that a person who did it once might want to repress it, someone who did it several times a week over 10-15 years is not going to repress in the same way.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Zachary

    I've known of Elizabeth Loftus and her research on memory for a long time and just finally got around to reading her work. I think there is a clear consensus now that the idea of repressed memories, as anything more than a metaphor, is not supported by evidence. There are heart-breaking stories that were a result of the novelty of repressed memories and some of them are shared in this book. Elizabeth Lofus writes in a very accessible way about a topic that can be quite complex. Understanding how I've known of Elizabeth Loftus and her research on memory for a long time and just finally got around to reading her work. I think there is a clear consensus now that the idea of repressed memories, as anything more than a metaphor, is not supported by evidence. There are heart-breaking stories that were a result of the novelty of repressed memories and some of them are shared in this book. Elizabeth Lofus writes in a very accessible way about a topic that can be quite complex. Understanding how fallible our memory can be is crucial to overcoming its flaws and this book is a good place to start. This book focuses primarily on memory in the context of allegations of sexual abuse, there are lessons to be learned about memory overall that are useful under just about any context one could think of.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mark Isaak

    No doubt this book would have been more effective during the 1990s when accusations based on repressed memory rose to witch-hunt status, but it has not aged well. Most of the book consists of fairly details looks at individual cases, showing how the "repressed memories" arose and all the damage they did. Those stories leave the reader outraged, but with the repressed memory craze now burnt out, the outrage has no target. I sought this book to learn more of the science behind repressed memory for No doubt this book would have been more effective during the 1990s when accusations based on repressed memory rose to witch-hunt status, but it has not aged well. Most of the book consists of fairly details looks at individual cases, showing how the "repressed memories" arose and all the damage they did. Those stories leave the reader outraged, but with the repressed memory craze now burnt out, the outrage has no target. I sought this book to learn more of the science behind repressed memory formation, but that part of the book was barely adequate. Loftus clearly showed that false memories can easily be manufactured, and she distinguished among different types of amnesia, but she never really delved into the basics of memory formation.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brett Ellingson

    Many movements that last for any period of time, involve large numbers of people, and gain power and influence have their witch hunts - liberalism (French purges, red scare), socialism (communist purges), Catholicism (inquisition), etc. This book is a good airing out of a Feminist witch trial. It should give everyone a healthy sense of skepticism about their own impartiality, and it shows the absurd outcomes that are possible when theory is accepted on faith, proof is deemed unnecessary, and hon Many movements that last for any period of time, involve large numbers of people, and gain power and influence have their witch hunts - liberalism (French purges, red scare), socialism (communist purges), Catholicism (inquisition), etc. This book is a good airing out of a Feminist witch trial. It should give everyone a healthy sense of skepticism about their own impartiality, and it shows the absurd outcomes that are possible when theory is accepted on faith, proof is deemed unnecessary, and honest questioners are dismissed and vilified as traitors or enemies of the movement ("apostates", "bigots", "anti-whatever").

  20. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    A frightening look into how easy it is to deceive ourselves and tear families apart. The issue still seems to be pretty divisive, but the research of a memory expert like Loftus makes a good case for the fallibility of those claiming to "recover" memories, and points to the dangers of therapists and investigators who insist on getting an answer they want, even if it means creating those answers in a person's mind. Truly frightening read, but one that needs to be read nonetheless. A frightening look into how easy it is to deceive ourselves and tear families apart. The issue still seems to be pretty divisive, but the research of a memory expert like Loftus makes a good case for the fallibility of those claiming to "recover" memories, and points to the dangers of therapists and investigators who insist on getting an answer they want, even if it means creating those answers in a person's mind. Truly frightening read, but one that needs to be read nonetheless.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    I love Elizabeth Loftus. Everything she writes is just fascinating. We studied her at length in college, in the psych of law laboratory, and I just reread this one about two weeks back. Hasn't lost the punch of the first time around. I also love Witness to the Defense. I'm still waiting to get my hands on Eyewitness Testimony, which looks like perhaps the most interesting of these three! I love Elizabeth Loftus. Everything she writes is just fascinating. We studied her at length in college, in the psych of law laboratory, and I just reread this one about two weeks back. Hasn't lost the punch of the first time around. I also love Witness to the Defense. I'm still waiting to get my hands on Eyewitness Testimony, which looks like perhaps the most interesting of these three!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Littrell

    Authoritative, courageous, convincing Loftus is an expert on memory, a research psychologist who has spent a lifetime studying memory and how it works. She has often appeared as an expert witness in repressed memory cases including the George Franklin case in San Mateo County in 1990. The main point she and co-author Ketcham make in this calm and reasoned book is that so-called repressed memory is a fraud and its use by clinicians and the courts to imprison people is a tragedy and a disgrace. Need Authoritative, courageous, convincing Loftus is an expert on memory, a research psychologist who has spent a lifetime studying memory and how it works. She has often appeared as an expert witness in repressed memory cases including the George Franklin case in San Mateo County in 1990. The main point she and co-author Ketcham make in this calm and reasoned book is that so-called repressed memory is a fraud and its use by clinicians and the courts to imprison people is a tragedy and a disgrace. Needless to say the repressed memory industry was not pleased with this finding. Because she told the truth, they tried to brand Dr. Loftus as a traitor to the feminist cause. Industry members who had been making a nice living conjuring up repressed memories went on the attack, but she held her ground. What is amazing in this book is how well the authors maintain a balanced and fair attitude in the midst of such attacks. Loftus even met with Ellen Bass, co-author of the infamous The Courage To Heal (rightly dubbed The Courage to Hate by its victims) and managed to keep an even keel and a civil tongue. Loftus makes it clear that human memories are reconstructions. They are not accurate in a scientific sense, nor meant to be. Memories are reconstructions because what the tribal mind wants is conformity to what is believed by the tribe now. So human memories are intermittently reconstructed to conform to the "truth" as the individual under the influence of the tribe sees it at present. What happened years ago is important to the tribe only as it connects to the present, and it is usually the political present that is important. Therefore memories need not be factually accurate; it is far more important that they be politically correct. To make them politically correct they must be malleable since the political wisdom changes over time. The idea of "repressed" memories fits into this scenario wonderfully. The memory is said to be "repressed" until such time as it is politically necessary to retrieve it and then it is voodooed up and molded to fit the current power politics. It's like the rewriting of history in Orwell's 1984, or medieval trials by fire or water. Through the suggestive and coercive power of therapists (quasi-priests), memories are rewritten to suit the needs of the therapists, and alas, sometimes the needs of a district attorney bent on furthering his or her career at any price. (Janet Reno in her Dade County days is a case in point.) However, the reason the repressed memory of sexual abuse scenario became such a wide spread phenomenon in this country was not simply because it gave feminists power. That alone would not have done it. The hysteria was empowered by financial gain. Laws in many states were rewritten to restart the statute of limitations to begin at the time the "repressed memories" were conjured up, not when the alleged crimes took place (pp. 173-74). Now people could go after their parents many years after the fact, after the parents had made their retirement egg, and get some of it! This potential gain brought in the lawyers. For the therapists it meant that the therapeutic sessions on the couch and the group indoctrination sessions could be dragged on and on until the insurance money ran out. (The literature shows just how fast therapists typically dumped their clients when they could no longer pay.) Carol Tavris is quoted by the authors on page 220: "The problem is...their effort to create victims—to expand the market that can then be treated with therapy and self-help books." What backfired on the male-hating feminists was the realization from their more astute sisters that this repressed memory/sex crime/satanic abuse scenario just made victims and incest survivors out of women and effectively continued their subjugation to the patriarchy. As Tavris puts it: women were encouraged "to incorporate the language of victimhood and survival into the sole organizing narrative of their identity...." (p. 221) Another fraudulent aspect of the repressed memory business was the faddish diagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder that often went along with the phony memories, an affliction heretofore almost as rare as hen's teeth. Therapists cozied up to this once esoteric disorder because it fit in so well with their theory about why no concrete evidence of satanic ritual abuse was ever found; i.e., the satanic cults had so thoroughly programmed their victims that the personalities that experienced the horrors of abuse were repressed. Naturally it would take a therapist many hours at lucrative compensation to conjure up the repressed personalities and all the horrific "memories" of abuse. To make sure they got paid, the therapists got the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders "updated" to make the diagnosis of multiple personality disorder "real" so the insurance companies keyed to the Manual would have to pay for treatment. This is a courageous book that bends over backwards to be fair, yet is uncompromised in its expression of the truth. --Dennis Littrell, author of “The World Is Not as We Think It Is”

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marcia Barksdale

    There are some books that stand out and this was one. As a therapist, this was eye opening. I knew that this existed but not to the extent that was reported in the book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Read it back in the late 90s too. It was a book that needed to be written. There was a segment in behavioral health culture that was completely out of control.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Wanted more about how memory works and scientific evidence that repressed memories cannot be trusted, this book was mostly about cases of repressed memory accusations. Also the author seemed to portray herself as a lone voice against repressed memory who was constantly attacked and that seemed off to me. There was also a bit of downplaying physical or sexual abuse if it didn't involve long lasting damage or penetration, such as downplaying a father hitting his kids or a preteen getting groped. W Wanted more about how memory works and scientific evidence that repressed memories cannot be trusted, this book was mostly about cases of repressed memory accusations. Also the author seemed to portray herself as a lone voice against repressed memory who was constantly attacked and that seemed off to me. There was also a bit of downplaying physical or sexual abuse if it didn't involve long lasting damage or penetration, such as downplaying a father hitting his kids or a preteen getting groped. Which didn't sit right with me. There were some interesting bits though.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ena

    Судебные процессы, основанные на вытесненных воспоминаниях об инцесте - это новая охота на салемских ведьм. Во всех примерах столь очевидно, кто прав, а кто виноват, но, пока память не изучена полностью, эта правда абсолютно недоказуема.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    616.85836 L829 1996

  28. 4 out of 5

    Eyvonne

    A good review This is an engaging review of memory research, which many counselors do not get in their training. Includes a lot of references for further details.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Goed boek dat gaten slaat in de zeer twijfelachtige praktijken van regressie- en reïncarnatie therapie.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chris Pederson

    'Repression' was big in the 90's and caused lots of pain and suffering to people falsely accused of abuse. Good read. I'd read so many books that mentioned Loftus's work. I just had to read this. 'Repression' was big in the 90's and caused lots of pain and suffering to people falsely accused of abuse. Good read. I'd read so many books that mentioned Loftus's work. I just had to read this.

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