IPT Book Reviews

Title: Sexual Abuse Recalled: Treating Trauma in the Era of the Recovered Memory Debate
Editor: Judith L. Alpert
Publisher: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1995

Jason Aronson, Inc.
230 Livingston Street
Northvale, NJ 07647
(800) 782-0015
$40.00 (c)

The goal of this 410-page book is to address the complexity of memory development and respond to the false memory proponents. The book consists of 14 chapters organized into five sections. The authors are believers in recovered memory.

In the foreword, Christine Courtois observes that in 1990 the media began believing some sexual abuse memories were false because of memory work by therapists; consequently therapists are currently under a great deal of scrutiny for their conduct and techniques. The book book book begins with clinical issues and history and discusses the different findings of clinicians and laboratory researchers. Issues covered next include the scientific evidence for false memories, how false memories operate, the misuse of hypnosis, dissociation in incest victims, the nature of trauma, the development of confabulations, problems in corroborating recovered memories, transference issues, and civil court processes against therapists. The authors are Daniel Brown, D. Corydon Hammond, Helene Kafka, Evelyn Pye, Elizabeth Hegeman, Bruce Reis, Sue Grand, Michelle Price, Sue Shapiro, Laura Brown, and Judith Alpert.

The difficulty with this book is that we are given opinions based on clinical experience rather than empirical than empirical research. Also, there is no attempt to be balanced and present the skeptical side in the recovered memory debate.

Reviewed by LeRoy G. Schultz, Emeritus Professor of Social Work, West Virginia University.

Order this book: Hardcover

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