False Memory in Psychotherapy

C. J. Brainerd and V. F. Reyna

in The Science of False Memory

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780195154054
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199868384 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Psychology Series

 False Memory in Psychotherapy

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This chapter explores the question of false memory in psychotherapy. To establish the dimensions of the question, it first reviews some case studies of alleged adult recovery of repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse. These include examples of the classic form of this phenomenon: recovery of repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse committed by parents or Satanic cults; and recovery of repressed memories of sexual abuse committed by religious clergy. Some general conditions of psychotherapy that would be expected to set the stage for false memory reports of life experiences are considered. The chapter then examines whether it is possible, through procedures that are analogous to techniques that are used in psychotherapy, to instill convincing memories of traumatic experiences in people who never had those experiences.

Keywords: false memories; case studies; adult recovery; repressed memories; childhood sexual abuse

Chapter.  32919 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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