Diagnosis for Disaster: The Devastating Truth About False Memory Syndrome and Its Impact on Accusers

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9780879515720: Diagnosis for Disaster: The Devastating Truth About False Memory Syndrome and Its Impact on Accusers
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An examination of repressed memories presents arguments for the False Memory Syndrome while offering opinions on why such memories occur and challenging the credentials of sexual abuse therapists and the authors of self-help guides.

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Wassil-Grimm surveys the several voices in the debate over the "recovery" of supposedly repressed memories of sexual abuse in childhood through such techniques as hypnosis and suggestion. She focuses primarily upon why remembering and discussing such memories is so appealing despite possible falsehood and severe damage done to the accused, family members and friends, and ultimately, the accuser. Interviews with women who eventually retracted their claims, reviews of the scholarly literature, participation in conferences, and personal experience constitute the basis for Wassil-Grimm's analysis of the nature of memory, trends and fads in psychology, the false memory debate, and the recent dramatic increases in accusations of ritualized abuse and diagnoses of multiple personality disorder. Wassil-Grimm accords special attention to the claims of The Courage to Heal (2d ed., 1992), which is widely regarded as the handbook of memory recovery. Although well written and organized, displaying Wassil-Grimm's thorough knowledge of the subject, her book is a tough read because of both the complexity of the issues and their emotional charge. Kathryn Carpenter

From Publishers Weekly:

Among the spate of recent books on "recovered" memories of alleged childhood sexual abuse, this one stands out because it is structured as a cautionary manual for patients, therapists and for anyone wondering if she or he was sexually abused as a child. The book is filled with interviews and testimonies by individuals, mostly women, who healed from misguided therapy only after they realized that their purported memories of childhood sexual abuse, usually by a parent, were false-fantasies engendered and encouraged by coercive therapists or by pressure from support groups, often using techniques such as free association, hypnosis and trance-like states. Some of the stories involve pseudo-memories of incest thought to be part of satanic ritual abuse, or questionable diagnoses of multiple personality disorder. Wassil-Grimm (Where's Daddy?), a writer on family issues, links together case histories, summaries of research, checklists and self-assessment tests into a clearly written handbook that is also a cogent critique of the excesses of the sexual abuse "recovery movement."
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780879516383: Diagnosis for Disaster: The Devastating Truth About False Memory Syndrome and Its Impact on Accusers

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ISBN 10:  0879516380 ISBN 13:  9780879516383
Publisher: Overlook Press, 1996
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