Perspectives on Repressed Memory Syndrome

Is it possible that psychologists and therapists who deal in "Repressed Memory Syndrome" are actually planting false memories in the minds of their patients? I can't help wondering whether, at least in some cases, the practice of this type of therapy might encourage the invention of past events that never really happened. What do you think?

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One thing we know for sure: claims of childhood abuse are at an all-time high. We have no doubt that many, if not most, of these cases are grounded in fact. That doesn’t change the fact that some mistaken memories of childhood trauma may have been encouraged or induced in the minds of certain individuals as a result of techniques associated with Repressed Memory Therapy. We now know that memories can sometimes be manufactured in response to the suggestions of therapists or counselors.

In any discussion of this topic it is important to stress that there are those who undoubtedly have been abused, and who are in desperate need of God’s healing touch. We’ve heard from many hurting individuals who frequently write to us, and we would be the first to affirm that childhood sexual abuse is both widespread and underreported. At the same time, we have serious concerns about cases where people who seem to be highly suggestible have apparently been led to “remember” childhood events that never took place. When this happens, not only is the patient victimized, but a tragedy descends on the innocent parents and relatives whose only crime was in loving the child who grew up to condemn them. It’s a sad scenario in which no one wins.

If you have further questions about this issue, we’d encourage you to call our Counseling staff.


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