Diagnosis for Disaster: The Devastating Truth about False Memory Syndrome and Its Impact on Accusers / Edition 1

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False Memory Syndrome is a dangerous phenomenon that is gaining tremendous momentum in this country. Since 1992, there has been a proliferation of false accusations of sexual abuse by women who, decades after the alleged event, are coaxed by memory therapists into "recovering" memories of childhood abuse during therapy often begun for reasons of depression, post-divorce stress, or an eating disorder. Diagnosis for Disaster is a powerful look at this shocking trend. Exposing the weaknesses in The Courage to Heal, the memory therapists' bible, Claudette Wassil-Grimm provides a handbook to counter the influence of such books and the victim mentality they encourage; she also provides a fascinating examination of satanic ritual abuse and multiple personality disorder, related therapy trends. Incisive and compelling, Diagnosis for Disaster is essential reading for anyone with an interest in understanding the pitfalls of recovered memory therapy.

Contrasts stories of those who remembered sexual abuse correctly w/those whose "recovered memories" were false.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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.'' (Feb.)
Kathryn Carpenter
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.
Explores the increase in cases of False Memory Syndrome, through the voices of retractors. Exposes weaknesses in The Courage to Heal, and examines related trends such as satanic ritual abuse and multiple personality disorder. Defines False Memory Syndrome and describes its impact on therapy survivors and family members. Of interest to psychology professionals, clients and victims of child abuse therapy, and falsely accused parents. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879515720
  • Publisher: Overlook Press, The
  • Publication date: 2/1/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 9.24 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.37 (d)

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