False memory Controversy

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Recovered Memory Therapy is a type of therapy used by ministers, psychiatrists, psychologists and other counselors. The Recovered Memory Therapist tends to assume that patients with such problems as eating disorders, relationship problems, depression, sexual inhibition and a host of other problems must have experienced traumatic instances of sexual abuse, which they have then repressed. These therapists use many counselling methods such as hypnosis, guided imagery, progressive relaxation techniques automatic writing, feeling work, dream work, group therapy and art therapy to uncover those repressed memories or produce false memories. The use of these techniques can be very helpful tools of counselling. I have used each of these techniques in my role as hospital chaplain and a certified clinical hypnotherapist, who is consulted by physicians at Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital in New Orleans, La.

In discussing Recovered Memory Therapy, I do not include those who use hypnosis and other counselling techniques to discover past history that might contribute to a present day problem and use it to help the person live better today without destruction of others. I do not included those therapists who work with individuals who have always remembered that they were sexually abused and are working in the here and now to overcome any problems initiated by that abuse. I am including those therapist who plant false memories and encourage their clients to confront, hate, break with and sue parents for something that may or may not have happened years ago. Based upon my findings and interpretation of those findings, I consider Recovered Memory Therapy to be based on bad assumptions and the result is bad therapy. Recovered Memory Therapy is bad therapy because it makes assumptions that are not valid, it rewrites a persons history with very painful results, it makes the client very dependent on the therapist, separates clients from their natural families, it causes the client to induce some very emotionally painful experiences which come only from the imagination and quite often makes the client worse instead of better.

Understanding the consequence, it is important to beware of Recovered Memory Therapy and its potential dangerous implications.

We have one mind but two parts: the conscious and subconscious. The conscious portion consists of about 10% of our thinking ability and the subconscious consists of about 90%. Our conscious mind consists of what is available to our conscious thinking process. It is the analytical, rational, logical, two plus two is four part of the mind. The subconscious is not logical and it contains our emotions, habits, automatic responses, feelings, instincts, impressions and much of our memory. One of the peculiarities of the subconscious mind is that the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality. In regards to memory; a thought, image, idea whether real or not, repeated often enough or when emotionally charged, becomes like a real memory to the subconscious mind.

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Q&A

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What is the repressed memory controversy.

An event that occurred past, the memory of which was actively repressed often because of the psychologically. The controversy is when people lie and use it.

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