The Prediction of Accurate Recollections of Trauma

  • Constance J. Dalenberg
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 291)


The issue of recovered memories of child abuse has emerged as a lightning rod for rhetoric in the last decade. Clinicians who took these memories seriously in most recent years, sometimes with caution and compassion, at other times with a singleminded bias toward acceptance, were labeled “recovered memory therapists” (Ofshe & Watters, 1994; Wakefield & Underwager, 1994). Arguments were made that these clinicians may deserve condemnation “as a new class of sexual predator, causing psychological trauma equivalent to rape (Ofshe & Watters, p. 7). In response to what they perceive as zealous and negligent acceptance of such memories, some theorists appeared to advocate singleminded rejection of recovered memory of abuse, making categorical statements that ”people who experience severe trauma remember it“ (Wakefield & Underwager, 1994, p. 182). Exaggerated claims from both ”sides“ of the controversy culminated in highly biased and non-validated checklists (e.g., Fredrickson, 1992; Gardner, 1995) which purported to be helpful for making legal and clinical decisions despite the absence of supportive scientific research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Constance J. Dalenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Trauma Research InstituteCalifornia School of Professional PsychologySan DiegoUSA

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