Clinical and Experimental Approaches to Understanding Repression

  • Chris R. Brewin
  • Arthur P. Shimamura
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 291)


Clinicians working with survivors of traumatic experiences have frequently noted the existence of psychogenic amnesia and the recovery of additional memories during clinical sessions, although amnesia for significant parts of a traumatic event is probably only found in a minority of cases. Recently, surveys of women in therapy for the effects of childhood sexual abuse and other problems have found that a substantial proportion, varying from around 20–60%, report periods of forgetting some or all of the abuse (e.g., Briere & Conte, 1993; Elliott & Briere, 1995; Herman & Schatzow, 1987; Loftus, Polonsky, & Fullilove, 1994; van der Kolk & Fisler, 1995). Follow-up studies of children with documented abuse also find that abuse is sometimes not reported when the children are re-interviewed some years later, both under conditions in which they are explicitly asked about these events (Bagley, 1995) and in which they are not (Williams, 1994). A national survey of the experiences of American psychologists (Feldman-Summers & Pope, 1994) also found reported periods of forgetting in 40% of those reporting abuse.


Sexual Abuse Child Sexual Abuse Negative Priming False Memory Autobiographical Memory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris R. Brewin
    • 1
  • Arthur P. Shimamura
    • 2
  1. 1.Royal HollowayUniversity of LondonEgham, SurreyUK
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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