Symptomatic Clients and Memories of Childhood Abuse: What the Trauma and Child Sexual Abuse Literature Tells Us

Judith Alpert, Laura S. Brown, Christine A. Courtois

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The American Psychological Association Working Group on Investigation of Memories of Childhood Abuse was charged with reviewing relevant literature and making recommendations for future research directions as well as for clinical training and practice. To accomplish this charge, members of the Working Group agreed to review scholarly literature on trauma, child sexual abuse, and memory to provide possible explanations for the four most commonly identified memory recovery scenarios. In each scenario, an adult displays a series of psychological and psychosomatic symptoms before developing what are believed to be memories of having been sexually abused in childhood. One involves the recovery of child-abuse-related memories in the therapy setting; the other three, which involve the return of memory outside of therapy, concern (a) an individual who recalls abuse without therapeutic intervention, (b) an individual who believes that abuse has occurred without clear memory of abuse events per se, and (c) an individual who has no memory for abuse events despite the fact that external corroboration exists for them. Although these examples illustrate the range of memory recovery scenarios now documented in the clinical and research literature, it is of note that none of them necessarily explain how access to conscious cognitive memory was impeded or how such memories eventually became available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-995
Number of pages55
JournalPsychology, Public Policy, and Law
Volume4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1998

Fingerprint

Sexual Child Abuse
sexual violence
trauma
abuse
childhood
Wounds and Injuries
working group
scenario
literature
event
abuse of children
Child Abuse
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Symptomatic Clients and Memories of Childhood Abuse : What the Trauma and Child Sexual Abuse Literature Tells Us. / Alpert, Judith; Brown, Laura S.; Courtois, Christine A.

In: Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol. 4, No. 4, 12.1998, p. 941-995.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{39de8c0089b04153995c9d415b72f294,
title = "Symptomatic Clients and Memories of Childhood Abuse: What the Trauma and Child Sexual Abuse Literature Tells Us",
abstract = "The American Psychological Association Working Group on Investigation of Memories of Childhood Abuse was charged with reviewing relevant literature and making recommendations for future research directions as well as for clinical training and practice. To accomplish this charge, members of the Working Group agreed to review scholarly literature on trauma, child sexual abuse, and memory to provide possible explanations for the four most commonly identified memory recovery scenarios. In each scenario, an adult displays a series of psychological and psychosomatic symptoms before developing what are believed to be memories of having been sexually abused in childhood. One involves the recovery of child-abuse-related memories in the therapy setting; the other three, which involve the return of memory outside of therapy, concern (a) an individual who recalls abuse without therapeutic intervention, (b) an individual who believes that abuse has occurred without clear memory of abuse events per se, and (c) an individual who has no memory for abuse events despite the fact that external corroboration exists for them. Although these examples illustrate the range of memory recovery scenarios now documented in the clinical and research literature, it is of note that none of them necessarily explain how access to conscious cognitive memory was impeded or how such memories eventually became available.",
author = "Judith Alpert and Brown, {Laura S.} and Courtois, {Christine A.}",
year = "1998",
month = "12",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "4",
pages = "941--995",
journal = "Psychology, Public Policy, and Law",
issn = "1076-8971",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Symptomatic Clients and Memories of Childhood Abuse

T2 - What the Trauma and Child Sexual Abuse Literature Tells Us

AU - Alpert, Judith

AU - Brown, Laura S.

AU - Courtois, Christine A.

PY - 1998/12

Y1 - 1998/12

N2 - The American Psychological Association Working Group on Investigation of Memories of Childhood Abuse was charged with reviewing relevant literature and making recommendations for future research directions as well as for clinical training and practice. To accomplish this charge, members of the Working Group agreed to review scholarly literature on trauma, child sexual abuse, and memory to provide possible explanations for the four most commonly identified memory recovery scenarios. In each scenario, an adult displays a series of psychological and psychosomatic symptoms before developing what are believed to be memories of having been sexually abused in childhood. One involves the recovery of child-abuse-related memories in the therapy setting; the other three, which involve the return of memory outside of therapy, concern (a) an individual who recalls abuse without therapeutic intervention, (b) an individual who believes that abuse has occurred without clear memory of abuse events per se, and (c) an individual who has no memory for abuse events despite the fact that external corroboration exists for them. Although these examples illustrate the range of memory recovery scenarios now documented in the clinical and research literature, it is of note that none of them necessarily explain how access to conscious cognitive memory was impeded or how such memories eventually became available.

AB - The American Psychological Association Working Group on Investigation of Memories of Childhood Abuse was charged with reviewing relevant literature and making recommendations for future research directions as well as for clinical training and practice. To accomplish this charge, members of the Working Group agreed to review scholarly literature on trauma, child sexual abuse, and memory to provide possible explanations for the four most commonly identified memory recovery scenarios. In each scenario, an adult displays a series of psychological and psychosomatic symptoms before developing what are believed to be memories of having been sexually abused in childhood. One involves the recovery of child-abuse-related memories in the therapy setting; the other three, which involve the return of memory outside of therapy, concern (a) an individual who recalls abuse without therapeutic intervention, (b) an individual who believes that abuse has occurred without clear memory of abuse events per se, and (c) an individual who has no memory for abuse events despite the fact that external corroboration exists for them. Although these examples illustrate the range of memory recovery scenarios now documented in the clinical and research literature, it is of note that none of them necessarily explain how access to conscious cognitive memory was impeded or how such memories eventually became available.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0032223209&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0032223209&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0032223209

VL - 4

SP - 941

EP - 995

JO - Psychology, Public Policy, and Law

JF - Psychology, Public Policy, and Law

SN - 1076-8971

IS - 4

ER -