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Arundale, J. (1996). Editorial. Brit. J. Psychother., 12(3):289-290.

(1996). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 12(3):289-290


Jean Arundale

Having the conviction, as we do, that all of our human experience is composed of a mixture of reality and fantasy, how do we as therapists look upon memories that emerge in the process of psychotherapy? What is their historical status and truth value, of particular importance when the memories involve possible immoral or criminal actions from the past? This issue includes a special section prepared by Ann Scott on recovered memories of sexual abuse. She has brought together the views of an analytic psychotherapist, Fiona Gardner, with a review of the literature by Bessel van der Kolk and Rita Fisler from American sources where the recovered memory debate is more widespread. This review encompasses the nature of traumatic memory and amnesia in general, and PTSD in particular. It is introduced by Sandra Bloom who has been involved in the recovered memory debate for a number of years from the clinical and socio-historical aspects. In this section we have a response to these two papers by Professor John Morton, a cognitive psychology researcher on memory and co-author of the British Psychological Society position paper on recovered memories of sexual abuse.

Has an overriding emphasis on the transference eclipsed the notion of working alliance in modern-day analytic therapy? In a reappraisal of the concept of working alliance, Charlotte Wynn Parry and Diana Birkett look at attitudes towards it from the point of view of different schools and pick out Greenson's position as the most useful, arguing that the concept of working alliance is valuable for our practice and should not be overlooked.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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