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Chu, J.A. (1998). Daring to Remember: A Review of Memories of Sexual Betrayal: Truth, Fantasy, Depression, and Dissociation, edited by Richard B. Gartner, Ph.D. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1997. xvii + 277 pp.. Contemp. Psychoanal., 34(3):459-462.

(1998). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 34(3):459-462

Daring to Remember: A Review of Memories of Sexual Betrayal: Truth, Fantasy, Depression, and Dissociation, edited by Richard B. Gartner, Ph.D. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1997. xvii + 277 pp.

Review by:
James A Chu, M.D.

This book is an unapologetic affirmation of the dedicated work of those psychotherapists and psychoanalysts who treat adult victims of childhood sexual abuse. The authors articulate both a sophisticated understanding of the distress of those who have been traumatized, and the complex relational matrix that allows them to heal and grow. The book originates from a 1995 symposium organized by the Sexual Abuse Program of the William Alanson White Institute's Center for the Study of Psychological Trauma. The two major sections of the book were the core of this symposium.

The first section discusses the controversy around memories of sexual abuse. It contains chapters by Richard Gartner, Adrienne Harris, and Jody Messler Davies, with discussions by Donnell Stern and Susan Shapiro. The second section, with chapters by Helene Kafka, Michelle Price, and Elizabeth Hegeman, and discussions by Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea and Gilead Nachmani, is about how sexual abuse is experienced and processed and how treatment addresses the difficulties of victims of abuse. There are additional commentaries by Sue Grand, Jonathan Slavin, Judith Alpert, and Richard Gartner that were not a part of the original symposium. These give added dimension to this volume. All of the authors are both practicing psychoanalysts and major contributors to the psychoanalytic literature on childhood abuse.

In the section on the controversy over the validity of traumatic memories, the authors leave no question as to their philosophy and positions.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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