Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To save articles in ePub format for your eBook reader…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To save an article in ePub format, look for the ePub reader icon above all articles for logged in users, and click it to quickly save the article, which is automatically downloaded to your computer or device. (There may be times when due to font sizes and other original formatting, the page may overflow onto a second page.).

You can also easily save to PDF format, a journal like printed format.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Cordess, C. (1998). Recovered Memories of Trauma: Transferring the Present to the Past. By C Brooks Brenneis. Madison, Connecticut: Int. Univ. Press. Pp. 204.. Psychoanal. Psychother., 12(2):172-177.

(1998). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 12(2):172-177

Recovered Memories of Trauma: Transferring the Present to the Past. By C Brooks Brenneis. Madison, Connecticut: Int. Univ. Press. Pp. 204.

Review by:
Christopher Cordess

This book, by a psychoanalyst well known for previous work on trauma and dreams, provides an excellent and balanced overview of the contentious debate concerning the validity—or otherwise—of memories recovered in adulthood of childhood trauma and sexual abuse. It is also a challenge to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and related professions to look long and hard at certain time-honoured dogmas which urgently need revision. The issues are highly complex in conceptual and clinical terms. In addition, they demand a wider knowledge of current cognitive psychology, and specifically of memory research, than psychotherapists have traditionally received in their training. As Brenneis says in his Preface,

Very often the dispute about recovered memories is framed as occurring between clinically naive researchers and research naive clinicians

and he sets himself the task of reviewing and integrating the best of both research and clinical knowledge into a considered judgment of the current state of the art.

Psychoanalysts, as well as other therapists basing their work upon psychoanalytic principles, until recent times, had used outdated models of memory, based largely on assumptions of underlying veridical and permanent records of the past—palimpsests of actuality, as it were—which led some to dangerous credulity in matters of ‘recovered memories’. In present times, by contrast, the practice of most psychoanalysts is one of scepticism in regard to the psychic products of the interweaving of unconscious phantasy and historical ‘fact’ as represented, for example, in the greater emphasis on narrative as opposed to historical truth.

[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.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.