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Davies, J.M. (1996). Dissociation, Repression and Reality Testing in the Countertransference: The Controversey Over Memory and False Memory in the Psychoanalytic Treatment of Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Psychoanal. Dial., 6(2):189-218.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 6(2):189-218

Dissociation, Repression and Reality Testing in the Countertransference: The Controversey Over Memory and False Memory in the Psychoanalytic Treatment of Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse Related Papers

Jody Messler Davies, Ph.D.

This article analyzes the current controversey over the iatrogenic implantation of sexual abuse “pseudomemories” during psychoanalytic treatment. It includes a critique of contemporary memory “research” and an elaboration of the concept of traumatic dissociation, bringing it into the framework of relational theory. Specific clinical examples are used to illustrate why adult survivors of sexual abuse are so vulnerable to dissociative rather than repressive defensive structures. In the context of a long clinical vignette, the analyst's countertransference is explored as a fulcrum for the counterbalancing effects of traumatic memory, dissociation, and constructivism.

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