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Facts about Recovered Memory Therapy

Article Index
Facts about Recovered Memory Therapy
Techniques used in RMT
What Kinds of Abuse are Uncovered?
How Often are Childhood Memories Repressed or Forgotten?
How Reliable are Recovered Memories?
Statements by Professional Organizations
How Common is Recovered Memory Therapy?
References

REPRESSED MEMORIES AND RECOVERED MEMORY THERAPY (RMT)

What is RMT?

RMT is a term which refers to the attempts to recover long forgotten or repressed memories.  It is often used when a client is suspected to have been abused many years ago, but has no memories of it as an adult.  RMT is a hotly debated topic within the mental health community: 

  • Most memory researchers believe that any serious abuse will be remembered into adulthood - whether a single event or oft-repeated. 

  • Many therapists believe that it is extremely common for a person to actively repress abuse memories.  According to this belief system, an adult could have been sexually abused as a child hundreds (or even thousands) of times and have no current memory of any of the events, even though the adult could recall other memories of mundane childhood activities from the same years.  The survivors would not even remember that something dreadful happened during their childhood.  The more serious the abuse and the more frequent the abuse, the more likely the memories will be repressed.

Although most memories are recovered during counselling with a therapist who believes in them, there exists a growing number of individuals who have recovered memories outside of therapy.  Frequently, books like The Courage to Heal are involved.  The techniques are the same; they are simply self-administered.