What is Recovered-memory therapy?

What is Recovered-memory therapy?

Recovered-memory therapy (RMT) refers to a controversial and now largely discredited form of therapy that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s. It involved a therapeutic approach aimed at helping individuals recover repressed or forgotten memories of traumatic events, particularly childhood sexual abuse.

The underlying premise of RMT was that traumatic memories were stored in the unconscious mind and could be accessed and brought to conscious awareness through various therapeutic techniques. Therapists who practiced RMT used methods such as hypnosis, guided imagery, suggestion, and other memory retrieval techniques to assist their clients in recalling and confronting these allegedly repressed memories.

However, the validity and scientific basis of RMT have been heavily criticized. Numerous studies have demonstrated that memory is highly malleable and subject to distortion, and that false memories can be inadvertently implanted through suggestive techniques used in therapy. There have been cases where individuals undergoing RMT have claimed to recover memories of abuse that were later proven to be false or unsubstantiated.

As a result of these concerns, many professional organizations, such as the American Psychological Association, have discredited RMT and issued statements cautioning against its use. The potential for harm, including the creation of false memories and the distress caused to individuals and their families, has led to a significant decline in the use of RMT in clinical practice.

It’s important to note that therapy approaches have evolved over time, and evidence-based practices focus on the well-being and mental health of individuals through methods that are grounded in scientific research and ethical standards.

Shervan K Shahhian

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