Recovered Memories and Dissociative Amnesia – Scientific Evidence and Accuracy Rates

October 8, 2019 Comments Off on Recovered Memories and Dissociative Amnesia – Scientific Evidence and Accuracy Rates

Recovered Memories and Dissociative Amnesia – Scientific Evidence and Accuracy Rates

Recovered Memories

Recovered memories have been defined as the phenomenon of partially or fully losing parts of memories of traumatic events, and then later recovering part or all of the memories into conscious awareness. They have also been defined as the recollections of memories that are believed to have been unavailable for a certain period of time. There is very strong scientific evidence that recovered memories exist.This has been shown in many scientific studies. The content of recovered memories have fairly high corroboration rates.

Scientific evidence

There are many studies that have proven that the recovered memories of traumatic events exist. Brown, Scheflin and Hammond found 43 studies that showed recovered memories for traumatic events. The Recovered Memory Project has collected 101 corroborated cases of recovered memories. Hopper’s research shows that amnesia for childhood sexual abuse is “beyond dispute.” He states that “at least 10% of people sexually abused in childhood will have periods of complete amnesia for their abuse, followed by experiences of delayed recall” In one study of women with previously documented histories of sexual abuse, 38% of the women did not remember the abuse that had happened 17 years before. Most recovered memories either precede therapy or the use of memory recovery techniques. One studied showed that five out of 19 women with histories of familial sexual abuse either forgot specific details or had “blank periods” for these memories. Another study showed that “40% reported a period of forgetting some or all of the abuse”. Herman and Harvey’s study showed that 16% of abuse survivors had “complete amnesia followed by delayed recall”. Corwin’s individual case study provides evidence of the existence of recovered memories on videotape.

Other researchers state:

Research has shown that traumatized individuals respond by using a variety of psychological mechanisms. One of the most common means of dealing with the pain is to try and push it out of awareness. Some label the phenomenon of the process whereby the mind avoids conscious acknowledgment of traumatic experiences as dissociative amnesia. Others use terms such as repression, dissociative state, traumatic amnesia, psychogenic shock, or motivated forgetting. Semantics aside, there is near-universal scientific acceptance of the fact that the mind is capable of avoiding conscious recall of traumatic experiences.

A body of empirical evidence indicates that it is common for abused children to reach adulthood without conscious awareness of the trauma.

There is scientific evidence in support of the phenomena of dissociation and recovered memory in Holocaust survivors.

Corroboration rates

Many studies show high corroboration rates for recovered memories of traumatic events. These rates vary from 50 – 75%, 64%, 77%, 50%, 75%, 68%,47%, and 70% . One study showed amnesia in 12 murderers, with “objective evidence of severe abuse…obtained in 11 cases”. There are also additional studies showing the corroboration of recovered memories.

https://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Recovered_Memories

Brown, Scheflin, & Whitfield. (1999). Recovered Memories: The Current Weight of the Evidence in Science and in the Courts Journal of Psychiatry & Law, 27, 5-156. “Brown, Scheflin and Hammond reviewed 43 studies relevant to the subject of traumatic memory and found that every study that examined the question of dissociative amnesia in traumatized populations demonstrated that a substantial minority partially or completely forget the traumatic event experienced, and later recover memories of the event. By 1999, over 68 studies had been published that document dissociative amnesia after childhood sexual abuse. In fact, no study that has looked for evidence of traumatic or dissociative amnesia after child sexual abuse has failed to find it.”

http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/tm/prev.html

110 Corroborated Cases of Recovered Memory:  http://blogs.brown.edu/recoveredmemory/case-archive/

Research discussing corroboration and accuracy of recovered memories  https://pages.uoregon.edu/dynamic/jjf/suggestedrefs.html

Recall of childhood trauma: a prospective study of women’s memories of child sexual abuse.

One hundred twenty-nine women with previously documented histories of sexual victimization in childhood were interviewed and asked detailed questions about their abuse histories to answer the question “Do people actually forget traumatic events such as child sexual abuse, and if so, how common is such forgetting?” A large proportion of the women (38%) did not recall the abuse that had been reported 17 years earlier. Women who were younger at the time of the abuse and those who were molested by someone they knew were more likely to have no recall of the abuse. The implications for research and practice are discussed. Long periods with no memory of abuse should not be regarded as evidence that the abuse did not occur.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7860814

Research on the Effect of Trauma on Memory

Research has shown that traumatized individuals respond by using a variety of psychological mechanisms. One of the most common means of dealing with the pain is to try and push it out of awareness. Some label the phenomenon of the process whereby the mind avoids conscious acknowledgment of traumatic experiences as dissociative amnesia .  Others use terms such as repression , dissociative state , traumatic amnesia, psychogenic shock, or motivated forgetting .  Semantics aside, there is near-universal scientific acceptance of the fact that the mind is capable of avoiding conscious recall of traumatic experiences. http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/tm/tm.html

Memory disturbances and dissociative amnesia in Holocaust survivors

The following articles provide compelling scientific evidence in support of the phenomena of dissociation and recovered memory in Holocaust survivors. In addition to supporting the phenomenon in general, these articles also counter the argument that recovered memory is (a) no more than a recent cultural “fad” and (b) specific to false accusers of sexual abuse.  http://blogs.brown.edu/recoveredmemory/scholarly-resources/holocaust/

Dissociation & the Fragmentary Nature of Traumatic Memories: Overview & Exploratory Study

“a systematic exploratory study of 46 subjects with PTSD which indicates that traumatic memories are retrieved, at least initially, in the form of dissociated mental imprints of sensory and affective elements of the traumatic experience: as visual, olfactory, affective, auditory and kinesthetic experiences. Over time, subjects reported the gradual emergence of a personal narrative that some believe can be properly referred to as “explicit memory”….Of the 35 subjects with childhood trauma, 15 (43%) had suffered significant, or total amnesia for their trauma at some time of their lives. Twenty seven of the 35 subjects with childhood trauma (77%) reported confirmation of their childhood trauma.”http://www.trauma-pages.com/a/vanderk2.php

Kluft, RP (1995). The confirmation and disconfirmation of memories of abuse in Dissociative Identity Disorder patients: A naturalistic study. Dissociation 8: 253-8. “Nineteen, or 56%, had instances of the confirmation of recalled abuses. Ten of the 19, or 53%, had always recalled the abuses that were confirmed. However, 13 of the 19, or 68%, obtained documentation of events that were recovered in the course of therapy, usually with the use of hypnosis. Three patients, or 9%, had instances in which the inaccuracy of their recollection could be demonstrated.”

https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1794/1155/Diss_8_4_9_OCR_rev.pdf

Leadership Council Amicus Brief Appellant on Appeal from a Judgment of the Superior Court Brief of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court SJC No. 10382 AC No. 2007-p-0886 Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Appellee V. Paul Shanley, Leadership Council as Amicus Curiae

http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/docs/ShanleyBrief.pdf

ITCCS Finney released from jail, ex-Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis charged, Trauma and child abuse effects

October 3, 2013 Comments Off on ITCCS Finney released from jail, ex-Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis charged, Trauma and child abuse effects

– He’s Out! International intervention frees Canadian Prisoner of Conscience Steve Finney
– Political Persecution of Canadian activist Steve Finney in Ontario court to be investigated by International Human Rights Observers
– Dave Lee Travis Charged With Two More Offences
– Traumatic events do not occur at random
– Effects of child abuse can last a lifetime

He’s Out! International intervention frees Canadian Prisoner of Conscience Steve Finney

“Early morning call” to Ontario’s Attorney General spurred ITCCS leader’s release Posted on October 02, 2013 by itccs

Kitchener, Ontario: The courage and resolve of Steve Finney himself, and phone calls from the ITCCS and a United Nations non-governmental body to the Ontario government, stopped cold an attempt by local judges and police to silence Finney and his campaign to confront child trafficking in Kitchener, Ontario.

Finney was released this afternoon in a sudden about-face by local authorities less than two hours after Ontario Attorney General John Gerretsen spoke with two human rights officials who have monitored Finney’s unlawful arrest and imprisonment.

According to one of these officials, who is a legal advisor to the ITCCS in Brussels,
“We can’t disclose the conversation we had with the Attorney General, out of mutual agreement with Mr. Gerretsen. But I can tell you that we informed him that we were preparing a motion at the United Nations to censure his government for its treatment of Mr. Finney. We were also going to name Finney as a prisoner of conscience if he wasn’t released, since he was clearly incarcerated because of his political beliefs.”

Kitchener Judge Michael Cuthbertson had just yesterday told Steve Finney that he would not be released on bail unless he formally renounced his involvement with the ITCCS, and denied anyone connected to ITCCS the right to offer sureties for Finney. The Crown Counsel had also attacked ITCCS in the bail hearing and suggested that Finney’s wife Amy Smart could be arrested for posting ITCCS videos on youtube. “I feel fantastic” said Steve Finney in a brief telephone interview soon after his release.
http://itccs.org/2013/10/02/hes-out-international-intervention-frees-canadian-prisoner-of-conscience-steve-finney-early-morning-call-to-ontarios-attorney-general-spurred-itccs-leaders-release/

itccs.org
Political Persecution of Canadian activist Steve Finney in Ontario court to be investigated by International Human Rights Observers

Finney may be named as a Prisoner of Conscience and Political Prisoner Posted on October 02, 2013 by itccs

Brussels: Steve Finney, the unlawfully jailed Canadian leader of the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS), was told yesterday by a Kitchener, Ontario court judge that he won’t be released on bail unless he disassociates himself from the Tribunal.

Ontario Court of Justice magistrate Michael Cuthbertson informed Finney through Duty Counsel Dave Woodbeck that no-one associated with the ITCCS would be allowed to post bail for him, and neither should Finney himself remain active with the ITCCS if he wished to “avoid another thirty days in jail”.

Steve Finney still faces no charges after his sudden arrest Sunday morning, the day after he spoke on international radio about his work to expose child trafficking in Kitchener involving government and police officials. Finney has been severely beaten by Kitchener police, assaulted and denied any contact or communication with anyone while in prison.
In response to such flagrant political persecution, the ITCCS and its United Nations affiliates have dispatched two accredited human rights observers to Kitchener to attend the Wednesday, October 2 bail hearing of Steve Finney.
http://itccs.org/2013/10/02/political-persecution-of-canadian-activist-steve-finney-in-ontario-court-to-be-investigated-by-international-human-rights-observers-finney-may-be-named-as-a-prisoner-of-conscience-and-political-pris/

Dave Lee Travis Charged With Two More Offences The Huffington Post UK   01/10/2013

DJ Dave Lee Travis has been further charged with two offences of indecent assault on a woman aged over 16 between January 1 1992 and December 31 1993.
The 68-year-old, whose real name is David Patrick Griffin, has been accused of assaulting a woman aged over 16 between January 1 1992 and December 31 1993, Scotland Yard said.

Travis, of Mentmore, in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, has already appeared in court to face 12 counts, including indecent assault and sexual assault.

The ex-Radio 1 DJ was first charged on August 15 as part of Operation Yewtree, the police investigation prompted by the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal, but the accusations against Travis have no connection to the disgraced television presenter.
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/10/01/dave-lee-travis-charged-indecent-assault_n_4022792.html

Traumatic events do not occur at random
30 September 2013

Dr. Katie McLaughlin is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington.  She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology and in Epidemiology and Public Health from Yale University in 2008.  Her research seeks to identify psychological and neurobiological mechanisms linking child trauma exposure to the onset of psychopathology in children and adolescents. Today, Katie writes about what population-based data can tell us about trauma in U.S. children and adolescents….

We sought to understand how common traumatic experiences are in the lives of U.S. youths by conducting a study examining trauma exposure and PTSD in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), a nationally-representative sample of 6,483 adolescents aged 13-17. This study is the largest population-based study examining trauma exposure and PTSD in U.S. youths, and the findings reveal trauma and PTSD are significant public health problems in this population….

Trauma Exposure is Pervasive among U.S. Youths
A majority of U.S. youths have experienced a traumatic event by the time they reach adolescence.  Sixty-two percent of teenagers have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetime, including interpersonal violence, serious injuries, natural disasters and death of a loved one, and 19 percent have experienced three or more such events.  The prevalence of trauma exposure among children and adolescents is nearly as high as the prevalence in adults based on similar population-based studies.

Traumatic Events do not Occur at Random
Some types of trauma occur more frequently to younger children, including physical abuse by a caregiver, witnessing domestic violence, and kidnapping. Approximately half of all children who will experience these types of trauma in their lifetime have been exposed before the age of 8.
http://trauma-recovery.net/2013/09/30/traumatic-events-do-not-occur-at-random

Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Volume 52, Issue 8 , Pages 815-830.e14, August 2013 Trauma Exposure and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a National Sample of Adolescents Katie A. McLaughlin, Ph.D., Karestan C. Koenen, Ph.D. ,Eric D. Hill, M.S.P.H., Maria Petukhova, Ph.D., Nancy A. Sampson, B.A., Alan M. Zaslavsky, Ph.D., Ronald C. Kessler, Ph.D.

Objective
Although exposure to potentially traumatic experiences (PTEs) is common among youths in the United States, information on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) risk associated with PTEs is limited. We estimate lifetime prevalence of exposure to PTEs and PTSD, PTE-specific risk of PTSD, and associations of sociodemographics and temporally prior DSM-IV disorders with PTE exposure, PTSD given exposure, and PTSD recovery among U.S. adolescents.

Method
Data were drawn from 6,483 adolescent–parent pairs in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), a national survey of adolescents aged 13 through 17 years. Lifetime exposure to interpersonal violence, accidents/injuries, network/witnessing, and other PTEs was assessed along with DSM-IV PTSD and other distress, fear, behavior, and substance disorders.

Results
A majority (61.8%) of adolescents experienced a lifetime PTE. Lifetime prevalence of DSM-IV PTSD was 4.7% and was significantly higher among females (7.3%) than among males (2.2%). Exposure to PTEs, particularly interpersonal violence, was highest among adolescents not living with both biological parents and with pre-existing behavior disorders. Conditional probability of PTSD was highest for PTEs involving interpersonal violence. Predictors of PTSD among PTE-exposed adolescents included female gender, prior PTE exposure, and pre-existing fear and distress disorders. One-third (33.0%) of adolescents with lifetime PTSD continued to meet criteria within 30 days of interview. Poverty, U.S. nativity, bipolar disorder, and PTE exposure occurring after the focal trauma predicted nonrecovery….
http://www.jaacap.com/article/S0890-8567%2813%2900338-9/abstract

Effects of child abuse can last a lifetime: Watch the ‘still face’ experiment to see why
By Brigid Schulte, Published: September 16, 2013

In one of the most sobering findings, the report highlighted that advances in brain research now show that child abuse and neglect damages not only in the way a developing child’s brain functions, but changes the actual structure of the brain itself, in such a way that makes clear thinking, controlling emotions and impulses and forming healthy social relationships more difficult…..

Some infants, however, become so distressed that that they’re unable to console themselves. Tronick and other researchers have found that neglect leads to increases in the heart rate, a flush of the stress hormone cortisol and to cell death in key regions of the brain.

In recent studies, Tronick and colleagues in Milan, have found that four-month-old infants exposed to the still face will remember it two weeks later, rapidly showing physiological changes to negative responses that infants exposed to it for the first time do not….

In studies of infants at orphanages who are fed and clothed, but not held, talked to or played with have found that some neglected children, literally, fail to grow. “Some of them actually died,” he said….

The report found that one of the biggest risk factors for child abuse and neglect is if the parent him or herself was abused or neglected. So Tronick and others are working to train professionals and educate and treat parents in an effort to break the cycle. And, one hopes, put an end to the wrenching effects of The Still Face.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2013/09/16/affects-of-child-abuse-can-last-a-lifetime-watch-the-still-face-experiment-to-see-why/

Recovered Memories

January 23, 2011 Comments Off on Recovered Memories

Recovered Memories

copied with permission

Recovered memories have been defined as the phenomenon of partially or fully losing parts of memories of traumatic events, and then later recovering part or all of the memories into conscious awareness. They have also been defined as the recollections of memories that are believed to have been unavailable for a certain period of time[1]. There is very strong scientific evidence that recovered memories exist.[2] This has been shown in many scientific studies. The content of recovered memories have fairly high corroboration rates.

Contents
* 1 Scientific evidence
* 2 Corroboration rates
* 3 References
* 4 Bibliography
* 5 External Links

Scientific evidence

There are many studies that have proven that the recovered memories of traumatic events exist. Brown, Scheflin and Hammond found 43 studies that showed recovered memories for traumatic events[3]. The Recovered Memory Project has collected 101 corroborated cases of recovered memories[4]. Hopper’s research shows that amnesia for childhood sexual abuse is “beyond dispute.” He states that “at least 10% of people sexually abused in childhood will have periods of complete amnesia for their abuse, followed by experiences of delayed recall” [5] In one study of women with previously documented histories of sexual abuse, 38% of the women did not remember the abuse that had happened 17 years before.[6] Most recovered memories either precede therapy or the use of memory recovery techniques[7]. One studied showed that five out of 19 women with histories of familial sexual abuse either forgot specific details or had “blank periods” for these memories[8]. Another study showed that “40% reported a period of forgetting some or all of the abuse”[9]. Herman and Harvey’s study showed that 16% of abuse survivors had “complete amnesia followed by delayed recall”[10]. Corwin’s individual case study provides evidence of the existence of recovered memories on videotape[11].

Other researchers state:

Research has shown that traumatized individuals respond by using a variety of psychological mechanisms. One of the most common means of dealing with the pain is to try and push it out of awareness. Some label the phenomenon of the process whereby the mind avoids conscious acknowledgment of traumatic experiences as dissociative amnesia. Others use terms such as repression, dissociative state, traumatic amnesia, psychogenic shock, or motivated forgetting. Semantics aside, there is near-universal scientific acceptance of the fact that the mind is capable of avoiding conscious recall of traumatic experiences.[12]

A body of empirical evidence indicates that it is common for abused children to reach adulthood without conscious awareness of the trauma[13]


Corroboration rates

Many studies show high corroboration rates for recovered memories of traumatic events. These rates vary from 50 – 75%[14], 64%[13], 77%[15], 50%[16], 75%[17] 68%[18] 47%[9], and 70% [19]. One study showed amnesia in 12 murderers, with “objective evidence of severe abuse…obtained in 11 cases”[20]. There are also additional studies showing the corroboration of recovered memories[21][22][23][24].

References

1. What about Recovered Memories? Jennifer J. Freyd, University of Oregon http://dynamic.uoregon.edu/~jjf/whatabout.html
2. Research discussing corroboration and accuracy of recovered memories: An Annotated Bibliography by Lynn Crook http://dynamic.uoregon.edu/~jjf/suggestedrefs.html
3. Brown, Scheflin, & Whitfield. (1999). Recovered Memories: The Current Weight of the Evidence in Science and in the Courts Journal of Psychiatry & Law, 27, 5-156. “Brown, Scheflin and Hammond reviewed 43 studies relevant to the subject of traumatic memory and found that every study that examined the question of dissociative amnesia in traumatized populations demonstrated that a substantial minority partially or completely forget the traumatic event experienced, and later recover memories of the event. By 1999, over 68 studies had been published that document dissociative amnesia after childhood sexual abuse. In fact, no study that has looked for evidence of traumatic or dissociative amnesia after child sexual abuse has failed to find it.” http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/tm/prev.html
4. The Recovered Memory Project http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Taubman_Center/Recovmem/index.html
5. Recovered Memories of Sexual Abuse – Scientific Research & Scholarly Resources by Jim Hopper “Amnesia for childhood sexual abuse is a condition. The existence of this condition is beyond dispute. Repression is merely one explanation – often a confusing and misleading one – for what causes the condition of amnesia. At least 10% of people sexually abused in childhood will have periods of complete amnesia for their abuse, followed by experiences of delayed recall.” http://www.jimhopper.com/memory/
6. Williams LM (1994). Recall of childhood trauma: a prospective study of women’s memories of child sexual abuse. J Consult Clin Psychol 62: 1167–76. PMID 7860814. “One hundred twenty-nine women with previously documented histories of sexual victimization in childhood were interviewed and asked detailed questions about their abuse histories to answer the question “Do people actually forget traumatic events such as child sexual abuse, and if so, how common is such forgetting?” A large proportion of the women (38%) did not recall the abuse that had been reported 17 years earlier.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7860814
7. Andrews, B., Brewin, C., Ochera, J., Morton, J., Bekerian, D., Davies, G., and Mollon, P. (1999). Characteristics, context and consequences of memory recovery among adults in therapy. Brit J Psychiatry 175:141-146. “Of a total of 690 clients, therapists reported that 65% recalled child sexual abuse and 35% recalled other traumas, 32% started recovering memories before entering therapy. According to therapists’ accounts, among the 236 detailed client cases, very few appeared improbable and corroboration was reported in 41%. Most (78%) of the clients’ initial recovered memories either preceded therapy or preceded the use of memory recovery techniques used by the respondents. Techniques seemed to be used more to help the clients to elaborate the memories than to facilitate their initial recovery. Clients with whom techniques had been used before the first reported memory recovery were no less likely to have found corroborating evidence than clients with whom no techniques had been used before memory recovery.”
8. Bagley, C. (1995). The prevalence and mental health sequels of child sexual abuse in community sample of women aged 18 to 27. Child sexual abuse and mental health in adolescents and adults. Aldershot: Avebury. “Study of women 18-24 years who had been removed from home 10 years previously by social services due to intrafamilial sexual abuse. Of the 19 women for whom there was evidence of serious sexual abuse, 14 remembered events corresponding to their records. Two remembered that abuse had taken place but could recall no specific details, and three had no memory. Two of the last three described long blank periods for the memory of childhood corresponding to the age when abuse had taken place.
9. Feldman-Summers, S., & Pope, K. S. (1994). The experience of forgetting childhood abuse: A national survey of psychologists. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, 636-639. “A national sample of psychologists were asked whether they had been abused as children and, if so, whether they had ever forgotten some or all of the abuse. Almost a quarter of the sample (23.9%) reported childhood abuse, and of those, approximately 40% reported a period of forgetting some or all of the abuse….Of those abused, 40% did not remember at some time. 47% had corroboration. 56% said psychotherapy aided in recall. Differences between those who first recalled abuse in therapy and those who recalled it elsewhere were not significant.
10. Herman, J. L., & Harvey, M. R. (1997). Adult memories of childhood trauma: A naturalistic clinical study. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 10, 557-571. “Roughly half (53%) said they had never forgotten the traumatic events. Two smaller groups described a mixture of continuous and delayed recall (17%) or a period of complete amnesia followed by delayed recall (16%). Patients with and without delayed recall did not differ significantly in the proportions reporting corroboration of their memories from other sources.”
11. Corwin, D.; Olafson E. (1997). Videotaped Discovery of a Reportedly Unrecallable Memory of Child Sexual Abuse:Comparison with a Childhood Interview Videotaped 11 Years Before Child Maltreatment 2 (2): 91–112. doi:10.1177/1077559597002002001  http://cmx.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/2/2/91
12. The Leadership Council – Trauma and Memory http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/tm/tm.html
13. “True” and “False” Child Sexual Abuse Memories and Casey’s Phenomenological View of Remembering Joanne M. Hall, Lori L. Kondora – American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 48, No. 10, 1339-1359 (2005) DOI: 10.1177/0002764205277012 “Research shows that 64% of adult women childhood sexual abuse survivors had some degree of amnesia regarding the trauma; but in the majority of cases, corroboration was available to verify that abuse had occurred (Herman & Schatzow, 1987). Of 129 women with recorded histories of childhood sexual abuse, 38% did not recall the abuse that had been clearly verified and documented decades earlier. This lack of recall was especially likely among those abused at younger ages and among those whose perpetrators were known by them at the time of the abuse (L.Williams, 1994). In fact, a body of empirical evidence indicates that it is common for abused children to reach adulthood without conscious awareness of the trauma (Briere, 1992; Herman, 1992; Schetky, 1990; van der Kolk et al., 1996).” http://abs.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/48/10/1339?ijkey=ciZjJlFifgYIY&keytype=ref&siteid=spabs
14. Corroboration of Child Abuse Memories “Studies vary in frequency. Between 31 and 64 percent of abuse survivors in six major studies reported that they forgot “some of the abuse.” Numbers reporting severe amnesia ranged from under 12% to 59%….Studies report 50-75% of abuse survivors corroborating the facts of their abuse through an outside source.” http://mentalhealth.about.com/cs/abuse/a/cooroborate.htm
15. van der Kolk, BA & R Fisler (1995), “Dissociation and the fragmentary nature of traumatic memories: Overview and exploratory study”, J Traumatic Stress 8: 505–25 “a systematic exploratory study of 46 subjects with PTSD which indicates that traumatic memories are retrieved, at least initially, in the form of dissociated mental imprints of sensory and affective elements of the traumatic experience: as visual, olfactory, affective, auditory and kinesthetic experiences. Over time, subjects reported the gradual emergence of a personal narrative that some believe can be properly referred to as “explicit memory”….Of the 35 subjects with childhood trauma, 15 (43%) had suffered significant, or total amnesia for their trauma at some time of their lives. Twenty seven of the 35 subjects with childhood trauma (77%) reported confirmation of their childhood trauma.”  http://www.trauma-pages.com/a/vanderk2.php
16. “Recovered memories of abuse among therapy patients: A national survey.” Pope, Kenneth S.; Tabachnick, Barbara G. Independent practice, Norwalk, CT, US Ethics & Behavior 1995 Vol 5(3) 237-248 “about 50% of the patients who claimed to have recovered the memories had found external validation, a percentage that coincides with that obtained in the Feldman-Summers & Pope, 1994 study”
17. Herman, J L.; Schatzow E (1987). Recovery and verification of memories of childhood sexual trauma. Psychoanalytic Psychol 4. “Three out of four patients were able to validate their memories by obtaining corroborating evidence from other sources” http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=ppsy.004.0001a
18. Kluft, RP (1995). The confirmation and disconfirmation of memories of abuse in Dissociative Identity Disorder patients: A naturalistic study. Dissociation 8: 253-8. “Nineteen, or 56%, had instances of the confirmation of recalled abuses. Ten of the 19, or 53%, had always recalled the abuses that were confirmed. However, 13 of the 19, or 68%, obtained documentation of events that were recovered in the course of therapy, usually with the use of hypnosis. Three patients, or 9%, had instances in which the inaccuracy of their recollection could be demonstrated.” https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1794/1155/Dis_8_4_9_ocr.pdf?sequence=1
19. Westerhof, Y., Woertman, L. Van der Hart, O., & Nijenhuis, E.R.S. (2000). Forgetting child abuse: Feldman-Summers and Pope’s (1994) study replicated among Dutch psychologists. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 7, 220-229. “In a replication of Feldman-Summers and Pope’s (1994) national survey of American psychologists on ‘forgetting’ childhood abuse, a Dutch sample of 500 members of the Netherlands Institute of Psychologists (NIP) were asked if they had been abused as children and, if so, whether they had ever forgotten some or all of the abuse for some significant period of time. As compared to the 23.9% in the original study, 13.3% reported childhood abuse. Of that subgroup, 39% (as compared to 40% in the original study) reported a period of forgetting some or all of the abuse for a period of time. Both sexual and non-sexual physical abuse were subject to forgetting, which in 70% of cases was reversed while being in therapy. Almost 70% of those who reported forgetting also reported corroboration of the abuse.”
20. Lewis, D., Yeager, C., Swica, Y., Pincus, J. and Lewis, M. (1997). Objective documentation of child abuse and dissociation in 12 murderers with dissociative identity disorder. Am J Psychiatry, 154(12):1703-10. “Signs and symptoms of dissociative identity disorder in childhood and adulthood were corroborated independently and from several sources in all 12 cases; objective evidence of severe abuse was obtained in 11 cases. The subjects had amnesia for most of the abuse and underreported it. Marked changes in writing style and/or signatures were documented in 10 cases. CONCLUSIONS: This study establishes, once and for all, the linkage between early severe abuse and dissociative identity disorder.”
21. Martinez-Taboas, A. (1996). Repressed memories: Some clinical data contributing toward its elucidation. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 50(2), 217-30. “the author presents two well documented and corroborated cases of dissociated or delayed memories of child sexual abuse in patients with a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). The patients had absolutely no conscious memory of their childhood abusive experiences and in both cases the author obtained definite and clear cut independent corroboration of the realities of the abuse. The amnesia was documented and memories were recovered in the course of treatment.”
22. Viederman M. (1995). The reconstruction of a repressed sexual molestation fifty years later. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 43(4): 1169-1219. Reconstruction of a previously completely repressed memory of sexual molestation. Six years following termination of analysis, the patient wrote a letter describing a confirmation of the event, now sixty years past, from the sole other survivor of the period who had knowledge of what had happened.
23. Bull, D. (1999). A verified case of recovered memories of sexual abuse. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 53(2), 221-224. “a 40-year-old woman with no history of mental illness and ten years of exemplary professional work, recovers memories of childhood sexual abuse by her father through a call from her youth pastor in whom she had confided as an adolescent.”
24. Dahlenberg, C. (1996, Summer) Accuracy, timing and circumstances of disclosure in therapy of recovered and continuous memories of abuse. The Journal of Psychiatry and Law. “Seventeen patients who had recovered memories of abuse in therapy participated in a search for evidence confirming or refuting these memories. Memories of abuse were found to be equally accurate whether recovered or continuously remembered.”

Bibliography

1. Brown, Scheflin and Hammond (D. Corydon), 1998, “Memory, Trauma Treatment, And the Law” W. W. Norton (0-393-70254-5)
2. Knopp, F. H. & Benson, A. R. (1996) A primer on the complexities of traumatic memory childhood sexual abuse; a psychobiological approach. Brandon, VT : Safer Society Press
3. Leavitt, Ph.D., F. Manufactured Memory, Altered Belief and Self Report Mirage: The Alleged False Memory of Jean Piaget. Child Abuse & Neglect, 1999, 23, No. 12, pp. 1221-1224. [1]
4. van der Kolk, B. A. (1994). The body keeps the score: Memory and the evolving psychobiology of post traumatic stress. http://www.trauma-pages.com/a/vanderk4.php
5. van der Kolk, B. A. & Fisler, R. (1995) Dissociation and the fragmentary nature of traumatic memories: Overview and exploratory study. http://www.trauma-pages.com/a/vanderk2.php
6. Whitfield M.D.,C. Memory and Abuse – Remembering and Healing the Effects of Trauma Health Communications, Inc 3201 SW 15th St, Deerfield Beach, FL.33442-8190.
7. Whitfield M.D.,C. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 4, 2, 1997, Brunner/Mazel.Inc. c 1997, Traumatic Amnesia: The Evolution of Our Understanding From a Clinical and Legal Perspective
8. Whitfield M.D., C. Traumatic Amnesia: The Evolution of Our Understanding From A Clinical and Legal Perspective(Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, 4(2), 3-34, 1997)
9. Whitfield M.D., C. Trauma and Memory: Clinical & legal understanding of traumatic amnesia (Chapter 12) in Burgess, Ann W. (ed): Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nursing. Appleton & Lange, Stamford, Ct., 1998, pp 171-186.
10. Widom, C. and Shepard, R. (1996). Accuracy of adult recollections of childhood victimization: Part 1. Psychological Assessment, 8(4), 412-421. “accuracy of adult recollections of childhood physical abuse was assessed. Two hour in-person interviews were conducted in young adulthood with 1,196 of the original 1,575 participants. Two measures (including the Conflict Tactics Scale) were used to assess histories of childhood physical abuse. Results indicate good discriminant validity and predictive efficiency of the self-report measures, despite substantial underreporting by physically abused respondents.”
11. Widom, C. and Shepard, R. (1997). Accuracy of adult recollections of childhood victimization. Part 2. Childhood sexual abuse. Psychological Assessment 9: 34-46. “A prospective study in which abused and neglected children (court substantiated) [N=1,114] were matched with non-abused and neglected children and followed into adulthood. There was substantial underreporting of sexual abuse, when compared to court and medical records. Victimization recall was checked by comparing crimes disclosed in victimization surveys found in police records.”

External Links

1. Recovered Memory Data http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/recovered-memory-data/
2. Recovered memory corroboration rates  http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/recovered-memory-corroboration-rates/

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