Repressed Memories: The Real Story

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Abstract

Repression exists. Four commentaries by J. Giglio (1998), A. Piper (1998), S. O. Lilienfeld and E. F. Loftus (1998), and M. Pendergrast (1998) deny the existence of repression. But every psychodynamic therapist regularly observes the phenomenon. Experimental as well as clinical evidence for repression clearly exists; these critics ignore or misrepresent both sources of data. More detailed case history material that shows the phenomena is readily available from current cases. The case in the authors' previous article (B. P. Karon & A. J. Widener, 1997) illustrated the hundreds of cases of WWII veterans who experienced battlefield trauma, repressed the trauma and displayed neurotic symptoms, and experienced alleviation of the symptoms when the trauma was remembered in therapy.

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