A scenario of when a therapist recovers sexual abuse in the past of a client isn't representative of all therapy sessions. They can be triggered by anything, not just by therapy.

Repressed Memory: A memory for a past traumatic event that a person has no apparent recollection of, because they have repressed the memory. (Motivated forgetting is also repression as a defensive mechanism)

Recovered Memory: A memory for a past traumatic experience that has arisen at a later time, not necessarily as a result of recovered memory therapy.

False Memory: A memory for a past traumatic event that did not occur.

Recovered Memory Therapy: Therapeutic practices designed to help people recover repressed memories of past trauma.


People who suffer amnesia can get traumatic experiences (Dissociative Amnesia). However most people are haunted by their memories of trauma and difficult to know whether a person has, in reality, forgotten the trauma.

It is unknown whether amnesia is the result of a process of unconscious repression, or just normal forgetting. Repression is a Freudian notion that is impossible to experiment. However there are some neuropsych evidence where it could be different.

Forgotten memories for trauma can re-surface under circumstances where the individual is in a similar position as explained by encoding specificity. Can be independent of therapy or within therapy. Although there are some accurate cases, there are also false memories. It is nearly impossible to demonstrate a causal connection between repressed memory therapy and accuracy recall of forgotten trauma.

False memories can be implanted and there is real world evidence to support this. Therapy is invalid and inaccurate most of the time using conventional scientific methods. Therapy speeds process, when anything can bring repressed memories out.
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