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Suggestions of Abuse

Allegations of sexual abuse, particularly those based on the recovery of supposed repressed memories of abuse, have reached incredible proportions. This timely book reveals how & why a startling number of mental health professionals, ignorant about suggestibility & the workings of memory, are unwittingly leading their patients to believe that they are victims of sexual abuse that has been entirely repressed. Yapko explains what we know — & don t know — about memory, repression, & suggestibility. Also offers sensitive, realistic advice for those whose lives have been damaged or falsely led to believe they were abused.

Dr. Yapko is an expert in hypnosis and proponent of using this skill to help clients with depression but he fully recognizes that hypnosis may make an already vulnerable client even more “suggestible” and with intentional or unintentional suggestive statements and questions the creation of “false memories” would be much more likely. Even if he still thinks some articulated “repressed memories” (now called disociative amnesia) may be real but recognizes that many of the memories may not be historically correct and that the consequences (legal, emotional and vocational) can be catastrophic for the accused (as well as the accuser). The book, once he fully describes how suggestive therapy and writing works, reveals that practicing therapists, law enforcement interrogations and authors of “Self Help Therapy Books” have unquestionably nurtured false memories rather than uncovered actual “repressed memories” as believed. In 1994 this book documents a practicing therapist, who uses hypnotism and believes in repressed memories, who clearly has integrity and courage.