Item description for Memory and Abuse: Remembering and Healing the Effects of Trauma by Charles Whitfield...
Remembering what happened in any traumatic experience is basic and crucial to healing. For over 100 years the memory of abuse survivors has been questioned and challenged by all sorts of people, ranging from perpetrators to family members. More recently, this memory has been challenged by a combination of accused family members, their lawyers and a few academics who claim the existence of a "false memory syndrome."
In this groundbreaking book Charles Whitfield, voted by his peers as being one of the best doctors in America, brings his clinical experience and knowledge about traumatic memory to us. He examines, explores and clarifies this critical issue that threatens to invalidate the experience of survivors of trauma and handcuff the helping professionals who assist them as they heal. This thorough, insightful work provides crucial information for anyone affected by a traumatic experience.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 6.25" Height: 9" Weight: 1.4 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 1995
ISBN 1558743200 ISBN13 9781558743205
Availability 0 units.
More About Charles Whitfield
Charles L. Whitfield, M.D., is a physician and psychotherapist in private practice in Atlanta. He is a nationally known speaker and is the author of Memory and Abuse, Boundaries and Relationships, the best-selling Healing the Child Within and A Gift to Myself.
Reviews - What do customers think about Memory and Abuse: Remembering and Healing the Effects of Trauma?
False Self/True Self Jan 10, 2008
I picked up this book with a keen curiosity, as it came to discuss about the difference between the ordinary memory and the traumatic memory, the causes, and how one can heal those traumatic memories. Whitfield also addresses the issues of the "false memory" syndrome and the claims of FMSF, which was the highlight during the early 1990s, which, by the way, I had never heard of.
On another note, I personally like the part about how author talked about false self and true self where one is experiencing a trauma, a false self becomes created and takes over and the true self goes into hiding (since the true self didn't know how to deal with the trauma in the childhood years).
"Memory and Abuse" by Charles Whitfield is well-written and easy to read. It is also a very interesting book and worth a read, in my opinion.
Helped me Dec 25, 2006
After hearing all the hype about "false memories" of abuse, this book clarified everything I needed to know about trauma memories. Authoritative.
I hear there are now over 65 databased studies that prove how traumatic amnesia exists.
What's in it for you? Mar 31, 2003
This is anything but an even-handed approach to the issue of trauma, particularly in the case of repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse. The principle reason I have given it more than one star is the fact that while the author ignores one side of the debate (except for the purposes of setting up a what Logic 101 would term a "straw man") he does quite well in covering the bases (and more) on his own side. Were one to this book in conjunction with another, the arguments of which were equally biased yet well stated, one might have a decent basis on which to form an opinion. A good example of a similar pairing might be to read Lenore Terr's "Unchained Memories: True Stories of Traumatic Memories, Lost and Found" along with Elizabeth Loftus' "The Myth of Repressed Memory." Neither are quite as unbalanced as this particular work but perhaps this may lend them more credibility.
abuse, trauma, memory, and healing Aug 2, 2002
I've read many books about abuse, trauma, memory and healing. This is one of the best and most comprehensive books I have read on this topic. This book covers many different aspects of abuse, post-traumatic stress, and traumatic memory. Provides a comprehensive understanding of the different ways that people experience traumatic memory such as denial, dissociation, and repression. The book also explains the many different reasons why this can occur. In addition the author addresses the claims of the FMSF in detail, and sheds light on the biased and uninformed foundation literature.
The author's tone is very healing for abuse survivors. He incorporates a sense of spirituality. He weaves many insightful quotes into the book. He shows a deep respect for women. This book is more than a book on memory, this is a book on understanding the effects of abuse and finding a personal healing to ultimately transcend the abuse. He also brings intensive clinical knowledge, understanding, and experience to the book. Charles Whitfield is clearly very kind, sensitive, caring, and insightful. His explanation of "the child going into hiding" is a magnificent explanation of the effects of severe child abuse within the home, and the goals of healing.
I also recommend "Betrayal Trauma" by Jennifer Freyd and "Unchained Memories" by Lenore Terr. Also "Secret Survivors" has been one of the most healing books I have read on the after effects of incest. See my listmania for other recommendations on healing from incest, sexual abuse, and trauma.
Uneven quality but had some excellent sections Dec 14, 2001
I had mixed feelings about this book.
Dr. Whitfield does his best writing when he is explaining his theories of traumatic memory and repression. He uses clear verbal explanations and diagrams to explain his assertions. He summarizes a vast body of theoretical work and makes extensive use of footnotes.
I was also interested to read his views on the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. (FMSF) He provides some background information on members of this organization that one will not find in their literature.
However, I was disapointed in the lack of objectivity. Although he explains his theoretical assertions well, he is a "true believer." He dwells more on the flaws of cases and research that disagree with his point of view. He is much less critical of material that supports his point of view. His footnotes are of uneven quality. It is often not clear which footnotes reference carefully done research and which are simply the assertions of a popular book author.
I felt that his definition of a dysfunctional family is too broad. He asserts that the vast majority of families are dysfunctional. Thus most individuals are wounded and should be in a recovery program. I was particularly disturbed by his critique of the American jury system, "Judges and juries have inherent deficiencies. A jury is a group of from six to 12 people who come from the general population, of which about 95% has been estimated to have grown up in an unhealthy, troubled or dysfunctional family and a troubled world. Most judges and members of juries will thus be unrecovered adult children of a dysfunctional family and world..." (p. 211) I too am sometimes frustrated by court decisions, but Dr. Whitfield's extreme view on this matter has worrisome implications.
He asserts that only a small minority of therapists have actually unduely pressured their patients into false memories. He may be right, but I think that he could go further to acknowlege some of the excesses that have occurred in the recent past.
On the positive side, he gives clear guidelines for informed consent when a therapist is embarking on trauma work. He cautions against delving into memory work without first taking a thorough history. He also gives cautions about confrontations between a victim and an alleged abuser.
All in all, I am glad I read this book. However, Dr. Whitfield hurts his case by his bias. He would be more convincing if he were more even handed in his presentation of data.