Memory of Childhood Trauma: A Clinician's Guide to the Literature
Bridging the gap between research and clinical practice, this volume distills the current scientific research on childhood trauma and memory. ... Show synopsis Bridging the gap between research and clinical practice, this volume distills the current scientific research on childhood trauma and memory. Balanced and systematic, it provides clinicians, particularly those working with adult survivors of trauma, with a clear and pragmatic review of the literature. The author surveys psychoanalytic, cognitive, narrative, and neurophysiological theory to present a fair and nuanced account of what is known about the topic. Her timely work addresses a range of controversial issues such as the "truth" of traumatic memory, as well as the ethical issues that arise in working with traumatic memory. Memory of Childhood Trauma examines the analytic literature from the works of Freud to contemporary thinkers, highlighting its relevance to the evolution of theories of repression and dissociation. The interaction between dynamic phenomena and the process of schema development is explored in an attempt to understand some of the manifestations of traumatic memory. The author shows how specific cognitive mechanisms, such as encoding, storage, and retrieval, can explain traumatic memory impairment often attributed to repression. Possible neurological substrates for dissociation, memory impairment, and memory enhancement are also considered relative to the process of psychotherapy and the quest for narrative meaning. Discussing the basic standard of "truth" in clinical versus legal settings, the work raises complex but useful questions concerning the manner in which mental health professionals define and study such issues. Comprehensive and illuminating, this volume will be welcomed by all clinicians, regardless of theoretical orientation or level of training, including practitioners who work with court cases. It is also useful supplementary reading for courses in psychotherapy, clinical and personality theory, and abnormal psychology.