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Return of the Furies: An Investigation Into Recovered Memory Therapy Paperback – January 4, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The authors of this latest book on "false memory syndrome" have couched their polemic as a battle of mythic proportions-hence the title. A psychologist and a director at the Institute for Psychological Therapies, respectively, Wakefield and Underwager are founders of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. Though their book is well documented and indexed, its attack is so vociferous and unequivocal that their persuasive powers, if not their objectivity, are called into question. What could have been a reasoned analysis is muddled by the authors' tirades against the child protection bureaucracy, "radical feminist rhetoric," and the "attack upon the family as an institution." This book is only recommended for larger academic libraries with comprehensive counseling, social work, or psychology collections. Public libraries seeking a criticism of the "repressed memory" theory should consider Elizabeth Loftus's The Myth of Repressed Memory (LJ 8/94), a far more balanced and readable work.
A. Arro Smith, San Marcos P.L., Tex.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Pointing out that they "became actively involved in defending victims of child abuse long before it had become fashionable or lucrative," Wakefield and Underwager thoroughly investigate the practitioners, patients, and literature in this exploding field. Drawing heavily upon the cases of more than 200 retractions of child abuse charges, they show that thousands have been falsely accused. They look closely at the claims that "therapeutic truth" is more important than "research" and put their fingers on the logical and practical errors of such an approach. The theory of repression has no scientific supporting evidence, they contend, and they tell the story of the division in the American Psychological Association over this question, the breakaway of the more scientifically oriented psychologists, and the remaining group's failure to discipline nonscientific practitioners. Although most therapists believe they are doing good, Wakefield and Underwager argue that science and practice show that much of their work is not only harmful but destructive to accuser, accused, and society as a whole. William Beatty --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 419 pages
  • Publisher: Open Court (January 4, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812692721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812692723
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,400,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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The authors of this text pioneered the finding and rescuing of children from abusive homes in the 50's and 60's before it was a popular pursuit. Then in the 70's they began to see a new phenomenon "those claiming sexual abuse in childhood" who did not match what they knew to be the typical patterns. Finally, in the early 90's they came to see that an overwhelming tide of false memories. Some therapists often used poor and discredited techniques to retrieve memory or worse people used self help books on therapy (how is that for quackery?) This is an old text and the information shared was only the beginning of a tsunami of data and lawsuits that have established "Recovered Memory Therapy" as the premier quackery of the 20th Century (read quick synopsis at: http://www.themediareport.com/hot-topics/repressed-memory-debunked/ .) This book examines the philosophical and cultural routes to the quackery therapy, shares data on RMT (such as accepted Beysian analysis techniques that conservatively estimate 10 false for ever 1 true accusation while others estimate 200 false to 1 true). If you are looking for a complete analysis from perceptive professionals who first saw this tidal wave of false memories and correctly predicted the damage to the legal system, families and increasing lawsuits against therapists using this approach then this is a great book to read. If you are looking for a balanced text that treats "Recovery Memory Therapy" as if it is widely accepted then this you may want to read other books on astrology or alien abductions instead.
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13 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
The bias of the authors rings from every page of this novelistic text. They diminish the potential impact of child abuse, suggesting on the basis of no evidence at all that most of the children are lying. Those who are telling the truth should be left with their abusers for the most part, since the authors believe that many children can be molested or raped without lasting harm. The authors themselves do the most poorly controlled and unscientific studies that I have ever seen. In an interview in a Dutch magazine, the authors have stated that it would be a "good idea" to pair children with pedophiles in a scientific study so that we could see if they are really harmed. Don't reward this kind of thinking by buying this book.
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9 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Finally a book that is balanced, thoughtful and scholarly, and makes sense of the madness regarding some of the fantastic claims of child abuse and satanic ritual abuse. It offers understanding to the many victims who have been falsely accused of crimes they never committed, while it never loses sight of the problem of real child abuse in our society. This is a must-read for anyone involved in therapy or counselling.
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Return of the Furies: An Investigation Into Recovered Memory Therapy
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