Recovered memory therapy: a dubious practice technique

Soc Work. 1998 Sep;43(5):423-36. doi: 10.1093/sw/43.5.423.


This article examines the validity of memory work as well as the evidence for the efficacy of therapeutic interventions based in the recovery of childhood sexual abuse memories. Evidence suggests that both true and false memories can be recovered using memory work techniques, and there is no evidence that reliable discriminations can be made between them. Similarly, there is no empirical evidence to suggest that recovered memory therapy results in improved outcomes for participating clients. The article reviews current treatment outcome research and suggests that participation in recovered memory therapy may be harmful to clients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Barbiturates / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dreams
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis / methods*
  • Memory Disorders / therapy*
  • Psychoanalytic Interpretation


  • Barbiturates