chapter  6
16 Pages

Walking into the Eye of the Storm: Encountering "Repressed Memories" in the Therapeutic Context: Amy Eldridge

The clinical phenomenon of "repressed memory" has become a subject of controversy that extends far beyond the therapeutic context in which it originates. Problems occur as society struggles to determine the "truth" of such memories. Are they relics from the past, unburied in their original form from the depths? Does such an archeological metaphor fit the recall of memories as they occur in the therapeutic context? Or, as current theorists would suggest (Stolorow, Brandchaft, and Atwood, 1987), can "truth" actually be a concretized version of subjective experience? When memories resurface in the therapeutic context and are taken as pieces of truth beyond this context, a process occurs that is similar to that of the repressed memory in the personality structure: isolated, affectively charged pieces of experience are taken out of context and literalized as if they were solid pieces of "truth."