Recovered memories in clinical practice – a research review
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Instytut Psychologii Stosowanej, Akademia Pedagogiki Specjalnej
Submission date: 2016-03-18
Final revision date: 2016-04-19
Acceptance date: 2016-04-20
Online publication date: 2017-08-29
Publication date: 2017-08-29
Corresponding author
Joanna Ulatowska   

Instytut Psychologii Stosowanej, Akademia Pedagogiki Specjalnej, ul. Szczęśliwicka 40, 02-353 Warszawa, Polska
Psychiatr Pol 2017;51(4):609-618
The problem of recovered memories concerns not only psychiatry, psychology or psychotherapy but it is also an important legal and judicial issue. Clinicians, scientists and lawyers are in unsolved dispute, called “memory wars”, concerning the credibility of these memories, especially if they were recovered following specific therapeutic techniques or using self-help books. Many cases of recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse brought legal action against alleged offender. Investigations showed, however, that some of these memories were false. The aim of this article is to try to answer key questions concerning the issue if recovered memories: Is it possible not to remember traumatic experiences? In what conditions the autobiographical memories can be implanted? Is it possible to make a list of therapeutic techniques evoking false memories? What are the characteristics of a patient particularly vulnerable for false memories creation? Answers to the above questions are a ground for considerations concerning creation of favorable conditions for therapeutic work and minimizing mistakes resulting from the risk of implanting false memories.
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