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False Memory Syndrome

            In recent years there has been immense controversy about such repressed memories. Experts differ in their opinions as to whether the abuse actually happened, or whether such "memories" are actually created during the process of psychotherapy. There are few areas of mental health practice in which expert opinion has been so strongly divided and forcefully expressed. Whether or not repressed memory can and does occur is of great legal and ethical importance. .
             Those who believe in the ability of psychotherapy to identify true repressed memories defend their viewpoint on the high frequency of known child abuse and sexual molestation. For every case that is detected there must surely be some that are unreported and unprosecuted. There is no doubt that perpetrators of childhood abuse go to great lengths to deny their involvement, and abuse frequently is revealed (and admitted by the perpetrator) only many years after it has occurred. The supporters of repressed memories believe that many victims find their experiences too terrible to remember. They bury these memories deep in the unconscious - only to have them emerge later as elements of dissociative behavior. .
             The opponents of repressed memories feel that most memories of prior abuse are subtly suggested to highly suggestible individuals by generally well-meaning therapists. Sometimes these memories are recognized during therapy involving hypnosis, when suggestibility is perhaps at its highest. Additionally, persons who can be readily hypnotized may often be more suggestible than the average. Close corroborative investigation makes it seems likely that some persons - especially those with DID - have not really experienced the abuse, which they describe vividly to their psychological interviewers. .
             Multiple personality disorder (MPD) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by having at least one "alter" personality, which controls behavior.

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