`My congratulations to Colin Feltham for assembling a set of contentious issues and lively authors which together made me forget my surroundings' - Person-Centred Practice `Editor Colin Feltham's choice of topics shows an astute, on the ground awareness of the issues that dog the industry, while still making lively reading' - New Therapist In this book, leading practitioners, critics and commentators take sides on many topical and core debates including: · Theoretical issues: Does the unconscious really exist? Is birth trauma a fiction? Should one believe in `false memories'? · Clinical issues: Is ther

Believing Patients

Believing Patients

Believing patients

One has to know one's buried truth in order to be able to live one's life. The ‘not telling’ of the story serves as a perpetuation of its tyranny …. When one's history is abolished one's identity ceases to exist as well.

(Felman and Laub, 1992: 78, 82)

The re-emergence of childhood sexual abuse as a significant problem for psychotherapy has created a minefield of complexity and paradox. The accuracy of memory was never a major issue until recently, neither was the question of whether to believe or be sceptical about patients' childhood stories. Psychotherapy, with its inherent problem with reality testing, coped in the past by side-stepping external trauma. Childhood events related within the therapeutic session, whether real or fabricated, were assigned the ...

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