Painful me­mories

The Weekend Australian - Magazine - - INBOX -

It is a tragedy that the Royal Com­mis­sion into In­sti­tu­tional Re­sponses to Child Sex­ual Abuse has been hi­jacked by pro­po­nents of re­cov­ered mem­ory ther­apy (“Through the past, darkly”, Sep 30-Oct 1). This con­cept was thor­oughly de­bunked over the last 20 years in the United States as the prod­uct of hys­te­ria and wacky ther­apy. But not be­fore hun­dreds of thou­sands of fam­i­lies were torn apart and lives ru­ined. In the US it took the brave work of scep­ti­cal in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ists, mem­ory sci­en­tists and dogged lawyers to un­ravel the tsunami of false me­mories flood­ing out of ther­a­pists’ of­fices in the 1980s and 1990s. Hope­fully Aus­tralia is not about to ex­pe­ri­ence its own wave of re­cov­ered mem­ory hys­te­ria and in­jus­tice. Richard Vos Witch­cliffe, WA

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