Freud and False Memory Syndrome
Since about 1992, an astonishingly fierce scientific professional and legal controversy has arisen around the allegation that psychotherapists may sometimes have fostered false memories of childhood sexual abuse. Some have blamed Freud for this, arguing that he sowed the seeds of false memory syndrome 100 years ago. He has been accused by some critics of abandoning, out of professional cowardice, his original recongition of the prevalence of sexual abuse amongst his patients, substituting his theory of childhood sexuality and the Oedipus complex, and by others of fabricating and implanting false memories of abuse in his patientes' minds. Was Freud the bad father, impregnating society with misldeading ideas that a century later have given birth to a monster - or was he an astonishing genius, whose sophisticated understanding of memory was far ahead of his time? Much bashed, but rarely read, Freud continues to be urgently relevant to issues that preoccupy psychology and society today.
By: Phil Mollon