Author: Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick, Michael; The memories linger on; LM
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick asks why the professional reaction against this psychotherapeutic irrationality has been so slow and so muted.
The Brandon report is widely regarded as the final nail in the coffin of the recovered memory movement. Published in April this year in the form of an article: 'Recovered memories of child sexual abuse: implications for clinical practice', British Journal of Psychiatry, 172, S Brandon, J Boakes, D Glazer and R Green, the committee chaired by professor Sydney Brandon is categorical in its condemnation of the theory and practice of the movement.
Brandon's conclusion is that 'there is no evidence to support the wholesale forgetting of repeated experiences of abuse, nor of single episodes of brutality or sadistic assault, apart from the normal experience of infantile amnesia'.
The Brandon report notes that a significant proportion of abused children grow up to become well-adjusted adults, and that there is no evidence that childhood abuse leads to any specific pattern of symptoms in adults, or that recovering memories of abuse helps to alleviate such symptoms (indeed there is much evidence to the contrary).
Furthermore, the report insists that 'no evidence exists for the repression and recovery of verified, severely traumatic events, and their role in symptom formation has yet to be proved'.