Reports of recovered memories in therapy, informed consent, and generalizability: response to commentaries

Lawrence Patihis*, Mark H. Pendergrast

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

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We respond to various comments on our article (this issue, p. 3), which reported prevalence percentages of reports of recovered memories in therapy. We consider arguments against informed consent in therapy and conclude that we are in favor of informed consent that includes information about research on the malleability of memory. We note some useful suggestions from commentators, such as future research investigating iatrogenic outcomes of those who report recovered memories and investigating whether therapy-induced recovered memories are also an issue in various other countries. We understand that there are questions as to whether our sample was representative of the adult population of the United States, but we maintain that such questions can be investigated empirically and we could not find much evidence of systematic divergence. We investigated representativeness on gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and age and made adjustments where possible. Future research should investigate reports of recovered memory in other general public samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-36
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Psychological Science
Issue number1
Early online date24 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • abuse
  • memory war
  • psychotherapy
  • recovered memory therapy
  • repressed memory
  • trauma


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