Remembering childhood sexual abuse: A national survey of psychologists' clinical practices, beliefs, and personal experiences

Melissa A. Polusny, Victoria M. Follette

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

A national survey of 1,000 psychologists, to which 223 responded, assessed professionals' clinical practices and beliefs about the treatment of adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), personal CSA history, and the phenomenon of clients remembering CSA in therapy. Results indicated that over 25% of therapists reported using guided imagery, dream interpretation, bibliotherapy regarding sexual abuse, referral to sexual abuse survivors' group, and free association of childhood memories as memory retrieval techniques with clients who had no specific memory of CSA. However, the majority of therapists reported that they had not seen any cases of adult clients entering therapy with no memory of CSA and subsequently recalling abuse in the course of therapy. A personal history of CSA was not associated with most clinical practices related to treating sexual abuse survivors. The implications for training and establishing scientific standards of psychological practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-52
Number of pages12
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1996

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Remembering childhood sexual abuse: A national survey of psychologists' clinical practices, beliefs, and personal experiences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this