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Psychol Rep. 1995 Oct;77(2):563-70.

Did Freud misinterpret reported memories of sexual abuse as fantasies?

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Department of Social Sciences, Grant MacEwan Community College, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


While serious questions have arisen concerning the validity of Freud's seduction theory of neurosis, a related issue concerns the extent to which Freud, following the abandonment of the seduction theory, may have misinterpreted real memories of sexual abuse as imaginary. Certain theoretical statements by Freud as well as his advice to Jung concerning a 6-yr.-old patient who had accused her foster-father of sexual abuse indicate that he may have been significantly biased toward interpreting certain types of incest allegations as fantasies. Increased awareness of Freud's biases, both in his early tendency to pressure patients into believing that they were victims of abuse and in his later tendency to regard certain types of incest allegations as unreal, may contribute to a more objective approach to the diagnosis and treatment of sexual abuse in the future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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