Hurting Memories and Beneficial Forgetting

Posttraumatic Stress Disorders, Biographical Developments, and Social Conflicts

Memories are indispensable for individuals as well as social groups. Forgetting not only means loss of functioning but also loss of identity. Memories can also be hurting and cause problems, as research on posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD) has shown. This is true for individuals as well as social groups and even societies. Memories and especially negative memories can escape the control of the individual. Many political conflicts can only be understood when taking history and memories into account.

In this volume a comprehensive scientific overview is given on the development of "hurting memories" in individuals and societies. Consequences are described, i.e. from mental disorders in individuals, like PTSD or other neurotic disorders, to societal tensions and conflicts, from South Africa to Northern Europe. Additionally, "beneficial forgetting" is discussed, from treatments of individuals to reconciliation between social groups. The contrasting of "hurting memories and beneficial forgetting" can help to understand, that memories can have positive and negative results and that it is difficult to decide when to support memories and when forgetting.

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German Psychiatric Association (DGPPN, Deutsche Gesellschaft für PSychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Nervenheilkunde)
German Behavior Therapy Association (DVT, Deutcher Fachverband für Verhaltenstherapie)
World Psychiatric Assocation


Book information

  • Published: January 2013
  • Imprint: ELSEVIER
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-398393-0

Table of Contents

      Part 1: Basic aspects

      1. Neural Signature of Emotional Memories and their Effects on Emotional Responding

        Alfons Hamm

      2. Memory and Meaning

        Nigel Hunt

      3. Retraumatization and Sensitization

        Christine Knaevelsrud

      4. Pathological modes of remembering. The PTSD experience

        Michael Schönenberg

      5. Prejudices, stereotypes and symbolized thinking as condensed memories

        Bohdan Wasilewski

      6. Paramnesias, suggested and false memories and their individual and societal consequences

        Hans Stoffels

      7. Pharmacology of learning and forgetting

        Hans-Peter Kapfhammer

      Part 3: Clinical aspects

      8. Not remembered trauma - lifelong symptoms

        Krzysztof Rutkowski

      9. Sexual childhood abuse and enduring personality change

        Shanta Dube

      10. Spectrum of posttraumatic mental reactions and disorders

        Michael Linden

      Part 4: Treatment

      11. Working with unconscious and explicit memories in psychotherapy

        Svenja Taubner

      12. Exposure and eye movement desensitization

        Andreas Gewandt

      13. Narrative psychotherapy

        Susanne Schaal

      14. Wisdom psychotherapy

        Barbara Lieberei

      Part 5: Memories and Societal Conflicts

      15. Memories as cause of political conflicts and wars

        Erika Kuijpers

      16. Coping with hurting memories in large social settings - how truth commissions work and what they achieve

        Klaus Bachmann

      17. Forgiveness in post-apartheid South Africa

        Dan Stein