Spectral Evidence CL

Moira Johnston, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-395-71822-3
Gary Ramona's 1994 lawsuit against therapists Marche Isabella and Richard Rose was a landmark in the intense debate over recovered memory, and ""a chilling warning to the entire profession of psychotherapy,"" argues Johnson in this hard-driving report. At stake was the claim that deeply repressed memories of childhood trauma can be accurately recalled in the course of therapy. During treatment for bulimia in 1989, Holly Ramona, then 19, began to experience ""flashbacks"" that led her, through the encouragement of therapist Isabella and the administration of sodium amytal, to ""recall"" that she had been raped many times by her father, Gary, as a young child. Gary was confronted with these charges by his wife and Isabella in a 1990 meeting staged by Isabella and Rose. By Christmas, Gary, who had been the top salesman at the Mondavi family winery in Napa Valley, earning a six-figure salary, was unemployed, facing an expensive divorce and living with his mother. Johnston's account never loses sight of the destroyed family amid the legal and psychological controversy at the heart of the case, and her chapter on memory science provides a much needed framework for the debate. Johnston (Rollercoaster) has produced a gripping and well-researched account of a grim chapter in both scientific and family politics. Author tour. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/28/1997
Release date: 05/01/1997
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-8133-3587-2
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