Quotes About The Courage to Heal From Retractors
"I wasn't only deceived by a therapist, a woman whom I deeply trusted.
I was deceived by an evil book called The Courage to Heal. This book
will tell you that if you have any number of symptoms, it means you were
abused and molested even if you don't remember it. I never got those memories.
I had little flashes of things that I imagined and I would call my therapist.
She would put it all together for me and tell me what my flashes meant."--
retractor, "The Truth Set Me Free,"
in True Stories of False Memories (p. )
"I think that the authors of such misleading books like The Courage to Heal owe
the public an apology for the hoax they are perpetrating with their misinformation about
'repressed memories.' Ellen Bass and Laura Davis need to write a new book about false
memories that is a complete retraction of much of the garbage that they put forth in
their early books."-- Melody Gavigan, retractor,
in True Stories of False Memories (p. 283)
"There is no doubt that one of the most crippling steps I took in therapy was
reading The Courage to Heal. The book masterfully primed me for fabrication.
With the exception of my first therapist, Robert, all of the mental health
'professionals' who cared for me (both as an inpatient and outpatient) were
'caught up' in this new wave of repressed memores of childhood sexual abuse and
in blaming parents for all the problems one may have in adulthood. My biggest
regret is not listening to that little voice inside me. That little voice was
smarter than any of the 'Ph.D.s' I had helping me and also wiser than any
statement found in The Courage to Heal--all 495 pages of it."-- retractor
in True Stories of False Memories (p. 249)
"'Like an alcoholic can smell another alcoholic, an incest survivor can smell another incest
survivor.' My therapist continued, 'Emily, I'm convinced you were sexually abused as a child.
You need to just believe it and start working through this book.' That being said, she handed
my her copy of The Courage to Heal and thus, I began the most bizarre and frightening
experience of my life."
-- retractor, "Who Made Her God?",
in True Stories of False Memories (p. 235)
"I was still haunted by the childhood sexual abuse suggestions that had been made to me by
'professionals' So haunted that I eventually bought not only The Courage to Heal
but the accompanying workbook as well. I decided that I would work through the book on
my own. The book became somewhat of a 'God' to me. I worshipped every word in it. It
played into all my vulnerabilities. The more I read, the more convinced I became that
incest had been a part of my past and that I had somehow blocked all memories. Reading
the Courage to Heal mentally immobilized me. I lost touch with reality and was
dangerously coerced into a trap. Any valid doubts I had about my past were belittled by
statements like, 'If you are unable to remember any specific instances ... but still
have a feeling that something abusive happened to you, it probably did,' and 'If you
think you were abused and your life shows the symptoms, then you were.' It didn't take
me long to fall back into the depths of hopelessness."-- retractor
in True Stories of False Memories (p. 244)
"I told Lindsey the extent of my 'memories' which at that time consisted only of
'body memories,' a pelvic sensation that I believed was sort of an echo of past sexual
abuse. On this basis, she concluded that I was an incest survivor and that I should sue
my father .... Lindsey had convinced me that my father should be paying for my therapy,
and by this time I had been influenced by The Courage to Heal to believe that
getting revenge was vital to healing, so I agreed."-- retractor, "My Recovery from 'Recovery',"
in True Stories of False Memories (p. 265)
"Healing books were an important part of my therapy. In group Ann recommended,
along with Reach for the Rainbow, the book The Courage to Heal.
She said it was good if you were okay about some of the lesbian stuff in it.
Off to the bookstore I ran. The Courage to Heal was sold out, but
there was a copy of The Courage to Heal Workbook. Relieved, I bought it.
As I began reading it, I got spooked. According to the repressed memory theories,
I was accessing my inner child. On page seven of the workbook, I had been warned
and had even underlined 'If you start to feel things you haven't felt before,
or it you start to feel overwhelmed, know that you are not crazy. You are feeling.
You are remembering. You are receiving images from the past.' With my reaction and the
overall despair I felt as I read, I decided I had to have repressed memories."-- retractor, "Surviving 'Therapy',"
in True Stories of False Memories (p. 322)
"Inside I felt that these 'memories' were all fabrications, but I felt helpless and
trapped. There was such a powerful treatment fighting my doubts: two doctors, several
therapists and nurses, and the book The Courage to Heal."-- retractor
in True Stories of False Memories (p. 247)
"Dr. Taylor and Dr. Richardson were once again my psychiatrist and psychologist,
respectively. They both enthusiastically encouraged me to continue reading
The Courage to Heal and complete the exercises in the workbook. The therapeutic
atmosphere at the hospital made me feel uncomfortable. Patients were pressured to
discuss their childhoods in depth in hopes of finding unacknowledged abuse. The more
childhood abuse you endured, the more attention you received from the hospital staff."-- retractor
in True Stories of False Memories (p. 245)
"A male hospital worker told me that I should get a book called
The Courage to Heal, so I had my husband bring me the book."-- retractor, "My Recovery from 'Recovery',"
in True Stories of False Memories (p. 260)
"The book The Courage to Heal played a very large part in my life."
-- retractor, "My Recovery from 'Recovery',"
in True Stories of False Memories (p. 264)
"I read The Courage to Heal, The Courage to Heal Workbook,
The People of the Lie, and countless other books that I hoped would give me some
-- retractor, "Memories Not Mine",
in True Stories of False Memories (p. 229)
Do Ellen Bass and Laura Davis Have the Courage to Apologize?
Did you or a family member develop false memories?
Have you read the Courage to Heal? Do you have a comment about the way it
influenced your life, your therapy, and your relationship with significant others?
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