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Incest-Related Syndromes of Adult Psychopathology

Edited by Richard P. Kluft, M.D., Ph.D.

  • ISBN 978-0-88048-160-1
  • Item #8160

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Incest is a social problem of major proportions affecting the lives of one in six American women. This collection of contributions from the most distinguished experts in the field examines the clinical presentations of adult patients who have suffered childhood incestuous experiences. This book explores the connections between incest and

  • somatoform disorders
  • disturbances of the self
  • problems in cognitive functioning
  • borderline psychopathology
  • the dissociative disorders
  • posttraumatic symptoms
  • vulnerability to revictimization


  • On the apparent invisibility of incest: a personal reflection on things known and forgotten. A review of the literature on the long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse. Applying to adult incest victims what we have learned from victimized children. Somatoform disorders in victims of incest and child abuse. Disturbances of self in victims of childhood sexual abuse. Secrets of adolescence: incest and developmental fixations. The cognitive sequelae of incest. Incest in the borderline patient. Symptoms of posttraumatic stress and dissociation in women victims of abuse. Dissociative disorders as sequelae to incest. Trauma, dissociation, and hypnosis. Incest and subsequent revictimization: the case of therapist-patient sexual exploitation, with a description of the sitting duck syndrome. Discussion.

I strongly recommend this book to clinicians and physicians as well as other professionals who are seeking an in-depth understanding of the clinical presentation of female adult incest survivors.—Gregory J. Murrey, MS, Department of Psychology, Washington State University, Resource Reviews

This is a disciplined and passionate book about a grubby little subject that nobody likes. Maybe it was okay to nod tolerantly and dismiss incest when we were taught that it 'happened' in fewer than one in a million families. But there is no taboo against incest—there is only a taboo against talking about it. . . . The editor, Richard P. Kluft, has devoted his career to the study and treatment of those among us who have been the most damaged by actual psychic trauma. Around him has been assembled a group of talented and dedicated clinicians/scientists whose work now requires us to look for evidence of incest with an urgency directly in proportion to the amount of chaos in our cases.—Donald L. Nathanson, M.D., The Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, Editor, The Many Faces of Shame

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