Books by Katherine Ketcham

THE ONLY LIFE I COULD SAVE by Katherine Ketcham
Released: April 1, 2018

"An expressive account of one family's struggles to help a child with serious addiction issues."
A woman struggles to cope with her son's addictions. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 6, 2009

"A rock 'n' roll fairy tale with a sunny, but gritty, heroine."
An irresistible memoir of one of the lesser lights of a major constellation of rock stars and their satellites. Read full book review >
Released: April 11, 2000

" A thorough, responsible presentation."
A convincing argument for the medical model of alcoholism, with resulting recommendations for treatment. Ketcham (Under the Influence: A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism, not reviewed), psychologist Ciaramicoli, and recovered alcoholics Asbury (former editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer) and Shulstad (cofounder of the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse counselors) maintain that alcoholism is "a true medical disease rooted in abnormalities in brain chemistry." Alcoholics' bodies simply respond differently to alcohol than everyone else's—a difference that is either rooted in genetics or acquired by "intense and sustained exposure to alcohol." Alcoholism is not, they emphasize, a personality disorder or character defect. The authors examine what is known about the action of alcohol upon the body (both normal and alcoholic), then look at how a diagnosis of alcoholism can be established (most often, it is an inexact art—a simple series of questions). They go on to explore the most effective treatments (first and foremost is lifelong abstinence from alcohol and drugs), particularly addressing the question of why a physical disease requires psychological and spiritual components in treatment. Finally, the authors name the beer, wine, and distilled-spirits industries as principal players in promoting our society's view of alcoholism as a psychological disease—and propose educational, prevention, and treatment programs to institute change. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

A research psychologist whose specialty is memory pokes giant holes in claims that survivors of sexual abuse repress their memories of the abuse and can then recover them with the help of therapists. Loftus, who also teamed up with Ketcham to write Witness for the Defense (1991), points out that no scientific evidence exists to validate such claims. Comparing the current rash of sex abuse charges based on ``recovered memory'' to the 17th-century Salem witchcraft trials, she often opens chapters with quotes from The Crucible, Arthur Miller's play on that subject. Loftus describes her own research at the University of Washington, which found that false memories of a mildly traumatic childhood event (becoming lost in a large store, for example) were easily implanted in the minds of adult subjects. According to Loftus, therapists operating under the assumption that ``incest is epidemic, repression is rampant, recovery is possible, and therapy can help,'' implant similarly false memories of more serious traumas through a variety of therapeutic techniques, including suggestive questioning, age regression, and hypnosis. Memories ``recovered'' through these techniques, she asserts, can lead to painful and destructive confrontations that rip apart families and sometimes end in prison sentences for innocent people. Loftus, who has served as an expert witness, recounts her experience testifying in defense of George Franklin, whose adult daughter's recovered memories resulted in his conviction for the murder of one of the daughter's childhood friends. She also details the bizarre case of Paul Ingram (see Lawrence Wright's Remembering Satan, p. 216), whose recovered memories led him to confess to participation in quite unbelievable satanic rituals. Sure to arouse controversy: Proponents of the validity of repressed memories (``True Believers,'' as Loftus calls them) will see this as anathema; others will applaud her reasonable and restrained approach to a touchy subject. (First printing of 30,000; author tour) Read full book review >