OBJECTIVE The clinical implications of the use of recovered memories in psychotherapy will be examined. METHOD The paper will review the relationship of trauma to psychopathology and discuss how traumatic histories might be dealt with in therapy. RESULTS Trauma is a risk factor for psychopathology, but is only one of many etiological factors in mental disorders. The search for recovered memories in psychotherapy could present dangers for patients. CONCLUSIONS The most reliable memories of trauma are those that have been present throughout the patient's life.