One can accept the empirical fact of traumatic amnesia without knowing the mechanism. The authors clearly espouse the theory that severe trauma causes a disruption of the usual mechanisms of cognitive processing and remembering, resulting in the formation of a special form of memory, "traumatic memory." As such it is segregated from the normally integrative cognitive and memory functions and, in the extreme case, is inaccessible to normal consciousness and mental processing. It is important to recognize that proponents of this theory, including, for example, Horowitz (1) and van der Kolk and van der Hart (2), are not merely acknowledging the clinical phenomenology of dissociated memory, but are also postulating a distinct neuropsychiatric mechanism. In accepting this dichotomy of normal memory versus traumatic memory, the authors (and others) are also explicitly rejecting alternative explanatory theories for amnesia for traumatic experiences, such as unconsciously motivated repression.