In Part I, we talked about the pitfalls of recovered memories. In this segment, we learn how to properly set up a recovered memory session.
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How to Set up a Recovered Memory Session
It’s ethical to inform your client/subject that hypnotically refreshed memories may be real, or they may be imagined but seem very real. Any memory that is uncovered needs to have corroboration before you start to assume that this is exactly the way it happened..
Of course, if somebody loses some documents or they can’t find their car keys, coming up with additional evidence is easy. If, in the session, they remember they left their keys under the bed–just look under the bed! If the keys (or the documents) are under the bed–Voila! You have accurately recovered a memory. If not, it’s back to the drawing board.
In a case such as recovering childhood abuse, it’s very important that your clients understand that they need additional information before they move forward as if the memories are true. There are two scenarios in this situation…
1) They could “uncover” a memory of sexual abuse that’s not real. In those cases, if they move forward as if it’s true, they could ruin several lives.
2) The second scenario is that the memory you help uncover is real. Then, obviously, that needs to be taken care of.
But you can’t just jump in and say “I uncovered this memory with hypnosis so it must be true.”
Attitude for Success with Recovered Memories
It’s great if your client cultivates an attitude of curiosity about what you’ll find. Have them act as if someone they trust–someone they know and love–has given them a gift. The gift is wrapped and oddly shaped and they have no idea what’s inside. In that case, you’d have an air of curiosity. You’d wonder what’s inside. You’d be eager to know. If they develop that attitude it will help.
Some language that will help you with this is to suggest to them, “Don’t make the memories happen, don’t stop them from happening but allow them to happen.”
Pay Attention to All Rep Systems
Make sure your clients pay attention to all of their senses when recovering memories. When you regress them suggest “You may notice images, sounds and feelings. Pay attention to all of those things and as you experience them, describe them to me.”
That’s it for this segment!