Image Image Image

I have a lot of childhood memories I can't remember. How can I recall them?

  • Sharebar


I wasn't sure how to start. I was researching hypnosis because I was thinking about going to see if someone could help me, and I came across your article on hypnosis.

You see, I have a lot of childhood memories that I can't remember. I get bits and pieces here and there, but never the full extent. I'm adopted and I know some of what happened to me, but I know some are suppressed. I still get visions here and there, every now and then.

I'm now 30 and feel like my mind is blocked and that it's affecting my life in a way. I don't want to see a fake therapist claiming he knows and understands when in reality I need the real thing.

This question was submitted by 'Sandra'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hello Sandra and thank you for writing in.

There are all kinds of assumptions about memory, suppression of memory, and also hypnosis. It's important to be informed.

Many childhood memories are not recalled in adulthood because memory is processed differently in young childhood and memories we do have tend to be of the 'snapshot' variety - meaning we just get a vision or a sense of something, but nothing too distinct. Furthermore, hypnosis is not a reliable way of 'uncovering' memories, but can sometimes inadvertently create false memories.

It's a myth that we all tend to suppress traumatic memories. In fact, traumatic memories tend to be too well-remembered, producing such vivid memories that they feel like a re-living of the initial trauma - what we call 'flashbacks'. I'm guessing you are concerned that you need to deal with some trauma you can't recall. But I urge you to read these three articles: 'Can trauma really make you repress memories?', 'The truth about hypnosis and memory', and 'Why there’s no need to relive the trauma all over again'.

It's a real mistake to assume that 'no memory' equals 'hidden trauma'.

I hope what I've written is useful to you in some way.


watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - October 30th, 2014 in

Have you got any other ideas for our questioner? Let them know in comments below: