I love this quote so much I’ve used it again. Further to the previous article I wrote on memories - Are memories really real? How do they work?, I wanted to follow up on the idea that memories are not “real”, rather they are reconstructions of past events, recreated every time we try to recall the event. This means that memories are plastic. They are malleable, they can take different forms. And if you come to understand this, then you begin to realise that all of our memories - constructed every time we recall that past event, incident, trauma, moment, etc. - can be changed.
Yes, you can change your memories, as much as your memories can change you.
In fact, thinking about this, you begin to realise that everything we experience in life; the adverts on the TV; TV programmes themselves; movies; books; magazines; etc are stories that are designed to be imprinted on your sub-consciousness and then reborn within your own personal context.
Even in the work environment; stories and anecdotes abound; marketing plans are devised to inform the purchaser of the benefits of product X, or service Y. In the B2B [business-2-business] world, we even spend money and effort asking our customers to give references on the superiority of our products and services so that they can be used to sell those products and services to others.
So, stories and the way we capture, store and reference them in our memories is the glue that holds humans together in society, in work, in social situations and in personal relationships.
So, if memories are not fixed, but are reconstructed every time you come to access one, then it means that it is possible to adjust that memory - somewhat like how you adjust the pictures and sounds on the TV that you watch. You can change the contrast, picture depth perspective, colour tone, brightness, surround sound, type of bass, almost anything is possible. So to, it is possible to change your memories.
Now, the art of changing memories is vast and the techniques do different that I could write every day for the rest of my life and probably not cover every possible approach, However, I like to think of a framework that can help focus the approach you take. These are:
Self Help & Self-Talk: These are the guided self-help guides you can buy in the shops. Think of the Paul McKenna “I can make you rich / thin / stop smoking” style. These are there to help set up a set of stories in your subconscious and through habit change [I’ll talk about the power and harm of habits in a separate post].
Structure Help through counselling. There are a myriad different types of counselling. They generally fall into the following categories:
Cognitive and behavioural therapies:
Behavioural therapies are based on the way you think (cognitive) and/or the way you behave. These therapies recognise that it is possible to change or recondition, our thoughts or behaviour to overcome specific problems.
# Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
# Behavioural therapy
# Cognitive analytic therapy (CAT)
# Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
Psychoanalytical and psychodynamic therapies
Psychoanalytical and psychodynamic therapies are based on an individual's unconscious thoughts and perceptions that have developed throughout their childhood, and how these affect their current behaviour and thoughts.
# Jungian therapy, Psychoanalysis, Psychoanalytic therapy and Psychodynamic therapy
Humanistic therapies focus on self-development, growth and responsibilities. They seek to help individuals recognise their strengths, creativity and choice in the 'here and now'.
# Existential therapy
# Gestalt therapy
# Human Givens psychotherapy. I would love to do this programme, but would need to invest thousands of £’s, something I do not have.
# Person-centred therapy (also known as "client-centred" counselling)
# Reality therapy
# Solution-focused brief therapy
# Transactional analysis
# Transpersonal psychology
New and Developing therapies:
Although psychological therapies generally fall into the categories above, there are also a number of other specific therapies that are emerging.
# Equine assisted therapy - I have seen this in action and find it amazing.
# Integral Eye Movement Therapy (IEMT)
Family & Group therapy
Neuro Linguistic Programming
As you can see, there are many approaches that can be taken and I have trained and been certified in a number of them [those in bold & Italics]. Most of them take time and a significant investment in both the therapist and the client. Depending on the condition, this can be months or even years. There are benefits to a gentle approach to change work, but for some people, rapid change is what they are after.
One of best rapid change therapies is Integral Eye Movement Therapy or IEMT. The Integral Eye Movement Technique is a brief change work process that generates rapid change in the area of undesired emotional and identity imprints. The process and algorithms of the technique answers the question, "How did the client learn to feel this way, about that thing?" and applies specific change at the right place within the client's model of the world.
By building resources inside the problem state, IEMT brings the client more into the present and enables the client to stay out of past negative experiences permanently.
You can literally change memories in one session. The memory generally needs to be time and event bound - say a car accident, orr any other type of single event trauma. So if you have a trauma that you need to resolve quickly, then this is the one for you.
BTW, my IEMT profile is below:
As always, I leave you with this quote…..
“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain