TRAUMATIC MEMORIES

Infantile Amnesia And How It’s Affected By Childhood Trauma

Infantile amnesia, sometimes referred to as childhood amnesia, refers to the inability of adults to consciously remember personal experiences that contain information about what happened, when they happened, and where they happened (referred to as EPISODIC MEMORY). This forgetting/amnesia/impairment of episodic memory is thought to be due to a lack of development in the infantile …

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Recovered Memories: False, Factual And Narrative

RECOVERED MEMORIES: FALSE, FACTUAL, AND NARRATIVE Recovered memories (i.e. memories that have been repressed due to their traumatic nature but later, often with the intervention of a therapist, breakthrough into conscious awareness (having previously been, in effect, largely buried in the unconscious. FALSE MEMORIES Unfortunately, ‘recovered memories can sometimes be false (this can happen, for …

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Explaining Traumatic Memories With The Linen Cupboard Metaphor

THE PROCESSING OF NORMAL MEMORIES: Normal memories that have been fully processed have a temporal context that enables us to remember when, or roughly when, they happened. In other words, the memories have what is sometimes figuratively referred to as a ‘date stamp.’ The ‘date stamp’ is attached to the memory the part of the …

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How We Are Influenced By Our Unconscious Childhood Memories

As Alice Miller (1933-2010) states in her seminal book Free From Lies children learn by imitating their parents and much of this imitating is due to unconscious learning. To illustrate this Miller refers to a study in which mothers were observed holding and feeding their babies and, the ways in which they did so were …

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Reframing The Past : How To Reframe Traumatic Memories

“Instead of saying, “I’m damaged, I’m broken, I have trust issues” say “I’m healing, I’m rediscovering myself, I’m starting over.”― Horacio Jones THE INDOCTRINATION OF NEGATIVE CORE BELIEFS : Many of us who have experienced significant and protracted childhood trauma have, as adults, suffered from the inadvertent internalization of our parents’ (or caretakers’) attitude and feelings …

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What Is The Difference Between Flashbacks And Intrusive Memories?

    If, as adults, we are suffering from complex posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of our childhood experiences we may, in the absence of effective therapy, be very prone to experiencing both distressing intrusive memories and frightening flashbacks. But what is the actual difference between intrusive memories and flashbacks? I briefly explain this …

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Psychotic ‘Hallucinations’ : Could They Be Trauma-Based Memories?

The renowned UK psychologist, Oliver James, argues both eloquently and convincingly in his most enlightening book:  ‘Not In Your Genes’, that the extremely serious and distressing psychiatric disorder, schizophrenia, is almost entirely the result of environmental factors, and far less related to genetic influences than has previously believed. In making this argument, he also alerts us to the …

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What Are ‘Body Memories’ And How Are They Reactivated?

What Are Body Memories? When we experience severe trauma our bodies respond accordingly. For example, the body’s production of ADRENALIN significantly increases, as does its production of CORTISOL (both of these are STRESS HORMONES). In turn, this leads to bodily responses and sensations which include: – increased heart rate – increased sweating – hyperventilation (rapid …

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Disturbing Memories – Why They can Remain Unprocessed

The human brain is able to process most memories without difficulty. If, however, we have experienced particularly disturbing events during our childhood, it is possible that certain memories connected to such events have not yet been properly processed by the brain. Distressing memories which remain unprocessed can give rise to a number of most unpleasant …

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Recovery of Repressed or Buried Memories of Abuse

The concept of repressed memories was made popular by Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) who hypothesized that traumatic memories could be buried deep in the unconscious without conscious access for long periods of time and that this caused his patients’ mental distress and neurotic symptoms. He also put forward the view that it was only …

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flashbacks

How to Cope With Traumatic, Intrusive Memories, And Flashbacks

Flashbacks and Intrusive memories are very painful, traumatic, and emotionally distressing, and, according to Ehlers et al. (2010), three main factors need to be considered when aiming to eliminate, or, at least, reduce the negative impact of, these kinds of memory. They identified the three factors as follows : Becoming aware of what is triggering …

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