Can a hypnotist remove your memories?

Several times a month I am called by a client and asked if I can erase a memory. Often it will be following a less than perfect relationship. I know it sounds a little odd, but many hypnotherapists are asked for this.

The mind deals with memory in a strange way.  For example, you likely remember the words of a song you’ve not heard in 25 years if you hear it again, and may even be able to sing along to it. You may, for example, remember the words to a song like Daydream Believer, by the Monkeys, even if you’ve not heard it in 30 years. I know I’m giving away my age a it here, but it is a phenomenon. Had you heard other strings of words 30 years ago it’s unlikely you’d be able to rattle them off easily today. Equally many people remember seeing a non descript film, such as Shazam starring Sinbad, with the kid in L.A. that finds an old lamp and rubs it, and out pops a genie. Perhaps you remember seeing the movie or watching it with your kids. And this can be a very happy memory that stays with you for years. Though you can’t remember something you had to do that night, that at the time seemed very important.

The mind deals with memory in some very unusual ways. And there are certainly unusual things one can do with it using hypnosis. I’m just back from doing a string of hypnosis shows in which one of the sets was to make people forget their name, where they are, even who the people they are with are. So, the mind is very malleable in this respect.  However, should we even try to remove the memory of a relationship?

First off, it’s likely impossible. I say that because it touches one of the very special areas of the mind that we seem to protect. That is the idea of ‘relationships’ – combining both sex and security – which the mind handles very differently from most other processing it does. Secondly, even if we could erase a memory we’d merely be condemning the person who went through a troubled relationship to experience the same painful learning in their next relationship. While some lessons seem horribly painful, we take learning from each painful bruise and gradually we build a body of experience born of pain. That learning prevents us from making the same mistakes again.

Or at least that’s the theory. Speaking as someone who’s been divorced twice I’m either a very poor student or there’s something flawed in that theory, but you do get the general idea.  What hypnotherapy does allow us to do is adopt the lessons of our experience and put them into practice. We can even, to some extent, desensitize memories. By building acceptance we can help our clients move forward.

Nonetheless, the way the mind works with memory is quite a remarkable mystery even now. For example, remember that movie I mentioned earlier, Shazam? While many people remember seeing it, and even the theme tune, there’s a little problem. There’s no such movie. There never was. To hear a fascinating story about how the false memory of Shazam came to light have a listen to this extraordinary BBC radio documentary. It’s quite mind blowing.

I have space for one new client this month.  Let me know if you’d like to come in.

Have a great week,

Rob Hadley

778 919 0197

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