Use hypnosis to treat depressed childhood memories of abuse

Many people who have emotional difficulties in adulthood, including addiction, want to know if the cause is their forgetful or repressive childhood abuse. In particular, many people suspected the possibility of sexual abuse but were excluded. They may have incomplete memories, but they feel uncomfortable, especially when recalling from an adult’s perspective.

The inability to remember clearly, especially when there are signs that something might have happened, can be frustrating, and people might get distracted by guessing what might or might not have happened to them, and ask themselves The question, “Am I sexually abused?”

Hypnosis seems to be a way to unlock these memories and solve the problem once and for all. Unfortunately, reality is not that simple.

Memory and separation

Indeed, some people who have been abused in their childhood will forget or leave this experience, And can’t remember the abuse in adulthood.

This is considered a protection process. By forgetting traumatic events, it is excluded from consciousness, allowing children and later adults to cope with current problems without being overwhelmed by unpleasant memories.

For others, disturbing memories may continue to occur. Both dissociation and intrusive memory are characteristics of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Spontaneous memories of abuse

Some people later recalled memories of being abused, which is also true. Such memories may occur in the context of certain treatments or changes in physical or emotional state, including hypnosis. However, in the absence of any specific therapeutic intervention, abusive memories can occur.

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Sometimes people who spontaneously restore memories of abuse are able to verify what happened to them, which can bring a sense of relief and self-understanding. Other times, the memory is not clear and difficult to explain. Seeking verification evidence may also be impossible, futile, or may cause further difficulties with other family members.

Memory and hypnosis

Hypnosis is a state of altered consciousness. In this state, memories can sometimes be obtained more easily. However, this is also a state in which the mind is open to fantasy and imagination. It is almost impossible to judge whether the memories of childhood abuse are memories of real events or fantasies.

Many people, including clients and therapists, believe that memory is like a video camera, recording everything that happens to us. They may also believe that forgotten or suppressed memories can be unlocked by techniques such as hypnosis. In fact, many hypnotists go further, believing that people can recall past lives under hypnotism.

These beliefs are not supported by scientific facts. The nature of memory as a reconstruction process has now been established.

The mind is not like a camera; it is more like a scrapbook, creating memories by combining sensory experience with interpretation and fantasy.

Under hypnosis, people are particularly open to suggestions. In fact, this is the basis for the operation of hypnosis. Hypnotherapists who believe in the memory model of the video recorder, especially when they suspect that their client is being abused, may inadvertently suggest the memory of abuse to the hypnotized person, which seems to be a real memory to the client.

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This is not to say that anyone who recalls childhood abuse in adulthood is imagining, regardless of whether the recall occurred in a hypnotic state. Nor does it mean that hypnotherapists deliberately give their clients false memories of abuse.

What it does say is that if you don’t remember now, hypnosis is not a reliable way to determine if you were abused during your childhood.

Regression therapy and hypnosis

Regression therapy focuses on solving major events that interfere with your mental or emotional health, and is usually done through the use of hypnosis. Proponents believe that this relaxed state enables patients to take advantage of any forgotten or repressed traumatic events that affect their current mental state or behavior.

There are two types of regression therapy:

  • Age regression therapy, which aims to reveal what happened in childhood
  • Past life regression therapy is designed to solve the problems of your past life

However, regression therapy is controversial because there is currently insufficient evidence to determine whether it is possible to depress and restore traumatic memories in the future.

How hypnosis can help survivors of childhood abuse

Although hypnosis is not suitable for personal “detective work”, hypnotherapy is very effective in helping people who have suffered sexual abuse overcome the symptoms of PTSD.

Hypnotherapy is particularly useful in helping survivors reconstruct their actual memories of abuse to give them a greater sense of control and to deal with painful feelings such as self-blame. Hypnosis is most powerful when focused on creating positive changes in future thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

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If you or your loved one is considering hypnosis or regression therapy, it is important to find a skilled mental health professional. You must not only ensure that no one “plants” false memories, but also ensure that any painful memories are dug up safely and carefully.

Although there are several professional hypnotherapy organizations, including the American Association of Clinical Hypnosis and the American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists, there are no certifications or regulations for hypnotherapists. If possible, it is best to find a hypnotherapist, who is also a healthcare professional subject to his professional regulations.

Hypnotherapy may not be suitable for everyone. People’s ability to use hypnosis may vary, and people with certain mental health conditions (such as dissociative disorders, active substance abuse, and mental disorders) may not be able to hypnotize well.

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