Retrieving Lost Memories With Hypnosis
“A picture is worth a thousand words, but a memory is priceless.”
On the subject of memory, hypnosis and hypnotherapy is more commonly associated with amnesia. Specifically, the inability to remember what is said to you by the hypnotist during trance. Although the majority of patients experience this phenomenon (known as posthypnotic amnesia) during therapy, some patients are able to awaken from trance having recovered more memories than they started with.
I recently had the pleasure of helping a patient to recall forgotten sequences of a 40-character-strong master password. They visited the practice having been locked out of important banking and social media accounts for several weeks, yet left their appointment two hours later with a clear image of the digits and symbols they thought they had forgotten forever.
It is not unusual to employ hypnotic techniques for cases such as this. Hypnosis has helped countless people worldwide to recall not only passwords and pin-numbers, but also the locations of belongings stored in a “safe place”, vital information shared in conversation, and even crucial details documented in eyewitness testimonies.
Under the care of a qualified hypnotherapist, hypnosis can furthermore be utilised to safely unveil hidden memories of trauma, contributing to confusing and painful emotions in patients. These memories can then be safely processed and their damage healed throughout therapy under the guidance of the hypnotherapist.
Hypnosis is able to access and recover memories such as these above as it able to open channels into the unconscious mind. Events and information that are sent to our long-term memory storage in the brain are deposited into an unconscious part of the mind until the information is needed to be retrieved (remembered) again. Sometimes the mental “pathway” to this information is blocked or impaired, and requires techniques such as hypnosis to clear the way for our memory to travel freely back into conscious recollection.
To achieve recollection with hypnosis, a patient is typically guided into trance and mentally taken back to the time when they set their password, witnessed the important event, or stored their precious item safely. The hypnotist sets the scene once more by asking the patient to re-picture other details of that day:
“What were you wearing?”
“Which room were you in?”
“Who was with you?”
“What was the weather like at that time?”
They then enrich the memory further by asking the patient to consider finer details:
“What songs were playing on the radio at that time?”
“How had you been feeling that day?”
“What was on your mind?”
“What plans did you make that day?”
As the patient re-experiences the important event/time in deeper and deeper hypnotic detail, the hypnotist will finally guide them to consider the crucial parts of the memory:
“What did you think made your password strong?”
“How did you decide where would make a safe place?”
“What was their expression when they advised you?”
“What were they doing the first time you noticed them?”
At this point, the pathway to the forgotten parts of the memory is typically cleared and strengthened once more to allow the patient to awaken from trance with full conscious memory of what had previously been lost to them.
If you find yourself locked out of a log-in screen, or discover that your item’s safe place was a little too safe, consider if hypnosis could be the path to what you have lost. Contact the therapist here.