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Hypnotherapy and Memory Recall

Hypnotherapy and Memory Recall

I have told my students for years that it is essential that when utilising regression it is important that a therapist takes all necessary precautions to ensure that the client does not get re-traumatised by the therapeutic intervention. I was reading today about a woman in California who tried to burn herself alive because of memories accessed through hypnotic regression. Apparently this person presented for anxiety and ended up recovering past memories of childhood abuse.

Now, I for one, have a great deal of difficulty with the concept of repressed memories, principally because I do not believe that the mind can do it effectively enough so that there are not tell tale signs of what happened in the past. Saying that, it is essential that clients are told that whatever is recovered through regression has to be seen in context. This means that what is recovered is the person’s recollection and/or point of view, rather than what we could call historical truth.

Just because it is a narrative truth does not mean that it is not real for the client and it must be treated as such. But before any undertaking of regressive work, it is essential that the client understand it in totality and gives informed consent. Well meaning therapists make mistakes and in the case mentioned there were other issues which influenced what occurred. Do not be lazy, do your homework, and this sort of thing should not reoccur.

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