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#2186 - 01/18/05 08:19 PM What about hypnosis
learning2remember Offline

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 405
Loc: Europe
I'm interested in professional and survivor advice on this one.

I've been thinking about going to a hypnotist to help me recover a specific memory.

I've thought about this for a long time. Wanting to remember more clearly is one of the main reasons I first sought therapy.

Neither of my therapists mentioned hypnosis as a possible tool, though, and I notice that we don't talk about it at this site either.

Is it invalid, unreliable or just unregulated?

There is a specific point at which my memory blacks out. It seems to me that hypnosis might help me remember what happened so I can at least deal with it from there.

Should I? Shouldn't I?

Advice, please.

"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy

#2187 - 01/19/05 12:43 AM Re: What about hypnosis
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
It's not admissible in a court of law. There is a lot of concern about using hypnosis to "recover memories". If you recall the day care sex abuse cases of the 1980s, there was a lot of hysteria about ritualistic abuse done to numerous kids in several day care centers. This was about suggestability.

The upshot of all this is that suggestions or questions/statements from a therapist or investigator can influence children's recollection and memory. (You can google and find lots of info about this online.)

As far as adult memory retrieval, this is also somewhat controversial. Under hypnosis, you are in a very suggestable state ("When I count to three, you will think you are a chicken"). In using EMDR, the way it was explained when I was trained is that "whatever comes up, comes up. It may be real or not." My sense on memories or images that come up under EMDR is that one should not take them literally or assume because you flashed on an image of your grandmother giving you an enema that you were sexually abused by her.


Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#2188 - 01/19/05 01:43 AM Re: What about hypnosis
reality2k4 Offline

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6845
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
I would totally agree with what Ken has said here.
I have done a lot of searching on this subject and there is a lot of variation in results.

Any suggestion while in this state of memory regression can lead to very serious problems.
It can be done, but experts are saying that it needs only to be done by someone who really is an expert in this field.

From all that I have read on this one, I would not even chance it.


Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

#2189 - 01/19/05 05:31 PM Re: What about hypnosis
learning2remember Offline

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 405
Loc: Europe
Thanks for the replies. THey confirm what I had suspected.

I'm better off dealing with where I am and what I remember than trying to dredge up more that may never be retrievable.

I've also realized that the harder I try to remember, the more likely I am to grasp at straws or maybe even imagine things. (This was my fear with hypnosis.)

I'll just let things come as they may. If the memory never comes clearly, I just have to let it go.

"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy


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