Psych Central

Go Back   Forums at Psych Central > Treatments and Self-Care Strategies > Psychotherapy



advertisement
Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 04-25-2013, 08:12 PM   #1
Poohbah
ultramar has no updates.
 
Member Since: Mar 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 1,486 (SuperPoster!)
276 hugs
given
Default Is it better to remember...or to forget

This is the title of a really interesting piece that came up on PC today.

Is It Better To Remember...Or Forget? | Therapy Soup

It's interesting, because it is contrary -in some ways I think- to generally accepted notions about working with painful memories in therapy. It certainly made me see things from a different and new point of view.

What do you guys think?
ultramar is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 04-25-2013, 08:26 PM   #2
.............
 
Readytostop's Avatar
Readytostop has no updates.
 
Member Since: Jun 2011
Posts: 6,398 (SuperPoster!)
3 yr Member
2,122 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Is it better to remember...or to forget

I have years of my life that I can not remember. I find it incredibly frustrating.
Readytostop is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Unread 04-25-2013, 08:53 PM   #3
Veteran Member
 
wadingthruemotions's Avatar
wadingthruemotions I am empty, void, nothing. I will always be THIS.
 
Member Since: Mar 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 595
My Mood:

717 hugs
given
Post Re: Is it better to remember...or to forget

For a long time there were periods of time or series of events that I could not remember, more than that really, didn't even know they were there.

They are all there now, recently came to light in my mind. I wish they never had. Seriously, some things should not come back to you at all, doesn't make things easier now, only harder.
__________________
"Death is easy, peaceful: Life is harder"

"The Day You Turned On Me Is The Day I Died,
And I've Forgotten What It's Like,
And How It Feels To Be Alive" (Daughtry-Gone)

"And you always want what you're running from. It's always been that way." Bittersweet Lyrics by Ellie Goulding

"The reason I hold on, cause I need this hole gone." (Stay by Rihanna)

"The opposite of love's indifference." (Stubborn Love, The Lumineers)
wadingthruemotions is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 04-25-2013, 09:19 PM   #4
underdog is here
stopdog Moral nihilist who has failed to validate the feelings of others since the 1960s
 
Member Since: Sep 2011
Location: blank
Posts: 14,728 (SuperPoster!)
3 yr Member
8 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Is it better to remember...or to forget

The thing I find frustrating is not knowing what is true about what I do remember - what is remembered accurately versus faulty.
stopdog is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Unread 04-25-2013, 09:25 PM   #5
Poohbah
ultramar has no updates.
 
Member Since: Mar 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 1,486 (SuperPoster!)
276 hugs
given
Default Re: Is it better to remember...or to forget

Here's the article in full (the bolded part was that way in the original):


What if you had a photographic memory? It sounds pretty amazing.

But what if your memory went way beyond photographic, and you could literally remember every single day of your life?

What you ate for breakfast April 25th, 2011… What day of the week was it on April 25th, 2004 and what you did that day… What the headline news was on April 25th, 2002…

There are, according to scientists, at least 20 people with hyperthymesia. Individuals with this rare ability are able to recall, without effort, what happened on any given date, assuming that the events had some significance to them.

But it’s not always helpful to have super-human memory.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810) said: People think of forgetting as a problem, but I see it as a great gift.

The Rebbe, who is sometimes called the Doctor of the Soul, said that (troubling) memories interfere in both our material and spiritual paths in life.

In contradistinction from modern psychology, which generally posits that intrusive memories cannot be forgotten, the Rebbe stressed the need to actually work on forgetting painful, shameful, or embarrassing memories, especially those which lead us to feel badly about ourselves.

While it’s true that there’s a benefit to the way in which psychotherapy often asks us to examine these kinds of memories, we believe that both therapist and patient have to be aware that dealing with painful memories should be a judicious combination of depth and a light touch. After processing and resolving memories like this, they should be explored only to the extent necessary as to how they relate to the present, if at all.

We can do this by working on lovingly detaching from the emotional imprint or response a painful memory creates. Breathing techniques and meditation, biofeedback, and prayer, can assist in helping to deescalate painful emotions associated with memories.

Nobody can resolve every issue in their past and present. We have to be cautious about working on issues that are having a direct, unwanted impact on our lives. Memories that we can lay to rest, we should.
ultramar is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 04-25-2013, 10:24 PM   #6
Magnate
 
~EnlightenMe~'s Avatar
~EnlightenMe~ has no updates.
 
Member Since: Aug 2009
Location: The Abyss
Posts: 2,680
My Mood:

5 yr Member
2,931 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Is it better to remember...or to forget

I think to work on forgetting painful memories is like asking someone to not visualize a white elephant. I do think that if someone chooses not to go in depth into their issues, that the issues will surface subconsciously somehow.

The lovingly detaching from the emotional imprint part sounds like mindfulness meditation, and I am all for this. I think that accepting who we are now, accepting all of our parts, and having our emotions validated can lead to a de-escalation of symptoms. This is what I have found.
__________________
When you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
~~Friedrich Nietzsche
~EnlightenMe~ is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Unread 04-25-2013, 10:37 PM   #7
thx lemon curd 4 avatar
 
hankster's Avatar
hankster likes doing the chicken dance, not just at weddings.
 
Member Since: Jun 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 15,181 (SuperPoster!)
My Mood:

3 yr Member
6,438 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Is it better to remember...or to forget

Quote:
Originally Posted by stopdog View Post
The thing I find frustrating is not knowing what is true about what I do remember - what is remembered accurately versus faulty.
I don't know you really, but I would be greatly surprised if your memory were faulty about anything. I guess because I attribute my memory capabilities to you. I wrote down all my "events" in 1996 hoping to incorporate them into an autobiographical play. The last time I looked at the list, it was like reading something typed by a stranger. Writing it down had changed it somehow; taken it out of my head.
hankster is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Unread 04-25-2013, 10:53 PM   #8
Magnate
 
feralkittymom's Avatar
feralkittymom has no updates.
 
Member Since: Aug 2012
Location: yada
Posts: 2,330 (SuperPoster!)
My Mood:

2 yr Member
1,054 hugs
given
Default Re: Is it better to remember...or to forget

I don't think it's possible or healthy to try to forget because the impact will surface in other ways. To come to a place of acceptance with a release of the associated negative emotions, especially as they play out in the present, is a good thing. But I do think there's no benefit to gratuitous remembering.

I remember a time when I was very upset as memories surfaced that there were still great swaths of time from my past that I didn't remember. I felt like how could I know who I was if my memory was incomplete? My T convinced me that who I was wouldn't be changed by more quantity of memory. That to view myself as incomplete was faulty thinking that would keep me stuck and miserable in my life.

In the years since therapy, I have recovered a few more memories spontaneously. I don't generally feel upset by them: they just take their place as part of the totality of my experience.

Stopdog-- I had some doubts about the accuracy of remembered events, too. Again, my T said that no memory is objectively "true"; we all reconstitute memories, good and bad, a little differently each time the brain calls them forth and re-files them. But that the objective truth isn't very meaningful: what matters is how the memories and their feelings influence us now, and the purpose they serve for us in the present.
feralkittymom is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Unread 04-26-2013, 08:15 AM   #9
Oh noes!
 
pbutton's Avatar
pbutton has no updates.
 
Member Since: Jul 2011
Location: in a house
Posts: 4,138 (SuperPoster!)
My Mood:

3 yr Member
6,051 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Is it better to remember...or to forget

Quote:
Originally Posted by Readytostop View Post
I have years of my life that I can not remember. I find it incredibly frustrating.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stopdog View Post
The thing I find frustrating is not knowing what is true about what I do remember - what is remembered accurately versus faulty.

All of the above and it irritates the hell out of me.
pbutton is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 04-26-2013, 08:26 AM   #10
Grand Wise Rabbit
 
tinyrabbit's Avatar
tinyrabbit is plotting and planning
 
Member Since: Feb 2013
Location: England
Posts: 4,013 (SuperPoster!)
3,080 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Is it better to remember...or to forget

I don't think you can forget - because some part of you (your unconscious, your body) still knows and remembers. I have forgotten a lot of things, but some part of me knows and they've been leaking out of me in all sorts of ways.

So I think 'forgetting' is the wrong word here. Releasing might be a better one. My T says he wishes I could let out some of the pain I'm carrying so I can feel lighter instead of keeping it inside, but it's SO HARD.
tinyrabbit is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® — Copyright © 2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

advertisement

 

The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice,
diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.
Always consult your doctor or mental health professional before trying anything you read here.

 

HomeAbout UsContact UsPrivacy PolicyTerms of UseDisclaimer
Forums HomeCommunity Guidelines Help

Helplines and Lifelines
eTrust Pro Certified