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Transformational Talk

Getting Rid of Painful Memories

Would you like to get rid of painful memories? Like many, you’ve likely had upsetting experiences you’d rather not recall. Researchers have recently discovered old memories are actually reconstructed in your brain with new details each time you ‘remember’ them. Scientists are now working on a pill that not only prevents memory accretion, but eradicates any trace of the original memory! While no one yet knows the long range effects on brain and personality, one day this may be available to us. In the meantime there are things you can do right now to mitigate painful memories.

Here’s the tip: First, make a commitment to yourself not to discuss, relate, or ruminate about past pain unless you’re feeling strong enough to add new healing details. If you are still numb or otherwise immobilized, seek professional support. When resourced and ready, write or speak out a new scenario in which you say what you wished you’d said, do what you wished you’d done, and/or brought in the support you wished you’d had. Welcome the sad, mad, scared feelings that inevitably arise as you transform this painful story. Notice how quickly emotions move through your body and leave you revitalized.

Finally, envision your new triumph. Let it be real! Feel it in your bones, your guts, your heart. If you let it be real, your brain won’t know it didn’t originally happen this way. In any case the memory book you’re rebuilding is one in which you not only survive, but thrive.©

Penelope Young Andrade, LCSW Call: 858-481-5752 fax: 858-484-8374 email: