We’ve all had the experience of racking our brains to try and remember where we left our keys, or the name of someone or that extra item that you needed to buy in the super market. We’ve all felt that frustration and annoyance at knowing we know it and yet not being able to find the information.
It is thought that the conscious mind (the domain of the short term memory) is but a fraction of what constitutes the human mind, and that the rest if made up of subconscious mind and longer term memories. For example, if I asked you to memorise a number, such as a phone number, the information would be buzzing around in your conscious mind until you had learnt it. Once you have learnt it, it is passed into your unconscious mind so that you do not have to consciously repeat it to yourself but can call upon it as and when you need to. Quite often, people experience memory problems when they are seeking to access the information they have passed over to their subconscious mind and have consciously forgotten about. The information is there in the subconscious but finding it can be a little like looking for a book in a great library with the lights off and only a torch to help you.
Usually the information shows up again sometime later when you are least expecting it. This is a good thing to know, because it tells us that getting stressed and continuing to try to find the information when we cannot, doesn’t help. You are much more likely to get the information back if you relax and think about something else. It’s a little like when you are late for an appointment and driving somewhere unfamiliar. As soon as you begin to feel stressed you will go into foveal vision and miss all of the clues that are there to get you to your destination. When you are relaxed you can see more in the periphery and notice the clues that will send you in the right direction.
However when the information required is really lodged away from the conscious mind, hypnosis can be a useful aid to retrieve it. Many people now have heard of using hypnosis for past life regression, but we can also use hypnosis to regress to previous times in our current life. This can be useful for those who want to go back in time and find lost information- this could be a set of lost keys, or something related to a deeper psychological problem.
As with any hypnosis work, the practitioner must have in place the boundaries within which they feel comfortable working. For example, I will work with someone who wants to resolve an issue from a memory of the past but I will not conduct a memory recall for someone who suspects, but does not know (and wants to find out) if they have been abused in their past. This is because if someone does not know if they were abused, there may be a good reason why the unconscious mind is keeping this information from them- perhaps they are emotionally not strong enough to deal with this information. If they did then recall a memory of abuse, how would they know that it was true and not imagined? This could be very detrimental to a person’s relationships if they incorrectly begin to believe that they were abused.
By Gemma Bailey