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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2542
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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If we as adults start to have "memories" of things that happened

Resolved Question:

If we as adults start to have "memories" of things that happened when we were small, how can we ever really KNOW that these memories are real?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 2 years ago.
Your therapist seems to be totally discounting the possibility that these memories may be false, and that, I'm afraid, is not as realistic view as you have yourself.

The only way you can be sure, 100% sure if these memories are real is if you can have them corroborated by someone else, or find some sound evidence to support them. Failing that, there will always be a degree of doubt in your mind.

You will be aware, I'm sure of False Memory Syndrome, a situation in which people come to believe in the truth of 'memories' which are actually imagined rather than real.

In most cases, these memories relate to abuse during childhood.

It has to be said thjat this happens most commonly in people who have been in therapy, and often the idea of thse 'memories' is implanted either wittingly or unwittingly by the therapist.

Now please note that I am NOT saying that your memories are false - simply that you must remain alive to the possibility that they are.

You will find some sound, detailed information here.

There is some interesting information here.

Basically, it is possible for things long forgotten, or repressed can emerge into consciousness, bu establishing the truth of them depends on other evidence.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


I started to have the memories before I started therapy, and I have had symptoms of the memories being true all my life, so I do not think a therapist implanted them.


 


My therapist says that all the symptoms I have such as PTSD mean that something must have happened but not that the details of the memories are necessarily correct.


 


I was really wondering if there was any way of knowing by my feelings if the memories were real or not.


For example if I have flashbacks and feel exactly as I did during the abuse does that mean they are real?


Or is there anything that might indicate they are real?


 

Expert:  Norman M. replied 2 years ago.
It's clear then that your memories are not 'implants', and that being the case, there is a good chance that they have a basis in fact. Sadly though (as I said) the only way to be 100% sure is to have some corroborating evidence, or indeed, a confession from the other person involved in the abuse.

The flashbacks do not, in themselves, prove anything, but they do add to the credibilty of your feelings, and they are suggestive of PTSD.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2542
Experience: ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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