What Happens When We Get ‘Stuck’ In Memory

What are our memories and how do they affect our lives? Are memories just distinctive events from the past or is it the internal system by which we recover information for use in our day lives?  Well,  memory is all of that and more.  Truth is science hasn’t fully uncovered all the information about memory and we don’t really understand the full capacity of the memory system but the overarching idea is that of remembering.

Memory enables us to store and retrieve huge amounts of information so we can have it at our finger tips when we need it. This is part of our higher functioning capabilities. However sometimes we get stuck in ‘memory’ and this is in the most part related to  negative, distressing or traumatic events that we experience.  Getting ‘stuck’ can happen at any age and can occur when we are very young without us even being aware of it. This happens due to our ‘implicit memory’, often referred to as unconscious or automatic memory. Implicit memory uses past experiences to remember things without thinking about them and it’s in this way that negative events even from childhood can impact our adult lives.

When a significant distressing event occurs in our lives this event gets ‘stuck’ in our brain and our bodies. This happens because the part of the brain responsible for creating memories fails due to the body being too stressed and overwhelmed to function properly.  And it is in this highly stressed  moment that the negative event gets cemented in the conscious mind.  When this occurs we find ourselves continually replaying this  negative experience,  it never leaves our conscious mind.  Being ‘stuck’ can be especially debilitating because no matter how much you try to shift to a new gear you find yourself ending up in the same place, unable to move on from your past.

At The Melbourne Counselling Centre a significant part of our work is  helping clients move through old traumatic events (memories) in order to free them up from the past. When this occurs clients are able to move forward with a clean slate, they are no long constantly dragged back to the past.  And when you have cleared up the past clients can begin to grow and change at a rapid rate.  the process by which this change happens is The Richards Trauma Process. 

So, if you feel stuck and would like to engage in counselling that shifts negative feelings, empowers you and moves you forward in your life you can email anne@melbournecounsellingcentre.com.au or book online.