Nursing a bad cold recently I was lying on my sofa with my trusty laptop as comfort and came across an interesting YouTube clip about Memory Reconsolidation. The main message of this clip is that ‘Memories become susceptible to changes when they are recalled’.
It looks to me like this is another puzzle piece to knowing what makes trauma therapy successful. When we are accessing traumatic memories with our clients we often aim to add something that helps bring at least some positive change to this memory. This could come about in different ways in somatic-focussed therapies, for instance we might be resourced and anchored in some calm or grounded somatic experience while the client ‘is’ with a trauma memory, or we might bring awareness to a new relational context of this memory (it can now be experienced in a safe relationship), or we might bring more caring, or a more ‘grown-up’ understanding of this memory to it while we sit with it.
The link to the 7 minute YouTube clip is below. It gives an easy-to-understand explanation of some recent research findings that showed that indeed memories, even long-term memories, can be modified on access. I hope you enjoy it as I did.