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  • Susanna Garrett

Can hypnosis recover lost memories?

People sometimes ask if they'll find out what really happened to them through hypnotherapy, or if they might uncover a haunting memory of their past. I'm here to tell you that hypnotherapy cannot do this, though some hypnotists claim it does. Let me explain.


Memory is always, in and out of hypnosis, a mixture of fact, perception, and fantasy. It's why interrogators know their subjects are lying when they all have the exact same story, and why the saying "there's always three sides to every story, your side, their side, and the truth" is a thing. We all bring our own perception into everything we experience, and of course our memories are going to reflect that. So how do we know if memories we go back to in hypnotherapy are real or not? Well, we don't. Sometimes memories we "recover" through hypnotherapy are things that actually happened, and sometimes the only factual part of that memory is the feelings attached to it. and our subconscious fills in blank spots with a story that fits those feelings. We can help heal those feelings and change your current life experience by rescuing that younger you while we are in session, and knowing that it may or may not be a factual memory once you are back out of hypnosis.


Many times when doing inner child rescues (i.e. regressions), we go back to a memory that has stuck with us for a long time, something we know in our hearts and minds is true. I would not question that these happened. Sometimes we go back to something unexpected, that we don't remember in regular life. These are the ones that may or may not be factual, but that I hold with respect and attunement to in session. And sometimes clients will go back to a totally different life experience or even life than the one they had. Some people believe this is a true past life, and some people believe it is the subconscious speaking in metaphor, to either heal something too painful to process with actual factual memories. All I know is that, while I highly recommend against regarding recovered memories or lives as completely factual, it still proves to be incredibly healing to process those feelings.

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