Continued from previous post…
Another thing I like about the way the author writes is that refers to the patient’s narrative memory versus historical truth.
“It is helpful to see the therapeutic process as an exploration of the client’s narrative memory rather than a search for historical truth.”
She delves a lot into memory which is a large reason I wanted to read this book. She talks about how memory works and how traumatic memory is different. She gives advice about the therapist not contaminating the client’s narrative with outside stuff but instead letting the client talk in their own way.
She discusses dissociation and it’s effect on memory which is of course very important to me and many of you as well.
She also talks about memory surrounding trauma not always being in an understandable, chronological order. Instead she lists many different kinds of memory and then explains each one. I had never heard of many of these kinds of memory and I really her liked not pigeonholing memory into only a few boxes. I’ll list the different types here:
- Sensory memories
- Body memories
- Emotional memories
- Childlike memories
- Composite memories
- Snapshot memories
- Filmic memories
- Flashback memories
- Nocturnal flashbacks
- Aftermath memories
- Tip-of -the-iceberg memories
- Screen memories
- Telescoped memories
- Blocking memories
- Intrusive memories
- Stuck memories
She also discourages therapist from adopting a “shopping list” attitude about symptoms their clients may have. No two survivors are alike and their experiences are all unique.
I found as I read the first part of the book that I could find issues I deal with in several categories for different types of survivors. I would lean more to one kind but it wasn’t as easy as saying, “Oh! I’m that type of survivor!” The good thing is that it’s okay. CSA is complicated and the effects are far-reaching and also complicated so why would survivors fit into neat little nooks?
It can be a little overwhelming to see yourself reflected so well in the experiences of other therapists. It occurred to me several times that my finding so much I can relate to could imply some uncomfortable possibilities. I made a point of not reading too much of the book too fast, and taking a break when I felt like my brain had enough for the day.
I don’t advocate any particular books or authors anymore and not every piece of literature will speak to every person so I haven’t named the textbook here. However, if you want to know the title just ask.
If I find anything else that I want to share I’ll write posts about them.