How Best To Deal With a Traumatic Memory?



The conventional therapeutic wisdom is to have the client relive their trauma/s to the point of becoming desensitised.  Not an appealing prospect to most trauma victims. Clinicians in routine practice are similarly not too impressed  about delivering trauma-focussed interventions. Given the likely scale of psychological casualties from the war in Ukraine, treatment that is readily acceptable to clients and easy to disseminate is at a premium.


In my new book ‘Personalising Trauma Treatment:Reframing and Reimagining’ available on next week, I suggest that the key focus should be on what the client takes the memory to mean about today. Speaking to a client yesterday  about his upset at an upcoming anniversary of an explosion he was involved in, we looked at why he should let that particular day be spoilt by the memory, when he hadn’t allowed recent days to be ‘spoilt’. There is no need for him to re-live the trauma.

In this book I challenge a) the idea that traumatic memories are any different to ordinary autobiographical memory b) that traumatic memories have a unique neural basis and c) that arrested information processing lies at the heart of post-trauma debility.

Dr Mike Scott

Leave a Reply