Grouping memories together?

S

Sarahhill

Hey everyone, I was talking to my therapist today about the prospect of starting the proper 'work' in trauma therapy, and we were talking about how long therapy would take. She explained to me that with people who have experienced quite a lot of trauma, you can group memories together and only talk about a couple of memories in said group, and then it works as a domino effect towards the other memories in a group so you don't have to keep repeating similar memories...
I was super happy that I could do this! Knowing that I wouldnt have to go over every single memory was a massive relief - I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this and how theg found it?
 

Friday

Moderator
I processed all of my rape/sexual assault trauma, completely on accident, years and years back. Have had zip zero nada zilch problems with it since that time... and future rapes? Minus an uptick in libido for about 6 months, all just neatly slide into the same sort of mental/emotional category. I don’t give a f*ck. No nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks, triggers, or stressors. No f*cked up thinking. Being raped? Has about as much effect on me as being cut in line. Hey asshole! Shrug.

So I can see it being... possible?

But, conversely, none of my OTHER trauma-areas are even much dented by processing this or that event. They all have just as many fangs and claws, as they had before. There are also hundreds, if not thousands, of events during those years. And they “spiderweb”. Meaning that wildly different trauma “types” are bonded together, by different “themes”. As a case in point, during my divorce? I was absolutely flooded with flashbacks, panic attacks, anxiety attacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, triggers & stressors... from trauma involving “transitions”. IE the theme was transition, and the “type” was everything except rape & sexual assault. Took me awhile to work out that connection (about a year), and I wish I could say that ended it... but the transition theme kept on for another 2 years, or so. In addition to a few other themes that came up in my life.

So... for what it’s worth? I say; Go for it! If you can completely lay to rest an entire trauma type or subset by dealing with a few key memories? How badass would that be??? :D And if not? Eh. C’est la vie. More work to do. But might as well give the potential for fast resolution a shot.
 

Rumors

MyPTSD Pro
I think that mine got easier when I realized it wasn't about content of the story but about the themes that were underlying. Shame, grief, helplessness, hopelessness, control, etc. The stories and events only help me figure out what the theme is. I hyper focused for years on content when really it was just what I was left feeling that bothered me. Hope this helps...
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
I second everybody's comment above mine so far similar to my experiences.
As a person abused in childhood, I do not have a lot of direct memories (my survival was to dissociate) but behaviours or thoughts or feelings that tell me wow...where did that come from?
so I could not work on memories so neatly but I want to tell you that working in trauma (at least for me) it has been like untying rope....the closer to get to the end, the faster it unravels (but the darker it gets) but go too fast and I dissociated and disintegrated (exactly as I did as a child)...but as I firmed up my coping mechanism and self in my present life, I feel it was worth it but would not recommended the way I did it to everybody cause honestly I almost lost couple jobs it was that dark and loss of sense of self...not sure if that makes sense.

I do think if you are methodical and have definite memories you want to sort through, good...what you want is what will work for you and even better you find a therapist who agrees with you. Then go for it and all the best in your healing journey. It is a hard work but worthy one.
 
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