Mechanisms of Change

Memory reconsolidation and work in hypnosis

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  NPT 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #28495

    Dear all,
    as experienced therapist working often with hypnosis/ego-state therapy, I think many exploratory and experiential methods in these therapies are very useful in creating lasting changes, therapeutic and memory reconsolidation, coherence therapy. I just wonder why these are not mentioned in the different therapy methods, where reconsolidation processes are part of. Anyone else in the group, working, having experience with hypnosis? kindest regards, Nicole

  • #28501


    Hi Nicole - I’m not involved in hypnosis but appreciate your observation. I think part of the answer is the very slow uptake of the concepts of memory reconsolidation in established therapy methods. If you check out our issue #10 you will see a number of different techniques that identify memory reconsolidation as a fundamental of transformative change. Maybe you can also identify aspects of hypnotic therapy where emotional memory reconsolidation is the mechanism of transformation?

  • #29417

    Hello Nicole & Matthew,
    I am certified in Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT), which has been an amazing tool for helping my clients. RRT utilizes “hypnosis” or “accelerators” on an as needed basis. While this form of therapy has not been listed in Ecker’s writings, myself and many other therapists have found it incredibly useful in establishing lasting, painless, and almost immediate change for clients. Unfortunately, it is not as of yet considered an evidence based practice, however it does meet Ecker’s (2012) “rules for unlearning and erasing target learning” (Reactivate, Mismatch/unlock, and Erase or revise via new learning). However, with my clients I do not refer to it as hypnosis, mostly because the stigma attached to the word. I refer to it as intentional attention or focus, as described in my training in Interpersonal Neurobiology (Dan Siegel). I believe one of the most beneficial aspects of this therapy for clients and therapists is what I call its “canned responses” for the typical ways clients have ineffective beliefs systems which require mismatch to erase. Reactivation should never retraumatize and strengthen ineffective neural pathways and RRT doesn’t. Personally, when my client is in the default mode network and is becoming activated by prior trauma (that is not happening now) I will guide the client through intentional attention to focus to help calm the “survival brain” so new learning can take place in the “thriving brain.” It’s highly effective!

    Kind regards,
    Mary Bowles

  • #29418


    Hi Mary and thanks for your comments here—sounds like an interesting approach to memory reconsolidation. I like your “intentional attention” because, as you say, there is a stigma attached to hypnosis - probably around a sense of loss of control by the client. I’d love to know more about how you lead a client through intentional attention (obviously a ‘bottom up’ technique) and how this brings to the surface motivational schemata that hold the pro-symptom position.
    Love to hear more from you.

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