Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Archive for March 6th, 2013

Memory

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on March 6, 2013

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Somehow, in our brains, we have a better memory for feelings then for actual events or narratives. Maya Angelou is right. One could imagine an evolutionary advantage to remembering how someone made us feel in that that memory serves to guide us whether to go forward and deeper into a relationship with them. This information is more critical than the facts of a conversation. I find this “feeling memory” so interesting because these memories serve as tools for future endeavors. Vivian, fifty-nine, married a man who makes her feel as bad as her father did. She finds herself constantly feeling humiliated and “stupid”. This familiar feeling hearkens back to her childhood and yet her narrative memory of her father is one of a man who was “strict”. The memory of her feelings with her father is brought to life through her current relationship with her husband. “Why else would I get myself in this horrible marriage?” She asks me, understanding that her repetition of this feeling of humiliation is a profoundly sad experience for her. When “feeling memories” begin at a tender age, there is often an unconscious continuation of these deep experiences. Understanding these early feelings can break the chain of repetition. Psychotherapy gives hope to this broken chain.

Posted in memory, Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapy | 6 Comments »

 
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