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Clinical Hypnotherapy Training tutor Robert Shields      Hi, Robert Shields here writing to you from the U.K.

That Is Not What I Said!


I'm Sure my Memory Is Correct!


It is a well known fact that witnesses to an traffic accident sometimes describes the accident in totally different ways.     For example one witness will say the cars involved were green or black and another witness will say the cars were blue or red. The drivers would be described as having blonde hair, but another witness would swear one driver had red hair and the other black.


You may find this strange as the event being described happened in the past and cannot be changed.  So why are the descriptions so different?


The answer lies in the way our memory functions.   


Some psychologists will say that we remember everything we see, hear, feel or do.  Everything is stored in our Unconscious Minds and only some of out memories are suppressed for various reasons.


Indeed, it is a common belief that using hypnosis can bring to the surface those memories that are suppressed and any small insignificant event that has ever happened in our life time.


Absolute nonsense!


We would all be raving lunatics if everything that has ever happened to us was stored in our memory banks, no matter how incredible the memory’s storage capacity is.


So, the simple fact is the memory, that is part of our Unconscious Minds, filters what it stores.


Imagine a trap door between the Conscious Mind, the part we are fully aware of, and the Unconscious Mind, the part that contains your memory.  


Now call that trap door your Ego.


Your Ego is conditioned by the way we live and how we are influenced.   Because of this conditioning, only that which is acceptable to the Ego is permitted through that trap door and into or out of  the Unconscious Mind.


For example, if we lived in the Amazon Jungle, walking around naked would be acceptable, but to do so in a ‘civilised society’ is unacceptable.  When the weather is very hot, the Conscious Mind may think that it would be better to be naked, or semi-naked, as it would be much more comfortable.  But the Ego is conditioned to believe that would be unacceptable and so it refuses the Conscious thought to enter the Unconscious Mind as were it to do so, most people would be walking around naked when it is extremely hot.  If the thought did get into the Unconscious Mind, it would then send a signal through the Ego to the Conscious Mind saying 'Ok, do that!'


This also applies to what is stored in your memory as even that has to be filtered through the Ego.    As you read this, look away and look to your right for only a second.  Now how much of what you saw is now in your memory?  My guess is, very little.  Your Ego would not have seen very much that is of importance to it.


Supposing your Ego has been conditioned into believing bad people always dress in black.   In my youth, good cowboys in movies always had a white hat and bad ones a black hat.   So when describing a past event chances are that your Ego would have filtered what went into the memory and changed some details to comply with its conditioning.  A bad guy’s light hair may become dark hair.


I have had many clients asking me to help them recall ‘lost memories’ by using hypnosis.  In some cases it has been a simple procedure.  Regress back to the incident and relive it.


But in many more cases, a memory could not be recalled.   Sometimes a very traumatic memory will not surface into the Conscious because the trap door (Ego) will not open and allow it.  However, a good Hypnotherapist knows how to open the trap door and that is the wonderful thing about using hypnosis.    


But, don’t be fooled by what surfaces as a memory.


Remember, everything in your memory is filtered and may not be exactly what actually happened.  Even fantasying or wish-fulfilment can be at work here. Your Ego may also be at work, changing what enters your Conscious Mind to suit your personal needs and fantasies.    


Every one of us at some time or another has a memory that we know is not true.   We may tell a story of how we stood up to a bully and felt no fear.   The bully in your story is big and ugly.  However the truth is the bully was average and not at all ugly and you did feel fear.   But your Ego is protecting you and changing the facts to give you a boost in your self confidence.


So, in conclusion.   


What moves from your Conscious Mind (the reality) into your Unconscious Mind (where your memory is) may not be all true and even a lie detector cannot tell the difference as you absolutely believe what is in your memory to be the truth.    


Lawyers know all this and that is why they will use methods to distort your memory and cause you to doubt if it is the truth.   For example, they know your Ego is not interested in the colour of a person’s shoes, so they will ask you why you cannot remember that and yet you remember other items of clothing.


You don’t believe me?  Just ask a married couple to describe what was said in a fierce argument they had a week ago and you will get almost totally different stories.  I know this to be true for as a Clinical Hypnotherapist I stopped seeing married couples separately for just that reason.



NOTE:  The whole of this article can be reproduced providing the following Bio is included:

"Robert Shields, is the Principal of The Robert Shields College and runs a low cost Hypnotherapy Diploma Training Course that includes a money-back guarantee. Details can be found at: He is also the originator of Fear Elimination Therapy that removes phobias and fears in minutes (Not N.L.P.). Details at: ."



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Robert Shields 

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