8 thoughts on “How to Tell If a Memory is Real or False

  • May 21, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    I invite other professionals to comment on this post with respect to their own experiences working with clients putting together their developmental narratives. One interpretation of this blog post is that the author has a relatively simplistic formula for distinguishing true memories from false memories. People wishing to consider therapy as one of their options for dealing with challenges may conclude that a mental heath professional is sitting across from them evaluating the merit of their narrative. Whole there may be some instances in which working in an evaluative mode is useful and helpful to the client and the therapeutic work, the client’s narrative has value as a whole. It is the client’s reality.

    I encourage the author of this blog to consider whether it is useful to add that this is a unique case, especially case A and not a common element of work between help[ing professionals and clients.

  • May 23, 2016 at 7:04 am

    Burn out is a very real thing among psych workers. It sounds like the writer is experiencing distrust, lack of empathy, and paranoid behaviors that can all be symptoms of counter-transference. Sometimes when therapists have been working to maximum capacity they can become slack and unhelpful to their clients. When a therapist resorts to using an investigative approach rather than a therapeutic one, frequently the patient suffers.

  • May 23, 2016 at 10:08 am

    I am wary of passing off someone as just ‘having a personality disorder’ in this field. It happens too often when the therapist feels negatively toward the patient due to their own personal emotions. I would recommend meditation to the writer. Sometimes a clear head is the best medicine for anger.

  • September 26, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    I am not a therapist but rather the person on the other end. I am being treated for PTSD and clinical depression.

    I think it’s a slippery slope to use the criteria the therapist in this story mentioned because there are other reasons a person might display such behaviors.

    In my case, I was the victim of gaslighting for years and am still recovering from the affects of having my reality warped by a narcissistic abuser – including having confidence that what I remember is reality. What might seem like a rehearsed narrative is actually me having gone over what really happened in my head over and over questioning my own memory.

    I’m not saying the person in the story was telling the truth necessarily, and maybe the therapist had more reasons than state to disbelieve the patient as they likely had background knowledge and had spent a good amount of time with the patient.
    As for interrupting the person in the course of telling a difficult story to ask about something unrelated, the person may be agitated because they feel that being interrupted in such a way displays disinterest or indifference, or, as in my case cause I know exactly what’s going on when someone does that, it might just annoy them that you are testing them that way. In my case it doesn’t annoy me because I trust my therapist and believe anything like that she’s doing is in the spirit of trying to help me, but I can see why someone would get agitated at that.

    Just a perspective from the other side of it.


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