- Talk about it. As I mentioned above, therapy is an optimal way to get at implicit memories. Being able to surface these memories, talk through them, and feel whatever feelings arise in a safe, nonjudgmental environment can help us to separate the past from the present. It allows us to understand certain feelings that get triggered as reflections of our history. This makes the feelings less real or intense in the moment and allows us to respond in ways that are more reflective of who we are and what we really feel today.Diving into our history can be frightening to many of us. Implicit memories can unlock certain mysteries that we don’t always care to surface. Yet, the truth is, we are affected by these memories in ways that influence our present. Whether it’s the way we feel after a breakup or the way we feel caring for our child, we are still hurting or limited in ways that are leftover from our past.
As the saying goes “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Whether we unknowingly repeating hurtful patterns in our careers, with our loved ones, or toward ourselves, in order to live free, we must be brave in looking at our past. When people make these connections and make sense of their story, they often feel stronger, freer, and more like themselves, ready to move forward in their lives on their own terms. One of the best parts of being a therapist is witnessing this transformation, and it is something every one of us can do for ourselves.