Forgetting information.

Postby Octosa96 » Wed Oct 13, 2021 1:33 am

Is there any way to use hypnosis to forget or change certain information? It's information i learnt quite recently and I really don't want to remember it.
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:12 am

Octosa96 wrote:Is there any way to use hypnosis to forget or change certain information? It's information i learnt quite recently and I really don't want to remember it.


It will most likely have the opposite effect. It will make it that much harder to forget.

It’s like the common idea that it is impossible not to think of an elephant whenever the word elephant is mentioned. The very mention of a memory would bring forth that memory. It is reinforcing that memory each time you begin a session.

Also, if hypnosis was a proven treatment for bad memories, it would be widely used to deal with post traumatic stress. You wouldn’t have soldiers and first responders committing suicide, etc. They would just be hypnotized to forget.
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#2

Postby jimmyh » Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:17 pm

This is an interesting topic, and one that doesn't lend itself to an answer which is both simple and useful.

You don't have to remember anything you don't want to remember. I'm sure you forget things all the time, just as I do. I don't remember what I had for lunch three days ago, because it just doesn't matter to me. Maybe if I really dug I could bring it back, but there would have to be some compelling reason for me to search through my memory like that.

The things we we remember tend to be the things that strike us as important. The times I almost crashed my car, I remember. There are obvious lessons to be found in there about what conditions create surprisingly little traction, which conditions could lead to me being less attentive than I had realized, etc. Those times were also scary in the moment, which is the brains way of recognizing that ignoring this information comes at great peril, and is our motivation not to forget. Upon conscious reflection, I think that my "unconscious mind" got this one right, so to speak. I actually don't want to forget these things, because if I did I would be more likely to repeat the mistakes, and maybe next time it wouldn't turn out so well.

Other times the lessons are far less clear. I watched someone die once. Someone very close to me, when I was in a position to maybe do something about it. It wasn't a fun thing to think about, to put it lightly. Yet it would come up over and over and over and over. Even when I wasn't thinking about it, I'd sometimes get anxiety that would appear seemingly without cause. Part of the reason it was so persistent is that it's not really clear what you do with something like that -- no one even knew what had happened until the detective informed us weeks later, so it's kinda hard to think you should have done things differently in the moment without that benefit of hindsight.

I would have loved to not to have to deal with that sh**. If I could just snap my fingers and have all that sh** figured out (or better yet, undo what had happened) I would have done it in a heartbeat. At the same time, I can't say the event was or is unimportant to me. It's not the kind of thing that strikes me as valueless or "not worth remembering". If I were to have gotten the urge to forget, it wouldn't have been because it was "not worth remembering" it would have been because "remembering is causing me too much pain and suffering, I don't know what to do with it all or if there even is anything to do with it, and I feel like I need out".



Hypnosis can and does create "amnesia" -- even in the long term, on occasion. It's certainly possible. However, when a hypnotist has a subject forget their name, there is no active desire to remember complicating things. Even when shitbags like Michael Fine use hypnotic amnesia to get people to forget things they would very much like to remember, if they don't realize it at the time it makes his job much easier -- though it's worth noting that the only reason we know about this case is because reality collided with the lack of memory in the presence of a drive to remember, and that tore his work apart.

Simple and straight forward attempts to create hypnotic amnesia don't tend to work when the subject requests it, because people don't tend to request help forgetting things that don't strike them as important. People tend to request hypnotic amnesia when they are suffering from remembering, think remembering is doing more harm than good, and want out. In these cases, the problem is presenting as too much drive to remember, so simply suggesting "When I snap my fingers you will no longer remember" doesn't tend to work.

In order to forget, you first have to deal with that drive to remember in one way or another. One way is to go through the process of sorting the important lessons from the memory until your brain no longer sees the memory of the event itself as meaningful or important to keep around. If for some reason I wanted to forget what I had seen there's no longer a big difficulty in the way because the memory itself no longer as this big intimidating aura of bad meaning around it. However, it also means that I no longer have any motivation to forget, so it's not like amnesia is a helpful solution via that path.

The other way is to do a thorough job examining all the ins and outs of forgetting so that your brain recognizes that remembering is actually worse than forgetting, and retracts the drive to remember so long as that is the case. It means going through in detail and feeling/appreciating what you're giving up so that your brain can see it weigh it as "worth it" -- a process which is cut short by needing out. As a general rule, all of the hard work is in setting the stage like this, and the actual "hypnotic suggestion" is nothing but a formality -- since by the time you recognize that you don't actually want to remember and have no drive to remember, it's not really any harder than remembering not to do all the other thing you don't want to do. I really do think can be done and would be helpful in the proper context, and I've gotten fairly close with a client once, but he ended up changing his mind once we got to the point where he could actually act on that decision and forget or remember.

The trick is in finding someone who has the perspective needed to guide you through all this. If you want to go the longer (but more thoroughly beneficial) route of integrating all the information from the trauma, there are some therapists out there who know how to guide people through that well (And also many more who don't. Sturgeon's law, and all that). If you think that this is too much, and you need a break from remembering, that requires a hypnotist who both sees the difficulty (and danger!) of forgetting and also sees the potential for it to be the right call -- at least temporarily, and at least when properly qualified. There are plenty of amateur hypnotists who fail to see the problem in the first place, and plenty of professional hypnotists who see the problem but fail to see any solution other than the long thorough way that doesn't involve amnesia. I haven't seen a whole lot of people who see both simultaneously, so you're likely going to struggle to find someone who can help you in this way.

It's a topic I've written about before on this forum, so if you look through my old posts you'll find some more I've written on the subject -- maybe to other people in your situation, and definitely "talking shop" with other hypnotists as I tried to work out the fundamental problem and ways to solve it.

Anyway, I hope I've given you something to think about. I'm not taking clients now, but if you have other questions I can probably get to them.

Cheers,
Jimmy
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#3

Postby immense » Thu Oct 14, 2021 9:01 am

Octosa96 wrote:Is there any way to use hypnosis to forget or change certain information? It's information i learnt quite recently and I really don't want to remember it.


If this information is persisting in your memory, that may be because it would be healthy and helpful for you to 'process' that information, i.e., incorporate it into all of your other knowledge and beliefs, so everything 'sits' or 'hangs' together as one coherent whole. This may require reshuffling and revision of everything else you know! Owch.... but sometimes it's necessary.

Maybe your persistent thought is something less important. Like, you heard a nasty rumour about your best friend's husband and you don't want to get involved. In that case, use the "change the channel" technique. Every time that thought pops into your head, thing about someone completely different , and positive. A thought that will engage and energise you for a long time. For example, a hobby, a party you're planning, a special project you love, a favourite movie, etc.
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#4

Postby Octosa96 » Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:51 pm

jimmyh wrote:This is an interesting topic, and one that doesn't lend itself to an answer which is both simple and useful.

You don't have to remember anything you don't want to remember. I'm sure you forget things all the time, just as I do. I don't remember what I had for lunch three days ago, because it just doesn't matter to me. Maybe if I really dug I could bring it back, but there would have to be some compelling reason for me to search through my memory like that.

The things we we remember tend to be the things that strike us as important. The times I almost crashed my car, I remember. There are obvious lessons to be found in there about what conditions create surprisingly little traction, which conditions could lead to me being less attentive than I had realized, etc. Those times were also scary in the moment, which is the brains way of recognizing that ignoring this information comes at great peril, and is our motivation not to forget. Upon conscious reflection, I think that my "unconscious mind" got this one right, so to speak. I actually don't want to forget these things, because if I did I would be more likely to repeat the mistakes, and maybe next time it wouldn't turn out so well.

Other times the lessons are far less clear. I watched someone die once. Someone very close to me, when I was in a position to maybe do something about it. It wasn't a fun thing to think about, to put it lightly. Yet it would come up over and over and over and over. Even when I wasn't thinking about it, I'd sometimes get anxiety that would appear seemingly without cause. Part of the reason it was so persistent is that it's not really clear what you do with something like that -- no one even knew what had happened until the detective informed us weeks later, so it's kinda hard to think you should have done things differently in the moment without that benefit of hindsight.

I would have loved to not to have to deal with that sh**. If I could just snap my fingers and have all that sh** figured out (or better yet, undo what had happened) I would have done it in a heartbeat. At the same time, I can't say the event was or is unimportant to me. It's not the kind of thing that strikes me as valueless or "not worth remembering". If I were to have gotten the urge to forget, it wouldn't have been because it was "not worth remembering" it would have been because "remembering is causing me too much pain and suffering, I don't know what to do with it all or if there even is anything to do with it, and I feel like I need out".



Hypnosis can and does create "amnesia" -- even in the long term, on occasion. It's certainly possible. However, when a hypnotist has a subject forget their name, there is no active desire to remember complicating things. Even when shitbags like Michael Fine use hypnotic amnesia to get people to forget things they would very much like to remember, if they don't realize it at the time it makes his job much easier -- though it's worth noting that the only reason we know about this case is because reality collided with the lack of memory in the presence of a drive to remember, and that tore his work apart.

Simple and straight forward attempts to create hypnotic amnesia don't tend to work when the subject requests it, because people don't tend to request help forgetting things that don't strike them as important. People tend to request hypnotic amnesia when they are suffering from remembering, think remembering is doing more harm than good, and want out. In these cases, the problem is presenting as too much drive to remember, so simply suggesting "When I snap my fingers you will no longer remember" doesn't tend to work.

In order to forget, you first have to deal with that drive to remember in one way or another. One way is to go through the process of sorting the important lessons from the memory until your brain no longer sees the memory of the event itself as meaningful or important to keep around. If for some reason I wanted to forget what I had seen there's no longer a big difficulty in the way because the memory itself no longer as this big intimidating aura of bad meaning around it. However, it also means that I no longer have any motivation to forget, so it's not like amnesia is a helpful solution via that path.

The other way is to do a thorough job examining all the ins and outs of forgetting so that your brain recognizes that remembering is actually worse than forgetting, and retracts the drive to remember so long as that is the case. It means going through in detail and feeling/appreciating what you're giving up so that your brain can see it weigh it as "worth it" -- a process which is cut short by needing out. As a general rule, all of the hard work is in setting the stage like this, and the actual "hypnotic suggestion" is nothing but a formality -- since by the time you recognize that you don't actually want to remember and have no drive to remember, it's not really any harder than remembering not to do all the other thing you don't want to do. I really do think can be done and would be helpful in the proper context, and I've gotten fairly close with a client once, but he ended up changing his mind once we got to the point where he could actually act on that decision and forget or remember.

The trick is in finding someone who has the perspective needed to guide you through all this. If you want to go the longer (but more thoroughly beneficial) route of integrating all the information from the trauma, there are some therapists out there who know how to guide people through that well (And also many more who don't. Sturgeon's law, and all that). If you think that this is too much, and you need a break from remembering, that requires a hypnotist who both sees the difficulty (and danger!) of forgetting and also sees the potential for it to be the right call -- at least temporarily, and at least when properly qualified. There are plenty of amateur hypnotists who fail to see the problem in the first place, and plenty of professional hypnotists who see the problem but fail to see any solution other than the long thorough way that doesn't involve amnesia. I haven't seen a whole lot of people who see both simultaneously, so you're likely going to struggle to find someone who can help you in this way.

It's a topic I've written about before on this forum, so if you look through my old posts you'll find some more I've written on the subject -- maybe to other people in your situation, and definitely "talking shop" with other hypnotists as I tried to work out the fundamental problem and ways to solve it.

Anyway, I hope I've given you something to think about. I'm not taking clients now, but if you have other questions I can probably get to them.

Cheers,
Jimmy


Ok thanks for your help, I'll try and see what my options are.
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#5

Postby Octosa96 » Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:53 pm

immense wrote:
Octosa96 wrote:Is there any way to use hypnosis to forget or change certain information? It's information i learnt quite recently and I really don't want to remember it.


If this information is persisting in your memory, that may be because it would be healthy and helpful for you to 'process' that information, i.e., incorporate it into all of your other knowledge and beliefs, so everything 'sits' or 'hangs' together as one coherent whole. This may require reshuffling and revision of everything else you know! Owch.... but sometimes it's necessary.

Maybe your persistent thought is something less important. Like, you heard a nasty rumour about your best friend's husband and you don't want to get involved. In that case, use the "change the channel" technique. Every time that thought pops into your head, thing about someone completely different , and positive. A thought that will engage and energise you for a long time. For example, a hobby, a party you're planning, a special project you love, a favourite movie, etc.


I see what you mean and will try this. But is there any way to actually forget it if this method doesn't work?
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#6

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:32 pm

Octosa96 wrote:I see what you mean and will try this. But is there any way to actually forget it if this method doesn't work?


Outside of dementia or some form of damage to your brain you will NEVER forget;

The death of a loved one.
The first time someone shot at you.
Your childhood home.
The car accident that put you on an operating room table for 4 hours.
Delivering a death message.
Seeing a dozen people crushed to death under a large pile of wood.
Giving someone CPR.

Why? Why are these memories impossible to forget?

One reason is because of the strength of these memories. A second, is because memories are episodic. They are actually multiple memories tied together. It is not some isolated piece of information.

This doesn’t mean the memories are entirely accurate. Memory shifts/changes over time. We can easily generate false memories as well.

Whatever information you are trying to forget, if it is a “salient” or strong memory, then you will never forget it. Given you are in this forum asking, it makes me think the information isn’t some small issue that will fade in time.

Whatever you do, don’t waste your money or time paying someone that says they can help you to erase a specific memory.
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