September/October 2001 Alternative Health
Enhancing Memory Recall through Hypnosis

by Geoffrey Knight

Geoffrey Knight
This time of year is back to school and college time. Over the coming year, students will be studying for tests or exams that could well have a critical effect on their careers and lives. Can hypnosis help to recall what is needed to pass those exams, or get a better grade? The answer is “Yes, it can”, but the end results depend on the degree of commitment of the individual, and the skill of the hypnotherapist.

Recently I have been seeing students wishing to achieve good results in their medical exams – a lot of which depends on sheer ability to memorize facts, such as anatomy of the human body. First, I teach the person how to relax through self-hypnosis, both while learning prior to the exam and most importantly during the exam. Next I teach them to enhance their recall during the exam by reading their lectures notes or text book while in a deep hypnotic state of mind, known as ‘sonambulistic depth’. Their eyes are open in deep hypnosis whilst focused single-mindedly on the pages of their notes, and all peripheral vision is blocked out. They can turn the pages of the book or notes at the speed of five seconds per page. This is repeated five to fifteen times before the exam, but then it only takes ten minutes to read all the material for a particular subject at that speed. The results are amazing.

It is not just students that do a great deal of reading. Lawyers, government employees, management and financial consultants, politicians and chief executives all have to read masses of information every day of their working lives. Most don’t know that they can absorb this information in a fraction of the normal time by speed-reading using a process that employs hypnosis. They can also improve their memory recall of what they have just read by the same process.

It is a well-known fact that some memories, which are thought to have been forgotten, and therefore inaccessible in the waking conscious state, can be recalled during hypnosis. This remarkable phenomenon is called ‘hyperamnesia’. In deep hypnosis, age regression can be achieved by getting the person to relive experiences in his past, even back to childhood and infancy. I regressed a client back to their fourth birthday party and he recalled the names of every child there and each present he received.

Memory recall with hypnosis can be rewarding. One client was able to find a large sum of money he hid in a hurry but then forgot where he put it. My sister found her diamond ring in her husband’s gun cabinet where she had hidden it for safekeeping. I have had clients recall motor accidents in detail and sexual abuse. In the case of very unpleasant or traumatic incidents, it is not unusual for the unconscious mind to deliberately impose amnesia and shut them out completely. Very often in hypnosis they can be recalled.

But, beware. The unconscious mind does not always wish to yield up its secrets. Often it may do this to protect the person from having to relive an unpleasant or traumatic situation from the past. It can also lie in hypnosis. The unconscious mind in hypnosis can hallucinate and fabricate events. A skilled hypnotherapist is an essential requisite to help recover past memories. In particular, he or she must be scrupulously careful not to ask leading questions.

There is a well-known and dangerous phenomenon called “False Memory Syndrome”, where a person under hypnosis makes up a tale of a parent, sibling or close friend sexually abusing that person earlier in their life. Unfortunately, this can happen where an unskilled therapist asks leading questions, which the person then visualizes and believes the subsequent images to be real memory. Untold harm has been done by a therapy developed by Messrs Bass and Davis and expounded in their book called “Courage to Heal” which is considered the bible of followers of RMT or ‘Recovered Memory Therapy.” Beware.

Besides enhancing memory, hypnosis is a wonderful therapy for helping you to comprehend a subject you find difficult – particularly mathematical subjects. It boils down to getting over any phobia of figures or symbols, and teaching you that figures and symbols as just another way of telling a story you can understand. I recently treated a client who had gone back to college after taking 18 years off from her engineering career to be a mum. Now she wanted to re-take her engineering qualifications but was afraid she would not be able to comprehend the advanced mathematics. I regressed her back to her college days and when we opened the social side of her unconscious mind to the great and fun times she had then, her stress was relieved. She got back her enthusiasm and was confident she could relearn her engineering skills easily.

How can you go about improving your memory? A good start is to buy one or more books on self-hypnosis, and there are many excellent books on this subject. Try searching the Internet. Amazon.com is good as it gives critiques and write-ups, and Barnes and Noble are also good.

Geoffrey Knight is a clinical hypnotherapist and Director of the Knightsbridge Institute for Hypnotherapy and NLP. He is a Member of the Oregon Hypnotherapy Association. He can be reached at (503) 246-7300. Address: 3446 SW Alice St, Portland, OR 97219
E-mail Geoffrey@Knight.net

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