The dangers of memory: Jane's story

Jane, a 28-year-old personnel officer, says hypnotherapy helped her to remember sexual abuse by her uncle, which took place in her childhood. She had 12 sessions of hypnotherapy during the autumn of last year.

I went to see a hypnotherapist who'd been recommended by a friend. I'd been feeling stressed and wound up, and I wanted help to be relaxed and calmed down.

The actual experience of being hypnotised was very pleasant - very relaxing, like being half asleep. My hypnotherapist was a woman, as I felt I would find her easier to talk to and relate to.

I lay on the couch in her office, which was lovely, all full of plants and crystals, with very soft music playing in the background. She would tell me to relax completely, from head to toe, and then just gently ask me to tell her what I could remember.

She would help me go even further back by saying things like 'then what happened?' or 'where were you at the time', though mostly she would just listen. I was able to re-explore my childhood, go back and look at things again - I found several experiences that had had more of an effect on me than I realised at the time.

Some came up several times - I remembered them in more than one session. One was to do with one of my uncles.

I'd always had a slightly difficult relationship with him - felt he was a bit strange, that there was a tension between us that wasn't there with other members of the family. Then one day I had a vivid memory of sitting on his lap in the living- room in our old house - it was like a film, I could see the pattern on the carpet, the pictures, everything.

I was wriggling around, and he had his hand between my legs and was touching me sexually. I wasn't scared or upset - in fact, I was quite enjoying it, it was like being petted or caressed. When my therapist asked me how old I was, I knew that I was eight at the time.

Remembering it was quite shocking - I felt worse then, at the age of 27, than I had when it happened. But I had no idea at the time that this kind of thing was inappropriate, it wasn't rough or hurtful and although I felt a bit distressed and shamed at remembering it, I certainly didn't feel like I

wanted to go and shout and scream and confront him. I certainly wasn't about to go screaming the house down.

I'd say we get on almost better than before - I feel more relaxed round him now I know what was bothering me underneath. I don't believe he wanted to hurt or traumatise me - and I decided I wasn't going to be traumatised. I am a strong person, this happened nearly 20 years ago, and I have a loving relationship with all my family - including my uncle - that I don't intend to call into question.

I felt better for going to the therapist, though I wouldn't say that this particular memory was a key thing in that. It was just the general going over things and talking them out. I had 12 sessions at pounds 15 each and I think it was money well spent.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

    £600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

    Commercial Litigation Associate

    Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

    Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

    £65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

    Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

    Day In a Page

    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform