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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
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

    Ashdown Group: Microsoft Dynamics Consultant - Watford - £65,000 + Bonus.

    £50000 - £65000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: Dynamics Expert...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - London - up to £48,000

    £38000 - £48000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Senior ...

    Recruitment Genius: Electricians

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fully qualified electricians re...

    Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst - High Wycombe - £30,000

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst role...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower