The Past Cannot Be Changed
So many folks coming to see me for help getting past their past want it to be erased, or they want help to forgetting it, and that is something that therapy simply cannot do.
I would argue that forgetting or erasing the past, even if it is quite painful, is not healthy. As the saying goes, those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. If we do not learn and grow and start to recognize red flags and boundary violations then we are at risk of being re-victimized.
Although I do not think forgetting or erasing the past is healthy, I also don’t think people should have to suffer from it continuously or relive it. Therapy should help to take the emotional punch out of the memory so folks aren’t swamped by it, but can look at it from the perspective that time and distance can give.
Therapy cannot change the past, but it can change the way we store and remember the past. And in my experience, I have found EMDR Therapy to be particularly useful in this arena.