Your brain is not a tape recorder

If you call a hypnotist with a request to put you into a trance so you can find something—jewelry, your car keys, or what have you—the hypnotist, while willing to take you on, may warn you that the effort will require work.

A skilled hypnotist like Greg Thompson in Gold Coast is well aware that memory is a complicated thing. It does not work like a tape recorder. Most of the time, the hypnotist, no matter how skilled and experience, will have to do more than just put you into a trance, tell you to go back in time and tell you to remember.

Workers in the field have come to realise that memory is actually divided into multiple parts, and these parts are stored in different sections of the brain.

Experts describe the process in terms of a hologram, which is a visual image that is split into different parts. A laser is used to take all those parts and project them together so that they form a single image.

Memory works the same way.

Take those keys you lost. That happened at a particular time when you were in a particular place. There were probably other people in the same place, and at least some of your attention was on them. Maybe you were in a club, playing one of the pokies there, and maybe you were losing, and so part of you was worried about how you were going to come up with extra money to pay the rent. Maybe someone else there was giving you a hard time about gambling. Maybe a particular song was playing, and that song reminded you of an old relationship.

All of those things are pieces of the memory, stored in various parts of your brain, and recalling what you did with your keys requires that you put them all back together. And, even as a kid you probably learned that once something is taken apart, putting it back together again is not that easy.

Fortunately, a skilled hypnotist like Greg Thompson knows how to help you work in a trance to locate all those parts and recreate that mental hologram that will let you see where those keys are.

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