Six ways revisiting painful memories can loosen their grip.
Published on March 6, 2019
Written by Psychology Today
When we’ve survived an extremely upsetting event, it can be painful to revisit the memory. Many of us would prefer not to talk about it, whether it was a car accident, fire, assault, medical emergency, or something else.
However, our trauma memories can continue to haunt us, even—or especially—if we try to avoid them. The more we push away the memory, the more the thoughts tend to intrude on our minds, as many research studies have shown.
If and how we decide to share our trauma memories is a very personal choice, and we have to choose carefully those we entrust with this part of ourselves. When we do choose to tell our story to someone we trust, the following benefits may await. (Please note that additional considerations are often necessary for those with severe and prolonged experiences of trauma or abuse, as noted below.)