If you have experienced childhood trauma, you can speak with a Blue Knot Helpline trauma counsellor including for support and applications around national redress

1300 657 380
Monday - Sunday
between 9am - 5pm AEST
or via email helpline@blueknot.org.au

 

Do you live with disability?  Have you experienced abuse, neglect, violence or exploitation?

For support for Disability Royal Commission or general support contact our National Counselling & Referral Service

1800 421 468
9am - 6pm AEST Mon- Fri
9am - 5pm AEST Sat, Sun & public holidays


Blue Knot Foundation Blog

Check out our recent blog posts to stay up to date with our work, latest research and articles curated by the Blue Knot Foundation Marketing & Communications team. Should you have any suggestions or contributions please contact us via email: marketing@blueknot.org.au.

Articles

19

Why do we sometimes struggle to remember? If you’re not sure, you're not alone. There’s been a lack of understanding about memory for a long time – and it’s had dire consequences. That’s because many victims of abuse only recover memories of their trauma years later, and when they do they’re often not believed, or taken seriously – in the justice or health system, or with family and friends. That can stop them getting justice or the right treatment, causing untold harm.

No trauma victim should suffer due to lack of understanding. Now we have the tools to help ensure they don’t. Blue Knot Foundation has produced a paper – believed to be a world first – which looks at the latest research on memory and trauma.

Launching this week at the TheMHS Summer Forum, the paper: The Truth of Memory and the Memory of Truth – Different Types of Memory and the Significance of Trauma, provides an invaluable guide. It aims to build our collective understanding of memory – particularly in the justice and health systems – to ensure all trauma victims are understood, supported and receive the justice they deserve.

The paper helps us to understand how memory works. Moreover, it debunks common myths about memory, particularly around trauma, many of which have been costly and had far-reaching repercussions – for our systems of justice and care, trauma victims and society as a whole.

Contrary to what many people think, there’s not one type of memory. In fact, there are two main types. An important type of memory is “implicit” memory. It is mainly unconscious and can’t be put into words. It’s the type of memory that helps us ride a bike or drive a car, without actively thinking about it. Or the memory of how we felt during an experience. It’s often experienced in the body, and triggered by something, such as a smell, sight or sound, or on an important date. The other main type of memory, “explicit” memory is what people normally think of when they think about memory. It is conscious. We know about it and we can talk about it. It’s the memory we engage when we recount a story, or when we relay knowledge and facts. Many people think explicit memory is the only type of memory, or that it is more important. That’s simply not correct.

One of the biggest myths the paper debunks is that people can’t forget traumatic events, and remember them later. This is not true. Traumatic memory is implicit memory – it cannot be recalled at will and put into words. A person who ‘remembers’ a traumatic memory will often experience it in their body or as a behaviour or action, from the past. Such a memory is triggered out of the blue, appearing as fragments of intense emotions, sensations, movements and behaviours. Memories that are forgotten for a period and then remembered, also known as recovered memories, have often been questioned as to their reliability. And trauma victims have suffered as a result.

The paper presents research that finally shows both recovered memory and always remembered memory are equally reliable. It provides vital information for legal and health professionals, as well as the general public. It can help therapists to understand their clients’ struggles, and it can help lawyers, jurors and judges when they interview, cross-examine and make judgements. Most importantly, it can help ensure trauma victims receive the support, justice and compassion they deserve. 

Reference: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/5230295/what-we-all-need-to-know-about-memory/

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Testimonials

“Blue Knot Foundation has a key role to play in the building of community capacity in care provision to those who have experienced childhood abuse and trauma in any environment.”

NIALL MULLIGAN Manager, Lifeline Northern Rivers

“I think Blue Knot Foundation is a fantastic support organisation for people who have experienced childhood trauma/abuse, for their families/close friends and for professionals who would like to learn how to more effectively work with these people.”

Psychologist Melbourne

“It's such a beautiful thing that you are doing. Helping people to get through this.”

ANONYMOUS

“It was only last September when I discovered the Blue Knot Foundation website and I will never forget the feeling of support and empathy that I received when I finally made the first phone call to Blue Knot Helpline, which was also the first time I had ever spoken about my abuse.”

STEVEN

"At last there is some sound education and empathetic support for individuals and partners impacted by such gross boundary violations.”

TAMARA

Contact Us

Phone: 02 8920 3611
Email: admin@blueknot.org.au
PO Box 597 Milsons Point NSW 1565
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm AEST

Blue Knot Helpline
Phone: 1300 657 380
Email: helpline@blueknot.org.au 
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm AEST

For media comment, please contact:
Dr Cathy Kezelman
+61 425 812 197
+61 2 8920 3611
or ckezelman@blueknot.org.au


For media enquiries, please contact: 
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+61 422 337 332
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