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The Truth of Memory and the Memory of Truth: Different Types of Memory and the Significance for Trauma

Truth of Memory and Memory of TruthBecoming informed about trauma (`trauma-informed’) requires basic knowledge about the nature of memory. As with research findings on the brain - with which it overlaps - research into the workings of memory is rapidly expanding.

Neuroscientific and other research confirms that memory is not a single entity. Rather it comprises different types of memory which do not relate solely to conscious recall. The different types of memory are associated with complex neural networks and are stored in different areas of the brain.

This has major implications not only for our understanding of memory, but for our understanding of the challenging experience of traumatic memory, the ways in which it is expressed, and ways in which it can be resolved.

This report presents and discusses current research findings around the nature, process, and functions of memory, with particular emphasis on traumatic memory. These research insights are important for legal and health professionals as well as the general public. Misconceptions about memory are common. They can also be costly for individuals, systems of care and justice and society as a whole, and have far-reaching repercussions.

The material presented here has urgent practical implications. This is because better understanding of traumatic memory will enhance processes of support and justice as well as informed outcomes for the many people who are struggling with its disabling impacts. 

To read or download our fact sheets about memory, click here.

To read blog from International Society of Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) reviewing this paper see here.  

Purchase a hard copy of this paper here.


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“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.”


“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.”


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


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