New research suggests memory training that helps individuals recall specific events may reduce symptoms of depression.
In a study to be published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, researchers investigated whether a particular training program, Memory Specificity Training, might improve people’s memory for past events and ameliorate their symptoms of depression.
In Iran, the researchers recruited 23 adolescent Afghani refugees who had lost their fathers in the war in Afghanistan and who showed symptoms of depression.
Twelve of the adolescents were randomly assigned to participate in the memory training program and 11 were randomly assigned to a control group that received no training.
A very interesting study. I can see the merit of this technique. My memories of childhood have always been very spotty. A lot of it wasn’t very happy for me, so have shut much of it out. Over the last several years I have been trying to remember more it, good & bad. It feels important to be able to go back to some of those painful memories of my childhood & get a grown up perspective on them. Most of them have become a lot less scary to me & I feel a little bit of the weight I’ve been carrying around fall away. I’ve also been helped by recapturing some of those happy memories of childhood. Something that has really helped is connecting with my siblings & remembering things. We can laugh & commiserate, & it gives a new, shared perspective on things making them less of a burden.
Reading the entirety of this describing the trainings & how the two groups were measured, I did have one thought: what about the possibility those in the training groups were helped by the group experience? Being with people with a similar experience sharing memories both good & bad? The don’t say if they shared the memories out loud, but if they did it would be a very group therapy type experience. In my experience though, even if they write the memories down rather than share them to the group, people talk.
If given the option, I was definitely participate in this type of training. It also sounds like something that could easily be done on your own.