A. It was the mid to late 70’s and Jim’s curiosity about how the unconscious mind worked was infectious.
Jim was a Clinical Hypnotherapist and together we explored the power of the unconscious and how the unconscious registers our experiences. We were fascinated by the reports that patients under anaesthetic could recall the conversations their surgeons were having during surgery, a phenomenon that is still little understood or explored.
And we started to understand that children absorbed everything they heard, regardless of their conscious beliefs – they had no way of defending themselves against stray comments or unintended slights. Their unconscious was registering everything that had ever happened.
The turning point in our understanding came when we were driving past an empty paddock one day with Michelle in the back of the car when she became very excited. We couldn’t work out why she was so enthusiastic pointing to the empty paddock. It was an empty paddock, after all!
Later that evening when we reflected on it, we realised that just a few weeks before there had been a big, bright and colourful circus on that same spot, and our intellectually challenged daughter had accessed a memory at the moment that she saw the paddock that had been stored in her unconscious, and had tried to talk about what she was remembering.
Michelle’s speech was very limited but we realised that her unconscious knew more than we had recognised. And we were humbled.