Memory Reconsolidation

On this episode of EBT, Bridger and Caleb complete their discussion on Ecker’s misconceptions within memory reconsolidation.

Season 2 Articles

There is no such thing as an objective treatment that will bring out an objective outcome.

  • Our brain and biological systems are subjectively dependent on our experience 
  • So, if you cling to objective treatments, you risk losing subjectivity of human experience

Misconception 7: Corrective emotional experience already covers everything now being described as reconsolidation and erasure. 

  • Corrective emotional experience vs. memory reconsolidation 
  • Example of corrective emotional experience ( 17:38)
  • Example of mismatched experience (20:56)
  • Memory reconsolidation process might be able to address why a response may occur 
  • This has the potential to update older emotional learnings 

“If I just stop at the corrective emotional experience, I’m just shifting their other representation of me. But if we go to memory reconsolidation, I’m not only shifting their representation of me but their self-representation.” (27:11)

Misconception 8: Memory reconsolidation must be induced from laboratory-derived protocol. 

  • While it can be tempting to hide behind manualized procedures,
  • Manualized procedures may decrease the effectiveness of memory reconsolidation. 
  • This is because memory reconsolidation is a subjectively discovered reality. 
  • Further, humans are wired for connection. 
  • With your client, you can co-create a way that memory reconsolidation feels the most natural 

“There are a million ways, a million places, and a million spaces to facilitate memory reconsolidation because it’s organic” (37:00)

Misconception 9: Reconsolidation is not the only process of transformational change. 

  • Memory reconsolidation is present in other therapies even without realizing it 
  • Time is an important factor in determining  this change 
  • Change can occur in therapies where memory reconsolidation wasn’t deliberately done
  • But this doesn’t mean a different process was responsible for the change

“[The unconscious] is a beautifully adaptive, experience-dependent part of your brain that is the most subjective place of you”

Misconception 10: Carrying out the steps required for reconsolidation and erasure sometimes fails to bring about a transformational change, which means the reconsolidation process is not effective for some emotional learnings 

  • Why is transformational change not occurring in therapy?
    • Clients can resist change because it can bring unfamiliar or uncomfortable emotions. 
    • “Multiple symptoms generating schemas” (56:42)
    • Memory reconsolidation isn’t implemented effectively. 
      • Memory reconsolidation is very complex with many layers 
      • It can be difficult and murky to sort through the different layers and identify the core
      • Conceptualizing different modules of the brain (1:02:13)
    • Some things aren’t based on emotional learnings 
      • Some issues are medical in nature 

“When we focus only on the product, we will get a less desirable product. But when we are totally in the process we will get the desired product” (1:10:45)


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Executive Directors: Jennifer and Ryan Savage, Melissa Bentinnedi, Bridger Falkenstein
Hosts: Jennifer Savage, Melissa Benintendi, and Bridger Falkenstein
Filmographer: Tyler Wassam
Podcast Editor: Jamie Eggert
Show Notes: Jordan Murray
Original Music Composers: Bridger Falkenstein and Caleb Boston