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Hello, Dr. Robert,

Thank you for having such an informative web site. I think I was molested as a child. I had a discharge when I was three years old and was taken to the hospital and put under ether for a pap smear. I was told that. I remember the experience of being in the hospital. I was never told why. I am sure I have a memory of what happened to me. No one that would remember is alive. I asked my father before he passed away and he said, "They thought you put a button in yourself." I remember details about my childhood. I remember the toys I played with in the hospital but can't remember the incident that put me there.

Is there a way to jar blocked memories?

I would like to recover this memory because I feel like it would help me understand what happened and move forward in my life.

I've thought about hypnosis but am a bit afraid of it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you for your time.


Dear Jeanie--

I would not recommend hypnosis. Often, "memories" are recovered in hypnotherapy sessions which are not memories at all, but ideas of the hypnotist which are transferred to the patient by means of the wording of questions or the tone of voice in which they are asked. In other words, the whole process, to me, seems unreliable and potentially dangerous.

If you can, I would suggest simply moving on with your life without going into this ancient stuff any further. If you really need to dig around in this matter--and, in my opinion, you should not do so out of curiosity, but only if you are having real and serious problems with things such as depression, substance abuse, lack of motivation, or sexuality, then find a therapist who will speak with you person to person while you are completely awake and aware.

You should understand that even if you are able to recall some kind of abuse, that does not necessarily mean that you will feel better or more free to move on--you might even feel worse. In other words, simply remembering abuse does not solve anything.

In my view, usually the best way to move on with your life is simply to learn to live for the present moment as best you can, without worrying about either the past or the future. But, again, if you have troublesome symptoms, then therapy might be needed, and you should investigate it.

I hope this will help.

Be well,


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