John R. Tkach, M.D.
300 North Willson, Suite 203B
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 587-5442

Rapid Reintegration Procedure and the Recovery of False Memories

RRP Clinical Trial by Dr. Tkach

Rapid Reintegration Procedure (RRP) is symptom oriented. It runs on feelings. Buried within the symptom is the path to memories of specific critical events. What I do is to guide you gently to resolving troublesome conflicts that arose at those critical events. It was at that point that a part of you lost your smile. You will know RRP worked when you get your smile back.

What are these memories? Are they memories of real events? Are they false memories? Are they imagined memories? Are they distorted memories? Are they manufactured memories planted by circumstances or by somebody else? How do you know if the memories are accurate? In psychotherapy, are they false memories invented and planted by the therapist? These questions have been receiving more and more attention since the 1980's.

  1. Inaccurate memories. We are exposed to thousands of sights, sounds, and happenings daily. How can we remember them all? Sometimes we just get it wrong. We remember it wrong. This is why business people use written contracts. I don't think it's that we don't trust each other. Montanans tend to trust each other. I think it's that sometimes memory fails us, and it helps to have it written down. That's the basis of History-written documents.

  2. Self deceit. This is not as nefarious as it sounds. It is quite innocent. The concept of "self deceit" arose from work at Yale in the 1980's. Psychologists found that sometimes people remember things differently from the way they actually were so as to reduce distress of things that did not turn out quite the way we wanted them to. For example, if a boy breaks up with a girl, she may remember it as her breaking up with him.

    We honestly do not know it when we do this. It is not a matter of lying. It is a stress reducing mechanism. But the altered memory seems very real in that version of it. This is a common and normal event.

  3. Confabulation. This is a well-recognized neurological sign. The mind apparently does not like gaps in the memory or in perceived reality. Under some circumstances, there are gaps in the memory such as when a person becomes severely intoxicated and wakes up in an odd place with no memory of how he/she got there.

    Not liking that discontinuity in reality, the mind invents events to fill in the memory gap. The remembered events did not actually occur, but the person thinks they did. This may sound to you like lying, but it is not. It is a result of physical or chemical damage. Confabulation can occur in dementia.

Freud and False Memories

When Sigmund Freud was inventing psychoanalysis, he struggled with the problem of false memories. His solution was to recognize that, while the memory may be false, the feeling associated with it is very real. Therefore, he explored the feeling.

In so doing, he did not challenge the patient's accuracy. He let the patient talk about whatever came into his/her mind. Freud has been criticized for this. But, I think he was right. This is therapy not a Congressional investigation. You cannot do psychotherapy without exploring memories and feelings.

One of the nice things about RRP is that you do not need to tell me anything personal, private, secret or embarrassing. Some people find this is what allows them to get results in RRP whereas other therapies failed. Some people do want to tell me about some things. It is a matter of doing what feels right to you. In RRP, you are in control.

In RRP, even if there is a memory of something that did not occur that way, the impressions left by those thoughts are troublesome and deserve to be helped. Most of the time, the memories you have in RRP are going to be accurate, but keep in mind, sometimes they are not.

The important thing in RRP is that you are not going through it alone. You have me there to hold your hand, so to speak. I do not want you to suffer. I do not want you to relive traumatic events. It is not necessary. If I detect that you are doing that, I will call it to your attention and guide you out of that approach. It's not necessary for you to suffer in RRP. You get no gain from it, and it interferes with getting the work done. RRP is a gentle therapy.

You will have to read and sign a copy of this with the release form before being seen by Dr. Tkach for RRP.

Learn more about the Rapid Reintegration Procedure or buy a copy of Dr. Barnett and Dr Tkach's book.