What Is The Earliest Memory You Have?

Do you have a story between one year and ten years of age?
That is the question I ask all of my guests on my ‘No Story Stagnates’ because I believe that you can trace a person’s attitudes to life by their answer to the question. Let me explain!
I work as a shiatsu therapist and have to physically touch people.

On the first visit, we discuss a consultation that begins with “What is your first memory?” This one question gives me all the information I need in order to begin working with my client.

If the answer is, “I remember being 4 years old and in the back garden with my mother and father, then I start from the premise that the blocks that are troubling the client are, no matter what age they are in my clinic, not so deep-rooted that it will be a long process towards healing. If, however, they drop their head, fumble for words or go silent and then start telling me of an experience at 12-15 years of age, I think we should try to explore, through gentle questions, what happened in those first 10 years. And by questioning, I really mean listening.

I believe most therapists can now distinguish themselves from GPs or even consultants by the ability to listen not only to what is said but also to the way it is said and, more importantly, what isn’t said.

The number of times a client who has fallen into this category has taken two or three visits in order to trust me enough to say, “Actually, when I was (age), I was raped, abused, abandoned, gave me enough proof to work with this method.

My first memory is in the living room of my grandmother’s house. We lived with them while my dad and mother saved for their own place. I remember that I was running around the room and laughing when I tripped and fell forward toward the old iron fire and cooker combination. I put my hand straight onto the iron grate that held the coal in place, and you can guess the outcome.

I think I was about six years old, and so my memory was within that critical first ten-year period, and so there was no long-term trauma because the majority of other memories are of a happy childhood.

This, in my opinion, is the importance of first memories.

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