Why We Don’t Remember Names

We all have two sides to our brains. One side records long term memory and the other only records memory for a short period. I have heard people say “I am not good with names”. Actually, we can safely say that no one is. Can you guess which is which and what does this have to do with mental health?

When you learn someone’s name, it is processed by the left side of the brain and usually fades pretty quickly, unless you use the language of the right side of the brain, which indicates that you are likely to remember the name. Mnemonics is a term used for associations that use other words, perhaps pictures or sounds that help you remember a name. These use skills associated with the imagery/feeling/body-connected side of the brain.

Because the right side of the brain records long-term memory, this is where you are going to find painful, traumatic experiences that perhaps have not been processed. This is where you will also find the origins of the personality’s idiosyncrasies that might impair your functioning in life.

This is why people are not logical, which may have made you scratch your head, both about others and about yourself. The right side of the brain does not need to make sense, although the left side of the brain tries to. You cannot get to the deep levels of trauma and personalilty defenses by being logical. You can only get there by using the language of the right side of the brain, which is imagery, body oriented awareness, associations and apparent synchronicities that show up in therapy.

You can use the left side of the brain to make sense of things as you uncover them, or to figure things out as you go, but it is not a good roadmap for healing.

That is why I primarily work with the right side of the brain in my practice.

~ Just for today, walk in joy, Catherine