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Impact Techniques: Applying Our Knowledge of Human Memory Systems to Psychotherapy.

Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association 2006, Winter, 9, 4

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Abstract Successful psychotherapy often depends on assisting clients to change perceptions, thought patterns, or behaviors and adopt more healthful ones. These changes depend on acquisition of new information or insights, which must be laid down as new memories. Impact Techniques were developed to incorporate our knowledge about human memory systems into psychotherapeutic interventions to produce more rapid and tasting progress. This article presents a brief examination of the mnemotechnique principles underlying Impact Techniques. These simple techniques use multisensory interventions that make abstract concepts concrete, stimulate the client's emotions and interest, and build on the client's knowledge base, all the while adding pleasure and avoiding excessive repetition. The result is an approach that can be incorporated into any practice, adding efficacy and increasing satisfaction for both therapist and client.