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Intrusive Memory Record

Intrusive (unwanted, involuntary) memories are a common feature of PTSD, but also depression and other conditions. This Intrusive Memory Record is designed for self-monitoring of involuntary memories.

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A PDF of the resource, theoretical background, suggested therapist questions and prompts.

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A PDF of the resource plus client-friendly instructions where appropriate.

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An editable Microsoft PowerPoint version of the resource.

Editable version (DOC)

An editable Microsoft Word version of the resource.

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Introduction & Theoretical Background

The Intrusive Memory Record is a tool for recording the frequency and content of intrusive memories in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Intrusive memories can be defined to the client as memories which occur involuntarily, and are differentiated from memories that are retrieved deliberately. This record can be used to inform treatment decisions regarding which memories (or parts of memories) need to be targeted in treatment. It can also be used at multiple time points throughout memory processing to determine whether processing/reliving is having an impact upon the content or 'nowness' of memories being worked upon.

Therapist Guidance

On the Intrusive Memory Record clients are instructed to:

  • Record when an intrusive memory occurred.
  • Record the situation in which it occurred, or the stimuli which triggered it.
  • Record details of the memory intrusion itself. What was the memory of? What sensations (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste) were associated with it?
  • Rate the 'nowness' of each memory (i.e. how much each intrusive memory felt like it was happening again in the present).
  • Rate the distress associated with each memory.

References And Further Reading

  • Grey, N., Young, K., Holmes, E. (2002). Cognitive restructuring within reliving: a treatment for peritraumatic emotional "hotspots" in posttraumatic stress disorder. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 30, 37-56.