Traumatic memories can be indelible and seared into the memories of the victims. Intense trauma can actually cause damage to part of the brain according to University of Toledo Professor Dr. Jianyang Du Ph.D. Dr. Du says the area of the brain that suffers damage is the hippocampus where the memories are stored and organized.
"If we have damage onto the hippocampus, people will lose their memory."
This can happen simultaneously with damage to another area of the brain which controls the emotional processing of the memory. "We trust that the brain knows how to heal itself from trauma," says Joan Freeman MA, LPCC who is a certified EMDR Therapist and Approved Consultant. This is a form of therapy that utilizes rapid light movement to help the brain filter through traumatic memories. "The brain is able to process through the events at a much accelerated rate, more than you can verbally talk about it. It's similar to what happens in our dream states with rapid eye movements. It just helps to bring up the unfinished unresolved things and for your brain to just what it does naturally."