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by Robert M. Wendlinger

ePub The Memory Triggering Book download
Robert M. Wendlinger
Proust Press (December 1, 1995)
Memory Improvement
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"The Memory Triggering Book" is a unique and authoritative guide for going back in personal time to find memories that enrich, hearten and heal. Containing dozens of original and gentle tools and techniques that will trigger forgotten memories and insights about people, events, and places of one's past, the book also provides creative ways of organizing including the memories in scrapbooks, memoirs, autobiographies, family legacies, or self-enrichment programs.
  • When my mother died four years ago at age 93, she took with her a treasure: memories of her childhood, five sisters growing up on a succession of farms in Iowa, Minnesota and California as their immigrant parents struggled to succeed in America. My father died much earlier, and he, too, took with him a treasure of memories.
    My three siblings and I have only snapshots of their lives - no more satisfying than a few stills from a great movie. The same is true of my wife's parents. They came to America from Scotland early in the last century. Except for vignettes, we know little of their experiences. How we wish we had prompted our parents to record their memories for the benefit not only of us and our siblings, but also for our adult children and especially our grandchildren - who are now old enough to be curious about life before computers and television (not to mention cars, telephones, and electric lights!)
    However, I doubt that talking with them from time to time, notebook or tape recorder in hand, would have been very successful. What is needed is a process, a blueprint to follow such as provided in this book. Memories can't be forced. A few years ago my teen-age granddaughter called with a school assignment: a series of questions about my early life - growing up in the Depression, WWII military service, etc. I did the best I could, but I'm certain my spur-of-the-moment responses were not exactly what her teacher was expecting, or hoped for.
    "The Memory Triggering Book" is perfect for those who wish they'd kept a journal. It provides a method of constructing that journal in retrospect - creating a treasure for those in succeeding generations who care, if not now then surely in the future.
    Memory triggering as guided in this book has at least two virtues: enhancing one's own life through systematic retrospection, and enhancing the lives of those who follow by providing insights into the lives of their forebears. My emphasis is on the latter, but in so doing the former comes into surprising focus.

  • We have all known, at one time or other, the unexpected startling recall of a memory coming from we know not where, but vivid and lively. Perhaps it appeared upon noticing an aroma that was just like that of mother's roast cooking in the oven, or hearing an old song, or upon viewing a picture that was the stimulus for a rich experience. Bob Wendlinger's book shows us how to do this deliberately and with the assurance of success, using a series of very thoughtful and carefully planned exercises. His direction are clear and easy to follow. While he gives his rationale for the instructions, and generously shares the results of his own experience with them, he is neither pedantic no insistent on his way only. He allows each individual his or her own unique experience. This is a very rich and imaginative book that can be that can be incredibly useful in stirring one's own creative juices, or helping in sharing personal memories as they are evoked with dear ones, creating more mutual understanding and intimacy.
    As a therapist interested in the developmental process of aging, I have found this book very stimulating in helping elderly patients find the themes and patterns in their lives that give them meaning. The noted developmental psychologist, Eric Erikson posited that one of the taks of old age is to do just that, to look back over one's life to discover its significance. I have also found this book useful in working with younger patients, helping them to recall early critical incidents in their lives. It is really a wonderful book and I highly recommend it to everyone, thrapist or not.

  • This book has been very useful in my teaching. Like most teachers--I've taught at elemenary schools and now teach at the university level--I have found that students of all ages are often reluctant to speak up, especially at the beginning of a term, for fear of being thought inadequate or stupid.
    I now use memory triggering exercises to begin my university classes, which include students from different ethnic and economic backgrounds. When they remember and then share important personal experiences and family material with me and the class, they clearly become more confident. I think they realize that while they may not have learned the subject matter yet, at least they are THE experts on their own lives and they are indeed interesting! The more they participated in the sharing, the more they appreciated not only their differences but also the commonality of their experiences and their interconnections with one another.
    Now, at the beginning of a class on "Critical Thinking," students often want to volunteer to spend the first fifteen minutes or so sharing memories they have triggered. This becomes an incredibly powerful warmup for the work we'll be doing. So the book has become a great teaching aid for me.

  • This is a special, one of a kind, book. It was great fun just to browse through the sample memories the author and others have provided to illustrate each excersize. The excersises themselves were incredibly evocative. This book is probably intended primarily as a stimulus to sharing among family and friends; I may bring it out after Thanksgiving dinner next year. However, the main benefit for me has been to enrich my autobiographical writing. It's hard for me to imagine anyone's memory being blocked after dipping into almost any section of this book. For some this book may become a family keepsake full of handwritten annotations by various family members. Right now, my copy goes on the shelf next to my Roget's and my Webster's. I definitely recommend it.

  • Writing my recent book,"Byron's War" required that I scan my memory for details of events that took place more than fifty-five years ago. When I found myself stuck I went in search of help and found Wendlinger's book. Using the methods he suggests I was able to bring into consciousness not only material I sought but important, though sometimes painful, experiences that I had pushed into a hidden corner of my mind. Some of these were critical to making the manuscript come alive. Thanks, Bob Wendlinger, wherever you are.