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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – A New Reality?

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Written by Russell Alexander / (905) 655-6335

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – A New Reality?

A Montreal researcher named Dr. Alain Brunet claims to have found a method to remove traumatic memories. He labels this process as “reconciliation therapy” in which a beta blocking pharmaceutical – namely, propranolol – is ingested approximately one hour prior to recollecting emotionally traumatic events in the patient’s life.

The science behind this method rests in our memories tone and feel being stored in the brain’s amygdala. Yet, propranolol is typically used for migraines and hypertension thus producing a suppressing affect on the feeling of the memory. Dr. Brunet’s thesis therefore is that if a patient relives the memory of a traumatic event while under the influence of the medication, then their new feelings towards that memory will be less painful or traumatic.

Results of this therapeutic method thus far shows 70% of patients reporting some form of relief. Therefore, questions of its applicability to emotional heartbreak situations have begun to interest Dr. Brunet as he now is recruiting 60 people for testing at his Montreal lab. Many have drawn parallels to this treatment and to that of the plot of the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind starring Jim Carrey, in which he uses a similar procedure to forget his difficult break up.

Divorce and all things related are without question an emotionally difficult experience for most, therefore the potential application and influence this new form of trauma therapy may have on our memories of emotional separations could be impact the future field of family law. It is unknown at this time how this new form of trauma therapy will continue in the long-term, although its potential application could prove vast.

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About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the founder of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers and is the firm’s senior partner. At Russell Alexander, our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues, including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. We have locations in Toronto, Markham, Whitby (Brooklin), Oshawa, Concord, Lindsay, and Peterborough.

For more information, visit our website, or you can call us at: 905-655-6335.