At the heart of everything we do at Candeo is the Brain Science of Change. We go to great lengths in our behavior-change training and support resources to help struggling individuals understand the brain processes behind their unwanted behaviors—how addiction circuitry forms in the brain, and how to rewire that circuitry to break free.
As you might imagine, we try to stay on top of the latest neuroscience research, looking for valuable information and breakthroughs that can help our worldwide “students.” Among the many resources we access, my colleagues and I receive regular updates from the Dana Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides a gateway to information about the brain and brain research.
In a recent Dana Foundation newsletter, Dr. Larry Squire published an article titled, Memory and Memory Enhancement. The article mentions that recent news sources have reported on an electrical brain-stimulation technique that can improve human memory. In the process of developing this technique, neuroscientists have made some extraordinary progress in understanding the structure and organization of memory. As I reviewed the article, I noticed some key concepts that apply directly to the Candeo behavior-change principles and tools used by our students.
a) Declarative Memory (DM) is our conscious memory. This is what we think of when we use the term memory in everyday life. It’s the ability of the brain to store and then retrieve names, numbers, directions, past events and conversations, and a vast variety of facts, figures and information we absorb everyday.
b) Nondeclarative Memory (NDM) is our unconscious memory. These are memories formed through practice and repetition, like walking, riding a bike, developing a fondness for a certain food, and countless other behaviors and skills that become “automatic” in our daily lives. These habits (memories) can be formed without the use of our conscious memory system (DM). And once formed, they can be triggered without us being aware of the process. Thus the term “nondeclarative” or “unconscious” memory.
For example, during my annual checkup at the doctor’s office, I’m told that my weight, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are too high. If I don’t make adjustments to my diet, I run the risk of some serious health problems. All of this logical data is stored in my DM. I consciously resolve to stop eating junk food. Then a few days later, after an unusually stressful day at work, I find myself sitting in front of the TV with a bag of chips and a soda. I know what I should do, but I do just the opposite! Why?
What we often fail to realize is that we have two different kinds of memory systems in the brain, and these systems learn (form memories) in very different ways. One is through study, observation and the conscious gathering of information. The other is through consistent and often unconscious practice and repetition. The DM system cannot automatically override or change the NDM system. Translation—knowing something is one thing; consistently doing it is an entirely different matter.
Through highly effective hands-on tools, tracking and support, our students learn how to bring the unconscious NDM process “above the surface” to the conscious level where they can alter or replace their automatic memories, habits and addictions. Through consistent daily “doing,” Candeo students learn how to literally harness and direct the power of their NDM. Over time, their new behaviors and habits become “automatic” and “unconscious” replacing their old unwanted behaviors.
One of the greatest joys we experience at Candeo is helping struggling individuals increasingly bring into alignment their knowledge and desires with their behaviors. When what they “know” increasingly matches what they “do,” they feel an evolving sense of self-worth, integrity, peace and happiness in their lives and relationships.
If you’re straining under the heavy burden of unwanted sexual behaviors, I invite you to join with us and begin your own personal journey of knowing and doing.
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