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> Mage as psychotherapist, Alter Memory as a cure
blakkie
post Oct 7 2004, 09:58 AM
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Can Alter Memory be used to cure a mental illness that was triggered/caused by the sufferer experiencing a tramatic event? This almost came up as we were trying to get one of the team past a psychological screening test. You know, the type commonly used by police departments to screen employee candidates.

In the specific case we figured that it wasn't a specific event that caused it (as there wasn't anything in his stated background), the PC was just generally maladjusted to living in civil society. ;) But if there was a triggering event could you reverse the personality trait by erasing the memory?
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Voran
post Oct 7 2004, 10:17 AM
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Offhand I'd say it depends on if you believe getting rid of the memory itself will be enough. If you catch it early on enough, I would argue sure, you can do it. If the traumatic event has been allowed to fester long enough that there are a bunch of other secondary triggers and effects, possibly not.

This next part is just an analogy I've come up with, so I'm asking no one to take offense as I'm not equating traumatic memory with addiction.

I'd see removal of the memory itself as possibly helping. Much like its possible to remove the physical effects of say a drug addiction with certain approaches, but for drug addiction, even without the physical addictions anymore, if you've still got the addictive personality or emotional/environmental situations that led you to drugs in the first place, getting rid of just the physical component may not help in the long run.

So, the same may apply in attempts to use Alter Memory to erase a traumatic event. The mind has wonderful (frustrating) ways of working around gaps and filling in the blanks, especially if a bunch of spawned triggers are left behind.
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MrSandman666
post Oct 7 2004, 11:14 AM
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Well, being the son of a psychotherapist and currently undergoing psychotherapie myself I believe I can say that removing the memory will most likely not help but rather hinder the process of curing. Even if the memory is removed the effects are usually etched deep into your personality. This doesn't get any better if the memory is removed. Actually, the human brain takes care of this automaticaly most of the time, as memories are pushed into our subconsciousnes. Unless these traumatic events have happend very recently it's usually hard to even find the memories. Finding out what exactly caused a certain behaviour to develop is a great deal of work all in itself - and that's before you start doing anything about it. Many people can't even remember this event and it's a lot of hard work to get the memorie back. Even if you found the memory, erasing it would probably make a cure near-impossible to achieve since you can't "work with" the source of the problem any more, which is essential to psychotherapie.
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CoalHeart
post Oct 7 2004, 04:46 PM
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For some reason whenever I see the word psychotherapist I only see it in parts. as Psycho The Rapist. Infact I did a whole investigation plot for some of my buddies on this. One of the group went to a shrink for traumatic problems, they didn't know the Shrink was a mage who liked to use mind control and alter memory to do bad things to his clients. So that PC went home feeling better in concious but sore in the posterior. Led to helping out lonestar coming out with a indepth investigation, feds, evil cult of mage therapists plotting world domination through implanting suggestions into high ranking city officials. It was a whole mess with coverups and incipid plots.
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blakkie
post Oct 7 2004, 05:12 PM
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QUOTE (MrSandman666 @ Oct 7 2004, 11:14 AM)
Well, being the son of a psychotherapist and currently undergoing psychotherapie myself I believe I can say that removing the memory will most likely not help but rather hinder the process of curing. Even if the memory is removed the effects are usually etched deep into your personality. This doesn't get any better if the memory is removed. Actually, the human brain takes care of this automaticaly most of the time, as memories are pushed into our subconsciousnes. Unless these traumatic events have happend very recently it's usually hard to even find the memories. Finding out what exactly caused a certain behaviour to develop is a great deal of work all in itself - and that's before you start doing anything about it. Many people can't even remember this event and it's a lot of hard work to get the memorie back. Even if you found the memory, erasing it would probably make a cure near-impossible to achieve since you can't "work with" the source of the problem any more, which is essential to psychotherapie.

My emphasis in the above quote. See, the assumption i'm going on here is that:
1) Alter Memory would remove/alter the memory out of existance, not just move it to the subconcious where it can continue to alter your judgement and behavior.
2) The possibility of resisting Alter Memory in part represents how well the mage has removed the side-effect traces that could reconstitute the memory, or at least let you become aware of the "hole" left behind.
3) That a memory in your subconciousness is NOT the same as completely forgetting. It is still there, and often even accessable by concious thought, although requiring the application of varying amounts of effort and technique. Talking as a person that has actively cultivated aiding problem solving and planning using subconcious thought, i [in my understanding of what transpires] have had success making specific requests for opinions from my subconciousness. The communication is problematic because you need to guard against 'noise' from assorted baggage kicking around your subconciousness as well as translating since the subconcious works in a different "language". But the subconcious memory is still real, and still there influencing.

Of course viewing Alter Memory as merely pushed stuff into your subconciousness, which i suppose is perfectly reasonable from the standpoint that you do get to make future resists to regain the correct memory when confronted with the "truth". I mean where does the memory go in the meantime that it can be restored? Off into the manasphere?

EDIT: Clarified a few things. Sorry of for the inconvinence.
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FlakJacket
post Oct 7 2004, 09:04 PM
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A really cranked up, high powered Mind Probe spell might actually be a lot of use for people like this. Get enough sucesses with it and you can even poke round people's subconscious and find stuff they've forgotten IIRC.
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hobgoblin
post Oct 7 2004, 09:07 PM
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forget it, this post was made without thinking...
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Kanada Ten
post Oct 7 2004, 10:31 PM
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QUOTE
I mean where does the memory go in the meantime that it can be restored? Off into the manasphere?

I would think the memory is not erased, but covered or painted over.
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Edward
post Oct 7 2004, 11:16 PM
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You can achieve the effect you want but it is much harder.

You need a mage well trained in psychotherapy with spells for reading and altering memories and mental states witch will need to be applied multiple times. A drug or spell to reduce willpower would also be very useful.

For mechanics look at eth PAB units for a basis.

Edward
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Kanada Ten
post Oct 7 2004, 11:33 PM
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It might be easier to create an Indirect Illusion that makes the subject seem totally qualified for the job. Probably +1(S) drain, but well worth it, force 5 to pass the lie detectors, and have the caster Deliberately Masking the entire time the spell is active.
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blakkie
post Oct 8 2004, 12:46 AM
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QUOTE (Edward @ Oct 7 2004, 11:16 PM)
You can achieve the effect you want but it is much harder.

You need a mage well trained in psychotherapy with spells for reading and altering memories and mental states witch will need to be applied multiple times. A drug or spell to reduce willpower would also be very useful.

Funny you should suggest that, because the mage in question has knowledge skill Psychology (4). The intenion was to use this, in fact it was a bit of a catalyst for coming up with the idea.

As for the Indirect Illusion, since the job was for security detail, albeit not military or even law enforcement level, that could be a bit risky if they brought in a mage to screen. I thought it better to go with a Permanent followed by a cleanse. However illusion is an option.
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Quix
post Oct 8 2004, 12:58 PM
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But as a psychotherapist do you really want to cure them? :D I mean if they are cured then you can't have them come back and pay you more money. (need sarcasm tag)
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Fortune
post Oct 8 2004, 01:09 PM
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QUOTE (Quix)
need sarcasm tag

You mean like this one? ---> :S
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