What’s your memory of the future?

“So, basically, there are parts of the brain that control how we plan for the future and in many ways imagine our future based on past and present experience …. What’s interesting about memory of the future is that it relies on those parts of the brain that have been shown to be negatively affected by abuse of drugs and alcohol.” (Daddow, 2010)

Check out this interesting article by Rebecca Daddow, coordinator of the User Centred Drug Services project at London’s Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce (RSA).

Daddow comments on how many of the participants in the RSA study who have struggled with addiction are often unable to provide answers about where they see themselves in the future. She cites work by D.H. Ingvar who describes how “memory of the future” is connected to certain parts of the brain.

This is an interesting connection as, from a service provider perspective, we know how important it is for individuals with addictions to have hope, expectancy, future-orientation, whatever you want to call it. Ingvar’s work suggests that sometimes imagining a future beyond the present might be more difficult than we think.

2 thoughts on “What’s your memory of the future?

  1. Thanks for linking to my blog piece.

    Subsequent discussions with those working in this area inform me that the parts of the brain that are ‘damaged’ or inhibited by long term substance misuse can be repaired. This is very hopeful for all those looking towards recovery (and those supporting individuals) but there seems to be a general agreement about the need to make the options to individuals, networks (families, friends, supporters etc) and whole communities, far more visible!

    I’m off to the Recovery Academy Conference in Glasgow this Friday where I’m sure there will be lots of discussions about how to do just that.

    Thanks again

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