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Healing painful memories

“Embrace today and live’’ was one of seven points shared by Counselling Psychologist Nicholas Voisin during his talk on ‘Healing Painful Memories’, a workshop hosted by Msgr Esau Joseph and the Ministry of Consolation (MoC) St Charles RC Tunapuna.

Nicholas Voisin

The event, which attracted 170 registrants, was held on October 6, via the Zoom platform with 85 devices shared by couples and families from various parishes.

A counselling psychologist and Original Pain therapist, Voisin opined that painful memories are life experiences that occurred in our past. It may be the loss of a loved one, separation, trauma, disappointments, and other experiences that cause pain, sadness, anger, anxiety, and other unpleasant emotions.

In his captivating discourse, Voisin spoke about the effect that lingering or unhealed memories can have on our lives, emphasising that we do not have to remain stuck in the grief or pain and all the unpleasantness, because the hurt is our reaction to something we’ve already survived.

He said that there were many ways to heal painful memories and engaged participants as he shared seven points (see sidebar).

During the Question & Answer segment, Voisin addressed concerns relating to unforgiveness and the grief and pain associated with the tearing apart of families and broken relationships. The discussion highlighted that forgiveness is essential in healing painful memories.

In closing, he reminded that we should pray for the person/s whom we find it difficult to forgive and urged that we walk in faith, trusting that God will take care of it all for us.


Healing service

A musical interlude by MoC member Philip Okafor and his daughter lifted mind and hearts in praise and worship in preparation for the healing service. Commencing with reading and sharing on the Word (Mt 9:1–6) Fr Raymond Francis, parish priest from the Toco/Matelot area pointed out that Jesus’ healing of the paralytic was because of what He saw in the heart of the paralytic. It was related to his illness.

Fr Francis explained that at times we may be praying for certain things, while other areas of our life need healing. He shared briefly about his journey explaining that he had to experience his own weakness to understand God’s love.

In this spirit-filled virtual space, Fr Francis and the Trinitarian Presence Missionaries prayed deeply touching hearts and minds as they interceded for healing of lingering painful memories with negative emotions that separate us from the grace of God.

Before the closing prayers and blessing, Msgr Joseph reminded participants to seek God in silence. He referred to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic such as the increase in clinical depression and the importance of people seeking the necessary support.

The workshop ended with expressions of thanks from the MoC to all persons, who in the words of participants contributed to a most informative and tremendously successful workshop. Participant Symon said: “Thank you, Barbara and your MoC Team, for making that beautiful effort to meet a critical need in the hearts of so many. May you all be blessed as you continue to labour in His vineyard.”

—Manuelita Gomez Thomas, on behalf of the St Charles Ministry of Consolation


Heal painful memories – 7 points from Nicholas Voisin

  • Decide to let go –

Your feelings are yours,

you command them,

decide to let them go

  • Close the chapter –

Bring that part of your

story to an end

  • Stop bringing it up – We are not here to live in the past
  • Let go of shame, guilt, regret – Forgive yourself, let the negative emotions go
  • Embrace today and live – Infuse yourself with all that is good around you
  • Walk by faith – Trust that God’s plan is not to punish us
  • Practise forgiveness

for self and others –

It is deciding to let it go