Going Back in Time: Age Regression Techniques
Time for some myth busting: You do not have to be regressed for hypnotherapy to be successful! Despite what you may hear or be told, uncovering the past and dealing with it is not an essential part of getting over your symptom. Regression is simply another tool in the hypnotherapist's toolbox that can be very effective, when used at the right time and in the correct manner.
Very simply, regression is a technique in which your hypnotherapist takes you back in time, in your mind, to an event that actually happened or that happened in your imagination.
Considering the reasons for regression
Why does a hypnotherapist consider using regression? For several reasons, that may include:
- You want to find out about the origin of your symptom. You've had your symptom for a long while, but can't remember how, why, or when it started and want to.
- Your therapist may suggest you find the origin of your symptom, believing the origin may well have an important bearing on helping you to finally remove the symptom.
- Several seemingly small events may have compounded together to give you the symptom you're experiencing. And your therapist may suggest that in order to remove your symptom, you need to work through the individual components.
- You want to change the way you perceive an event in your past. You have experienced an event in the past, and as you think about it in the present, you find it disturbing; perhaps feeling disempowered, lacking in confidence, anxious, and so on. Your hypnotherapist may regress you to that time and allow you to change how you remember that event, or how you responded to it.
- For example, you may remember being scared as a child by a particularly grumpy dentist who was nasty to you when you cried as you were being given an injection. The sense of powerlessness you felt then contributed greatly to the dental phobia you have in the present. You can be regressed to that time, but this time, as you remember it, you can be empowered to safely tell the dentist exactly what you think of her. Once you're empowered in the past, that sense of empowerment can be brought back into the present and sort out a major component of your phobia.
- You want to remember an event from your past. Perhaps you hid a particularly valuable piece of jewelry in a very safe place, so safe in fact that you can't remember where you put it!
- You may have prevented yourself from experiencing some emotion connected to an event in your past, such as bereavement. Unfortunately, that emotion got locked away inside you, fuelling your symptom in the present. Your hypnotherapist may use a regression technique to let you re-experience the event and let out that emotion in safety. Because the emotion is no longer locked away, your symptom runs out of fuel and disappears.
- You want to access a good feeling from your past. Perhaps until recently you have always been very focused when you are playing tennis. However, recently your game has been very poor for one reason or another. Your hypnotherapist can use a regression technique to take you back to a time when you had those important feelings of focus; allowing you to once again get in touch with them, and to bring them back to the present and back into your game.
Regression enables you to gain insight into what has gone before. And with insight comes a measure of control over your symptom. Once you have control, it's a relatively simple step to progress forward to finally ridding yourself of the symptom.
Going through the techniques
The time is right and you have agreed to be regressed. So how will your hypnotherapist do this? There are several ways to go about it:
- Counting you back through the years. Your hypnotherapist may take a formal approach, counting you back through the years as your mind drifts back through time.
- Your hypnotherapist may also use a technique that allows you to scan the years to find those times that contributed to your problem; asking your unconscious mind to lift one of your fingers each time you identify an event. The hypnotherapist may then use one of a variety of approaches to let you visit those times.
- Letting your unconscious mind decide where to go. Your unconscious mind is given the task of taking you back in time to an event that has relevance to the development of your problem.
- Asking you to remember a specific time in your past. This technique is nice and straightforward. If you know when an event happened, and some of what happened at the time, your hypnotherapist may simply ask you to start remembering that time. As you become more involved in that memory, your recall will improve.
- Being creative. You, or your hypnotherapist, may have a creative streak and take you back by having you, for example, imagine that you're flicking through the pages of a biography of your life. As you reach the chapter detailing the events that led up to the development of your symptom, you may be asked to step into the pages of the book and re-experience what happened.
You do not have to be regressed if you don't want to. However, your hypnotherapist will always make sure that it is safe for you to go back in time, if you do agree to it.