Age-Regression is a hypnosis technique that is frequently used, however, there is some discussion as to whether it is always the best technique or if it is needed at all. Some believe that it is the go-to procedure for effective resolution of almost every issue. Other hypnotherapists don’t really believe that it is necessary at all and never use it. There is a middle ground where some hypnotherapists believe that there are specific times and issues where age regression works well and other times when it is better to use other procedures.
Age-Regression is when the hypnotist guides the client back to retrieve or re-experience memories that happened at an earlier age. This can be cathartic and there are some specific reasons why this is done. It is sometimes very effective in resolving issues. As the client sees and experiences events from the past, they are looking at them from a different perspective and seeing them in a different way with added resources for dealing with them and can therefore come away with different feelings and perhaps, an improved outcome or better perspective of that outcome. On the other hand, going back and re-living past traumas, experiencing those feeling again, can reignite traumas unnecessarily. It is also true that each time we go back to a past memory we change it and we may not be dealing accurately with things. How do we decide then if using age regression is the best choice?
There is not one right answer to this question. I think it depends on many factors and the decision will be very individual and may come somewhat intuitively. However, for me, there are some things that I consider. First, what is the client’s comfort level with going back and delving into those past traumas? Second, is there another way of addressing and dealing with the issues without using age-regression? If there is another way of dealing with the issues and resolving any undesirable feelings or behaviors associated with those issues, then I will choose not to do age-regression, unless the client is really wanting and expecting to experience it. It is always my goal to make the clients healing experience as trauma-free as possible. I try to set up the expectation that the treatment will be easy and not a difficult process with lots of pain and suffering involved. I have found that many clients do expect difficulty and suffering from their experiences with traditional psychotherapy and counseling and often dread the idea of going through such an experience. If seems obvious that can do nothing, but hinder the healing process. It is always my goal to change that expectation and start things off with the client in a hopeful mindset with an expectation that issues will be easily and quickly resolved.
In many cases, issues can be resolved and feelings changed by dealing with the beliefs around a particular experience, rather than actually going back and recreating that time and experience. At other times, experiences can be reframed or energy can be refocused away from dwelling on those negative feelings surrounding past issues. Sometimes techniques designed to eliminate the physical and emotional symptoms associated with the trauma created by the negative event may work well. For instances, learning to recognize when and where you are holding tension in your body and learning to relief or eliminate this tension may be enough to let go of the negativity and trauma from a past experience and move forward. It is believed that going back through regression can be somewhat retraumatizing and if that can be avoided it seems worthwhile.
I have gone through three different hypnotherapy training programs that emphasize handling things in different ways and have found positives in all of them. I have not found one that I believe does everything the best way in every situation, nor do I know that I have discovered the best way to handle every situation. I am constantly learning and finding new answers to these questions. I do rely strongly on my intuition in making these decisions, well as, constantly reading and talking with colleagues about their experience with various techniques. I am learning to trust intuition, along with adding constantly evolving knowledge, as I go along. I encounter new situations on a regular basis and continue to add more ways of effectively working with clients to my skills tool bag. Hypnosis has been around for a long time and there is a huge amount of continuously evolving knowledge and many different approaches. There are numerous ways of dealing with some problems and all of them are successful in certain situations.
In conclusion, I have to say that in the right situation, a good age-regression can work very powerfully and effectively. I have experienced it myself and have seen the lights go on very quickly for clients through an age-regression experience. It tends to dissolve past trauma and eliminate triggers effectively in many cases.
About the Author
Kate Olson, CPC, CHt, is a Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Master Practitioner & Certification Trainer, EFT Practitioner and Reiki Master practicing in Seattle at Embrace Change Hypnosis & NLP and Northern Lights Life Coaching .
She offers workshops & classes, as well as, individual and group coaching. Her emphasis is on assisting clients in finding path, purpose and peace. Kate focuses on integration of mind, body, spirit wellness with all of her businesses. It is her mission to help clients find joy through connection, creative expression and change facilitation. Kate is a speaker, writer and radio show host of "Embrace Change with Kate" on Contact Talk Radio, in additional to her private practice. She is passionate about creativity, travel, personal growth and living with joyful purpose. Kate's businesses operate as Dba's under Total Well Resources, LLC.