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Regression in Hypnotherapy

Regression in Hypnotherapy 

Here I give two techniques for the regression section of the session, firstly using Ideo-motor responses, secondly a free-floating regression. Alternatively you can simply ask questions!

While regressing, there are some basic considerations:

  1. Clean language is an absolute must.
  2. It is ok to use some closed questions, but they must always include all possibilities. For example, it is fine to ask “Are you inside or out?”, or “Are you male or female?”, but not to imply choice with a question such as “ what sort of dress are you wearing?” or “who is the king?
  3. Some clients will automatically keep going, and reporting events. Other will not. You can keep the process going, and help them to move on, but you need to keep this vague. For example it is ok to say “now just relax, even more, and let yourself move to another important time in this lifetime”. Note that we do not say “forward in time”, as it could be that the client needs to look at something earlier.
  4. If the client has chosen, you can take them through the death process. Remember to dissociate. Again, keep the language clean. Don’t say, “who is waiting for you?” etc!
  5. If they choose, you can take them to periods of transition. Again, remember the premise that we do not decide the client’s belief system for them, so keep it clean.
  6. Depending on the client and the issue, you may want to look at “karmic” factors during the session. That’s fine, as is leaving this to the ending.

For some therapists and some clients, regression to the cause of an anxiety issue is a solution that works well. Some believe it is vital to prevent symptom substitution. We believe that it is a valid option which may or may not be appropriate at any time

Some schools of thought look for an emotional cause of a current problem and through abreaction bring about a resolution of the problem. This may work, but it may not. Some clients may gain insight and abreact, but still retain the problem.

The technique detailed below allows for this in that it goes further and includes a more thorough process for dealing with the cause and resolving the issue both consciously and unconsciously (if necessary).

I would like to encourage you to learn this technique in conjunction with information regarding the phenomenon of False Memory Syndrome.

The approach we discuss here is utilising ideo-motor responses.

Many therapists when they first start out find getting information from clients to be tricky or difficult. If one adopts an authoritarian and forceful approach to elicit information from clients with conventional hypnosis, may well result in a defensive action by the subject. There may be an initial refusal to give information. This would then be followed by refusal to enter hypnosis again. The pressured subject may substitute insignificant information in the hope of escaping further discomfort. As a last resort, if pressed too hard, the subject may invent or lie about information and pretend that everything is all right.

A coercive approach to information gathering regarding a traumatic experience may lead to an outpouring of emotional distress. Some authorities believe this to be a requirement for successful therapy. However, the use of authoritarian hypnosis may lead to further entrenchment of troubled behaviour.

These difficulties can be avoided with using ideo-motor signalling. An ideo-motor response is simply when the unconscious takes an idea and turns it into an action. Usually this manifests itself in the form of a raised finger. This approach allows the client to be more of an onlooker, causing a mild dissociative state.

Many persons believed that the use of ideo-motor responses was in the realms of the old fashioned hypnotists. However, with modern thinkers like Rossi and Cheek advocating it, ideo-motor responses (IMR’s) have truly moved into the modern age and are a useful technique for today’s hypnotherapist.

A subject is just as capable of lying in an altered state as in a usual waking state. Therefore one must be certain that the responses given are accurate.


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