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Regression Hypnosis Articles

What Is Age Regression Hypnosis?

Appropriate Time And Place For Direct Suggestion

Current Adversities Are Set Up In Past Experiences.

Help For A Bashful Bladder: Releasing Feelings From The Past

Healing Childhood Misperceptions

Nature or Nurture?

EFT and Hypnosis

Articles on Age Regression
Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

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What Is Age Regression Hypnosis?

By Randy Shaw; CHt.

For anyone who is interested in using hypnosis to improve their life and are taking the time to do some investigation and research, regression hypnotherapy will be a fascinating discovery.

Regression hypnotherapy is a deeper form of hypnotism which I will explain below. To set that up, let me start by saying that regression hypnotherapy can provide relief and positive results such as changed habits and emotional improvement, but even more so, in the right hands regression work can help a person heal wounds from the past and transform them into lessons, insight, strength and compassion. Even physical healing comes as the result of such, thorough positive transformations.

The reason is that through regression work, we can find tremendous resolution, insight and truth. We can actually discover what happened, and even more importantly why it happened. The saying "the truth can set you free" is never more powerful than in the regression work I've been blessed to conduct.

An easy way to illustrate the depth of the goal of the regression work I choose to practice is through what I learned in a show I saw years ago about firefighters. As they put out a fire in a five story apartment building and were cleaning up, it appeared on the surface that the fire was out and their work was completed. However, they continued to walk through the building and with their bare hands, felt the temperature of the walls in the apartments.

One firefighter felt a pocket of heat in a wall and before my eyes he started to chop the wall to pieces! I was shocked that he would destroy a perfectly good wall and add even more damage to the devastation. Then another firefighter came to help and they chopped down a whole wall! But to my surprise they found a smoldering pocket behind that wall they chopped down and then I understood what they were doing. If they had not found and extinguished that hot pocket of embers that was smoldering behind the wall, the fire would have started again and did a ton more damage. When there is heat, there is fire. Remember this story and its lesson later in this article.

The term age regression is used here to refer to going back in time, into memories and experiences, with the goal of gaining relief, clarity and positive changes. As I mentioned above the more holistic goal I strive for and usually attain is resolving past events that damaged or negatively influenced us, particularly at times in our lives when we could not protect ourselves (or we simply did not know better), resolve them to the point that those events become contributions to our lives.

At whatever age you are now, whether in your 20's, 40's or even 70's, if I called you ugly or stupid, you can defend yourself from my influence. But when you are 6, or even 3 years old, you do not possess the experience, strength and insight to protect yourself and you may be deeply influenced to feel bad about yourself. Regression work provides the opportunity for people to go back in time (into the subconscious mind which has permanent and complete memory), to the experiences that have remained unresolved and thus unhealed, which were compounded over time. Through the "miracle" of regression, we use the amazing power of the mind to have a second opportunity at those problem events, and this time - for clarity and healing changes.

Most hypnotism works off of the premise of the "presenting problem" but in regression work we find the presenting problem is often only a surface representation of a much deeper issue than the client's conscious mind is aware of. I help the client find and resolve the roots, so the problem never grows back again. Traditional hypnotism is not making that extra effort to find the roots, but instead focuses on more topical situations as reported by the limitations of the conscious mind.

Usually, and I'd say 90% of the time, when clients come to me with a problem in their adult life, their opinion about where the problem started is incorrect. And if we used our time and efforts to resolve only the issue as perceived only by the conscious mind, we may miss the opportunity to perform healing hypnotherapy into the deeper, real problem.

If a problem is not severely compounded and is more of a habit, most hypnotism will produce positive changes. Habits that are more "on the surface" can easily be affected through traditional hypnotism. But when a problem is longstanding and has compounded over a life-time, that method of hypnotism may not affect the problem, or push the problem deeper into the mind, instead of resolving it. Traditional presenting problem focused hypnotism (mostly direct suggestion), usually will not address nor resolve the deeper seated problems because it is not working deep enough and in the right area. I've found that some direct suggestion hypnotism, as well meaning as it may be, can make problems worse as it pressures the subconscious mind to react out of survival and protection, to do even more desperate things than the original problems were doing.

In regression work, where there is smoke, there is fire, and we have to be aware that our clients are more focused on the smoke that blinds their conscious mind to the real problems in their subconscious mind, where the smoldering embers continue to ignite the fires of their problems and issues. Like the firefighters that seemingly destroyed a perfectly good wall, from my untrained eye which only saw the surface, as a regression hypnotherapist we have to feel our way to the problem to obtain healing changes, in cooperation with the subconscious mind's needs and reasons. In this comparison, the heat that they felt in the wall that led to complete extinguishing of the dangerous fire is the negative feelings of the body-mind, which are crying out for help, respect, release and resolution.

The fun thing I get to do with clients is to help them understand that longstanding problems that will not change with usual efforts, that do not change in 21 to 40 days (as habits are said to change in), that the problem is much deeper than they perceived. And, that their efforts to change (from self-help to professional help), was not focusing on the true roots, and thus the problem continually grew back, and turned into another fire.

Regression work can expose the misperceptions people have about the problems they wish to change. When clients come to me for help with personal challenges and problems relating to relationships and marriage, I get to tell them that once they get clear themselves, their relationship problems will clear up, one way or another.

When I speak with folks that want help with their "relationship skills" or stress management for marriage improvement, they tell me their opinion as to when all the problems started, and the majority of them believe the problem/s started in the marriage. But having done regressions with hundreds of clients and thousands of sessions, I know the likelihood is their current marriage (or relationship) is failing as the result of unknowingly carrying baggage into it from their own family of origin and especially childhood. This is particularly obvious when a client has married more than once and found the same problems popping up in each new marriage.

That baggage is as real as the cars they drive and the air they breathe. It is the influences from their family of origin that created subconscious beliefs which are so subtle that the person is not even aware that they are alive. We often live our lives in trances.

Hold that thought as I provide some background.

In the style of regression hypnotherapy that I practice, we make contact with the subconscious mind of the client through feelings, to start the regression process, because feelings, emotions and sensations are the language of the subconscious mind. If you want to work with someone successfully, you have to communicate in a common fashion or language. When someone is in a highly emotional state they are bypassing their critical faculty. Utilizing feelings connects with the subconscious mind and can take the client back to the true beginnings of their problems, which is infinitely more accurate than trying to rely on consciously remembered experiences and memories. Remember, the conscious mind has limited and small memory capacity and is overwhelmed by feelings, while the subconscious mind has unlimited capacity and is the feeling mind.

Now back to the client "thinking" their marriage problems started in the marriage:

Let me tell you how it typically goes. We start with the current problems and dive into the feelings these problems generate. In other words we start in the now and what they feel now that does not feel good, holds them back and makes life worse. These feelings are directly coming up from what they report is the problem in their life right now.

How do I help the client get into these feelings? I have them tell me "their story." As they tell me their story, inevitably they will feel some negative feelings such as anger, which I then have them "find" in their body (tight in my stomach!). Remember, feelings are not just thoughts, they are tangible energy. Then as the client goes into hypnosis, which is bypass of the thinking mind and accessing the subconscious mind (the feeling mind), I help the client actually go into experiences where the feelings of the problem happened: that anger and tight feeling in the stomach.

They may start with something that happened as recent as last night and remember these first events consciously, or they may jump back decades to something they had not consciously remembered. At this point we are not concerned with historical accuracy because the perceptions in the subconscious mind do not give a damn about truth or accuracy, but only how the perception makes the client feel. The feeling keeps the perception alive and only when the feeling changes can the perception change. Thus the importance of releasing negative feelings.

It's one thing to tell a client to forgive someone, and let their bad feelings go, and quite another experience to actually help a client tangibly release those feelings and find that they can feel much better and perceive things much more rationally and clearly. Telling is one thing, doing is infinitely more powerful.

When someone truly releases bad feelings, it is one hundred times easier to change their perceptions, because we can not access clarity when we are overwhelmed with emotional energy. This cleansing of feelings in the body-mind facilitates the changing of thoughts, beliefs, opinions, which can positively change a person's life, particularly when that cleansed belief is about their self.

You may see the shift of focus from thinking, into feeling, and how it can lead us to 1, the real roots; 2, into the opportunity to release negative feelings; 3, understand our true beliefs/feelings, without having to filter or hold back (which is so important to being a true self, a true human being, rather than a human apologist); and 4, change from our newly acquired clarity, instead of being a slave to our old trances.

Utilizing emotions and feelings, even in the very beginning of my first sessions with clients is the whole "trick" to get to the right place for the right reason, to help the client achieve results beyond expectation.

Not Just Going Back, But Also Doing Something Good When We Get There

Let's use this problem of arguing, and the feeling is anger (common in struggling relationships). As I help the client regress into some actual experiences (often more of a reported conscious memory to get us started) we begin to release the feelings of anger in that specific event, one feeling at a time and one event at time. I have the client pump their hand/s into a big pillow, or have them rub and tap (EFT style) to feel and release the accompanying "bad" feeling. As the client feels and releases the feeling, their subconscious mind, which is expressed in their body-mind begins to feel relief and the client begins to realize the relief and improvement in their body, with my guidance (because I'm going to point out the improvement, with the help of the client's own report).

Its fun to watch the client release the feelings in their body, and then I have them scan their body to notice how they feel - and they "don't feel angry" anymore. Feeling the feeling and expressing it, through physical movement and some verbalization works a nice miracle in the relief and releasing department.

Then I'd have this client focus in her/his stomach, and even though they don't feel angry, the stomach might still feel . . . something. It may be residual tightness or it may be something completely different, like nausea. (I know this because most clients that have longstanding relationship problems have had many more unpleasant events than just the one we dealt with and the feelings are stacked in layers. Release one and another one wants to come up as well.)

Then we repeat the process of feeling it, naming it, finding it in the body, and then releasing it. And with each release we tied it back into the experience that caused the feeling in the first place with the spouse. And each time the feeling is reduced or completely eliminated, and then I help them realize and compound the successful difference. They, being in a level of hypnosis that is interactive (rather than tranced out and helpless) are consciously recognizing the tangible improvement, with my gentle assistance. The feeling of relief and resolution is so wonderful, they convert their self and we continue the process by going deeper into their life experiences to cleanse the earlier - more powerfully influential - problem events of childhood. (Getting a little ahead of the explanation: with each release comes deeper and more profound clarity, which produces even more relief and empowerment.)

After a few regressions that focus on their spouse (arguments/let-downs) whatever remaining or new feeling the client reports still feeling - is the golden pathway back to the origins and roots of the problem, which generated the feeling in the first place. This remaining or new feeling is where we regress waaaayyyy back in time, as our conscious minds get out of the way and just watch to see where they land. This is where the insight comes in that regression hypnotherapy can provide. We can regress very easily and effectively to the true causing events of the problems, once the critical faculty is bypassed. And with every release and every success the subconscious mind opens up more and more to welcome our relief work, providing more and more events, deeper and deeper back in time, eventually to the original event that caused the problem that has mutated and compounded in adult life to the point it has severely disrupted life.

In the example above (arguing and anger): A woman that had been married to her husband for 10 years was ready to get a divorce but tried hypnosis as a last resort (I'm used to it :-).

She did some very intense releasing in three scenes with her husband (memories that in hypnosis felt real, and in the subconscious mind are real). After three regressions and successful releasing in each one I regressed her deeper. She landed back before they were married and living together. It was another arguing scene and the same anger was reported with the associated pain in her stomach. After the releasing in this scene BEFORE they married I simply asked, "this feeling of anger and the constant arguing, that PAIN, in your stomach, does this feel new here with your boyfriend, or does it feel old, like you've felt this before? Does it feel new, or old and familiar?"

She said, "No, I've felt this before. I�ve felt this feeling a lot in my life."

Her answer is the feeling feels familiar which suggests she has feel this way, before she even met her boy friend and future husband. Are you getting the picture now?

Utilizing this moment and feeling, as she realizes with both conscious and subconscious minds that she had this feeling BEFORE she even married, I helped her regress back in time, following the feeling of anger about arguing with the pain in the stomach. We had conscious and subconscious compliance, now we can get somewhere much more important.

She lands at age 12, where her mother is yelling at her because she does not like the client's friends. She is (reliving) the revivified emotions of the 12 year old, and is feeling very angry. I know because I asked for a report. I knew because her voice was angry. Even before I had her tell me all the "facts" (details of this event) I helped her release much of the anger. The reason she followed my instruction is because I trained her, before we did any regressions, to notice how the "negative feelings" do not feel good, and do feel bad/awful and not right, and how good it feels to release negative feelings. The successful releasing of anger in the event she regressed to at age 12 with her mother was set up, long before I helped her regress into that event. Success in regression work is all about a good model and good set up.

Once the bulk of her anger was released through pounding into the pillow, she started to cry.

This is some wonderful insight you'll get to watch doing regression hypnotherapy and releasing negative feelings. Feelings are usually layered, like the layers and skins of an onion. And as soon as anger is thoroughly exhausted, you get to see what the client is really angry about. Remember, anger is because something hurts, is unfair, unjust, bad. Anger does not come out of nowhere; often they are angry about something that hurts.

Thus, as she really made contact with her anger and in hypnosis, it is as if it is really happening all over again, that stored up anger was available to be, finally, released. As it was, she then started crying, and the real reason surfaced which was, "my mom doesn't love me."

To shorten the story she reported to me: since age 3, (final regression scene in that session), she felt at odds with her mother, because her mother highly favored her older sister. (Loved her, didn't love me . . .) And in her attempts as a little girl to get more attention and acceptance from her mother, no matter what she did, mom didn't seem to love her any more than before. Thus the pain and thus the anger. It hurts to not be loved and to see your sister be loved right in front of you every day of your life, while you try like heck and never succeed. That hurts, and it makes a person sad, and when "nothing they do seems to even things up" (please mom) and that pain makes a person ANGRY. However, she was never able to express her anger in ways that improved her life, only in ways that made mom mad and frustrated. Her and mom got into and ongoing pattern of anger and arguing, (heard that somewhere?), that she unknowingly carried into her relationships with men. (She ended up marrying her mother.)

Now, we worked for over an hour on her feelings about her mother and most of those feelings were not anger, but a broken heart and feeling alone and abandoned right in her own family and home. "Feeling left out and worthless." Regressions into the experiences that her subconscious mind told us were directly related to her anger about arguing, and the releases she enjoyed, in the events where she felt left out and worthless allowed her to see the truth about her mother and begin to heal her life.

1. We found that her mother was a child like herself, the one "not" the favorite of her mother. Mom's mother had an older sister who was mom and dad's favorite child of the four kids. From that I helped her understand for herself - from the inside out - that mom was in a trance; a trance of thinking only one of her children can be a favorite. It was her hypnotic programming. That was mom's subconscious belief that she wasn't even aware of. That insight began the relief for the client. She found empathy for mom in mom's own childhood, where mom felt unloved, left out, worthless, and angry. The pattern was repeating in the client's life. She could see, mom was so wrapped up in her own unresolved feelings, that she was making a mistake in her own family.

2. In the earliest scene at age 3, once it was cleared and her feelings of being unloved and abandoned were resolved, I had her adult self come back and compound her goodness and healing work. This is often called the inner child work, but I have my own adaptations which work great. In this we are looking for that healed, stronger child to now be completely supported and loved and connected to the resources of their adult self. Some if not most inner child work rushes in and tries to have the adult "fix" the problem for the child. I don't believe in that process, because I know the child can do the work her/himself and be 100 times more empowered from it. I trust that the child can heal.

In these moments, where the adult connects with the child-self (their self) is some of the most healing, tender, loving and sacred moments of the sessions. Again, I only bring in the adult after the child proves there is nothing wrong with her/himself, and the adult heaps love and praise for the healing work the child accomplished, that the adult feels and shares. We change and heal throughout the spectrum of the timeline of life, because we found the beginning of the problem, which helps to collapse and heal all similar situations.

3. Once the three year old mind understands the problem, resolves her feelings, sees the truth and finds strength and empowerment, and forgiveness, we move up the timeline to the previous event she landed in, just prior to the three year old event. The coolest thing often happens: the problem evaporates. This is because when you pull out the foundation of a belief or opinion, one that used to hurt and distort, and as it collapses and the truth is found, the succeeding experiences where the opinion or belief affected the perceptions also changes as a matter of one to one association.

The Domino effect is in action, because the subconscious mind loves and works by association. When the older event (later in life) is not completely collapsed and resolved, we do some simple releasing and presto!, she gets relief and resolution in this event also. Repeat as necessary up the timeline of regressed events in this session, right back up to the spouse. And now the client comprehends the truth, about him/herself and the spouse, they both were in trances. But the client is awaking up and now able to utilize the conscious desires and the subconscious power to make things happen. Relief beyond description is experienced, is available. Clarity is the natural result, because the body is clear and the thinking mind is clear. Forgiveness is now available.

4. Forgiveness heals when based in truth and love. Once the old negative feelings and perceptions are resolved through the regression and releasing processes, the client's mind is now open to fill with new, clearer feelings and perceptions: those things they desire to attain. This is where the guided (hypnotic) suggestions now come in, as I say, "don't try to paint over a dirty surface." (Think about that.) Once they do feel within their self that mom is not an unfair monster, a new perception of mom is now available. The miracles of forgiveness and transformation from their new insight in these moments never cease to amaze and humble me. Once the truth is available, forgiveness is available for mom and the client, and often comes spontaneously, even without my suggestion. Like I said, I get to be amazed and humbled by this wonderful process over and over.

Regression work as I and my friend and partner Matt Sison practice it, is a dynamic, intuitive, fluid process that produces some astounding results. I hope that what I've written is useful and stimulating for you in your progression as a hypnosis professional. I hope this article increases your curiosity!


Randy Shaw, CHt.

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