Regression is a process used to take a person back to an earlier time. It has found its place on the stage, in such routines as the 'childhood birthday' or 'first day at school', in the clinic, usually in order to discover the cause of a phobia or addiction and even as a spiritual revelation, where regression is extended to previous lives. Many practitioners of hypnosis rate regression as a characteristic of deep trance. A few have gone so far as to rate the trance experience as ten stages, stage one being fully conscious down to stage ten being the deepest levels of trance achievable. Regression finding its place firmly in the depths of stage ten! Fortunately, for those of us that perhaps find it difficult reaching stage ten, this is not the case. Regression is so easily achieved that only the lightest of trances are required.
Natural regression occurs all of the time. The smell of a first loves perfume or an the sound of a favorite old record is all it takes to have us whisked back to the moment. Sensations that we may not have felt for decades flooding back in full glory! Hypnotic regression is a simple step from natural regression, yet it takes a very different path. Natural regression relies on cues o ranchors that spark off a distant memory, during hypnotic regression these cues are not available so the hypnotist uses an alternative process that gently leads the client to the desired period.
Before we look at techniques involved in hypnotic regression it is necessary to discuss a few safety issues. Firstly, hypnotic regression does not simply allow someone to view a past experience it allows them to re-experience it. So, for example, if you regress a client to a time when they were depressed, they will feel depressed! Another issue that may arise is known as an abreaction, this is an unpleasant response that is usually triggered as uncomfortable repressed memories resurface in the clients conscious mind.
Disassociation allows you to avoid putting the client through previous pains. This is simply a process of controlling the clients viewpoint of the experience, and will become evident during the techniques outlined below.
As for abreaction, the only method of avoiding such an uncomfortable experience is to recognize it if it happens and know how to deal with it. In certain situations an abreaction is desirable, some consider that allowing a client to relive a painful experience is necessary in order to relieve a client of negative emotional energy held in the subconscious. Many psychological therapies are indeed based on getting the client to abreact. For more information on abreactions and how to deal with them see the page.
HOW TO REGRESS A CLIENT
To regress a client have then seated comfortably and induce the hypnotic state using a standard script. Once you have deepened the trance state have the subject imagine that they are in a room with a table and a single chair in the center, the walls are filled with shelves stacked to the ceiling with many many books.
Have them take the first book from the shelf, and open it to the first page. On this page is today's date and a picture of themselves as they are today. Allow a few moments for the visualization to develop them ask them to turn the page, telling them that the next page will reveal another picture, only this time the date will be exactly one year earlier. As too will the image.
Have the subject keep turning pages until they reach the age at which you would like to regress them to. If you are regressing to a former life have the subject continue to turn the pages until there are no more photographs, or the person that appears in the photographs suddenly changes. They may need to move on to the next book from the shelf before finding another picture.
When they have found another picture it will be a representation of a former life. Have them tell you the year and describe the picture. If the image appears to be a happy pleasant one you can go ahead and use it. If the image is sad or depressive continue until a more desirable image is found.
This process will take the client steadily back through each life in succession. They are free to stop at any time they wish in order to explore the life further or continue on to others. An alternative to this method will be to ask the client to take a book form the shelf that they feel particularly attracted to and see what it contains. Here it is possible to skip many lifetimes and use the power of the subconscious mind to draw the client to an experience they may wish to relive.
When you and your client are settled on a photograph and you have established that it is a positive experience have them watch as the image begins to move. Playing the photograph as though it were a movie screen. Next tell the client to imagine that the screen is growing and encourage them to step inside the scene. Have them explore the situation and if it is safe to do so tell them to approach the former life. On the back of the neck of this previous existence they will find a zipper, have them open the zipper that runs all the way down the persons spine and step into their body in much the same way as you would a boiler suit.
Once inside tell your client that they know only what they knew then, seeing through those eye hearing thorough those ears etc. This is a shift from a disassociated position (watching themselves in the movie) to an associated position (actually being themselves and looking through their eyes etc.) From here you can begin to question your client bout the existence.
If you client begins to abreact you should reassure them that they are actually safe and here in the room with you now, allow them to disassociate from the person and drawn back into the room from where they are able to see the experience once more as a photograph.
Upon awakening the client it is important to bring them fully back to the present. This can be done by requesting that they are now moving forward to the present day bringing with them all that they have learned and leaving behind those things which are perhaps best left at a subconscious level. Be sure they are fully relocated in their present body and existence before the wake up script and reiterate that they are their current age etc.
Hypnotic regression really is that simple! And it can reveal some fascinating insights of the past. I have include some personal case studies below to whet your appetite. Regression is a very powerful experience, remember to follow safety precautions and have your client well-being top priority! Never let your curiosity run away with you at the expense of your client comfort.
PERSONAL CASE STUDIES
Past life regression is one of the most fascinating aspects of hypnosis. I have been fortunate enough to regress many people to previous carnations and have listed a couple of the interesting cases below. The names have been changed to protect the identity of the people involved.
CASE 1: POLLY
Polly Millan was a previous carnation of a dear friend of mine, she lived and worked in London in the early 1900's. The building in which she worked was situated on Maynard road. Born in London in May 1901, Polly met her unfortunate demise just 23 years later in 1924. Her job required her to sign documentation, so, as an experiment, I had Polly sign her name on numerous sessions. Polly's hand writing was extremely flamboyant and decorative, a stark contrast to the rather tiny and neat hand writing of her present incarnation. The signatures always matched and the handwriting was consistent throughout. Polly was very well spoken and polite, although she did reveal that she had often gotten drunk with friends by drinking cough medicine! Polly was able to recall both parents names and gave details of her fathers profession. She was a complete delight to converse with and lead a positive energetic lifestyle.
CASE 2: ELIZABETH
I have spoken with Elizabeth on a number of occasions, yet have been unable to determine a specific time period for her life. It appears that she lived at some time around the year 1250. There has never been an indication as to where she lived, but she describe her home as made of wood. It was a single story building comprising of either a single room or perhaps two rooms, one being a living area and the other sleep quarters.
Elizabeth was rather unusual in a number of ways, when questions as to her fathers profession she replied that he made places to sit. I asked if he made chairs and she did not understand the word. She settled on calling chairs 'sitters'. She also could not understand music, she had confessed to enjoying dance and had agreed to give a demonstration of the way she dances for her father. She would not dance to conventional music as it was unfamiliar. I played a classical piece on the guitar, which was rejected in the same manner. She insisted that the music was not the same as her Bo (the name she gave for her father) played it. Eventually we settled on a rhythmic drum beat. Elizabeth performed a series of exquisite movements to the slow beats that were rather similar to modern ballet, although much more animated and tribal in presentation. She paused a great deal between movements and the whole thing seemed as though I was witnessing a stop animation sequence played back in slow motion.
Elizabeth was unable to write, although she said that she did leave messages for her friend (I believe this to be her sister) in the sand. I handed her a pen and drawing pad, asking for a demonstration of these symbols. She held the pen as you would a stick if you were writing in the sand, with all four fingers and her thumb straight out and her arm stretched out full length, she rested the pad on the floor as she made the symbols. She explained the symbols to mean 'meet me at home', and a further symbol that represented her name. During another session I asked if she were able to write the message 'meet me at home' and each symbol was identical. On yet another occasion she was asked to interpret the symbols as I wrote them. She immediately recognized the symbols that she had originally included in the message.
Elizabeth was a pleasant worry free young woman. I sensed that she was around the age of 14 years during our meetings yet she was mature far beyond her years. Playful, yet level headed and responsible, she loved her family (especially her farther, Bo) dearly and was happy to converse. She appeared a little bemused at my apparent ignorance of certain things, such as the word 'sitters' and my obvious misunderstanding of music the way Bo played it!
CASE 3: LUCY
Lucy was in her early teens when she died and led an troubled and abused life. She lived with her employer, a businessman called Mr. Schlo (phonetic spelling) in what appears to be London, perhaps around the 1800s. Her job was to deliver messages for Mr. Schol and in return she was given a place to sleep and a daily meal, which consisted of scraps of stale bread! She was terrified of her employer and was forbidden to look at the messages she was required to deliver. Mr. Schlo regularly sexually abused Lucy and her timid subservient personality echoed a life of fear.
Due to the nature of this life, I only spoke with Lucy on one occasion to prevent her current incarnation suffering the emotional torment of an unpleasant experience. During this single session my clients posture shifted dramatically, her shoulders and back contorted, chest sunk inward and her facial expressions filled with sorrow and pain. Her voice became soft and broken, stuttering her speech and frequently apologizing for her verbal errors.
Lucy was a dear little girl that lead an unfortunate life. I would have liked to have found a happier moment to converse yet this was never possible.
My client is far more outspoken than Lucy, yet character traits can be seen that exist in them both. It seems that Lucy's scars have lived on and this is no more evident than in my clients hatred of authority figures and distrust of older males.
CASE 4: PLUS SIGNS!
Case four is a little different in that it is not a past life regression experience but a regression to early childhood. A client that had been regressed to her toddler years for her own curiosity was very proud that she had just learned to write her own name. She clutched the pen in her fist and scrawled her name on the pad. Under her name she drew three plus signs. At the time I was unsure as to what these may be, but her mother later confirmed that when she was a child she always insisted on signing her own name of birthday cards and put in some kisses! The Plus signs were meant to be kisses! Neither she nor her mother nor I knew why she had drawn plus signs rather than an 'x'. A few weeks later a birthday card which she had indeed signed as a small child was found in a memorabilia box... and not only did the handwriting match but all of the 'kisses' were little plus symbols. She had only drawn them this way for a few weeks when she first learnt to sign her name!
BOOKS ON REGRESSION
If you would like to learn more about hypnotic regression, please take a look at the selection of books featured below. To view the title, hover the mouse pointer over the book image. For further details (including online reviews, synopsis, larger image and ordering information) click on the link below the book. Choose from the UK or US links depending on your location. (Both sites ship worldwide)