What Is Regression Therapy?
Have you ever been somewhere for the first time, yet it feels familiar? Met someone new who you feel you have known for years? Felt that there’s something not quite right, or unfinished but you don’t know quite what? Some people believe that those kinds of sensations aren’t just a simple case of ‘deja vu’, but they are evidence of something incomplete, and the answer to present health and wellbeing lies locked in their minds and memories. For such people the answer may be regression therapy.
People choose regression therapy for different reasons; it involves being taking back to an earlier time in an individual’s life or back to another life altogether. Hypnotherapy can help to uncover a memory or memories to resolve emotional issues, or understand current behaviour and thinking patterns, of an individual needs to understand or change aspects of behaviour in relationships, for example, that tend to recur again and again. Regression Therapy works with our subconscious mind, unlike psychotherapy which deals with the conscious mind to help resolve issues and problems. Regression Therapy can help to uncover memories which may be buried deep in our psyche and no longer be recalled to conscious memory.
Our subconscious mind works to protect us, sometimes to bury painful experiences or sometimes to avoid being hurt in the way we were before. However, there are occasions when avoiding problems can cause us more difficulties and prevent us from living balanced and healthy lives. With the help of a trained Regression Therapist using hypnotherapy in a safe and relaxed environment Regression can quickly access the root of a problem and bring understanding and awareness, and allow permanent healing to take place which enables individuals to move on with their lives.
Not as common, but also used on occasion, is Past Life Regression which deals with memories from previous lives, again dealing with emotional issues or sometimes physical problems which may have been present in another lifetime and still persists in a client’s current life.
Regression therapy is founded on the idea that every detail of every event, every thought, and every emotion you have experience are stored in your subconscious mind. It involves a mental journey, guided by a trained therapist, which take s you back to retrieve memories that are causing adverse conditions your current life. The intention is to clear away painful emotions, fears, phobias, and illnesses from our life in a way that will stop them from returning.
What To Expect
If you wish to undertake the journey of regression, it is advisablet to ensure that the therapist is trained and experienced, for example, a clinical psychologist who has been trained in regression techniques or a qualified hypnotherapist. Usually therapists begin by taking a very detailed case history to help build up a picture of you.
Often Age Regression is the first regression technique used; for this you sit in a chair with your eyes closed and the therapist will use visualisation techniques to take you back slowly to an earlier time in their life. If hypnotherapy is being used then you will be put into a light trance before being taken back to the relevant age. These forms of therapy are often preferred because it enables the regression to provide a very clear memory and the experience allows you time to revisit and re-examine the situation and help to change the perception of that particular time. It can also help to get to root of emotional issues and to recover memory in a very specific way, for instance, if it is necessary for a client who may have witnessed a particular event – crime or car crash.
Regression can also be used to help with phobias where you may be very unsure of true origin of emotional or psychosomatic physical condition. Again gentle visualisation or hypnotic state would help you go back to the time, and the unconscious mind would indicate that something happened – a situation that evolved into a frightening or upsetting experience – it could be anything from a visit to the dentist to a dog barking or biting the individual or a bad experience with food. Although the memory has been buried the experience, yet associations in the mind have the power to upset and unsettle. Regression Therapy is able to help identify and address the phobia.
In an RT session you would be guided through three steps:
- Relaxation and visualization to regress, i.e. go back in time to reveal the event.
- To be helped to understand what is significant about this event for you
- To help you learn from this new perspective, how to perceive, make decisions and changes about your life in the present.
In cases of hidden trauma memory, domestic violence and abuse it is very important that the therapist chosen has broad experience and specialist training in that particular area, as great care and sensitivity needs to be used to make this type of regression as safe and effective as possible.
A note of caution. Regression therapy is a powerful tool, and mishandled, it could plant false memories in the mind, instead of unearthing genuine ones. There have been cases of adults recalling childhood incidents of harm, which did not happen The danger is that, once ‘recalled’ and created in the mind, these false memories can be indistinguishable from memories based on events that actually occurred.
That is why it is important to choose a therapist with good solid regression training and someone who takes a detailed case history and not make assumption about a client’s past experience.
Many therapists will offer you of a CD or mp3 recording of your regression session as you may not recall it when you come out of hypnotic state, and re-experiencing it may help you to resolve the issues you came with.
Experienced Regression Therapist Doug Buckingham says wisely: “While looking back at your past lives can be exciting and enlightening, it is important to remember that the answers you are seeking to this life can only truly be found by living this one. Look to your past to see where you’ve been, but remember that the life that matters most is the one that you are living now.”
Benefits and Effects
The power of the subconscious mind over present feelings and behaviour is well known. Events and emotions from the past can have physical, mental and spiritual affect; the results of a suppressed event could manifest in an allergy, a revulsion of something, a deep dislike or phobia, unexplained feelings of sadness or depression, or recurring unsatisfactory relationships. Regression therapy is believed to be able to confront the root causes of such conditions and give relief.
A new perspective gained through this therapy could give an individual the answers to often-asked questions: Why am I afraid of this? Why am I trapped in this habit or addiction? Why do I keep choosing the wrong partner?
In age regression therapy, the therapist working closely with the ‘adult’ client gives the ‘child’ whatever information is required in order to remove negative effects which the events have had upon them. This will enable the adult to recognize when particular feelings arise associated with negative thought patterns, types of behaviour or difficulties with relationships, for example.
This may well involve the therapist helping a client go right back to a very early age to the very beginning of a problem, which must be established. Common issues of feeling unloved and abandoned by an adult in their young life which bring up feelings of anger, fear or guilt are recognized. Once brought to the surface from the subconscious and looked at, this emotional but misplaced pain can be neutralized.
Fascinating Facts about Regression Therapy
- Different levels of electrical activity in the brain, or ‘brain states’ are measured in Hz (hertz or cycles per second (cps)).
- Beta state (20Hz) : Everyday state of external attention.
- Alpha state (7.8 – 14Hz) : During regression or meditation, just before falling asleep and on waking, or in creative mode, we reach this state. At this level of consciousness it is possible to access subconscious information and past-life cell memories.
- Theta state (3.2 – 7.8 Hz): This is reckoned to be the optimum for regression therapy because it allows the images and emotions and underlying information to surface. It is the state we reach during hypnosis and when dreaming.
- The Greeks set up sleep temples which were hospitals of sorts, helping to heal a variety of ailments by the psychologists in nature of their day, ancestors of present-day regression therapists.
- In 1911 French military administrator and author, Albert de Rochas who had a fascination for paranormal phenomena, wrote Les Vies Successives – in which he reported how subjects had regressed further and further into the past until they found themselves in a former life. He had been the Head of the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique of Paris but was forced to resign due to his increasing interest in the occult.
- The legendary Californian psychologist Dr Stanislav Grof published his experiments on patients and LSD, and reported that the images which arose from their ‘trips’ seemed to originate in former incarnations.
- Past Life episodes are usually experienced visually and in colour, occasionally there is also sound and smell present, say those who have had the experience.
- Hypnotherapist, Steve Burgess, pronounced himself a skeptic about accounts of people who claimed to be famous in a past life, but after collating the accounts of many patients over 18 years in practice, he published his book Famous Past Lives, which documents the six ‘remembered’ lives, recalled by contemporary individuals who recount their experiences of:
- Queen Elizabeth 1
- Queen Mary (Bloody Mary)
- Jack the Rippers’ victim Catherine Eddowes
- A brave airman who died in the Dambusters Raid
- Titus Oates from the Scott of the Antarctic expedition
- William Shakespeare.
- One-time doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Dr Bruce Goldberg, retired from caries and cavities to specialise in hypnotherapy, and specifically in Regression Therapy. In his book, Past Lives, Future Lives, he expounds his specialism – progression hypnotherapy, which takes patients into their future lives as a therapeutic experience). ‘By creating our own reality with the knowledge from your subconscious and super conscious minds,” he says, “you can positively affect your present and future lives.”
- In 2005, ITV broadcast a popular series called “Have I been Here Before”, in which presenter Phillip Schofield introduced various celebrities to Regression therapist Andrea Foulkes and Historian Jules Hudson assessed the historical authenticity of their regression experience. Celebrity guests who explored their past lives included: Anneka Rice, Uri Geller, Melinda Messenger, Joe Pasquale and Toyah Wilcox.
- Founder of the Association for the Alignment of Past Life Experience, Dr Morris Netherton, writes in his book Past Lives Therapy (1978): “Past Lives Therapy allows you to stop doing things to people because you have to and to start doing things with people because you want to.”
European Association of Regression Therapy (EARTh)
EARTh aims to improve and enlarge the professional application of regression therapy.
By providing a meeting ground for regression therapists through conferences, meetings, websites, internet forums and newsletters for individual practitioners, researchers, teachers, training programs and regional or national associations in the field of regression therapy. EARTh says that it stands for progression in the field of regression
Past Life Regression Academy
The Academy specialises in Regression Therapy, Past Life Regression Therapy, Life Between Lives Regression and Hypnosis training internationally in Europe, Asia, United States and Australia. It awards internationally accredited qualifications enabling its graduates to belong to independent professional associations, including the European Association of Regression Therapy and the General Hypnotherapy Register. Its training program has been accredited by the International Board of Regression Therapy.
Spiritual Regression Therapy Association
This is an international association of therapists using Past Life Regression Therapy, Regression Therapy and Life Between Lives Regression that respect the spiritual nature of their clients. They are professionally trained by the Past Life Regression Academy to international standards, and work to a code of ethics that uphold the clients welfare.
A range of spiritual, complementary and psychotherapies are used in conjunction with regression therapy. This includes hypnotherapy, gestalt, psychodrama, body therapy, inner child, spirit releasement, transpersonal and energy techniques.