Presenting complaints like fears, depression, or sexual problems have causes. Also personality problems like passivity, or negative convictions like “it’s all my fault” have causes in the past. The same is true for many physical complaints.
Regression is discovering and reliving earlier experiences that have caused present complaints and conditions. Regression therapists use reliving to get to forgotten, ignored or repressed experiences that are bothering people, but also to reactivate positive feelings, forgotten positive experiences and sleeping talents.
Those forgotten experiences contain emotional wounds that never healed or triggered persistent half-conscious convictions. Such programs (“character traits”) only change when we understand how they were caused and why we have held on to them. Finding and reliving undigested experiences unlocks emotions and bring insight into how present complaints have their roots in those experiences.
Clients may experience their birth or the prenatal time in the womb. They may hear what people shout when they lie unconscious at the pavement with blood coming out of their ears. Many experience what seem to be past lifetimes. Others trace their problems back to the influence of deceased family members or other presences. Sessions with mothers may heal babies. Spiritual experiences are not uncommon. Regression therapy is clearly transpersonal psychotherapy.
In all this, regression therapists have learned to become very open-minded. The results warrant this: regression therapy is much faster and much more effective than either classical forms of psychoanalysis or regular forms of behavioral therapy.
Regression therapists do not analyze the relationship someone had with his father, but explore the defining moments of that relationship: maybe the first look at the baby, being left alone in a strange playground when five years old, shouting with mama when eight years old, a scathing remark when eleven years old. And exploring means reliving in full, including a cold left hand, wet underwear or the screeching tires of a passing police car.
Regression therapists unlock the intuitive powers of their clients without diminishing in any way their rational powers. They work with emotions and bodily sensations and with the mind as well. They avoid sensationalism and fantasy. They have a detective attitude. They try to be factual and empirical: they do what works, again and again.
Regression therapy originated in hypnotherapy, but few regression therapists use hypnosis nowadays. Symptoms appear to bring their own trance with them. Regression therapist don’t bring people into trance, they get them out of trance.
Gestalt techniques and Inner Child work are commonly used, just as bio-energetic interventions. Rational-emotive therapy is an essential element. What is binding all these techniques together is regression: the liberating discovery and healing of concrete and specific past experiences and their mental, emotional and physical aftermath.
For who and what?
Regression therapy may help where other therapies fail, but is doesn’t help everybody and not with all problems.
It doesn’t resolve mental handicaps, it often does not work with people who lean towards autism, who are seriously compulsive or obsessive or truly paranoid. It doesn’t help people who gain by being labeled patients. It is difficult with the addicted, the unemotional and those hardly aware of their own body.
But it may work wonders with inexplicable fears, with depression without a clear cause, with unexplainable guilt or shame, with psychosomatic problems and relationship problems. It may even work wonders with multiple personality disorder, with people hearing voices or suffering from visual hallucinations. It often works wonders with suicidal people.
For chronic problems like migraines and insomnia the conclusion is not clear yet. Successes and failures seem to even each other out.
Even when it doesn’t work, regression therapy has a saving grace: it is relatively short. One or two sessions are enough to find out if this is going to work or not. For most people it works very well indeed.
Results of regression therapy
Results of regression therapy, like most other forms of psychotherapy, can be distinguished in:
- Mental results: clarity, mindfulness, self-knowledge, understanding people, liberation of limiting beliefs.
- Emotional results: inner calm, self-acceptance and self-confidence, restored empathy and positive emotions and expression of emotions.
- Somatic results: disappearing of psychosomatic complaints like low energy, tensions, hypersensitivities and symptoms without medical explanation.