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How to Use Age Regression Therapy as a Coping Mechanism

July 2, 2021

10 min read

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Author : United We Care
Clinically approved by : Dr.Vasudha
How to Use Age Regression Therapy as a Coping Mechanism

How Age Regression Therapy Works

Many therapists are beginning to use age regression therapy and hypnotic regression in a clinical environment to help patients cope with symptoms of mental illness such as anxiety, P.T.S.D. and depression by accessing painful past experiences and facilitating healing.

Age Regression usually occurs when we mentally recede to our younger selves and access memories of our childhood. During the therapeutic regression process, the patient is hypnotized to access repressed or painful memories to deal with the troubling aspects of their personality or habits.

What is Regression in Mental Health?

Regression is the process or state of returning to an earlier stage of physical, psychological or developmental behavior.

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What Happens During Hypnotic Regression?

childhood-memories

While in hypnotic regression, the adult may behave like a child or manifest child-like behaviours, thus reliving their childhood memories to a certain extent.

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What Causes Regression in Adults? Why Do Adults Regress their Childhood?

Age regression may or may not be voluntarily triggered. When triggered voluntarily, the usability of hypnosis is to access memories. However, reversal may also be involuntary and might be used as a coping mechanism by adults.

An example might be an adult who regresses to child-like behaviour in stressful situations, as the comfort and security of their parents serve as a comfort factor to help deal with the situation. Another example is a wife who goes to her parent’s house after fighting with her husband. It is also known as regression coping or reverting to regressive behaviour to cope with stress, anxiety, depression, etc.

Hypnotic Age Regression Therapy

Our mind is truly a wonderful thing. However, at the same time, what goes on inside our minds is not entirely understood, even in the modern era of advanced medical and neuropsychological advancements. Some people may feel that something is holding them from living their life to the fullest in the present. As memories and imagination vary from person to person, even if we can remember every single memory, we might not be able to recollect how our experiences have impacted our psychology. It is where hypnotic regression can help. Age regression therapists help patients relive difficult past experiences to understand how they affect our present.

How Hypnotic Age Regression Helps Treat Mental Health Issues

Our mind continuously filters out specific experiences from our conscious memory. More importantly, there are many experiences that one cannot recall due to repression. These memories might reside in some corner of our minds and be out of our reach, but they still affect our lives to a certain degree. Age regression therapy is one of the best ways to help access these repressed memories. The hypnotic regression process allows our mind to travel across time into our past towards the particular events of the repressed memory to help deal with painful experiences in the past and address these issues.

Psychology of Age Regression

child-seeking-comfort

Our body has an internal defence mechanism. There is a group of unconscious processes that empowers the mind to reach solutions to battles that we cannot resolve. The conflicts may be feelings that lower self-esteem or provoke anxiety. Sigmund Freud first described this concept in his paper “The Neuro-Psychoses of Defense“, which outlines the idea of regression coping.

Is Age Regression a Disorder?

Sigmund Freud explained age regression as a defence mechanism to allow our pride to protect itself from trauma. Psychoanalysts highlight defence mechanisms as a regular part of personality function and not a sign of psychological disorder. Whereas Carl Jung even postulated that age regression coping mechanisms could be a positive aspect of personality, as it allows us to relive good memories and feel younger and less stressed.

What Is Age Regression Therapy?

Age regression therapy is a psychotherapeutic process that helps access childhood memories, thoughts and feelings through the process of hypnosis.

What is the Purpose of Hypnotic Age Regression?

Generally used in hypnotherapy, hypnotic age regression attempts to reveal the painful aspects of our past that may be affecting our current mental state or habits. The hypnotic age regression process aims to reframe the negative thoughts and feelings of past experiences that shape the patient’s present-day perceptions and help them overcome the difficulties that prevent them from achieving their goals. By understanding the nature of past events, patients can find the cause of their current blocks and eliminate trauma that resulted from their past experiences.

 

Types of Hypnotic Age Regression

There are two types of Age regression:

Age Regression

The first type is age regression, which attempts to understand and rectify challenging aspects of our past. The aim is not just to re-visit but to bring it into our conscious minds and deal with it.

Past Life Regression

The second type is past life regression, which helps us fix issues from our past lives in a more symbolic sense. People who believe in the concept of reincarnation and past lives may find the holistic nature of past life regression to help treat present-day mental health issues.

Types of Mental Health Issues Treated with Age Regression

Problems addressed in age regression therapy include:

  • Having fears and phobias without knowing their cause
  • Feeling guilty for unknown reasons
  • Struggling to get intimate
  • Relationship issues
  • Stress or P.T.S.D.
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Who is an Age Regression Therapist?

Age regression therapists help relieve experiences of an earlier developmental stage to find and resolve issues that impact present-day behaviour and facilitate healing. There may be many ways to conduct an age regression session, but psychoanalysts often use hypnosis to put patients in a state of hypnotic regression.

Essentially, age regression therapists are trained hypnotherapists. They may also be psychologists who use guided relaxation techniques to draw out feelings of maximal relaxation, focus and concentration in a person, thus, helping them achieve an increased sense of consciousness.

 

Benefits of Hypnotherapy

 

Do Therapists Recommend Age Regression Hypnosis for Treatment?

Hypnotic age regression can be used as a therapeutic technique to achieve a curative goal. Some mental health professionals and psychoanalysts use hypnotherapy and age regression to help patients relieve painful periods in their lives. Once they are in a hypnotic state, therapists help them overcome the traumatic events and heal appropriately by understanding the nature of the past events.

Does Age Regression Therapy Work?

Age regression therapy performed by a skilled therapist can be healing and transformative. It provides a new perception of how the mind works and how events in one’s childhood impact mental health in the present day. In the well-skilled hands of a trained professional, age regression therapy can help remove a massive blockage that prevents someone from living the life they want.

Hypnosis and the Creation of False Memories

The scientific medical community questions the validity of the hypnotic age regression process. Many psychological studies show that the hypnosis process can be done in such a way that leads to the patients creating false memories. According to many prominent studies, many times, memories recalled under hypnosis may not be accurate. Suppose the hypnotherapist guides the interview process during hypnosis (or asks interview questions in a way that forces the patient to recall specific events of the experience). In that case, it becomes considerably easy for the patient to create false memories and believe that an event happened when it is a false memory.

According to the British Psychological Society, the deeper the hypnosis, the less trustworthy the memory. They state that, in a hypnotic state, the patient can become more confident of the things they remember and thus, are more susceptible to creating false memories.

Still, there is a high debate whether hypnotic age regression results in more accurate memories of the past or false memories (i.e. the patient believes to have a memory of an event that never happened in real life). Thus, the concept of reliving past experiences with the help of hypnosis is controversial to a certain extent.

Using Age Regression as a Coping Mechanism

Age regression can be the result of a deeper psychiatric issue. Some people who have experienced pain or trauma may revert to child-like behaviour to cope with anxiety or fear. Certain mental disorders make age regression coping mechanisms more likely (for example, schizophrenia, P.T.S.D., dementia, etc.)

Age regression may also occur when people with personality disorders face their triggers. The reaction may be spontaneous. Reverting to a younger age as people grow older can also be a sign of dementia. It might be a coping mechanism to tackle worries about growing old. Age regression can also be intentional as a means to block out stress and problems.

The Truth About Hypnotic Age Regression

Age regression may be due to any of the symptoms listed above. Its usability is in a clinical environment by a therapist to treat a mental health issue or an unconscious anomaly. Although age regression therapy is a relatively controversial practice, scientific evidence supports there is a limitation to the efficacy of age regression therapy. However, believers say that if a hypnotherapist does not lead the interview, there is a negligible chance of false memories being created. Still, there is no report of such inherent risk in this practice.

How to Find a Therapist for Age Regression

Make sure you are in a safe place around people you can trust. Do not hesitate to reach out to an established mental healthcare professional near you if you notice symptoms of age regression. United We Care stands as your supporting pillar to any mental or emotional challenges. We have certified mental health professionals on board to guide and counsel you for any mental health service. We highly recommend you do not try to practice therapies without any guidance or supervision of a certified psychologist or psychiatrist certified to do so.

Online Hypnotic Age Regression Therapy

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If you want to try age regression therapy by a verified mental health professional, check out our expert hypnotherapists to instant book an online hypnotic age regression session today.

If you seek professional help, consult an online therapist at United, we care

References
 
[1] “General hypnotherapy standards council & general hypnotherapy register,” General-hypnotherapy-register.com. [Online]. Available: https://www.general-hypnotherapy-register.com/. [Accessed: 28-Jul-2022].
[2] V. L. Raikov, “Age regression to infancy by adult subjects in deep hypnosis,” Am. J. Clin. Hypn., vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 156–163, 1980.
[3] J. F. Kihlstrom, “Hypnosis,” Annu. Rev. Psychol., vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 385–418, 1985.

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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