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, PTSD and depression, by accessing painful experiences of their past and facilitate healing.
How Age Regression Therapy Works
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 in order to deal with the troubled aspects of their personality or habits.
What is Regression in Mental Health?
Regression is the process or state of returning to earlier stage or physical, psychological or developmental behavior.
What Happens During Hypnotic Regression?
While in hypnotic regression, the adult may behave like a child or manifest child-like behaviors, thus re-living their childhood memories to a certain extent.
What Causes Regression in Adults? Why Do Adults Regress to their Childhood?
Age regression may or may not be voluntarily triggered. When triggered voluntarily, hypnosis is used to access past memories. However, regression 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 behavior in stressful situations, as the comfort and security of his/her parents serves 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. This is also known as regression coping, or reverting to regressive behavior in order 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 mind is not quite 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 varies from person to person, even if we are able to remember every single memory, we might not be able to recollect how our experiences have impacted our psychology. This is where hypnotic regression can help. Age regression therapists help patients relive difficult past experiences in order to understand how they impact 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 a plethora of experiences that one cannot recall due to repression. These memories might reside in some corner of our mind and be out of our reach, but still affect our life 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
Our body has an internal defense 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. This concept was first described by Sigmund Freud in his paper “The Neuro-Psychoses of Defense”, in which he outlines the concept of regression coping.
Is Age Regression a Disorder?
Sigmund Freud explained age regression as a defense mechanism to allow our pride to protect itself from trauma. Psychoanalysts highlight defense mechanisms as a normal part of personality function, and not a sign of psychological disorder in itself. Whereas Carl Jung even postulated that age regression coping mechanisms could even 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 prevents 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 ofage regression:
The first type is age regression, which attempts to understand and rectify difficult aspects of our past. The aim is not just to re-visit but to bring it into our conscious mind and deal with it.
Past Life Regression
The second type is past life regression, that 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 be helpful in treating 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 PTSD
What 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 behavior facilitate healing. There may be many ways to conduct an age regression session, but psychoanalysts most 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.
How to Be an Age Regression Therapist?
While there may be no essential qualifications needed to become a hypnotherapist, taking a course approved by the National Council for Hypnotherapy, National Hypnotherapy Society, or General Hypnotherapy Standards Council is highly prudent. Ethical hypnotherapists undergo cognitive training to practice hypnotherapy as a therapeutic procedure.
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 relive painful periods in their lives. Once they are in a hypnotic state, therapists help them overcome the traumatic events and heal properly by understanding the nature of the past events.
Does Age Regression Therapy Really Work?
Age regression therapy performed by a skilled therapist can be very 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 validity of the hypnotic age regression process is questioned by the scientific medical community, with many psychological studies showing 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. If the hypnotherapist leads the interview process during hypnosis (or asks interview questions in a way that forces the patient to recall specific events of the past experience), it becomes considerably easy for the patient to create false memories and believe that an event actually happened, when in reality, 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.
Whether hypnotic age regression results in more accurate memories of the past or false memories (i.e. the patient believing to have a memory of an event that never happened in real life) is still highly debated. 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 may have experienced pain or trauma may revert to child-like behavior as a means to cope with anxiety or fear. Certain mental disorders make age regression coping mechanism more likely (for example: schizophrenia, PTSD, dementia, etc.)
Age regression may also occur in people having personality disorders when they come face to face with 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. It can be used 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 with scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of age regression therapy is being limited, 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 such inherent risk in this practice reported till now.
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
If you’re looking 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.