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Hypnosis

Is Regression Therapy Valid?

Do you know anyone who is uncomfortable getting on an airplane? Over my years of practicing professional hypnosis, most clients who saw me for the fear of flying experienced the success of overcoming the problem rather than simply learning to fly despite their anxieties. In fact, some of them became frequent flyers, logging tens of thousands of miles.

Find the cause

The reason is that instead of simply trying to suggest the problem away, I use Hypnotic Regression Therapy (aka Regression Hypnotherapy) to guide the client back in time during the session in order to discover and release the core cause of the fear of flying. Numerous clients seeing me for other problems over the years have also enjoyed success as a result of hypnotic regression therapy; yet in recent years, a number of hypnosis professionals have hotly debated the topic of regression hypnotherapy.

The regression therapy controversy

The controversy did not come out of thin air. Hypnotic regression therapy enjoyed high popularity for a number of years during the latter half of the 20th century; but even before the end of the 1990s, it became the subject of considerable debate. Genuine concerns are at the heart and core of the controversies. Here is a brief summary of the arguments for and against the use of regression hypnotherapy.

Those who use regression often assert that it is very useful in helping the subconscious discover and release the cause of a problem, and that effective use of hypnotic regression therapy often achieves lasting results. Those who oppose the use of hypnotic regression techniques usually state one or more of the following reasons for opposing its use: (1) the risk of false memories and/or (2) the belief that clients do not need to experience abreactions (emotional discharges) while remembering unpleasant experiences from their past. Occasionally a third reason is posted, criticizing hypnotherapists who use regression with almost every client.

What is a hypnotic regression?

Imagination is the language of the subconscious. Inside your imagination, you have total power and total freedom to be anywhere you wish and to do anything you choose. In addition, we can use the imagination to move through time as well as space.

During a hypnotic state, moving back in time inside the imagination is called a regression. Many hypnosis professionals use regression to guide a client back in time in order to discover the cause of a problem. Sometimes people simply wish to remember details about an event. There are also forensic applications of hypnotic regression techniques as used in police investigations to solve a crime.  While the subconscious does make a record of everything we experience through the five senses, emotions can alter our perceptions, resulting in inaccurate memories. So hypnosis professional who use regression techniques must be careful!

A primary reason for the skepticism regarding regression is that many therapists  over the years have formed preconceived opinions regarding the causes of problems before hypnotizing their clients, and then proceeded to use regression to validate those opinions. This is inappropriate leading. It is a major cause of what we call “false memory syndrome,” which means that a client may believe false perceptions to be facts.

I will write more about Hypnotic Regression Therapy in future posts to address the value of this form of therapy and the caveats. If you want to learn more about Regression Hypnotherapy, go to Dr. Bruce Eimer’s website: www.BruceEimer.com. Also, you can check out our book, The Art of Hypnotic Regression Therapy. If you would like a free initial consultation, or you would like to book a Hypnotic Regression Therapy session, call Dr. Bruce Eimer at 561-377-1039.

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