Age Regression and Clinical Hypnosis

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Age Regression and Hypnosis

"The complex and intriguing relationship between hypnosis and memory started to develop more than a century ago, when therapists began to use hypnosis as a tool to help patients recover memories of traumatic childhood events, which were considered the cause of adult psychological symptoms". (Lynn, Rhue, & Kirsch, 2010, p. 709).

Hypnotic age regression is a therapeutic technique to describe the process in which a hypnotized subject is given suggestions to relive an event that occurred at an earlier age and to "be and feel like" a child of that age (Cardena, 2010). Depending on the degree of relaxation or depth of hypnosis, the person will recall this past event as though it were occurring in the moment. The subject returns to an earlier age of their life in order to explore a memory or to get in touch with some difficult aspect of their personality (Cardena, 2010).

Freud was one of the first to use hypnosis and age regression as a means to uncover and treat symptoms that were created by real childhood traumatic experiences (Lynn, Rhue, & Kirsch, 2010).

Many therapists hold the belief that events can reside in the unconscious and can be accessed only by way of special memory recovery techniques. Also, psychological problems are manifestations of repressed or dissociated memories of traumatic abuse and neglect during childhood (Lynn, Rhue, & Kirsch, 2010). "According to these therapist, hypnosis and age regression represent roads to the retrieval of buried memories, which in turn help patients heal by bringing the memories into conscious awareness" (Lynn, Rhue, & Kirsch, 2010, p. 715).

Hypnosis is a communication to the mind that allows the mind to accept what is suggested with little or no logic. During a regression under hypnosis, logic will be removed or reduced and...