Understanding and Managing Trauma With Age Regression Therapy
Traumatic experiences can happen to any of us, and they affect each person differently. In particular, traumatic events in which severe physical harm or death was imminent or occurred can trigger feelings of stress and panic that last for weeks, months, even years afterward.
When the aftershocks of the trauma continue to cause distress, pain, and anxiety for more than one month following the incident, the phenomenon is referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Often, trauma we experience in our youth may be completely locked away in our minds, depending on its severity, and manifests later in life through mental health issues or physical health issues.
What Is Regression in Psychology?
Age regression therapy is an approach that aims to shift the way that you recall painful or traumatic memories. Under the guidance of a professional therapist, you’ll be guided into a state of hypnosis and taken back mentally to the age at which the trauma occurred so that they can change their perception of the events that transpired and experience healing.
The Aim of Age Regression Therapy
What is the purpose of regression in psychology? The goal of revisiting earlier ages and time periods in our lives is to help uncover the root thoughts and feelings may be causing imbalance and/or negativity in the present.
The way these earlier stages are experienced and the level of emotional intensity felt depends on the level of hypnosis used in your age regression therapy session. Here is an overview of the levels of therapy you can expect in a session:
- Light Level or “Revivification”
In this stage, you’ll be guided into a state of light hypnosis that is somewhat similar to relaxation or meditation. While in this relaxed state, you will be prompted to try to recall events from the past. Often, people remember details in this state better than they would have in a state of full consciousness. While in this state of recall, you’re still aware of your present moment and aware that you are in a session with your therapist.
- Medium Level or “Pseudo-Regression”
While in a very relaxed state of consciousness, your therapist will help navigate your awareness to a younger age, with the intent to safely revisit events from that time. Picture it like viewing a movie of your own past. The experience can be more intense at this level, and you may be asked to notice details like the tastes and smells that accompanied the event. However, as in the light level, you’re still conscious of your surroundings, you have full control, and you’ll have awareness of your surroundings.
- Deep Level or Complete “Age Regression”
What is complete regression in psychology? The deepest level of age regression therapy is much more physical and emotional than the other two levels. In a complete age regression session with an experienced and qualified therapist, you’ll be safely guided into a safe space where you can completely detach from your present surroundings. In these sessions, you’ll experience the childhood event again as if it were actually happening, along with the accompanying movements and emotions.
This level of age regression therapy can be the most confrontational and takes time to achieve after many sessions with your therapist. In our holistic approach to age regression therapy, we hope to help you reframe the event and transform the way the memory is recalled, and how it may manifest itself.
Importance of Working with Qualified Therapists in Age Regression Therapy
What is the risk of regression in psychology? The risks lie in inexperienced therapists who do not have the credentials and make false claims about their practice. This could lead to the accidental introduction of false memories by the therapist. The other risk is that emotional harm may be caused if you are not ready to confront your childhood memories.
There is a reason the human mind locks away traumatic memories like this, and it takes time, patience, and compassion to safely release trauma. It’s essential to work with a professional, licensed mental health counselor and qualified hypnotherapy practitioner who can safely assess your unique needs.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
In cases of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), age regression therapy is not the only way to help you manage symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can also be used to help increase personal resilience and gain a new perspective.
What is CBT, compared to regression in psychology? As a solution-focused approach, CBT aims to identify potentially negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and to modify them so that you can experience and react to life’s ups and downs in a more reflective, less reactive, way.
In the case of PTSD, there are three main strategies used in CBT for helping mend past traumas:
- Exposure Therapy
In contrast to age regression therapy, this strategy involves being exposed to the past event in a safe and controlled way through writing, mental imagery, or visiting the place where the incident took place. The therapist can observe your beliefs and feelings in connection with the event and help you modify the ones that are causing them distress.
- Cognitive Restructuring
Cognitive restructuring helps you gain perspective about a past event and make sense of the experience, with the aim to see it in a new light. In contrast to age regression therapy, this technique is used while in a state of full awareness. This process helps work through guilt associated with past trauma, especially.
- Stress Inoculation Training
Through step-by-step exercises, your therapist will work with you to manage how you react to the stressor. This strategy can also help you view your experiences more positively and feel more empowered and in control.
Face the Past Safely at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy
If you would like to face past trauma and find relief from post-traumatic stress disorder with cognitive behavioral therapy or age regression therapy, it is essential to choose a qualified and experienced therapist to help you.
Anna Marchenko—the primary practitioner at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy—is a board-licensed hypnotist and counselor. As a highly trained therapist, Anna has a number of research-based therapeutic tools that can help you make a breakthrough in a shorter period of time.
Take the first step by calling us to book an appointment. It’s never too late to reach out for help. We’re here to help you get started on a brighter path.
Looking for inspiration to do some self reflection at home? Check out our favorite books for self care and self improvement that complement your journey to find balance.
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