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Avoid These 3 Common Mistakes when Performing Hypnotic Age Regression 

by Cascade Hypnosis on


By Erika Flint, A+CPHI, BCH, OB
Written for the 5-PATH © Journal

Hypnotic Age Regression (AR) is the most powerful technique for professional hypnotists. Make sure you avoid these three common mistakes to get the most out of your age regression work with clients. 

1. Attempting an affect-based age regression without building up a strong emotion

An affect-based age regression like the Affect Bridge or Time Tunneling Technique ™ functions by having the client build up a strong emotion then following the feeling back to an earlier time they felt the same way. This technique works because our subconscious mind (SCM) is associative in nature. A typical example of the associate nature of the SCM is smelling cookies, then thinking of your grandmother. 

However, many hypnotists don’t recognize the importance of building up a strong emotion first before regressing. Instead, they often recite patter without ensuring the client is experiencing a strong feeling. The result is the client can have a difficult time following the feeling back, the technique is not as effective, and the client can become discouraged.

The fix: to avoid this issue, observe your client. Ensure they are experiencing a strong feeling before asking them to follow it back. 

Common indications that your client is experiencing a strong feeling include facial redness, crying, or quivering lips. Only once you are confident that your client is associated to a strong feeling, then ask them to follow it back. 

2. Expecting clients to “see” something during the process

It's a common misperception for clients to assume they are supposed to "see" something in their mind's eye during age regression. The hypnotists should never fall prey to this misunderstanding. 

Studies indicate only one-third of all people experience internal visual imagery as their primary source of internal information. This means two-thirds of our clients will obtain their information from the SCM from other sources. The other sources include kinesthetic (feeling or touch), auditory (sound), or merely a knowing (insight or wisdom). 

The fix: During age regression, if your client states "I don't see anything," stay calm. Reply with “I know you don't see anything, just give me your first impression." Then continue building the gestalt with "is it daytime or nighttime?”

If your client continues to have issues, reply with, “It’s OK if you don’t see anything, we get information from our subconscious in a variety of ways. It may come from a feeling, a sound, or simply a knowing.”

The key is that YOU, the hypnotist, don’t fall into the trap of thinking your client needs to see something. This is true for all elements of the hypnosis process, not just age regression. 

3. Prioritizing finding the Initial Sensitizing Event (ISE) over obtaining relief for clients 

Locating the ISE is an essential part of the Age Regression process – but remember that it is part of the technique – it’s not the solution. The solution for our clients is getting them relief for the issue they came to see us for.

Some hypnotists make the mistake of relentlessly going after the ISE and emotionally wearing out their clients.  A client who experiences this will feel drained, and may not return for their next session. 

The fix: Be mindful of the age regression process and your client’s energy and emotional levels. If the AR process is difficult for your client it may be best to stop regressing and perform the Informing Child Technique (ICT) on the current event. Common difficult issues include abusive or shameful experiences.

The goal for our clients is to give them relief and results for what they came to see us for. At every single event along the timeline of an age regression process, we are looking for two things: 

  • What is erroneous? The erroneous beliefs and emotions dissipate automatically. 

  • What is valid? We validate the experiences that are true and build the clients self-confidence.

This provides our clients with the insight we’re looking for. Regardless of whether you have identified the ISE or not, the ICT process offers tremendous relief for our clients. 

There will be instances where it is better to end the age regression process early and provide your client with relief, rather than continuing to search for the ISE. Notice how your client is feeling and how they are responding and proceed accordingly. When you end the process early, make sure to make note of where you left off so you can continue the process the following session. 

Avoiding these three common mistakes will help you get even better results for your clients during the Age Regression process.