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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is regression therapy and what is it used for?

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  • 1


    Ralph Graham


    Ralph Graham, Counsellor, Psychotherapist, helping those who are affected by:grief, loss, anxiety, phobias, panic attack.And those who have been traumatised by:crime, assault, sexual abuse and … View Profile

    Regression Therapy
    Regression Therapy is concerned with getting a person to go back in time to examine an event that may be causing problems in present time. Regression is used as one of the tools of Hypnotherapy where problems are often resolved successfully while the term Regression Therapy is used to describe a method that may not use hypnosis even though historically it came from hypnosis.
    An old diary may remind you of something earlier in your life that you had “forgotten” and reading this may elicit memories of other things you feel you would never have remembered without being prompted by the diary.  This can happen in certain therapies and lead to very successful outcomes in a therapeutic session.
    Regression therapists feel that this therapy is a lot more effective and much faster than behavioural therapies and other “classic” therapies.
    Though every moment in time may be recorded, many things are not remembered until something reminds one of an event or events are rediscovered in a therapeutic setting.
    False Memories
    False memories come from situations where patients have memories suggested to them by their therapists which in a vulnerable and  suggestible state one can come to believe.   Professional, ethical therapists do not employ methods like this and they have led to much misery in past cases. Memories discovered by the patient that lead to healing and change and liberation from emotional pain are a different matter altogether.
    Regression therapy is said to be helpful with emotional problems, certain cases of depression, phobias and many other problems.

    Past Lives
    Past lives are often said to be visited in this therapy with significant and lasting results.
    My take on this is unless the therapist is making suggestions, the recall of past lives can be accepted as the experience of the client.  A therapist does not know for sure if any related incident is true in this or a past life and if a difficulty is resolved due to inspecting the “incident” then the therapist’s job is done and what they believe or do not believe is of no consequence. In fact, in the person centred philosophy of counselling and therapy to which I subscribe a therapist's opinion as to the veracity of an experience related by the client short of total acceptance could not only ruin the session and a chance for healing and change, but ruin the client therapist relationship thereafter.
    I do not practice regression therapy but my work does involve going back in time. Not all, but most therapies involve examining the past though the approaches can vary greatly. Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR), an evidence based method, can be utilised in dealing with unwanted thoughts, anxieties and phobias right through to panic attacks up to post traumatic stress disorder so I can certainly empathise with methods that examine past incidents in order to help the client. There is no trance state invoved in TIR but there is no suggestion that inerterventions that invoive these states are not effective.
    The International Board for Regression Therapy says “In the past few decades, regression therapy has begun to emerge as a dynamic and vital therapeutic modality embracing many disciplines, both traditional and non-traditional. It is a hybrid concept which  has created an effective trans-disciplinary approach through a theoretical synthesis of many modalities.”

    Much can be learned about it on the web in other places.

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