How I became involved with Regression Therapy
Having practiced as a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist for many years, and having the naive belief that I had witnessed most of the presenting problems of the human condition in my consulting room over those years, in one particular week in 2012 I was in for a shock. Two clients undergoing traditional psychotherapy had spontaneous past life memories emerge during their sessions. In retrospect this emergence of memories and physical sensations played out in an atypical way with a sense of a shift in identity, time and space, thoughts and feelings, and a flood of information including wearing different clothes.
At no point did I consider these presentations to be deluded, manufactured or hallucinatory. These were psychologically robust and intelligent women with no history of pathology. At the time I guided them intuitively through these experiences to the best of my ability, but I felt naked in terms of an appropriate skillset. Within days I registered to attend a training course in Past Life Therapy with an organisation called Still Waters Holistic Training and two months after completing that training I started training with the Past Life Regression Academy. You might say that this was a “Baptism of fire”. A necessity to engage in a profound personal and professional journey into the depths of consciousness.
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy is commonly known as depth psychotherapy. It embraces the generation of awareness in the client of their unconscious motivations, behaviours and survival mechanisms and makes necessary associations between their way of being in the now and their current life histories. Essentially how they are experientially and relationally shaped into who they are and why. Specific therapeutic techniques such as working with the transference and countertransference dynamics, naming and exploring defence mechanisms and their aetiology, analysing dreams (“The royal road to the unconscious” as Freud would say) and using the skills of direct and implicit intuitive interpretation, not only bring awareness but also healing.
It’s a very complex process and I can’t hope to name all of the critical components of a traditional depth approach here, but there is something very significant about the therapeutic relationship which develops and how it is used transformationally to repair, name and make meaning of a life as lived and yet to unfold. There is a particular kind of ‘magic’ in the healing which arises from psychotherapeutic engagement, but this is amplified exponentially when one brings consideration to Regression Therapy.
The magic of Regression Therapy
What is the incredible ‘magic’ of Regression Therapy and what exactly do I mean by using this term? One of the most eminent scientists of our time who specialises in consciousness studies is Dean Radin of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. He says the following: “Real Magic falls into three categories: mental influence of the physical world, perception of events distant in space or time, and interactions with non-physical entities” (2018, p.1). I find this is a useful way of constellating a variety of aspects of Regression Therapy. It holds it within a scientific protocol which has at is core a foundational need to explore consciousness from a non-materialist perspective and beyond the brain, it names the ability of consciousness to be engaged with locally, non-locally and outwith linear time and space, and addresses how ‘intending towards’ a particular aspect of consciousness can cause dramatic changes and ripples in the Self and others we energetically intersect with.
In Regression Therapy we traditionally set an intention for a session and this mental act of the will allows a flow of energy towards a purpose. Particular physiological, emotional and cognitive responses are triggered by effectively directing conscious intention towards a goal. Specific ‘doors’ are opened and memories and experiences will arise out of the depths of the psyche to be ‘known’, ‘worked through’ and ultimately healed. All levels of healing can occur to include psychological, emotional and physical, whilst meaning and understanding is significantly deepened and this contributes to neurological rewiring.
This ‘work’ is of course all done in a different realm of space and time, its not ‘from now’ but its ‘here now’ and can be met and transformed and generate non-local and non-linear ripples upon the personal and shared past, present and future. Additionally, to attend to Radin’s “Real Magic”, during altered state we not only engage with a non-physical prior Self/identity/character but we also interact with beings from other dimensions and realms of consciousness; including for example guides, elders, or earthbound spirits. How incredible is the work of Regression Therapy!?
One of the major ways in which Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Regression Therapy differ involves the use of altered states i.e. trance in the client. Facilitating the client to enter trance opens up the capacity for them to leave the concerns of the ego behind, to access an alternative vibrational layer beyond the everyday, and to sink down into or reach up towards deeper and/or higher realms of personal and collective consciousness.
My work with trauma
In recent years my therapeutic work has become dominantly focused on trauma and my client base are those who have either Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – associated with singular events such as a crime, sexual intrusion, or an accident – or Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) – associated with cumulative and enduring traumatic experiences over time to include child sexual abuse, neglect and emotional deprivation.
I strongly agree with leading trauma therapist and academic Babette Rothschild when she says that “The most severe consequences of trauma result from dissociation” (2000, p.13). Mainly because these split-off unprocessed ‘memories’ become encoded throughout the system at psycho-emotional and psycho-physiological levels and are therefore capable of being triggered by everyday events and sensations. So, effectively the trauma never ends, as it is constantly present and primed for re-activation. Without accessing the dissociated physical, emotional and cognitive memories the trauma imprint endures and never leaves the system.
This is where the use of hypnotic regression bridges can be used to huge benefit. By inducing the client into a light altered state whilst there is an intensity of energy and intention around healing the prevailing problem, and directing them towards the realm of experience which is most active (body, emotion or mind) we can tap into what Christopher Bollas terms, “The unthought known” (1987). By deepening the awareness of the most active area and obtaining the information held there we can then bridge towards the other dissociated and imprinted components. Therefore, body to emotion and mind, emotion to body and mind, and mind to body and emotion. No stone is left unturned and the split-off memories are retrieved and appropriately processed. The imprint is transformed and no longer impinges on the survivor’s life.
Challenges for Regression Therapy
I teach on the theme of trauma at conferences and to counselling agencies and I have made it my mission to bring awareness of the transformational power of Regression Therapy to the therapeutic mainstream. This is not without its setbacks as traditional psychotherapists rebel against the speed of healing possible as well as the ‘truth’ of the physical, emotional and cognitive memories which are accessed when one integrates techniques from Regression Therapy into psychotherapeutic work. Terms have been thrown at me such as a “hallucination of wellness” on the part of the client to explain the speed of recovery, and a “creation of hallucinated realities” to offer an explanation for the rapid retrieval of decades old dissociated memories. Traditional psychotherapy is very challenged by new approaches and they use a whole range of defence mechanisms to deny, repress and avoid acceptance of the efficacy of a regression-based paradigm.
However, it is not only the realm of traditional “talking cure psychologies” who present a problem in terms of the acceptance of Regression Therapy. The biggest challenge is ultimately the field of materialist science. Hard science has no way to accommodate some of the concepts which underly Regression Therapy, or other associated realms of consciousness exploration such as parapsychology, near death experiences or mediumship. However, with the evolution of science, the application of quantum ‘thinking’ around non-locality and entanglement, the widening acceptance of consciousness existing ‘beyond the brain’, and the various groups of academics collaborating to challenge the prevailing ‘blocking’ paradigms, there are increasingly rational ways supported by the ‘new sciences’ to explain the rapid developmental shifts and dramatic experiences of clients who have undertaken Regression Therapy.
Involvement with Research
I currently have a number of personal research and writing projects ‘on the table’ including one on the experiences of traumatic suffering particularly associated with survivors of high-profile cases (such as Fred and Rosemary West and the Moors Murderers). I have also been invited by the Society for Psychical Research to write a paper on my work with deceased human spirits which dovetails well with the research and book project I am undertaking on Spirit Release Therapy. However, these things take time due to pressure on resources and my dominant focus on client work.
As Chair of the EARTh Research Committee I actively engage with and support a wide range of research projects. I am also a Consulting Editor for the International Journal of Regression Therapy (IJRT). The EARTh Research Committee have experienced a number of recent successes including David Graham’s completed report on the EARTh Client Survey entitled “Does Regression Therapy Make a Difference?”. This report contains a wealth of data associated with the ‘magic’ of Regression Therapy including the immediate and ongoing transformation of symptoms. We also had the “Report on The Special Interest Survey” published in the recent edition of the IJRT. This report evidences the wide range of skills and expertise across a global cohort of Regression Therapists.
We have also supported a number of exciting research projects which have recently started. These include a project managed by Tulin Etyemez Schimberg which seeks to examine the efficacy of Regression Therapy upon healing Myomas (uterine fibroid tumours) and a project on the efficacy of Regression Therapy in relation to Generalised Anxiety Disorder conducted by Ririi and Gungan Trivedi. In recent days Brazilian based doctor, neurologist and psychologist Sergio Baumel has launched a very wide-ranging research project in collaboration with EARTh which seeks to measure, through the use of a comprehensive research questionnaire, a variety of interesting components pertaining to the efficacy of Regression Therapy. The questionnaire is available to complete here (www.socepsi.com/regression). I would encourage you to personally engage with this survey and also share it with your clients for them to complete.
Collaboration and support between individual researchers and organisations is critical and this mutuality benefits everyone in terms of the sharing of advice, knowledge and expertise. It also allows researchers to brainstorm ideas, bring inspiration and acknowledge potential pitfalls. As Chair of the EARTh Research Committee I hope to continue the positive collegial relationship which has been formed with Janna Aidar and the Spiritual Regression Therapy Association as we move forwards with similar aims for the profession and wider field of Regression Therapy.
The Future of Regression Therapy
My perception is that we will see a significant growth within, an expansion of awareness about, and an increasing acceptance of, Regression Therapy over the next decade. The field has a wellspring of highly trained, educated and enthusiastic Global talent which is expressing itself in the hands-on work of Regression Therapy, an enacted passion towards research and publication in order to shine a light on the incredible transformative effects possible as a result of undertaking Regression Therapy, and a heightened degree of motivation to collaborate with colleagues in other fields of practice with an aim to encourage reflection on new ways of working to enact healing for their clients.
When we combine this with the efforts of organisations such as the Scientific and Medical Network, the Galileo Commission and the Institute of Noetic Sciences to bring well considered academic and scientific knowledge to the field of consciousness studies (in order to informedly challenge the out-dated materialistic paradigms which have thwarted free thinking around the existence of non-material and non-local phenomenon) it is likely that we will bear witness to the growth of Regression Therapy moving in parallel with this associated increased awareness and acceptance.
In a recent webinar conducted by Hans Ten Dam (2020) he stated, “The great engines of personal and soul development are experience, awareness and reflection”. When we consider this in terms of expansion of the heart and soul of Regression Therapy there is a great engine of truth seeking to be known and met within and without the field in alignment with the grand shift in consciousness we are currently experiencing.
Bollas, C. (1987). The Shadow of the Object: Psychoanalysis of the Unthought Known. London: Free Association Books.
Fenn, P. (2020). Research Report on the EARTh Special Interest Survey. The International Journal of Regression Therapy, Vol. XXVII, Issue 31, Fall 2020. https://www.academia.edu/44326644/Research_Report_on_the_EARTh_Special_Interest_Survey_IJRT
Graham, D. (2020). Does Regression Therapy Make a Difference? https://www.earth-association.org/download-center/then click on: Does Regression Therapy Make a Difference.
Radin, D. (2018). Real Magic: Ancient Wisdom, Modern science, and a Guide to the Secret Power of the Universe”. USA: Harmony Books.
Rothschild, B. (2000). The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment. New York: W.W Norton & Co.
Ten Dam, H. (2020, August 18). The Ripples of Regression Therapy [Webinar]. EARTh Annual Convention.