Traditionally, regression therapies (and other kinds of counseling) were always carried out in person. However, in modern times, most forms of therapy, including regression therapy, can successfully take place online.
That said, regression therapy may or may not be the most effective form of online counseling for you and your unique needs. Scientific evidence favors other types of counseling, but then again, millions of people swear by regression therapy.
At the end of the day, what works for one person might not work for another – so if you feel drawn to try regression therapy, it could be worth a shot. Read on to learn more about what regression therapy actually is, so you can make the best decision for yourself and your peace of mind.
What Is Regression Therapy?
There are three types of regression therapy – past life regression, age regression, and hypnotic regression. The common ground between these different methods is that each one focuses on past events that are likely to be responsible for present-day behavior.
Trauma is known to impact memory, and if there are times in your life that you have forgotten, regression therapy could be for you. For example, if someone were abused as a child, they may have suppressed the traumatic memory.
This is because a child’s brain is not equipped to process traumas, so most mental health professionals believe this results in suppression. Suppressed memories can emerge involuntarily later in life at any given moment in the form of a flashback.
Regression therapy is designed to help resolve subconscious memories through hypnosis, whether or not these were formed in childhood. However, there are risks involved, including the possibility of false memories arising. The definition of false memory is a memory that has been fabricated by the mind.
Types of Regression Therapy
Past life regression therapy
Past life regression therapy isn’t widely recognized by mental health professionals and is based on the spiritual principle of reincarnation. In this spiritual school of thought, it is believed that traumas can be carried from lifetime to lifetime.
If you don’t believe in past lives, then past life regression therapy probably isn’t for you. According to one study, the practice might even be unethical, but this opinion is mostly formed because no one has been able to prove the mysteries of the spiritual world.
Age regression therapy
Age regression therapy is designed to uncover suppressed memories from childhood, year by year. The aim isn’t to experience the memory but to bring it into awareness so that it can be processed and dealt with accordingly.
In certain cases, this type of counseling could end up explaining a lot. The theory of regression therapy is that by revisiting the trauma, you can release it, potentially freeing your heart and mind from the disturbance. This would mean that a trigger would no longer have the same hold on you.
Hypnotic regression therapy
Hypnotic regression therapy is less specific than age or past life regression in terms of structure. So instead of the therapist guiding you back to suggested time periods, hypnotic regression therapy aims to find the suppressed traumas via questioning.
Hypnotic regression involves entering a trance-like state to access the subconscious. Hypnotherapy rose in popularity as early as the 1950s when psychologists began to believe that the past is responsible for causing current-day chaos in people’s lives.
What Are the Main Principles of Regression Therapy?
Regression therapy adopts the principle that humans possess three levels of consciousness, including the conscious, the subconscious, and the superconscious mind.
- The conscious mind is believed to hold the thoughts you are aware of.
- The subconscious mind is where thoughts you may not be aware of influence your emotions and instincts.
- The superconscious mind, or higher self, is a part of the mind that can model how you would like to think or behave.
Regression Therapy Techniques: How Does Regression Therapy Work?
Regression therapy centers around the negative areas in a patient’s life to isolate the cause of certain emotions and/or behavior. By establishing a root cause, it allows the patient to process and address unhealed issues.
While the exact techniques used in regression therapy vary from psychologist to psychologist, you can typically expect some overlap. In most cases, the mental health practitioner will prepare the patient by employing deep breathing methods.
Once the patient has entered a state of deep relaxation, the psychologist then facilitates the regression process itself. This differs slightly depending on the type of regression therapy chosen but involves the therapist guiding the patient to speak aloud about past experiences.
Patients are encouraged to describe their surroundings in detail and to speak about any emotions that may arise as they do so. The next stage of the process is the release of the repressed emotions, which happens as a by-product of talking about the event.
The final phase before the session conclusion is where the subconscious is reprogrammed. Yes, that’s right. It is possible to rewire the mind and reframe the past experience by finding different ways of describing it. This is basically like rewriting the script of the film that is your life!
What Regression Therapy Can Help With
The fundamental aim of regression therapy is to establish how subconscious traumas impact your life in the present. Traumatic events can affect a patient’s ability to interact with others and express emotions.
Regression therapy strives to provide a sense of resolution or closure to patients, but in some cases, it can also lead to false memories that could end up causing more harm than good.
Although controversial (and unproven) according to a number of regression therapists, this form of counseling can provide significant relief to patients, including:
- The resolution of past traumas
- Clarity on previously confusing behaviors or reactions
- Ability to change present behavior due to enhanced understanding or emotional processing
Regression therapy is thought to be especially effective for patients suffering from:
- Phobias or fears without a known cause
- Relationship and intimacy issues
- Chronic shame or guilt without a known cause
What Are the Benefits of Regression Therapy Online?
If you really want to try regression therapy but prefer online counseling, it is perfectly viable to go for regression therapy online. In fact, online therapy has many advantages that face-to-face sessions do not, including a reduced cost.
Of course, both in-person therapy and online therapy are better than no therapy, as therapy, in general, has been proven to significantly benefit those suffering from mental health issues. Other benefits of online therapy include:
- The ability to attend sessions from the comfort of your home
- Being able to remain anonymous while still going to therapy
- Lying on your own bed for hypnosis sessions
- More frequent sessions at less cost than traditional therapy
- The possibility of shorter treatment time with faster results
Things to Consider Before Starting Regression Therapy Online
As mentioned, the main risk of regression therapy (online or otherwise) is that you might wind up creating false memories. The last thing anyone seeking help should have to deal with is somehow forming the memory of being abused by an innocent loved one or something equally horrific.
The science surrounding regression therapy’s effectiveness is extremely limited, and so the practice remains highly controversial. Not only this, but hypnosis (which is used in all forms of regression therapy) has been proven to raise the risk of false memories.
However, past-life regression therapy has been shown to psychologically benefit patients, regardless of whether or not reincarnation can be proven. It is recommended for psychologists to only ask open-ended questions such as “What do you feel, see, or hear?”
This approach is less likely to result in false memories than questions that may lead a patient to believe in something that has been fabricated. All in all, it is scientifically safer to opt for other forms of therapy and online therapy.
When it comes to choosing between face-to-face and online therapy, there are also a few things to take into consideration. Online therapy has some limitations, though, such as the need for privacy and a good internet connection.
The Bottom Line
All forms of regression therapy, including past life, age, and hypnosis, are controversial. Although each method aims to guide the patient back to traumatic points in the past, there is little scientific evidence to support its effectiveness.
That being said, there are a great number of regression therapists who believe that the practice can help resolve suppressed trauma. However, there is a risk of uncovering false memories, which given the fact that reincarnation remains unproven, seems likely.
At the very least, you need to be sure that your therapist has psychological training and credentials and is not simply a skilled hypnotist.
Regression therapy can be attended via an online therapy session or in real life. There are also other forms of online therapy that can be highly beneficial and more cost-effective. If you or a loved one are interested in trying online therapy, you can find a skilled therapist here.