Regression hypnotherapy – Why bother with the past?

Hypnotic regression has been criticised by some therapists as involving an obsession with the past. Why bother with the past when we live in the present and look forward to the future? However, this view misses the crucial point about regression and that is that we are not actually going into the past at all – we are simply exploring a presently occurring symptom at greater depth.

Everything that arises in a regression arises in the present and is a presently-occurring force within the bodymind. The conflicts and incompletions causing the negative symptoms within a subject are things that exist in the present. They began in the past, but that past scene is still being played out, over and over again, with unhealthy consequences. A regression works with the present re-enactment of that original drama, bringing resolution to the presently occurring inner child, inner parent, and other inner protagonists. Nothing is done are can be done in the past – it is all present.

Here’s a perspective from regression expert Randal Churchill:

“An irony of regression work is that what makes a past event important is the way we frame it and manifest it in the here and now.”

And again …

“However, although it might seem that the nature of regression work is to return to the past, it is only that part of the past which is being brought into and affecting the present – blocking inner resources and potential – that is important to work with. Those stuck places in the present.”

For more on regression hypnosis, see Regression Hypnosis part 1 – Introduction.


The quotes are from Randal Churchill – Regression Hypnotherapy: Transcripts of Transformation, vol. 1, p. 20 and 51 respectively.

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