Self-hypnosis – perform your own regression

How to perform regression hypnotherapy on yourself using self-hypnosis

Did you know that you can conduct a full hypnosis regression on yourself using self-hypnosis? The role of the therapist is taken by the conscious mind which asks the relevant questions, and the answers are given by the subconscious mind using ideomotor signals. I have found two writers who have produced books that give detailed instructions on how to do this.

1. The Courtroom of the Mind – Edgar A. Barnett

Barnett’s book, Unlock Your Mind and be Free, uses the extended metaphor of a Courtroom of the Mind to explain how childhood woundings become adult symptoms. The Child ego state is put on trial for some imagined crime and is pronounced guilty, eliciting a sentence (which becomes the symptom). Now, as an adult, you can go back to that trial and re-try it, using an adequate defense, and establish the innocence of the child.

Location of the critical experience

Barnett’s book is aimed at the person wanting to do this work using self-hypnosis. The following is a very simplified overview of the procedure:

  1. Induce trance and establish ideomotor signals
  2. Review the unconscious tensions. Ask your unconscious mind to review all your old, outdated unconscious tensions and to indicate when this has been accomplished by lifting the yes finger.
  3. Ask your unconscious to determine the earliest of these tension and to indicate yes.
  4. Ask the unconscious mind to review the earliest tension and experience and to indicate yes.
  5. Ask your unconscious mind if it is all right for you to know about the experience responsible for your problem. If yes, direct the unconscious to bring the memory to light.
  6. At this stage emotions may surface with the recovered memory.
  7. Having become aware of the emotion underlying the symptom, ask your inner mind (using finger signals) to indicate whether, in the light of this new understanding, it’s necessary to hold on to those old tensions.
  8. Ask your inner mind to find a way to release the tension, and when it has done so to signal yes.

Note how the inner causes of the symptom are phrased as “tensions”. It’s an internal tension, a conflict, between Parent and Child. Also note that for this form of analysis, you don’t need to start by identifying a strong troubling emotion – you simply begin with the symptom. The underlying emotion is located in the subconscious review.

2. Self-Awareness Therapy – Peter Mutke

Peter Mutke’s book Hypnosis: The mind-body connection, also addresses the lay person wanting to heal themselves using self-hypnosis. As with the Barnett method, this approach does not actively set out to find an initial sensitizing event (ISE). We simply find several symptom producing events (SPEs) and work with those. Essentially the process is as follows: orientate to SPEs, identify the common emotion, release the emotion, and rehearse normal behaviour in the same situations.

  1. Induce hypnosis and set up ideomotor finger signals.
  2. Ask yourself (using finger signals), “Is it all right to find out more about this condition?”
  3. Orient back to a symptom producing event and then work either forward or backward in time, examining three or four events when that symptom was present.
  4. Identify the common thread of emotions and thoughts involved – the thought-emotion complex.
  5. Image rehearsal – return to the events and ask, “Is it all right to let go of in this situation?” If yes, review the situation again, but see yourself functioning in a healthy way.


Hypnosis: The mind-body connection, by Peter Mutke

Unlock Your Mind and be Free, by Edgar Barnett

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5 Responses to Self-hypnosis – perform your own regression

  1. themindmedic July 7, 2010 at 6:46 am #

    Ask your inner mind to find a way to release the tension, and when it has done so to signal yes.

  2. zark khan March 13, 2012 at 12:47 am #


  3. Editor March 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    Hi Zark, the best way to learn how to hypnotise someone is to attend live training. However, if you can’t find anybody in your area who gives this type of training, the next best thing is to learn it online. There are many courses online, but I can suggest the following free course: .
    Or you can buy the more advanced course at (I have actually done this course and it is good).
    Best of luck …

  4. Rupert May 7, 2014 at 12:26 am #

    Hi Russel

    I am interested in getting a copy of Peter Mutke’s book, however I would like to ask a couple of questions first:

    1. Can Mutke’s techniques only be used to regress to tragic events, ie: events that caused a problem? Or can the technique allow a person to regress to any chosen point?

    2. What is the regression experience like? I’ve heard it described as reliving the experience, or watching it unfold before you.

    Thanks for a most interesting site.



  5. Russel Brownlee December 3, 2014 at 9:29 am #

    Hi Rupert
    In answer to your first question, can the techniques be used only for tragic events? No .. they will work for any event that has emotional content. These techniques are about inviting the subconscious mind to take us where it wants to go. So it could be to a happy time as well. The second part of your first question asks about going to a “chosen point”. I would be cautious about this because that chosen point would have been chosen by your conscious mind, not the subconscious mind. Regression works best when you follow an emotion from the present moment, rather than trying to reach any specific chosen point.
    Your second question about what regression is like: Yes, in a way it is like reliving it, but you are also still aware of your present surroundings. It is like a powerfully imagined experience. And yes, like watching it unfold before you – but be aware that often this or more than just watching and there can be some powerful emotions. For this reason some therapists advise against re-experiencing trauma, so one does have to take some care with this. I would say that if you know you have something traumatic in the past, seek out a therapist rather than doing it yourself.
    All the best..

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