In order to uncover forgotten events, the idea is fundamental that one must go back in time and experience the past (regress). So when we talk about age regression, we mean reliving or remembering past events that have long since been forgotten.

Hypnotic regression

is an application of hypnosis in which the subject relives an earlier age or an earlier life and goes through the feelings perceived at that age.
A distinction can be made between:
a) a method used in hypnosis to analyze and represent past experiences

b) a natural process of inner regression with an awake consciousness, for the integration of concrete unresolved childhood experiences

Hypnotic procedure

Here the subject is put into a medium to deep trance. In these stages, the therapist (or client) should be able to access childhood memories (past events) that are beyond the subject’s awareness. The ideas (“memories”) that are then found can be used for further therapy.

The therapist can assign different truth criteria to this “remembering” in trance. They range from a semi-conscious staging of events that were not really experienced to a reactualization of allegedly actual childhood experiences with the typical age-related characteristics. These can be earlier reflexes (grasping, sucking, Babinski reflex) as well as the age-typical forms of thinking and object relations, pulse rate or eye coordination.

This method is used in hypnotherapy or trauma therapy.

The question of the truthfulness of memory

When a hypnotist leads a subject into a regression, the question of truthfulness is not initially up for discussion. The hypnotist’s primary task is to focus the emerging images and feelings and to support the client in doing so. There is always a risk of creating a false memory.


Hypnotic regression was used very frequently in the USA in the 1990s. In his book, Michael Yapko describes a number of cases in which suggestive questions and careless therapists suggested images of sexual abuse to clients and were far too quick to accept them as fact. The question of whether the images seen in the regression correspond to the truth was often not asked. Before clients are encouraged to confront their family members with serious allegations, the question of truth must be asked. If relatives are accused of sexual abuse due to a misdiagnosis, the family relationship is extremely strained and in many cases even completely destroyed. The client’s neurosis is then further reinforced by the therapist.

Field of application

In a large number of treatment methods that use hypnotic regression, memories arise that raise doubts about the method because of their content. For example, memories of an alleged abduction by aliens are also retrieved. In reincarnation therapy, hypnotic regression is used to recall images and impressions from previous incarnations or future lives. It is unclear where illusion and reality lie in these experiences induced by hypnosis and suggestion.

If we use regression in this training, it is only to offer the subject a possibility to solve his problem. Regression in its professional application has proven to be extremely efficient in hypnosis practice. Many of the causes for which our clients come to the session have their origin before the age of 6 and have often been forgotten (repressed) by the conscious mind.


Sign up and receive inspirational articles, hypnosis techniques and tips on how to improve your life.