Questions about using the Affect Bridge Age Regression Technique.
Answered by Calvin D. Banyan, MA, CI, BCH
I am an NGH certified hypnotherapist from Whitby, Ontario. I am in the middle of reading your book, "Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy" which was recommended to me by one of your former students I met at a Sports Enhancement seminar in New York City. I do regression work, however, I was taught the technique by utilizing the time line and always staying above the event (as a spectator) rather than re-experiencing it. Although it has been very effective for me, I know there are many cases that would benefit from the 5-path technique in your book.
I understand that one must get in touch with the feeling and emotion associated with the problem. My question to you is, how is that established with a weight issue? That is, what feeling are you addressing? I generally ask my clients under hypnosis to go back to the first time they decided that holding onto extra weight was a benefit to them? I would very much like to incorporate your technique, but am having difficulty with addressing the emotion for weight. How do you ask the client about the feeling associated with their weight issue?
Thanks for your attention in this matter,
Diana Feret, CH
Thank you for getting my book, Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy: Basic to Advanced Techniques for the Professional. It is always very nice to hear from a reader.
In response to your question, here is the deal... When you intend to conduct an age regression therapy session you need to deepen your client so that she reaches the level of hypnosis called somnambulism. An ideal hypnotic induction to do this is the Elman-Banyan Hypnotic Induction. When you have a client in this deep level of hypnosis you can use the following suggestion, "In a moment I am going to count from one to five, and as I do, the feeling that has everything to do with the problem that brought you in to see me will come up as real and as powerful as it has ever been." When I am working with a client who has come to see me about weight loss, I may also go on to say, "That feeling inside of you that drives you to over eat or eat when you are not hungry."
This allows the subconscious mind to use its internal knowing/wisdom to provide you and your client with the emotion (affect) that is associated with the problem. This way you do not need to know in advance what the emotion associated with the problem is in order to do the regression.
Then, as I count up from 1 to 5 the emotion will become stronger. As this happens I can help my client to bring up the feeling and make it stronger by watching for signs that the feeling is starting to emerge. The first sign is often an increased rate of breathing. When I see this, I will let my client know that the emotion is emerging by saying to her, "Good, you have connected with the feeling either consciously or subconsciously. I can tell because you are beginning to breathe faster." This helps her to become more aware of the feeling is coming up, and may lead to her experiencing other signs that the emotion is coming up, for example, she may become red in the face, or she may begin to tear up, depending on what feeling she is feeling.
At this point I do not ask what the feeling is. I will just conduct the affect bridge and follow it back to an earlier time when she felt that way. Typically, this part of the regression will go something like this, "And now as I count back from 5 back to 1, that feeling will guide you back in time to an earlier time and place in which you felt this way." Then of course I will continue to regress until I have uncovered the Initial Sensitizing Event (ISE) which of course is the issue that started it all.
In a real age regression like I am describing here, the client actually relives the event. She does not merely observe it. This allows a catharsis to occur that will not occur when the individual only observes the event. This catharsis can be very healing as these old emotions are released. There are a number of things that a hypnotherapist needs to do to verify that the ISE has been uncovered, which are beyond the scope of this Q & A. But let me go on to say that once the ISE has been uncovered your client should be then guided to before the ISE, at which time the client should undergo the Informed Child Technique.
Briefly, the Informed Child Technique involves taking the client before the ISE and giving her the information that she needs so that she can go through the ISE once more without picking up the erroneous fear, belief, or whatever pattern was established in the ISE that led to her weight gain. Once this information has been imparted to the child, then the child is taken through the ISE with that information and more realistic feelings, beliefs or patterns are established, so that the problem no longer exists. It is thus very helpful if the client actually goes through the experience, rather than just have the adult observe it, in order for you to be certain that the old emotion has been removed.
Using this more realistic approach is very thorough and more powerful than approaches that only allow of an observation of a past incident, and will work when other types of therapy fail. In addition, these techniques which involve only observing past event, do not require somnambulism, and without somnambulism your client may not be able to uncover the true ISE and may only experience some degree of hypermnesia.
After your client has completed the age regression therapy, it is highly recommended that she also go through forgiveness therapy, because that way you will be able to free her from feelings such as anger and guilt which can continue to drive the old pattern of eating. For a better understanding of how emotions such as fear, anger and guilt, among others can cause overeating, drug and alcohol abuse among other things, I recommend my book, The Secret Language of Feelings.
Again, thank you for your question and I hope that helps. For advanced training in 5-PATH™ and these powerful hypnotherapeutic techniques, I suggest that you consider further training either through our 5-PATH™ professional video training course or by taking one of our advanced classes.
Also make sure that you visit our free articles section so that you can learn more about 5-PATH™ and other hypnotherapeutic techniques.