Question about ISE's and how many SSE's you need to visit in doing hypnosis.

Answered by Calvin D. Banyan, MA, CI, BCH


I read one of your articles, and in it you don't say much about the SSE's regarding a particular affect path way. I will get the ISE- work that a bit & then have then go to the SSE's. Some people say there's so many. Some people as you know may have 40-50 SSE's. So now I tell them to take me to an SSE that was particularly different from the ISE, or to one where there was a great deal of discomfort, or if the event involved other significant people who were not at the ISE. Even when I do this- I still sometimes find a lot of SSE's that chew up a lot of office time. Any other way to handle it- so I don't get bogged down in a so many SSE's?


Using 5-PATH®, we do age regression work in Phase II. Phase I consists of doing hypnotic suggestion work and providing the client with ample evidence that he or she was hypnotized.

When we conduct the age regression, we induce hypnosis and deepen to somnambulism. Then we suggest that the feeling that is associated with the problem begins to come up inside of them. When we see that they are responding to that suggestion (they show physical signs of experiencing the emotion, such as change in breathing pattern or crying), we then suggest that the feeling is connected to every time that she felt that way. We then suggest that they go back to an earlier time that she felt that way.

This is called the Affect Bridge Technique. We use this affect bridge to find Initial Sensitizing Event (ISE). Finding the ISE consists of a process of visiting Subsequent Sensitizing Events (SSE), checking to learn from the client whether the feeling is new or not. When we get to a situation in which the feeling is new, we may have found the ISE (further evidence may be required, such as the event should make sense given the known history of the client).

The next very important step is to go before the ISE and then do Informed Child Technique. This consists of suggesting that the client go back to a time before she felt that way. The Informed Child Technique basically consists of letting the regressed client know whatever she needs to know to get through the event feeling safe and secure, or other information that is needed to either eliminate the trauma, thoughts or beliefs that ended up causing the problem.

Since I usually schedule my appointments for 90 minutes this may be as far as I can get. I will then end the session with suggestions for the change that she came in to see me about. But, usually I will have time to finish the age regression process in one session.

Now it is time to visit some SSE's. Once you have completed the Informed Child Technique, suggest that the child will move forward in time to another time that he felt that way. Let me give you some hints on how to make this more powerful:

  1. Suggest to the client that the "child" now has all of his or her knowledge on that subject.

  2. Suggest that the "child" is now different than she was when it happened to her because now the "child" has this wisdom.

  3. Suggest to the client that whatever happens, she will be proud of the "child."

With these suggestions accepted, it greatly increases the chance of getting through the SSE's successfully.

Then go through the first SSE (going from ISE and moving towards being older). The child should get through it feeling safe and secure. If she has problems, have the adult client come in and do whatever it takes to get the child through it. Repeat going through the SSE until she gets through it feeling fine. Then suggest that she again move forward to the next SSE.

I will usually direct the client to the SSE's that were visited on the way back to the ISE. She may spontaneously go to some other one that we had not visited yet, and that is good. The subconscious mind knows where we need to go. Take care of that one just as you did the previous SSE. Then direct her to the next one in line, until you get to the present time.

You do not have to go over each and every SSE in the client's life. In my experience, with adult clients, if I visit a couple in childhood, one in the teen years, and one in the adult years, I have visited all that I need to.

Then, use the Informed Adult Technique, where you go into the future, and your client sees herself doing well, having overcame the problems. Then have the future client tell the client whatever she needs to hear to make sure that she knows that she can make the change.

Always end your age regression sessions with some good hypnotic suggestions for the change that your client came in to make. The age regression experience has forced her subconscious mind into a state of change and so she is highly suggestible for suggestions that are in line with what she has just experienced. It also tends to tie the whole session together quite nicely.