Question about conducting a hypnotic age regression using the Affect Bridge Technique.

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

One of the benefits of going through our NGH Hypnosis Certification program or our Advanced Hypnosis Certification is that we provide ongoing support for our graduates by encouraging them to call us with their questions or, email us. We also have set up an e-mail group on Yahoo. This question comes from that email support group on Yahoo.

Question (Paraphrased):

Sometimes when I conduct hypnotic age regression sessions, my clients have problems fleshing out the scene. They have trouble either finding the earlier event or it is not really very clear to them. Do you know why that is?

Member of the 5-PATH Hypnotist Email Group on Yahoo


I suppose that when you say that they can't "flesh out the scene" you mean that they are not revivifying it, (meaning for it to happen to them all over again). This is important because real hypnotic age regression work requires that the client be able to re-experience or relive the event (revivify).

Basically, this will happen because of two reasons: either they can't or they won't.

First, because they can‘t…

If it is because they can't; then it is a real indication that they are not in somnambulism. Either the client never achieved somnambulism, or they somehow had it and lost it. Because somnambulism is required for revivification, without it they can't be successful.

Another common reason a client might not be able to revivify has to do with the techniques used by the hypnotist. There are lots of things that can inhibit the success of an age regression session, even with a somnambulistic client, such and using past tense, using the word "remember" and so on. Read my book Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy: Basic to Advanced Techniques for the Professional for more information on this.

Another problem involving hypnotic technique is that if the hypnotist attempts to conduct an affect bridge age regression without sufficient emotion, the bridge collapses! Then the client will flounder and not experience a revivification. This is because they didn't really land anywhere, or they only have a vague idea of where they were to go. Get a good strong affect going before you suggest that they regress.

Finally, because they won’t…

If it is because they won't regress, then it is because they are afraid. If they become afraid it tends to lighten the state of hypnosis (i.e., emerge the partially or completely), the protective part of the mind will step in and stop the procedure. This is why the transition from invoking the emotion associated with the problem, and initiating the age regression needs to be done smoothly and swiftly to be consistently successful.

This is also one of the reasons I don't discuss hypnotic regression before the session begins. Talking about age regression work before conducting the session tends to make the clients feel anxious (anxiety = fear). As mentioned earlier, a good way to get around this problem is to move on to Phase III, and then when you get all of the emotion worked up in that session use it as an affect bridge and re-do the age regression, nested within the forgiveness session. Remember that when a proven technique does not work, suspect that something done before that point may have been skipped, done insufficiently or improperly.

A somnambulistic client, who is willing, will revivify and experience if and when it is suggested to him or her.

I hope that Helps,
Cal Banyan