Hypnotic Regression and Healing the Unconscious Mind
How hypnosis can reveal experiences hidden in your unconscious mind.
Posted June 22, 2014 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan
Our mind is uniquely prepared to experience the continuity of time. While we are advised to live in the here and now, we all wander into the past or future.
Our memory and imagination vary greatly from person to person. Even if you can remember every detail from your life, nobody can recall how these events affected them. The mind automatically filters out certain experiences out of normal memory.
So, what kind of stuff becomes unavailable to our own thinking? Actually, there is a lot of information that never gets stored in our memory banks in the first place but, even more importantly, there are plenty of experiences that cannot be recalled because they are repressed — kept out of our awareness somehow. These are the memories worth analyzing because they sit there, deep inside the mind, affecting our lives nonetheless.
Hypnosis is one of the best ways to help people access those “buried” memories. Everyone has memories or experiences in their unconscious mind that they may not be able to recall but still play a significant role in everyday life. Hypnotic regression is the process by which you enter a trance and recall material from deep inside that is normally not available to the conscious mind.
Hypnosis enables the mind to travel more easily across the dimension of time. Regression is the process by which the hypnotist guides you back through time to particular events that need to be examined. It is actually relatively simple; you are suggested to travel back through the years to recall specific memories.
There are a number of effective techniques to facilitate this process. The hypnotic trance enhances your ability to remember events that you otherwise cannot recall. A good question is, "Why is it difficult to recall some memories and not others?" Part of this answer can actually be attributed to Freud who described the function of the unconscious mind in great detail. Although many of Freud’s theories have been widely contested, the idea that the mind is made up of different levels of awareness and activity has been substantiated by empirical research and the observation of countless experts in psychology.
The research into the formation and use of language demonstrates “unconscious” levels at which words, thoughts, and sentences are created. This deeper unconscious sphere of mental activity can be compared to an iceberg — the large bulk of which is out-of-sight beneath the ocean surface. Similarly, your mind has many activities that operate outside your awareness for good reasons. The brain evolved to economize our focus of attention to limit the amount of what is in our awareness. Consequently, there can be a large amount of mental stuff that you are not aware of but may still have an important function.
Regression can be used to help recall events from the other night or from any point of your lifetime. It can help you remember specific details of an event or even better, to observe it objectively and to understand its meaning and significance. It certainly can be a very powerful psychological tool to dive into the deeper parts of the mind.
The real problem is that we all experience a variety of events that were unpleasant, painful, embarrassing, or just difficult to cope with, which sometimes push these memories out of the conscious mind down into that hidden reservoir of the mind — the unconscious.
These can be traumatic experiences, or just awkward ones that we do not want to remember or cannot recall because they were repressed out of awareness. Everybody has memories buried in the unconscious. Most of these memories are not that scary or horrible but some can be very uncomfortable to face. Many of the more dramatic things that happened to you as a child are resting in your unconscious. Even if you can remember these events, some of their effects remain unobservable to the average person.
That is where hypnosis comes in. Through a trance, we can open the door to the unconscious mind and help find the conflicts, turmoil, hidden pain, expose the obstacles, the self-sabotage, and reveal the invisible connections between events and feelings.
Regression done by a skilled professional can be very healing and transformative. It often brings up new insights into how your mind works and what really happened to you as a child. Most of the memories revealed are not tragic or horrific but, they often help heal the wounds or conflicts we experience in daily life. Occasionally, traumatic events can come up that require very skilled resolution. That is precisely why it is important that hypnotic regressions are performed by highly skilled doctors that know how to carefully dig for these memories without ever “planting” false memories into the person.
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I have performed thousands of regressions on my clients and am often struck by the surprising nature of the material that is recalled. People can recall the most subtle small details of an event when they were just 5 years old that they never thought of before. This is how much of the healing in the mind occurs, revealing the unconscious thoughts, memories, conflicts, etc., to the awareness. The therapist must help the client resolve these issues often during the trance, and then afterwards a significant amount of counseling may be required to help this person utilize these insights and new awareness in constructive and beneficial ways.
Healing the unconscious mind refers to the process of eliminating unwanted and unnecessary problems in the mind that block you from enjoying a healthy, happy and fulfilling life. Many things can rob us of positive progress in our lives. One area that should be considered, when other explanations have been exhausted is memories buried in the unconscious mind. Hypnosis and regression therapy, in skilled hands, can often help remove blockages and heal suffering. It can be a quick process or it may take considerable time and work; that depends on many factors. In short, this technique can often uncover the material hidden beneath the surface.
If you have experienced many psychological problems in your life, and all your efforts to resolve these issues in the direct conscious manner have not been successful, then trying hypnotic regression may offer you a potential solution. First, you must be prepared to dig deeper and be willing to confront whatever comes up. Secondly, you must do this with a qualified expert with whom you are prepared to invest the time and energy to go through this process. Thirdly, remain open and curious to utilize whatever emerges to resolve the problems and move forward in your life. I am certain that every person can make such positive progress.