Positive age regression

Postby Tazzie » Fri May 10, 2019 12:24 pm

I was listening to a podcast that suggested practicing age regression - but to use happy experiences with family and friends. The idea sounded interesting. You get good practice, but dont need to get involved with loved ones issues. Thoughts on this please?
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Fri May 10, 2019 1:11 pm

Tazzie wrote: Thoughts on this please?


Why? What purpose would age regression serve? What will age regression help you accomplish that you are unable to accomplish without it?

For example, without age regression are you unable to get that promotion at work, unable to maintain a healthy marriage, not able to run a marathon, not able to quit smoking?

The reason I ask, is because I’m genuinely curious what goals a person believes they are unable to accomplish without pursuing the path of age regression?
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#2

Postby Tazzie » Sat May 11, 2019 2:02 pm

Hi Richard,
I'm very new in training so no doubt someone more experienced can explain the use of age regression better than I. My question was specific to a method of practicing as a beginner. Hopefully someone can answer both our questions. :D
Cheers

T
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#3

Postby jimmyh » Sun May 12, 2019 7:32 am

Age regression is basically just “reflecting on and reinterpreting a previous experience”. As it’s usually talked about in “hypnosis” circles, there’s usually a bit more brought along with it, and reasons for that.

One of those things is “finding the first experience”. Say someone has gotten bitten by dogs a few times and is now afraid of dogs. In order to help them get over their fear of dogs (perhaps by helping them discriminate between dangerous dogs and safe dogs, or by pointing out that the bites were only play bites and never harmful), you have to access the fear itself. In theory, you could go about it in the abstract and ask “what might happen if you were to not fear dogs?” and they might bring up an emotionally relevant image of a dog bite or whatever. However, people are not always great at bringing up vivid depictions of their actual motivations. They might rationalize, or stay too abstract or any number of other things for any number of reasons. Getting to a concrete experience is a good way of homing in on the actual emotions driving things, so “let’s look at what actually happened to form this belief” isn’t a bad place to start.

In addition, the first instance is often (though not always) the most memorable and emotionally impactful. The first time we learn something it may come as a shock, and that stands out. Subsequent times just becomes “yeah, we knew that already”, and therefore convey little *additional* meaning. The first experience then becomes the prototype that we generalize from, and so hypnotists want to address that directly. Parts of the process might be a bit of a charade, but including seemingly irrelevant detail can help prime people to remember more vividly, and help get to a real emotion.

The concept of “regressing” back to the past and reflecting on a previous experience is therefore useful any time you may not have learned all of the right lessons already. You can’t learn everything correctly on the fly, so reflection is hugely important. Without it you can’t really become a fully functional person. You’d get a first impression, and then you’d be stuck with it for the rest of your life impervious to evidence to the contrary. The more hypnotist specific form where you “regress” to childhood or something is going to be the relevant thing to do whenever you have a dysfunctional pattern of behavior that you learned long ago. Insecurities, for example, are often old old patterns of behavior that still drive adult behavior long past when it was learned.

So for something like “quitting smoking”, it’s unlikely that you picked it up as a young child, but maybe you picked it up last year at 35 so it would be technically but non-centrally an example of age regression to go back and say “why *did* I think that was worth doing anyway?”, and that might be a useful question to ask if you’re still trying to make sense of your behavior so that you can quit without this inner conflict. On the other hand, you might just be able to say “I started for good reasons then and I’m quitting for good reasons now” without ever needing to revisit things. Things like “maintaining a healthy marriage” might require learning to tone down your bits of personality disorder, and these things are much less “trivial and cleanly separable decisions that I could easily make differently” and more “embodied heuristics first learned at a young age and then continually reinforced or at least not conditioned against”, which makes finding the generating set of experiences a much more relevant exercize. Questions like “why am I driven to narcissistic tendencies *now*?” might be something you can answer in an emotionally compelling way, but if not thinking back to “man, even as a kid I had these tendencies. I always felt like ____” might be a useful way to get in touch with the things that drive you and help cleave off all the irrelevant stories you’ve told yourself since.

Most of the time positive experiences aren’t the ones we need to revisit (since by definition we’re happy with the result), so that makes it a relatively safe way to play with the skills of revivifying old experiences and having fun with it. If that’s a skill you want to get better at, I’d say go for it. No need to make a big formality of it though :)
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#4

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon May 13, 2019 5:35 am

Tazzie wrote:Hi Richard,
I'm very new in training so no doubt someone more experienced can explain the use of age regression better than I.


Let me rephrase my first response, going from framing it as a question to making a statement.

Memory is inaccurate. False memories are extremely common. There is a reason eyewitness testimony is considered highly unreliable. Therefore, age regression has certain limits. These limits are extremely important to understand, lest a person begins creating a false memory that can have a range of impacts, both positive and negative.

For example, remembering a sexual assault. There is plenty of evidence in the justice system of parents, friends, investigators, and others coaching or otherwise leading a child to “remember” certain events that actually never took place. One of my favorite experiments used a person dressed as a clown and getting children to have a memory of the clown touching the nose of the child. The clown never touched a single nose, yet the children said otherwise.

In other words, age regression as a tool might serve, and I would argue can serve, a positive purpose. My caution is that age regression can also be fraught with issues. Age regression is not about accurately recalling, reliving, or experiencing a younger age. Whatever is reflected upon will rely heavily on gist memory to insert details that never occurred. In some cases it is better classified as age play than regression.

Again, this is not necessarily negative, but it is a caution. That is why I initially asked the purpose you have for wanting to explore age regression. More than likely, whatever you are hoping to accomplish with age regression can be equally if not better served by using an entirely different approach.
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#5

Postby jimmyh » Mon May 13, 2019 7:03 am

This is true. Remembering things in general is quite fallible (when done carelessly or without awareness of what one is actually doing), and hypnosis does not magically make it less so. If done carelessly or without awareness of what one is doing, hypnosis can easily make it *more* fallible, both by increasing vividness (higher amplification leads to an amplification of noise and more false positives) and through potentially a misguided implication that the new rememberings are just as reliable as normal.

There are ways to be more careful about it and remain calibrated about what one knows/doesn’t know, but in general “I was hypnotized to remember X” is not good proof that X actually happened. This can absolutely be important, especially in cases where false memories are used to convict people of crimes or whatever.

For therapeutic purposes, it doesn’t really matter whether the dog actually bit you when you were a kid or whether the dog merely barked at you and you misremembered it as biting you. The fear is there either way, and is tied to your beliefs about what has happened and what can be likely to happen. Either way, you have to deal with beliefs, and the whole process works unhindered by the knowledge “this is what my brain is saying may have happened, though it may not have gone down exactly (or at all) like this)”.
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#6

Postby Tazzie » Thu May 16, 2019 9:53 am

Thank you for both responses Jimmy.
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#7

Postby James_Lee » Fri May 17, 2019 1:29 am

Tazzie wrote:I was listening to a podcast that suggested practicing age regression - but to use happy experiences with family and friends. The idea sounded interesting. You get good practice, but dont need to get involved with loved ones issues. Thoughts on this please?


Is age regression healthy even?
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