Present-life regression can be every bit as powerful and as healing as regression to a past life. If there is any secret to present-life regression, that secret lies mainly in simplicity rather than in any complicated techniques.
One key to this simplicity is a careful explanation made to the subject before the session begins. Such advance preparation greatly facilitates recovery of material. Particularly important is the subject’s understanding of the various methods that individuals employ to process memory. In order to determine which method a subject will feel most comfortable using, the subject may be given an opportunity first to process a happy present-life memory. Whether this memory is an event that occurred five minutes before or five years earlier is unimportant. (If a pleasant memory cannot be found, a sad memory may be substituted). The way this memory is processed by the individual indicates the way that additional memories will be processed while the subject is in hypnosis. Seventy percent of people process visually, but many others are predominately audio processors—they hear information or people speaking through an inner ear. A smaller number are kinesthetic, meaning that they process information and experiences through feelings and emotions, and they often feel themselves in motion. On rare occasions a person processes through the olfactory senses—that is, with the sense of smell (such as of the ocean, a forest, a barnyard, etc.).
It is important for both therapist and client to realize that each person processes memory in his own unique way, a way that need not be compared with the processing approach of someone else. The subject must learn how he processes his own memories, and accept his own method as appropriate for him. There are always subjects whose visualizations are brighter or whose audio is heard in “Dolby Sound.” Actually, most people visualize in varying degrees, ranging from full color to black and white, or simply through vague impressions. Also, we all hear information, though such audio impressions may be crystal clear or quite faint. And though we all feel to some extent, some people experience intense emotions while others tend to be detached from them.
Once a therapist understands the primary mode in which a subject processes material, it becomes easy to work in this primary mode. Those who “see” clearly can be asked to describe scenes. Those who “hear” acutely can be asked to relate what people are saying. Those who “feel” strongly respond to questions that ask what is happening.
To facilitate deep level hypnosis, the subject should be assured that he is in complete control, that it is he who will do the actual work, with the therapist acting only as a guide. The induction may begin with such reassurance and then proceed to a pleasant memory of a specific age or, if it seems more helpful, to such a memory without naming a specific age.
Therapist: From your current level of consciousness you may move to any other level with complete awareness, and you will function at will. You are in complete control at every level of your mind.
In a moment we will begin a series of exercises into memory and into perception. Now, as you are ready you can begin going back in time to about 16 years of age. Choose a pleasant, happy memory if possible, any memory you wish to tell about, of about the time when you were 16 years old. It is easy for you to speak, as your mouth is becoming pleasantly moist. What is happening? What do you see or feel?
Then I wait for the subject to speak, and I thank him for whatever he says. The subject reveals additional ways in which he functions under hypnosis as soon as he begins speaking. His words tell me whether he is detached from his recall, or if he is reliving the episodes. It is wiser for some people to view the memory in a detached manner, especially if that memory is traumatic. Although reliving may sound more effective, experiencing such intensity of feeling is not always wise, especially in early sessions. Reliving of a memory tends to burden the subject with an experience that is more vivid and filled with the emotions of the actual incidents: the original events are re-experienced instead of being observed from the present. In contrast, detached recall is like looking through a photo album of the subconscious mind and describing and discussing each picture. Such detached recall provides a good bridge into the more emotional reliving.
The regression therapist can subtly guide a subject in either direction—either looking back or reliving the memory. Suggestions to encourage looking back are:
“What do you remember about…?”
“What do you recall about that time?”
“Was there anyone else there with you?”
Questions to encourage the reliving mode include:
“What’s happening now?”
“What are you doing now?”
“Who is with you?”
Variations in methods of questioning provide subtle but effective methods for facilitating a maximally optimal experience. Direct questions, such as requesting a specific name or characteristic or action, often are helpful in initiating a regression. Later, more open-ended questions, such as a request for general information (“Tell me about your doll.”) will draw out more information and insight. The subject can be advised that the more he tells, the clearer and more vivid the scene will become. A few well-chosen open-ended questions often extract a wealth of material. Sometimes the hardest decision for the therapist is when to be quiet and allow the subjects information to flow.
Although most regressions take the form of a dialogue between subject and therapist, about 15% are a virtual monologue by the subject. These monologues seem to be the most healing because during them, the person can focus on the information most vital to his own well-being. Carl Jung said that everyone has a “secret memory,” and that each individual realizes what this is better than anyone else can. The task of the therapist is to allow and encourage that memory to come forward within a safe environment without judgments.
Regression to a Hospital Experience with Polio
This present-life regression demonstrates the powerful therapeutic potential of material recovered by the subject with only initial guidance by the therapist. The session was requested by the subject to enable her to explore the experience of being hospitalized at the age of two for polio. The subject’s name was Penny, and she and a friend on the staff of the same Group Home had been coming for six months for regression work. These sessions had gone well, but Penny wanted to deepen her understanding of the early polio trauma through a current-life regression.
Penny almost immediately entered the reliving mode and poured out a wealth of information. Only one open-ended question triggered a flood of hurt, rage, betrayal, anger, and love. In the process of recovering these memories, Penny released many tears.
Therapist: You may begin now, choosing a pleasant happy memory, if possible, about the time you were 17 years old.
Penny: I’m on a triple date with David and Kay and Shirley and Mike and Jim. It’s my first date with Jim. We’ve gone out on this property. David has a big red van that was given to him. We’re going to cook out and drink beer and have fun. It’s my first date with Jim and I’m so excited. He’s 21. Somehow I feel like there’s some element of danger, some testing of the water. It looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. He’s so cute. He races cars and I want to race cars with him. I want to get to know him. I want him to like me. It’s a really good experience.
Therapist: Now release this memory and continue back, going back now to about the time you were five…and now four…and now three…and now two…And as you are ready, explore this time and the experience you had when you were hospitalized with what was termed polio…Begin describing this event and all that is happening around you and to you.
Penny: I’m very sick, a high fever. My head hurts so badly. It hurts so bad I can’t see. There’s something terribly, terribly wrong. Where am I going? Where am I going? Nobody will tell me. What’s the matter? Where am I going? This must be a hospital. White dresses and white coats, white pants…It smells like nothing I’ve ever smelled before. It’s hard and cold and it stinks.
Then a bunch of white clothes come in—must be six of them, men and women, and they all stand around my bed between me and the door, and they’re talking to Mama and Daddy. And I realize Mama and Daddy are leaving and they hug me and kiss me and say they’re leaving. Please don’t leave me, please don’t leave me! I’ll be good. I don’t know what I did that was wrong. I won’t do it again. Just tell me what I did and I’ll never do it again. Please don’t leave me here by myself. Please don’t leave me here with these people. How can they leave me? I can see they’re leaving. They’re walking out the door at the far end of the room.
What I think is that I’ll leap at them and if I leap at them and take them by surprise, then I’ll be able to run under the beds and run and catch Mama, so I can go home. I don’t want to be here in this frightening place. So I jump at them and scream, thinking that might surprise them, too, and they catch me in mid-air. I know all is lost. I fight them, I bite and claw and scream, and they get angry and take these strips of cloth like square patches of apron with two ties on either side. They put one across my chest, one across my stomach, and one across my legs, and they tie me down.
What have I done? What have I done? I didn’t mean to do anything to cause this. I can’t move. How can anybody leave me like this?
I’ve been asleep. I wake up and it’s dark. My room’s dark and I don’t know where I am. I realize I’m still tied down. What’s happening to me? Am I dying? What’s wrong with these children here? Do we all come here to die? I don’t want to die. It’s not time for me to die.
There’s a man. He’s tall, he’s strong. He touches my shoulder and he says, “No you’re not going to die.” Suddenly I’m gathered up in his arms and he takes me over to the rocking chair and he holds me so close, so tight. He wraps me in something so the only thing exposed is my face, and he holds my face so close to his chest that I hear a hum, and we rock and he hums. And it’s okay, it’s okay. I’m okay. I’m not scared anymore. He wipes the tears from my eyes and he plays with my hair. He puts his hand over my face and I feel like I’m hidden—hidden from all that could hurt me. Hidden from all that’s mean. Safe, safe at last. There’s just a hum. He never says anything, just hums, and I go back to sleep.
When I wake up the next morning I don’t know where I am again, until I feel the restraints, and think, “He tied me back up. He put me back in bed and tied me back up so that no one would know. That’s why he did it. It’s our secret—his visit. They wouldn’t have wanted him to get me out of bed. I wonder if he’ll come back.”
I go through the day. They put me on one of those rolling beds and take me into this cold, steel room. I see Mama on the way. She’s back and I’m so glad. I know she’ll come back again. She hasn’t left forever. I feel like I’m gaining strength from all this. I don’t feel so frightened and abandoned. They take me into this cold room and they undress me and lay me on my side. Several people come and grab my arms and legs, and I’m beginning to get scared. It’s beginning to feel like something’s going to happen. They hold me tightly and that scares me even more. They put my arms and legs together.
There’s a driving pain in my back and I scream. They hurt me. I hate this! I hate these people! I hate all of this. It’s not all right. They’re telling me it’s all right, and it’s not all right. How can they be telling me that it’s all right? (This was a spinal tap).
They roll me out and Mama’s there. Oh, go away from me! Go away from me! You let them do this to me. Just go away from me. You’re supposed to take care of me. Where were you? You didn’t stop them. You and Daddy left me and you let them do this to me. You’re not my mother. I hate you! I hate you, too, Daddy! I hate you both. I never want to see you again. I hate everybody. I want to die.
There’s nobody for me. Nobody to look after me. Nobody to take care of me. All they do is hurt me and tie me down. They don’t care. Nobody cares. Go away, Mama! Go away, Daddy! Just go away. Just leave me alone. Just go away…
I’m back in my bed, and I’ve been sleeping. They wake me up and bring some food. I push the tray onto the floor. They get mad at me and tie my hands to the bed. I hate this. Every bit of me hates this. They’ve got my hands tied so tight they’re cold. I want to die. I’d rather die than live like this…
It’s dark. I wake up and look around. I hear the soft sound of children sleeping and crying. I feel so sorry for them. This place is filled with mean people, cold people.
He’s there. He’s there! I’m so glad you’re back…He unties my hands and gathers me up in his arms. You’re the only person who cares. He wraps me up and hides me again. He hides me in his warmth and I’m secure. He says, “It’s okay. You’re going to be okay. You won’t die. You have too much to do.” And he rocks. I don’t want to do anything. I just want to die. I don’t have a mother and I don’t have a father. I’m all alone. Then he says, “I’m always with you.”
I’m confused. I don’t know who he is. How can he always be with me? I don’t know you. Who are you?
He holds me close and tight. “I love you so much” he says. I feel this incredible warmth. “You are my child,” he says. “You are my child first and foremost.”
I don’t understand what he’s saying. He says if I ever need him I just need to ask. Who do I ask for? Who are you? How will I know you?
“You’ll know me by my Love.” He holds me tight and I feel that peace, that utter sense of all-rightness. Everything’s okay. Nothing can harm me.
You’ll just leave me. Everybody else has left me.
“I can’t leave you,” he says. “I can never leave you. You are my child first and foremost.”
I still don’t understand. He holds me and he hums a tone and it vibrates inside. My ear is on his chest and my whole being vibrates with his hum. I feel so much peace and I’m thankful for this. He squeezes me and says, “Remember my love. It’s always with you…
I wake up and the sun’s coming through the window. My hands are not tied. I’m tied, but my hands are not tied. I think “Oh, no! They’ll know he’s been taking me out of bed if they find my bands untied.” I start struggling to tie them back but I can’t do it.
A nurse comes in and says, “How did you untie your hands?”
“I don’t know.”
Stupid nurse! Stupid everybody! Everybody here is so stupid. I hate these people. I hate this situation…Then I remember him, and that sense of peace comes over me again. I realize that these people can’t hurt me. Nothing can hurt me anymore…
It’s dark again and I lie awake, and I’m waiting for him to come. I wait and I wait. I begin to get worried that he’s not coming, that he’ll leave me, too, just like everybody else. There’s nobody there for you. You’re on your own. But I need him. I need somebody. I don’t like being alone. I’m so frightened. I’m just so alone and empty. There’s no love. I don’t like being filled with hate. I don’t want to be angry. I’m so alone when I’m angry.
He’s here. I’m so glad you came. I was worried you weren’t coming. Hold me! Hold me!…He holds me and he rocks and he hums and I feel the fear leave. And I feel filled up and relaxed and peaceful and happy.
He asks me why I sent my parents away today. How did you know? How did he know that? He laughs. He says, “I’m always with you. You don’t believe that if you don’t understand why I know what happens.”
I don’t understand this man. He hugs me and laughs and says, “It’s okay. You don’t have to understand. But you need to love your mother and father. You’re hurting them. They put you here because you were sick, They didn’t put you here to hurt you. Don’t hate them. You’re not treating them right. They need your love just like you need their Love. Don’t hurt them.”
“They don’t need my love.”
“Of course they need your love. They wouldn’t have had you if they didn’t need your love.”
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I don’t want to hurt Mommy and Daddy.”
It’s hard not to hurt others when you are being hurt But understand that they are not trying to hurt you. They’re trying to help you. You almost died. Don’t hate them for trying to help you.”
“They hurt me so bad. They tied me down.”
“What did you expect them to do when you leaped out of bed?” I hear anger in his voice—not anger, but it’s not comforting. It’s a sternness. I understand. I see what I need to do. And I understand what is happening. I snuggle close to him and he hums and he knows that I know what I need to do. And he’s pleased. Just before I go off to sleep he says again that he’s always with me, always with me.
I wake up the next morning saying, “He’s always with me. He’s always with me.” And there’s a peace and there’s a joy and I know I’m going to be all right. Everything’s going to be all right.
The nurse comes in to untie my hands. She says, “How did you untie your hands. Even night you untie your hands.”
I smile at her. “I don’t know. It’s okay. I won’t run away.”
The client took a deep breath and released a sigh of relief. I encouraged her to rest for a moment or two. During the session I had taken notes on a clipboard. Such notes often prove to be valuable, for I use the client’s words to focus and create healing suggestions. There is no set rule for words to use, which is what makes each therapist unique. It is vitally important to give the client the most helpful and healing suggestions possible. Merely reliving the terrible hurt and pain does little therapeutically. It is necessary for help, healing, and betterment to occur in a tangible and impactful manner.
Therapist: Thank you very much. Now please rest. Please rest for a moment. And feel the man who holds you close, feel him holding you now. And once again feel him saving, “You are my child first and foremost.” And your whole being vibrates once again with his hum. Once again you say deep inside you, “I am so thankful for him.”
And you remember him because he says, “I am always with you. Remember my love.”
Your entire being now vibrates with this love, with his hum, and he sings to you. I will be quiet so that you may once again feel and experience and live this healing, holding closeness, where you are so thankful for being loved. In turn you learn to love, to open and love even those who hurt you. Allow this healing now. Allow the vibration of your whole being to resonate with his hum and to hear his words of love and comfort. I will be quiet…
“You are my child, first and foremost.” And as you accepted physical healing at that time, now you may accept the spiritual, mental, and emotional healing at this time because all healing is one. You accepted healing then and you accept the greater, fuller, more whole healing now. For truly, “You are my child first and foremost.” And truly he is always with you. You remember his love, you accept his love, and you are thankful for his love.
At this time, you may look into the eyes of your parents and send them your blessing, your forgiveness for having brought you to this place. For it is true that they brought you here for healing. They brought you here for help. Bless them, forgive them, love them. And you may nod your head when you’ve accomplished this. As you bless them and forgive them, they begin to fade…
Now look into the eyes of all the people dressed in white. Those people you thought were trying to hurt you and who did hurt you—their motivation was to heal and to help, although their hands were clumsy and their words were harsh. They were there to help. Send them your love, send them your forgiveness, and send them your blessing. As you do, there is wholeness and completion and a releasing. Now take your time and send your blessing to each and every one of the people in white. And when you have accomplished this, nod your head.
And now, finally, if there is anyone else in this time place whom you have not mentioned in words, anyone else that it is important and good for you to forgive and bless and love—send them now, each and every one, your total and complete forgiveness, blessing and joy. Let it radiate out now to these people.
A little spark of healing begins. There’s a little green dot of healing light that begins to grow and glow, and the light becomes brighter and stronger, and the green of healing becomes more and more vibrant. It is as if the healing light were vibrating and pulsating as you vibrated to the hum of the man.
Now your entire being vibrates to the green light. And there is sound and comfort and a healing fills your entire being, physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. And you realize in fullness that he is with you always, and you remember his love. You feel thankful to have experienced this love.
For now you continue the work as others have before you, and now you and others after you. You are a vital link in a beautiful chain of love that links all people to all other people. And as much as has been given to you, you may now give to others, and so it is.
Where once you were stuck, now you are free. Where once you asked for help, now you give help. Where once there was death, now there is life. Where once there was hate, now there is joy. Where once there was anger, now there is peace. And allow the peace and the healing and the joy to continue to build and build.
Allow the healing to be complete. Allow it to build and grow each day. Your friend may come to you again and you will recognize him in many times and in many places, in many forms and shapes. And he says to you in parting. “You are my child first and foremost.” You bow your head before this great being and you realize that now it is your work, your opportunity to continue in the direction that has been set before you. “Remember me. I am always with you. Remember my love.” And release him now. Bless him and release him for now.
You will allow the healing to build and build, more and more with each day. The healing light radiates and vibrates, your being and the being of all those with whom you come in contact. You have entered a new phase of your spiritual evolution. You have entered a new cycle of love.
Now slowly, very slowly, you may return to what we call the present, bringing with you all the joy, all the happiness, and all the understanding, and all the blessing of having understood and learned and grown. Bring back with you the healing light and the beautiful words and the vibration of being held close. Bring back the sound of the humming with its healing. I will count from one to ten and at the count of ten you can open your eyes, be wide awake, clear headed, feeling fine. I will count now. One—coming back very slowly. Two—coming out very slowly now. Three—coming up. Four—feel the life energies returning throughout your being. Five—feel total normalization and perfect equilibrium. Six—reenergized. Seven—coming up to your full potential. Eight—fully reoriented into the present. Nine—revitalized. And ten. Open your eyes, wide awake.
Insight Following the Regression
Immediately after the regression Penny commented, “I didn’t realize how angry I was. I didn’t realize that I rejected my parents, either. I had completely blocked my anger, and that may be why I have had such a difficult time expressing anger appropriately. I showed it then and I’ve never been able to have any free expression since. I was so angry I wanted to die. I guess I associate anger with wanting to die, or that kind of abyss of experience.”
Later Penny shared with me what she had written in her personal journal the following day:
I realize that the man was not real but rather a being there to help me survive and adjust to the trauma. I realized for the first time how angry I was when I was hospitalized, how I hated it, everyone in it, and especially my parents for putting me there. The “Being,” Guide, God, or whatever, was there to help me feel loved and secure while he helped me gain the understanding I needed in order to forgive the situation, adjust to it, and heal. I felt a tremendous sense of release after the session. I treasure the healing meditation that Henry did at the end. I’ve listened to it several times since yesterday, and it brings me close to healing and to the home within. I want to draw closer to the one who is always with me. I want to know him better. I want to hear his hum, feel his love and joy, and be whatever he would have me be, for whatever purposes he has. Living in his love would be all that I could possibly need in this life.
Several months later Penny again shared with me parts of her journal in which she had further processed this early life experience. The healing was continuing.
I suffered rejection and isolation in my childhood because of my handicap. However, I was never allowed to depend on others for my happiness, which I think deepened and strengthened me inwardly. I believe that now in adulthood I have a gift of acceptance of handicapped people that facilitates my work with the mentally retarded. The healing experienced through this present-life regression has given me new understanding of who I am now and how my talents or wisdoms may be used for the benefit of others.
I realize that I have remained secure emotionally because of my experience with the Being. A profound feeling of love and warmth guided me and blessed me over and over again, regardless of my consciousness of it. As I consciously claim it, I find it steadfast. There is no physical form, but I recognize the feeling of its presence within. I “know him by his love.” He is always with me.