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Research Report on the EARTh Special Interest Survey – Paula Fenn (Is.31)

by Paula Fenn

An EARTh Research Committee Report

AbstractThis Research Report provides an overview of intentions and findings associated with the EARTh Special Interest Survey. A survey launched in May 2017 by the EARTh Research Committee in order to determine problem areas specialized in by Regression Therapists, and other methods and techniques which they integrate within their practice of Regression Therapy. The survey had a global reach and responses were received from 105 therapists in 28 countries. The dominant countries represented were the USA and the Netherlands. Members from 27 Professional Bodies completed the survey. The dominant bodies represented were EARTh and the Spiritual Regression Therapy Association. 73% of the survey respondents were female, 27% were male. In answer to the survey question: “What problem areas are you specialized in working with?” a total of 868 answers were received across 52 categories, which is indicative of the wide range of problems which Regression Therapy can attend to. The highest reported problem areas were trauma and anxiety.

In answer to the survey question: “Do you combine any other techniques or therapies with Regression Therapy?” a total of 560 answers were received across 79 categories. Most of these categories were self-determined with survey respondents typing into the open section of “Other” their own unique techniques and therapies which they integrate with Regression Therapy. Whilst many of the 79 categories reported are encompassed foundationally as techniques pre-existent within the process and protocols of Regression Therapy, many of these categories are not, and it can be interpreted that these integrated alternative methods are unique to the particular style of practice honed and adopted by the person of the therapist. The top 5 highest reported techniques were: Energy Healing, Spirit Releasement, NLP, Dream Analysis
and Drawing/Art. The data was collected using Google Forms and a comprehensive Excel database was set up to assist with analysis of the data. Analysis was dominantly quantitative, but a brief analysis of the narrative based qualitative data was also undertaken which was dominantly indicative of the unique premises underlying practitioners’ usage of particular techniques integrated within their practice of Regression Therapy. The data collected was analysed as at February 2019 although the Special Interest Survey is ongoing and can be found here: EARTh Special Interest Survey.

Overview and Intentions of the Special Interest Survey

In May 2017 the EARTh Research Committee launched the Special Interest Survey. The underlying aims of the Survey were to collect self-reported data from Regression Therapists around the world and from a variety of schools of training about specific problem areas they specialized in and if they integrated any other techniques or forms of therapy within their practice of Regression Therapy. The intention was not to conflate the term “specialized in” with “specialist” in terms of the specific problem areas they attended to, but to gather data and make assessments about the particular problem areas which the survey respondents encountered within their practice as Regression Therapists. Also, the EARTh Research Committee believed it would be relevant to gain an understanding of other methods and techniques integrated by Regression Therapists as this would possibly indicate ways in which the field is becoming adaptive—ways in which practitioners were following their passions and how they were utilizing and integrating skillsets gained with their training as Regression Therapists.

This realm of ‘adaptation’ in no way neutralizes the stand-alone benefits for clients of engaging in Regression Therapy without assumed ‘add-ons’, nor does it embrace any notions of the well-developed and crafted practice and theory of Regression Therapy as a protocol having areas of inadequacy. In fact, given the vast range of problem areas reported as being attended to by survey respondents (868 answers over 52 categories of problems) Regression Therapy is evidenced as a form of practice which essentially can attend to problems across the breadth of the human condition. Also, although 94% of survey respondents conveyed that they do integrate other techniques within their practice of Regression Therapy many of these self-reported methods are actually foundational within the training, practice and body of knowledge of Regression Therapy and therefore cannot be isolated as “other than” or “separate from”. A good example which solidly affirms this point is that Energy Healing and Spirit Releasement were the top two reported techniques or forms of therapy integrated with Regression Therapy. Whilst other reported integrated techniques such as acupuncture, astrology, music, homeopathy, naturopathy and crystal healing can be interpreted as evidential of the practitioner integrating themselves and their own unique and eclectic backgrounds and trainings within the practice of Regression Therapy—as opposed to any determined necessity due to an absence of required ‘tools’ within Regression Therapy as a rich and ‘complete within itself’ protocol.

An additional intention underpinning the Special Interest Survey was to create a database which can be used to make it easier for therapists to interact with other therapists that are exploring the same areas, specialties and passions within Regression Therapy – no matter where in the world they are.  This work is still ongoing in terms of how to provide information to those who completed the survey about colleagues within the same country, therapists who share the same interests around alternative methods, practitioners who identify with working in particular problem areas, and so on. To date, two Special Interest Groups have been set up within which colleagues with particular special interests can share ideas, theories, problems encountered and possible solutions to those problems. Further forums of learning and exchange around special topics of interest or alternative methods of practice may be set up in due course.

Further areas of exchange of information have occurred in terms of practitioners writing articles about their special interests which have been published in various issues of the EARTh Newsletter. These articles are very informative and have provided personal practitioner insight into the particular methods they recruit into their work as Regression Therapists. The aim is for this process of practitioner reflection to continue and for further articles to be published and be made available on the EARTh website. Some of these articles can be found here:

https://www.earth-association.org/category/special-interests/

 

Research Methods

A survey was created using Google Forms. The survey and preamble around the intentions was distributed via the EARTh Newsletter and EARTh emails to members and also via a number of Facebook Groups including: EARTh Regression Therapy, EARTh Intervision Forum, The Michael Newton Institute for Life Between Lives Hypnotherapy, The Past Life Regression Academy and The Spiritual Regression Therapy Association. Practitioners within their various organizations also passed on the survey to colleagues via email.

The survey included eight questions and the two dominant questions which underpinned the survey (Q.3 and Q.5) required either checking boxes or self-reporting by typing into ‘other’.

Question 1:          “What is your name?”

Question 2:          “Which Professional Organization are you associated with?”

Question 3:          “What problem areas are you specialized in working with?”

Question 4:          “Do you combine Regression Therapy with any other techniques or forms of therapy?   For example, drawing, Gestalt, Voice Dialogue, NLP, EFT, crystals, astrology etc.?”

Question 5:          “If you answered yes to Q.4. What other techniques or forms of therapy do you combine with Regression Therapy? Check all that apply and add in ‘other’ if your particular technique or form of therapy is not listed”

Question 6:          “Can you share a little bit about how you combine Regression Therapy with these particular techniques and forms of therapy?”

Question 7:          “Are you willing to have your contact information included in a database so colleagues can contact you to exchange knowledge (and vice versa)? If so, please provide your email and other contact details below”

Question 8:          “Where are you located?”

 

The initial survey data was collected within Google Forms and was then transposed into an Excel Database for ease of analysis with drop-down menus built in for all answers and individual spreadsheets for Q.3 and Q.5 data. Narrative data associated with Q.6 was cut and pasted into a Word Document before it was analyzed for content. Findings from the quantitative analysis are evidenced below, as is a brief section of qualitative analysis of Q.6 data.

 

Survey Results: Responses to the Special Interest Survey (SIS)

The EARTh Research Committee received 105 responses to the Special Interest Survey. Of these responses 77 (73%) were from females and 28 (27%) were from males.
Fig.1 – Sex of SIS Respondents


Professional Organizations Represented in the SIS Response

27 Professional Organizations were represented in the SIS responses. The dominant body represented was EARTh with 60 responses, representing 43.8%. Secondary to this was the Spiritual Regression Therapy Association (SRTA) with 28 responses, being 20.4%. The following organizations were also represented: The Newton Institute (TNI) at 6 responses being 4.4%, the International Board for Regression Therapy (IBRT) at 4 responses being 2.9%, the National Guild of Hypnotherapists (NGH) at 4 responses being 2.9%, Nederlandse Vereniging van Reincarnatie Therapeuten (NVRT) at 2 responses being 1.5% and the Past Life Regression Academy (PLRA) at 2 responses being 1.5%. The answer “none” was given by 12 respondees, being 8.8%. You will see in the pie chart below that 13.9% represents ‘other’ and this refers to the 19 other organizations who were represented with a score of 1 response, being 0.7% on each single occasion. These latter responses related to organizations such as the Irish Association of Regression therapists (IART), the general Hypnotherapy Register (GHR) and the European Transpersonal Association (EUROTAS).

Fig.2 – Professional Organizations of Survey Respondents

Fig.3 – Breakdown of Organizations Represented by Survey Respondents

 

Countries Represented in the SIS Responses

28 Countries were represented in the SIS responses. The dominant country represented was the USA with 22 responses, representing 21%. Secondary to this was the Netherlands with 17 responses, representing 16%. The 3rd, 4th and 5th most dominant responses were received by survey participants in the UK (12, 11%), Turkey (11, 10%) and India (5, 5%). As you will note from the chart below [on the right], responses were received Globally from countries including Australia, Italy, New Zealand and Israel.

Fig.4 – Survey Respondents by Country


Analysis of the survey question:

“What problem areas are you specialized working with?”

In answer to the survey question: “What problem areas are you specialized in working with?” a total of 868 answers were received across 52 categories. Most of these categories were self-determined with survey respondents typing into the open section of “Other” their own unique areas of self-reported expertise and specialization.

The chart below [on the left] indicates the areas of specialization reported by survey respondents and is ordered by highest reported. The top 10 highest reported areas of specialization were: Trauma, Anxiety, Spirit Attachments, Depression, Grief and Loss, Physical Pain, Abuse, Sleeping Problems, Nightmares and Fatigue. Whilst some of the lesser reported and interesting to note areas of self-determined special interest included working with: Psychosomatic Conditions, Cancer, Auditory Hallucinations, Gender Issues, Psychic Attack, Soul Retrieval, Weight Problems and Divorce.
Fig.5 – Problem Areas Specialized In – Ordered by Highest Reported


Analysis of the Survey Question:

“Do you combine any other techniques or forms of therapy with regression therapy?”

In answer to the survey question: “Do you combine any other techniques or therapies with Regression Therapy?” 99 survey respondents said YES (94%), and 6 said NO (6%).

In answer to the survey question: “Do you combine any other techniques or therapies with Regression Therapy?” a total of 560 answers were received across 79 categories. Most of these categories were self-determined with survey respondents typing into the open section of “Other” their own unique techniques and therapies which they integrate with Regression Therapy.

Fig.6 – Do you combine other techniques/therapies with regression therapy?

Below  you will see two charts. The first chart indicates the techniques reported as being integrated with Regression Therapy and is ordered by highest reported. The second chart indicates the techniques reported as being integrated with Regression Therapy and is ordered alphabetically. The top 10 highest reported techniques were: Energy Healing, Spirit Releasement, NLP, Dream Analysis, Drawing/Art, Clairaudience/Clairsentience/Clairvoyance, Classical Psychotherapy, Family Constellations, Gestalt and Shamanism. With some of the lesser reported and interesting to note techniques being: Acupuncture, Herbalism, Mindfulness, Music, Osteopathy, Prayer, Sculpturing and Soul Surgery.

Fig.6 – Techniques Integrated with Regression Therapy – Ordered by Highest Reported
Fig.8 – Techniques Combined with Regression Therapy – Ordered Alphabetically

 

Special Interest Groups

As a consequence of 80% of all Survey Respondents indicating that they specialize in working with Trauma, a Special Interest Group was set up on Facebook. This group currently has 88 members and can be located via the following link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/904189563089994/

The purpose of the Trauma Special Interest Group is to provide a global discussion and educative forum for practitioners who work with trauma, and encouragement for collaborative learning and the sharing of hands on practice combined with theoretical knowledge. Within this group, members are invited to share and seek knowledge, discuss the inherent complexities of understanding and working with traumatic human experiencing and generate avenues of mutual collaboration regarding the trauma field.

Additionally, due to 70% of all Survey Respondent indicating that they specialize in working with Spirit Release it seemed appropriate to create a supportive environment within which practitioners could share aspects of theory and practice within this field. Due to collaboration with Dr. Terence Palmer, who is a well-known practitioner and advocate within the field of Spirit Release and author of The Science of Spirit Possession, SIS Survey Respondents were invited to join the Spirit Release Therapy Practitioners Group. This special interest group is co-facilitated by Dr. Palmer and the Chair of the EARTh Research Committee. The SRT Practitioners Group currently has 145 members and can be located via the following link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/224739367538037/

In the future various other Special Interest Groups may be formed in order that those practitioners who embrace the same areas of special interests and/or who integrate particular techniques or methods with Regression Therapy can share information and enjoy the benefits of mutual collaboration around unique themes.

 

Analysis of the Survey Question:
“Can you share a little bit about how you combine regression therapy with  these particular techniques or forms of therapy?”

Almost all survey participants (100 out of 105) offered comments in response to the question: “Can you share a little bit about how you combine Regression Therapy with these particular techniques and forms of therapy?” An overview thematic analysis of these answers indicates uniqueness and difference.  However, a brief review of the content of the answers is relevant in terms of assessing—why other forms of therapy are combined from the perspective of the specific therapist involved? Which can also be interpreted as, not a perceived lack in the ‘toolkit’ of Regression Therapy, but more about the therapists recruiting in training, skills and knowledge from other forms of practice or schools of thought which they have embraced prior as practitioners and integrating these within Regression Therapy to forge their own unique style of practice.

As examples, how can we disentangle the Classical Psychotherapist, the Gestalt Therapist, the Family Constellations Therapist, and so on, from the practitioner of the Regression Therapist? Many practitioners have already honed a skillset as an Astrologer, a Jungian Analyst, a Medium, a Musician or an Artist before they discover and train as Regression Therapists. These aspects will naturally fuse with their practice of Regression Therapy. Just as the person of the therapist has evolved, their style of practice will be an interconnected and fluid mix of Self and methods. Below are a vast range of individualized examples which attend to the above points:

I have a background with training in many modalities. I ask the client which approach she would like to explore after the interview.

I have trained in a variety of fields, which allows me to adjust how I combine methods depending on the client.

Other forms of therapy are utilized as and when required depending upon the client and as directed by spirit as being most appropriate for them.

The techniques are integrated into the overall session which is mostly transpersonal regression therapy augmented with whatever seems appropriate at the moment.

Past Life Exploration (Regression) is one of several tools to use to help a client heal. Each client and each client’s session are unique, requiring different tools.

The use of the various modalities happens organically.

Sometimes, I use classical psychotherapy after regression therapy to help them to understand; this life a part of big picture, long journey and we need all those experiences.

I have been working with the above-mentioned modalities and it all comes together very well. Depending of course on the client’s mindset and inclination and basically whichever way the session swings towards I flow, and the beauty is the healing!!!

With analytical mind people NLP, Recall Healing, Family Constellations work well. The other methods I use generally in or with regression therapy.

EFT: to calm a client, or to bring the underlying emotion to the surface. Family Constellation: When there is unfinished business or strong emotion towards family member.

If the client is mindful all of the time and cannot be on the right side of the brain, I use coaching techniques as well as kinesiology techniques. Sometimes client can see visions during Reiki sessions, I use that information as well.

I have healing sound forks and use them to anchor positive outcomes…psychodrama is incorporated in body therapy and getting help from the spirit realm in form of animals…Therapeutic Touch when colors and affirmations are used…and the rest prior or after sessions.

I’ve created a method of questioning that allows me to map a client’s negative belief pattern. I’ve discovered, like in nature, beliefs are patterned. They create patterns of thoughts and emotions which influence a client’s reality.

I use crystal singing bowls at the end of a session to add extra healing using the sound. For physical and emotional healing, psychodrama is useful for releasing body memories. When there is energy interference, I employ spirit releasement techniques and Reiki for clearing/ balancing. Occasionally, if a client is unable to access their memories, I can open their Akashic Records for help.

I have the client go to the origin of the current issue then intuitively act as a tour guide using music, color, Reiki etc. as it seems necessary. I often combine with journey work and aromatherapy.

Reiki symbols help with enhancing and supporting any stage of the therapy healing. It would take a workshop to explain. The shamanic healing I use spirit animals but also rocks (not necessarily crystals, rather local earthly stuff) or plants just by intuition. I use tarot separately – not as a part of RT.

I like to work in a creative way, so I combine all kinds of methods and try to find something that works best for the client. Some examples: ‘inviting’ a body part to sit on a chair – asking the client to sit there and become the body part (that they are having problems with) – you then see the posture change, the feeling changes and when you start asking questions, it always turns out to be an inner child, a past life or sometimes an attachment. Another example is: someone got dissociated during a session and couldn’t feel or see anything anymore, so I got her to sit and draw her feelings, just scratching at first, but while scratching she drew an angry man (her father) and I asked where she was in the picture, so the story came out like this and we did a session with inner child work like that.

Sometimes clients may present with energy blockages or density and if so, I will use spirit release techniques, vortexing methods, energy methods and often mediumship to engage with spirit attachments and release them. The sessions often begin with classical psychotherapy to build rapport and safety with the client. Sometimes I will channel information through from other realms and spirit guides to facilitate awareness in the client. I often use tarot to engage the client’s right brain and it is also very useful to use tarot with analytical clients as it shifts their brain out of logic and reason and into creativity and abstraction. Gestalt is used in the transformation stages of regression therapy. Crystals can be used throughout the work to clear trapped energies and bring in positive cleansing and enriching energies into the client’s energy system. I am very experienced in dream analysis due to my psychoanalytical background – dreams are “the royal road to the unconscious” and provide information about what information is being repressed.

I am working with my own method:  “Awakening Transpersonal Psychotherapy”. Many times, I have to deal with psychic attacks and spirit attachments connected with the past. Also, I resort to hypnosis many times and NLP is useful to increase the power of new formulas for life. EMDR also can be at the origin of regression or help dealing with trauma both as an alternative or part of regression.

Before doing Regression Therapy, I recommend a session of Aura Healing for my client. I find it helps my sessions flow.  I am a medium so find this very helpful as can tune in with my client as they are describing any events using Clairsentience & Clairvoyance. I also have had on some occasions the clients loved ones who have passed over, communicating during Inner Child healing and current life.

I use mainly Gestalt Therapy to create the relationship and during the interview and then for a follow-up session. Some other times I combine Psychotherapy and Regression Therapy alternatively meaning that I do a regression session let’s say one per 1-2 months and between these sessions I have Gestalt meetings with the client in order to integrate what we worked and also manage present life problems. Gestalt therapy also contains techniques for working with dreams. Other times I start with a few Gestalt meetings to prepare the client for the regression sessions.

Drawing, Art and writing as bridge to regression. Dream analysis, back press, kinesiology, tarot and Numerology as counselling and bridge tools.  Healing or therapy tools like psychodrama, Shamanism, Theta Healing, energy healing. Spiritual emergency with Theta, energy healing, Clairaudience, Clairsentience, Clairvoyance. Spirit Releasement with Vortex technique, energy healing, Sound healing, Reiki. Trauma tapping technique or TTT to release emotional traumas like we use ATR. Family Constellation for ancestral healing. I may use any of these techniques depending on client.

I use psychological astrology when conducting the intake interview, to gain insight into the client’s psychodynamic makeup, identify problem areas and possible causes and clarify these. Throughout the therapy process the birth chart is used whenever it can be, to clarify for the client their personal psychological make-up and origins of problems. I use dream work when clients spontaneously come up with dreams, especially nightmares. I use my own blend of inner child work, regression, energy work and breathing within the session as needed. I have a background in psychology (clinical psychology) and use psychotherapeutic techniques and insight in psychodynamics throughout the intake and sessions to help clients understand their own defense mechanisms, survival strategies etc.

I utilize grounding, chakra learning and balancing, aura clearing, cord cutting, connecting with higher self-and/or spirit guides, angels, clearing attachments, curses and dark energies along with Regression Therapy so adult clients can be free of past traumas and feel balanced in their own energies. Depending on the client I use soul retrieval to bring back the ‘lost’ parts especially with trauma.  I use voice dialogue to have them speak to the parts of them that need to speak and release old pain, etc.  I use my crystals in the healing process and encourage clients to use their own. I channel my own guides and teachers to help me in the process. I utilize EFT with clients who have anxiety about doing a Regression session and to ease various issues such as anxiety and habitual behaviors. I use Gestalt Therapy with children and adolescents to enable them to work through issues by being the representation of the role in a story.  I combine Regression Therapy and Gestalt with my Storytelling technique that I have developed. 

 

Concluding Reflections on the Research Material and the Research Protocol

As the initial answers to the Special Interest Survey were received by the Research Committee, we immediately became aware of the vast range of presenting problems which the Regression therapists were indicating that they ‘specialized in’. This led us to consider if we should have framed Question 3 more explicitly with comments within the question indicating “Not just problems you attend to, but problems which are a primary focus for you as a practitioner”. What has positively resulted as a consequence of this is that we have collected rich data, 868 answers, across 52 categories, from 105 Regression Therapists, which evidences the massive range of problems which are attended to using the practice of Regression Therapy in 28 countries and within 27 Professional Organizations.

Although no empirical analysis has been done, in comparison with other traditional forms of therapy, it may indicate that Regression Therapy is a form of therapy which can attend to a wider range of presenting problems than its traditional counterparts. From standard therapeutic problems including Grief and Loss, Depression, Relationship Difficulties, Personality Disorders and Panic attacks to Spirit Release, Psychic Attack, Soul Retrieval, Spiritual Crisis and Soul Family Reunion. This determination in itself makes the Special Interest Survey of value to the field of Regression Therapy.

Some complaints were received from practitioners which conveyed their concerns about identifying colleagues as ‘specialists’ on the basis of their self-reported ‘specialisms’. The two aspects were being conflated in error but in hindsight the Research Committee could have offered more clarity around this in the narrative preamble of the survey to alleviate any of these concerns.

Further complaints were received about the possibility of ‘watering down’ the essence of Regression Therapy as a stand-alone protocol by undertaking an assessment of other techniques and methods recruited into the practice of Regression Therapy. This was never an intention. Given the data which was received to address the question about how alternative techniques are integrated it is evidential that none of the survey responses were indicative of any perceived ‘lack’ in the foundational methods of Regression Therapy but were more aligned with the person of the therapist and their desire to be adaptive in their own unique style and practice of Regression Therapy.

When the Special Interest Survey was initially launched it did not include a request for information about the location of the therapist. This was added after an approximate one third of the responses had been received. It led to many hours of work searching on the Internet to find the relevant locations and enter this data into the Excel database. Obviously, it would have been more beneficial to include this field when the survey was launched.

The EARTh Research Committee would like to thank everyone who participated in this survey and offered their time and efforts.

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