The Art of Hypnotic Regression: A Clinical Guide by Roy Hunter and Bruce Elmer underlines the vital need for the practitioner to utilise regression techniques as the key to resolving the client's underlying stress and trauma as opposed to merely focusing superficially on his symptoms. With Hypnotic Regression Therapy (HRT) the client can then release entrapped emotional malaise in order to be able to emerge into a world of empowerment and emotive freedom.
Roy Hunter and Bruce Elmer advocate a client-centred approach as a structural plan which will adequately prepare the client for his therapeutic journey, regress him via his own imagination to the source of his dilemmas, facilitate abreactive release of pent-up emotion and allow him to reprogramme his psyche from the standpoint of personal insight. The authors emphasise the supreme importance of thorough client-preparation which will entail an initial probing discussion, appropriate induction and deepening techniques, the establishment of a peaceful and safe therapeutic context and the verification of thoughts and feelings via ideomotor-questioning which forms a principal part of the practice of HRT.
Of particular interest to the practitioner of HRT will be the concept of the seven key psychodynamic indicators which outline the fundamental raison d'Ãƒ'ªtre for the client's instinctive responses which, in turn, can lead to the suppression and/or repression of unpleasant material within his psyche. The regression techniques outlined in the book include the affects bridge and tunnel, free association, regression-to-cause probing and several forms of time-line methodology. Roy Hunter and Bruce Elmer thoroughly recommend a full emotional abreactive release of pent-up suffering as appropriate to client-centred methodology. The authors also discuss ways of handling the client's intense, moderate, minimal and suppressed forms of abreaction as well as ways of overcoming any reluctance he may exhibit to expelling his anguish. The work finally concludes with sections on resolving grief and bereavement issues and helping the client who suffers from post-traumatic stress.
The authors wisely discuss the pitfalls of inadvertently generating false memories whereby the practitioner develops preconceptions about the client's problems during the initial case-notetaking session and then endeavours to obtain fulfilment of these conclusions. The practitioner is, therefore, advised to guide rather than lead the client so that therapy can be conducted ethically once rapport has been established. The practitioner, furthermore, will be urged to identify the client's initial seeding event, coupled with the activation of the stress-trauma response, together with all subsequent sensitising experiences, without drawing any untoward conclusions.
Roy Hunter and Bruce Elmer also tackle the hot potato of past-life regression by entering the debate, rather than skirting round the issue, which has developed into something of an Eastern-Western divide dÃƒ'©bÃƒ'¢cle. The authors offer and discuss plausible reasons for this phenomenon, such as reincarnation, metaphorical symbolism and genetic inheritance, but urge an ethical approach to all such practice for both staunch believers and dyed-in-the-wool sceptics alike.
The Art of Hypnotic Regression is certainly a very worthwhile contribution to the literature in this highly important field of hypno-psychotherapeutic practice and, indeed, the timing of its publication is particularly apposite as root-cause analysis therapy is emerging as a growth area. The work contains a wealth of techniques, texts, tips and ideas for the practitioner drawing on the authors' own methodology and that of other acknowledged masters, such as Joseph Barber, Dave Elman, Dabney Ewin, Charles Tebbetts and Helen and John Watkins. This work should, therefore, constitute a valuable asset to any responsible practitioner's library shelves.