The Art of Hypnotic Regression Therapy

A Clinical Guide

By: Roy Hunter , Bruce N. Eimer PhD ABPP


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Ebook


Size: 152mm x 229mm

Pages : 248

ISBN : 9781845908515

Format: Paperback

Published: July 2012


Hypnotic Regression Therapy, or HRT, is a type of hypnotherapy in which, following the induction of a good trance state, specialized suggestions are given to guide the client in reviewing and emotionally reframing earlier experiences that have either caused or contributed to the client’s current symptoms.

HRT is considered one of the most valuable hypnotherapy techniques available today, yet it remains controversial, partly due to inadequate training of psychotherapists and hypnotherapists which has contributed to numerous cases of false memory syndrome. In spite of the controversies, hypnotherapists successfully use regression therapy to discover the core causes of a number of problems and help clients release their emotional attachments to those causes.

This volume removes the fear of the dangers of mishandled hypnotic regression by presenting an organised, client-centered approach. You will learn when and how to use HRT effectively to help clients discover and release the causes of their problems and symptoms. The authors emphasize the importance of avoiding inappropriate leading and how to explain the risk of false memories to clients. They also clearly address the controversies about false memories and the handling of the emotional release that usually occurs during hypnotic regressions.


Picture for author Roy Hunter

Roy Hunter

Roy Hunter, MS, Cht, teaches professional hypnosis and advanced techniques for professionals and teaches self hypnosis to groups and clients for personal or professional motivation. He was specially selected to carry on the work of the late Charles Tebbetts. He was awarded a PhD from Alpha University and California University with a major in clinical hypnotherapy.

Train with the master himself.

Click here for Hypnotherapy Training Courses.


Picture for author Bruce N. Eimer PhD ABPP

Bruce N. Eimer PhD ABPP

Bruce Eimer, PhD, ABPP, is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area with over twenty-six years of experience using hypnosis as a tool in treating people with a variety of emotional and medical conditions. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and Board Certified in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy with the American Board of Professional Psychology. Dr. Eimer is the author or co-author of a number of professional textbooks on hypnotherapy and psychotherapy and self-help books on the applications of self-hypnosis for managing chronic pain, anxiety and depression.


Reviews

  1. Whether you regularly use regression in your therapy, rarely or never, this book will make an interesting read. It is written by two experienced therapists, Roy Hunter and Bruce Eimer, who originally trained in differing approaches before both coming to use Hypnotic Regression Therapy (HRT) within their respective practices. The book is narrated by each in turn, which can be a little disconcerting as each author 'flags up' who is speaking.
    This is a well thought out book that can be used as a step by step guide through the various stages of therapy from the intake interview to the practical hypnotherapy sessions and the conclusion of therapy. There is always a ciear focus on what the pair describes as the Four Primary Hypnotherapy Objectives. These are Suggestion & Imagery, Discover the Cause, Release (emotional attachment to the cause) and Subconscious Relearning and clear guidance is given on the practical approaches recommended. Sound descriptions on various regression techniques as well as hypnotic induction methods are described and attributed and these will serve new hypnotherapists well. For those nervous of managing client abreaction, there is good advice too on helping the client through the process of release.
    A very ethically written book, there is some very sound advice on when and how to use regression and important tips which if followed should see therapists avoid any legal or therapeutic repercussions caused by 'leading' rather than 'guiding' clients or accusations of 'False Memory Syndrome'.
    Whilst the main topic of this book is current-life regression, there's also a chapter on Past Life Regression (PLR). Here there is some good advice on how to deal with clients who spontaneously regress to former lives, as well as how to respond to clients who request PLR.
    I would definitely recommend this book and feel it deserves a place on the reading list of hypnotherapy students.
  2. Whether you regularly use regression in your therapy, rarely or never, this book will make an interesting read. It is written by two experienced therapists, Roy Hunter and Bruce Eimer, who originally trained in differing approaches before both coming to use Hypnotic Regression Therapy (HRT) within their respective practices. The book is narrated by each in turn, which can be a little disconcerting as each author 'flags up' who is speaking.
    This is a well thought out book that can be used as a step by step guide through the various stages of therapy from the intake interview to the practical hypnotherapy sessions and the conclusion of therapy. There is always a clear focus on what the pair describe as the Four Primary Hypnotherapy Objectives. These are Suggestion & Imagery, Discover the Cause, Release (emotional attachment to the cause) and Subconscious Relearning and clear guidance is given on the practical approaches recommended. Sound descriptions on various regression techniques as well as hypnotic induction methods are described and attributed and these will serve new hypnotherapists well. For those nervous of managing client abreaction, there is good advice too on helping the client through the process of release.
    A very ethically written book, there is some very sound advice on when and how to use regression and important tips which if followed should see therapists avoid any legal or therapeutic repercussions caused by 'leading' rather than 'guiding' clients or accusations of 'False Memory Syndrome'.
    Whilst the main topic of this book is current-life regression, there's also a chapter on Past Life Regression (PLR). Here there is some good advice on how to deal with clients who spontaneously regress to former lives, as well as how to respond to clients who request PLR.
    I would definitely recommend this book and feel it deserves a place on the reading list of hypnotherapy students.
  3. 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'Ã'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 dÃ'©bÃ'¢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.
  4. Thoughtful, lucid and provocative, this book offers a clear and systematic account of Hypnotic Regression Therapy (HRT). Combining a sound grasp of theoretical issues with a sharp focus on application the authors respond to concerns about this technique and demonstrate how it can be used safely to unpick and resolve deeply embedded psychological trauma that is beyond the reach of traditional therapy approaches. Case studies and discussion outline key skills and link to the theoretical content and patient transcripts highlight clinical problems and pose specific questions. The book is recommended reading for experienced therapists across modalities, and serious students of HRT.



  5. Hypnotic regression is one of the most useful tools of the professional therapist - and yet there are still those with reservations about using it.

    The authors of this useful and valuable book explain clearly the benefits of the technique and give many practical examples of its application.

    As someone who has worked in the field of hypnotic regression therapy for many years and seen the often wonderful results it can produce, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all professionals, whether newly qualified or experienced.


  6. Sigmund Freud made the comparison in 1917 in one of his famous public lectures at the University of Vienna where he compared the system of the unconscious to a large antechamber, in which the psychic impulses rub elbows with one another as separate beings. There opens out of this antechamber another smaller room, a sort of parlour which consciousness occupies. But on the threshold between the two rooms there stands a watchman; he passes on the individual psychic impulses, censors them and will not let them into the parlour if they do not meet with his approval. These impulses in the antechamber of the unconscious cannot be seen by the conscious which is in the other room. Therefore for the time being they must remain unconscious.
    The watchman of course does this with the intention of protecting the whole, but unfortunately what it does can often be the opposite as the psychic impulse energy of the event(s) remain hidden from us, with the inability to be able to deal with it/them and may cause us untold misery.
    Hypnotic Regression Therapy is one of the most valuable hypnotherapy techniques available to us to bypass that watchman and help clients to discover and release the causes of their problems and symptoms. It is an area that is often avoided by therapists due to -œFalse Memory Syndrome- and fear of litigation. What this volume does is lay aside the myths of controversy surrounding this therapy. The expertise of the two authors removes the fear of the dangers of mishandled hypnotic regression. They explain the risks and show the reader how to affectively use Hypnotic Regression Therapy each step of the way, explaining in an easily understandable format how to safely conduct this therapy. They guide the reader through the preparation, regression techniques, and how to deal with abreactions to affect release in a safe way. A chapter on the interesting phenomenon of past life regressions is discussed, with potential explanations and ethical considerations, as well as sharing with us their case histories that validate the value of their client centred approach to Hypnotic Regression Therapy.
    It is a book that I recommend to the reader (both therapist and client) to extend their knowledge on the benefits of this therapy. It is informative, well written with a systematic approach that shows us that, by following the guidelines in this book, Hypnotic Regression Therapy can be a very powerful tool that can be safely used.
  7. Hypnotic Regression Therapy is the most powerful hypnotic technique available to the properly trained hypnotherapist; but is often overlooked by many professionals who have not been properly introduced to the technique, or have had insufficient training. This book was written to provide the kind of foundation that hypnosis professionals need to be properly introduced to the technique in a way that will ensure safe and effective use of hypnotic age regression work.

    The authors have written a modern classic in the use of hypnotic regression work that covers many current approaches, while focusing primarily on a client centred methodology which has proven successful in countless hypnosis sessions for a wide range of issues. In it you will learn how to effectively use Hypnotic Regression Therapy to discover the underlying cause of each client's issue, neutralize it, and suggest long term, even permanent change.

    The reader will learn how to avoid inappropriate leading, so as to remove the risk of implanting false memories. You will also learn how to allow clients with strong emotions from the past, which can contribute to their issues, to release those emotions in a safe, professional and therapeutic way which can be necessary to produce permanent relief from harmful habits, addictions, fears, self-esteem issues, psychosomatic symptoms and much more.
    You will learn a clear system of doing Hypnotic Regression Therapy called the Five Phases of Hypnotic Regression Therapy, which includes these five phases: (1) preparation, (2) regression techniques to discover the cause(s), (3) abreactions and release, (4) subconscious relearning and (5) concluding the session.
    Then the authors go beyond the -œclinical- and approach the controversial topic of past life regressions in a professional way, with potential explanations and ethical considerations. The authors also include some case histories to validate the value of their client centered approach to Hypnotic Regression Therapy that readers will find invaluable.
    I recommend this book to all serious students and practitioners of Hypnotic Regression Therapy, and I wish it had been available earlier on in my career as a hypnosis professional. It is an excellent way to make the leap from working as a script bound, direct suggestion hypnotist, to one of being a powerful change maker who can get results when other lesser forms of hypnotherapy have failed.



  8. Eimer and Hunter have produced an afternoon's read that contains a professional lifetime of knowledge. Their concise exposition on Hypnotic Regression Therapy offers the novice and experienced practitioner insight, theory and method. The frequently misunderstood and misrepresented modality is re-established in an easy read as a valid and meaningful therapeutic intervention. This is accomplished by divesting it of its fallacies and misinterpretations. Particularly refreshing and welcome is their section on the ethics of using regression therapy. It offers guidance for a therapy that has been mired with a calamitous past. The contentious issues of past lives and UFO abductions have been handled with erudition. Neither topic is allowed to overwhelm the book. Rather both topics are relegated to the list of issues with which patients will present. Eimer and Hunter give the reader tools to handle them when they are confronted. All clinicians using hypnosis are encouraged to read this work whether as an aide to manage unanticipated spontaneous regressions or as a ready reference for intentionally planned therapy. One's knowledge of clinical hypnosis is incomplete without the foundation of HRT that the authors impart.
  9. The Art of Hypnotic Regression Therapy is co-authored by two individuals with common practice but differing hypnosis pedigree; Dr. Roy Hunter is Guild trained and Dr. Bruce Eimer is Asch trained. This book is built on top of Eimer's previous text, co-authored with Dr. Dabney Ewin entitled Ideomotor Signals for Rapid Hypnoanalysis: A How-To Manual. Whereas the previous book was a nuts-and-bolts -œhow to- manual, this book is designed to express the art of employing hypnoanalysis. This book is a synthesis of the nuances applied to hypnoanalysis through two different viewpoints intersecting in the same location. The reader will experience the artful application of hypnoanalysis through case study. Each author tempers their traditional positions with proper caveats to all. For those tempted to lead patients, the warnings on false memory are clear. The authors also delve into the controversial area of past life regression within the clinical context of hypnoanalysis but also with cautions and thoughtful discourse yielding an invitation to open the traditional play book to new boundaries.
    This book contains practical applications and an explanation of each author's techniques. Although this book is geared for experienced hypnotists, providing additional induction techniques attributed to their authors is a surprise bonus. The stories of David Cheek's seven psychodynamics of a symptom are revisited and a shortened version lifted from the previous text by Eimer and Ewing. This provides a good overview for those unfamiliar or unread in this area.
    A basic theme for hypnoanalysis is that the client knows what they need, but need coaching to find it and correct it. Looking beyond activating events or subsequent sensitizing events leads one to the root cause or initial sensitizing events and hence treatment. The psychosomatic problem-solving is artfully described and adjudicated through Roy Hunter's multiple case examples and Bruce Eimer's PTSD and pain patients. Through the techniques that are described in this text, Drs. Hunter and Eimer create and activate the art of hypnosis and couple this with an excellent review of various psychotherapy techniques employed.
    Hypnoanalysis is truly more art than science and with the strokes of the pen this solid book teaches us to open a new canvas on which those trained in hypnosis arts can paint.

  10. Two of hypnotherapy's stellar practitioners, Roy Hunter and Bruce Eimer, have pooled their expertise to produce a book on regression hypnotherapy so comprehensive, it is the only guide to regression hypnosis a hypnotherapist will ever need. In The Art of Hypnotic Regression Therapy, the authors have drawn from their mentors, David Cheek, Charles Tebbetts and Dabney Ewin, as well as other hypnotherapists whose work established major milestones in hypnotherapy practice.

    The authors address the philosophical foundations of regression hypnotherapy, as well as the current controversies over the uses of abreaction, the ethics of past life regression and false memories. They give practical advice, guidelines, and examples for achieving the five phases of regression hypnosis: client preparation, regression techniques, abreaction and release, subconscious learning and concluding the session. The objectives for the practitioner are to skillfully employ suggestion and imagery, discover the root cause of the client's difficulties, assist the client to release emotional attachments to the causal event and assist subconscious learning.

    Hunter and Eimer make the case that while regression hypnotherapy is not useful with every client, it is indicated for clients who are well motivated but not responsive to other hypnotic methods. The authors discuss procedural issues such as the initial interview, various inductions, depth of trance, and the differences between initial sensitizing events and activating events that give rise to symptoms.

    The authors provide a particularly good discussion of the seven psychodynamics of a symptom (i.e., most emotional problems fit into one or more of these categories) and how to elicit them through interview questions and, during trance, through ideomotor signals: The seven psychodynamics are:
    - Authority imprint
    - Unresolved issues (often showing up as habits or physical symptoms)
    - Secondary gain
    - Identification with another person
    - Internal conflict
    - Painful past experience
    - Self-punishment

    A number of standard regression and past life techniques are presented. The authors devote a chapter to abreaction and release. They take the position that abreaction is often beneficial in helping clients work through and release attachments to highly emotional past events. They give several examples of things to say to facilitate release. Subconscious relearning takes place when the hypnotherapist helps the client reframe his or her thinking about the symptom or unwanted behavior, while imagining a symptom-free life.

    Hunter and Eimer discuss variations on regression for specific applications such as unresolved past grief and post-traumatic stress, and provide case examples of treatment for chronic pain, phobias, smoking cessation, and low self-esteem.

    This well-written, well-documented book will make a welcome additional to any hypnotherapist's library. It makes a perfect companion to Ewin and Eimer's Ideomotor Signals for Rapid Hypnoanalysis, which I also recommend.

  11. The book is well researched. It teaches the indications of age regression and how to achieve it to solve the problems that affect the client. It also provides enough information to the reader to enable him to avoid many pitfalls including creating false memories. The detailed examples coming from their own practices help to comprehend the techniques they have successfully used. Their approach to past life experiences is to be commended because the authors remind us that we are to listen to clients and find a solution to their predicament regardless of what opinion we may harbor. Age regression is a very complex subject. The authors have made it easy to understand by all practitioners of hypnotherapy regardless of the level of their experience and knowledge.
  12. Hypnotic age regression has over the years acquired an unfortunately tainted reputation. Luckily a new champion is at hand as Roy Hunter and Bruce Eimer have written an elegant volume, breaking down and laying bare its mysteries in a clear and insightful way. Designed to be read by the practising hypnotherapy professional, the authors five-phase model of working through past experience does so much more than simply satisfy the needs of those looking for a step-by-step guide. Staying true to their refreshingly client centred approach, they actively encourage the integration of therapist spontaneity. The controversial nature of regression is of course explored, giving clarity to the issues surrounding false memory without descending into scaremongering, while at the same time presenting a sensible and empowering overview of abreaction. If you are a therapist reluctant to use regression then read this book as it will encourage you to confidently return to a powerful and misunderstood technique. If you are an experienced regression therapist wondering whether to read this book, do so as it has the potential to open up your perspectives and teach you plenty more.
  13. As a hypnoanalyst for many years, I can vouch for the fact that this wonderful book contains every bit of information needed to use regression therapy successfully. Scripts, techniques, -œhow-to- examples and case studies, along with a defined structure for the therapy, make this the ideal read for the newcomer to regression work, as well as having much of worth to those more experienced. Authors Roy Hunter and Bruce Eimer are experienced and accomplished professional therapists -” and it shows.
  14. I am always excited to read Roy Hunter's new material and his co-author Bruce Eimer adds a further touch of class to this work. The subject of the book, Regression Therapy, could leave the reader thinking that this is all the book is about, but there is so much more. So often do I see missing in texts the most important aspects of how to prepare the client for the technique that will be used and how to micro- manage the delivery of that technique. Not with The Art of Hypnotic Regression. As well as describing and guiding the reader/therapist through this they also include a section on emotional release and abreaction and how to create resolution to the previously repressed internal trauma. This is vital for getting the message of the book across and delivering what it proposes is missing for many therapists actually using the technique; a thorough and detailed instruction on how to work with regression safely and therapeutically.

    The authors offer us a brief insight into the clinical history of regression therapy that sets the scene well, before moving into the style of Hunters regression that differs from the rest. Having trained in client centred therapy, I was curious to see how regression would fit with this model. I was not disappointed. I have long been an advocate of -œthe client knows best- stance of being and this is the translation I understand from Roy's client centred approach. It takes experience however to adopt this position, so to have Roy share this is a rare reward.

    Bruce prepares an excellent argument for the approach in The Art of Hypnotic Regression, and within this makes a poignant case for hypnotherapy as an art, not a science. Maybe it is a little of both, but what is important is that the art they relate to is that of treating the client in a unique and individualised way, forming, shaping and moulding through the therapy a change that will last. This is artistic thinking at its best.

    The primary objectives for the regression session are intricately explored and explained and this is really helpful in terms of getting to grips with using the method. Following this they open us up to the nuts and bolts of the session, and the beginning exploratory questions. Seemingly simple questions such as, -œWhen did it start?- -œWhat was going on in your life at the time?- and -œWhen did it become a problem?- should never be underestimated. Indeed many therapists neglect to ask such questions, instead getting embroiled in their own search for the cause of the problem. Remember, the client knows best!

    A very important section on guiding the client competently takes the reader into the realms of false memory syndrome, and a very good explanation is given to us about this fascinating and for many, frightening experience. I was struck by the list of undesirable leading questions! Would a therapist really ask those?! And then I remembered some of the shocking things I have heard previous therapists of my clients tell them in the past. Once again, the book does not leave this important area unanswered and provides us with yet more reason for its publication.

    I appreciated the inclusion of the script process, and that the scripts are offered as a way of helping to access the client's creativity is clearly stated. As they write, there is more than one way from L.A. to New York. I have seen many trainings advocate the use of scripts as the be-all and end-all of hypnotherapy, which is a saddening position, as really engaging with the client and the power of their unconscious goes so much further, into an entirely different world of possibilities.

    The seven psychodynamics of a symptom made for fascinating reading and positions the focus of the problem so well. There are some very important points also made at this point about the use of hypnotic language, such as -œHow old do you FEEL?- Communicating with the unconscious mind requires skill and the implication of what we say is vital, so escaping from logic as much as is possible is paramount. If you are asked, -œHow old are you?- you are likely to respond with your age. How old you feel appeals to an entirely different part of your perception.

    I was delighted to see the inclusion of Gestalt role-play, which is so profoundly powerful, and reading the way the authors have used it makes me feel like I'm sitting back in the room with Gil Boyne again all those years ago when we first met in California!

    The part of the book concerning re-learning gave me a real feeling that this approach covers all bases and that left me feeling confident I could use this process with safety. As the authors quite rightly point out, simply getting a client to abreaction and release is not enough. They then need to relearn what should have happened all those years ago.

    Any book that delves into regression as thoroughly as this book does would be incomplete without a chapter on past life regression and the authors not only offer us this, but a well researched and argued case for at least considering the possibilities that may present themselves here. If we are to follow the author's stance that the client knows best, then is it actually important whether we believe in past lives or reincarnation or not? The authors assert through their message that what is actually more important is that the reader is informed of the different points of view on the subject and thus advocate that a knowledgeable therapist is what we should be. I applaud this and am overjoyed that this has been included.

    With so much more understanding of PTSD, and the effective treatment of it, I am also pleased to see it placed within the context of this book. We can with this work do much to safely and effectively unlock the pains associated with memories of the past.

    Hunter and Eimer conclude their book by saying, -œthere does not seem to be any perfect protocol for employing hypnotic regression therapy in a manner that will work for all the clients all the time ...- I have to say they have come remarkable close with this text and I know it will be devoured by students in the subject across the world.

    This book, meticulous in writing and obviously close to the authors' hearts is an outstanding credit to them. They have shared generously their wealth of knowledge and their belief in HRT shines through. Enjoy and learn.




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