Regression Theory

Language and Techniques


      Theory,  Terminology &  Techniques


When hurt feelings and arguments occur with our family, friends, coworkers, something like this  happens....we feel pain, danger or threat and a shift in our emotional balance. Experiencing these emotions we typically retreat or defend.

Even though we experience pain or danger, our feelings are are not coming from the world around us. Our anger, resentment,  isolation, etc. arise from within us.  They are emotional memories.

These memories are left over from overwhelming past circumstances .They feel like they are happening again, now, because something in the present resembles the original trauma enough that the left over feelings assume they are still in the original event.    

The critical consideration in regression work is understanding that the sudden strong emotion we feel is not about what just happened, or is happening. The emotional pressures we feel are about something that happened in the past. We feel it in the present because we have not yet digested the experience emotionally, and what is left of the past feels like it belongs to the present situation.


  • conditioning: learning that involves pairing of stimulus and response.  2 types, operant and classical

               . Fight or flight :  unconditioned survival response in all humans, animals.
               . Fight, freeze or flight:  deer in the headlights, confused, non-                                  adaptive…..where fight or flight adjusts to a situation, freezing stays                        there.
               . Freezing is what happens when the IS is so emotionally overwhelmed                    in fight or flight situations, that it literally freezes and doesn’t flee or                          fight, rather it just becomes frozen, stuck

  • Post traumatic stress disorder:

               . originally studied as an outcome of combat veterans in war, called                          “shell shock”.
               . this form of freezing/sticking in a situation happens b/c an experience is                  life threatening and our bodies imprint the moment, freezing it, to                            remember the danger in case it happens again.                                              

  • emotional near death experience: regressions which were experiences of almost dying emotionally.

               . Emotional wounds:  just as with our bodies, our personal histories can                    experience wounds.   Wounds can be of varying intensity and impact,                    and require thorough care to heal.
               . Emotional wounds can be primary or secondary.

                      . Primary emotional wounds: emotional near death                                                     experiences…..socially horrible, overwhelming.   For example                                 physical or sexual assault, humiliation, bullying.  The result of this                           level of wounding is deep and powerful enough to stop further                                 development of feeling safe, valued, understood in similar                                       situations.  The intensity of this level of wound results in highly                                 fearful responses
                      . Secondary emotional wounds:

  • Regression:  experience of having our consciousness influenced deeply by past circumstances which are profoundly compelling and bring up fear based anger, confusion, freezing,  fight or flight
  • Regression:  Reversion to an earlier, less mature pattern of emotions, thought and behavior.

              . jRegressions are indicated by:

                     . Sudden anger
                     . Sudden confusion
                     . Sudden fear
                     . Compulsive urges for

                          . Food, alcohol, pleasure, escape, numbness
                          . Binge consumption
                          . A lingering feeling of something “I haven’t done” or “I need to                                   do”that gets in the way of  interaction within a relationship.
                          . A desire to leave, flee, dominate, defend or attack.

  • Losing my place in thought, purpose, direction in a moment vs. being present and participating with full attention. 
  • Self:  often we speak of the self as the body but is I much more than that.  The self is a composite of individual experiences  which include

              . Integrating Self  (IS) Integrating Self”   “IS”…..the Integrating self is the                   self we use in the present moment.   While we are actually perceiving                     and thinking, we receive a steady flow of information which we judge                       and use to determine what happens next
              . Historical Self: the sum of all our memories, conscious and                                     subconscious.

                     . Regressed Self  (RS) an aspect of self which has experienced a                              trauma profound enough that our emotional existence felt                                        threatened.

  • Toggle” “toggling” what we do when we move back and forth between regressed self (RS)   (frozen) and “IS” (integrating self) which is fluid and adaptable.
  • Higher Self: The consciousness which understands all of life without exception or hesitation.  Higher consciousness is accessed by most of us only in a limited way.  As we grow and mature in consciousness and spiritual trajectory, our higher consciousness comes increasingly into use.  The conscious use of our Higher Self is a goal for everyone, and is used in resolving  regressions.
  • Automatic emotional regression:   happens in our present, moment –to-moment lives; ex: sudden anger, fear;  or an impulse to do something which seems like it’s important and “has to” be done, then ends up being damaging in a way you know “rationally” was very clear
  • Reverting:  going back to former habit, belief or behavior.
  • Trauma: An emotional wound or shock that creates substantial, lasting damage to the psychological development of a person, often leading to neurosis.
  • Establishment of automatic responses learned as THE safe way to continue

             . These automatic responses are “regression” experiences when.

  • Rituals

             . Acceptance and rejection

  • Alcohol, anger, pleasure

Recognizing and managing regressions

Diagnosis & then Treatments

Diagnosis:  listen and watch for

  • ​complaints

           . fears
           . obsessions
           . blaming
           . helplessness
           . loneliness
           . powerlessness
           . resentment
           . anger

  • body language

           . posture..
           . facial expression

                   . furrowed brow
                   . smiling/laughter….

                           . appropriate? sharing or defending?
                           . frowning…displeasure or defense

  • tone/inflection

            . volume

                   . hiding or dominating


​Presence:   your loving presence is the most powerful treatment.   So long as you are able to stay present and caring, there will be healing and growth in the relationship.

Listen and wait through your impulse to respond.  Watch your own emotional and mental movements going on.   As much as you understand how, stay present, simply listening and expecting understanding.  A question, statement, reframe will arise.

Reflection: repeat back what was just said as a question

Irrational Beliefs: simple shifting of words: always, never, can’t, have to, powerless, alone, completely

Reframe: suggest another way of saying what was just said, in a way that points out inconsistencies. 

Intentional Regression Steps

Present …….questions asked of the adult/older participant by guide

1. What do you currently want?      

2. What’s the emotion?

3. What age do you feel if you let that emotion lead you back into your life?

Past………questions asked by the guide of the younger part that has been contacted

as you follow that emotion

4. Where do you find yourself physically in the past?  What is the scene?  Circumstance?  Relationship?

5. Who’s there with you?

6. What’s going on?

7. What do you need?

Present.........statements and questions  suggested to the adult/older participant

8. It is necessary to separate from the aspect in a way that allows an open, experienceable  conversation.   The “IS” integrating self has the job of

  • Establishing contact
  • Establishing rapport
  • Helping remove the filter (is this step necessary?  Not if rapport goes easily)

Regression Steps:

​Feeling, Reconnecting finding your way back to the continuing, ongoing, constant emotional process that switched on but hasn’t switched off.   It’s there running in the background.


  1. ​State your current concern
  2. Name the emotion 
  3. When, where, who ?
  4. Communication Rapport
  5. Dialogue
  6. Integration

  1. Here you make a statement of what you see as the problem you would like to do something about.
  2. Name the emotion that goes along with the complaint.  This requires the use of words that describe feelings.  These are descriptions of feelings coming from inside you.         For example:  “ I feel sad, lonely, angry, betrayed, afraid.”  These words are different than thoughts about situations or behaviors….. “you treat me unfairly” or “you are selfish” .  Name the emotion that comes along with the problem.  For example,   “I feel helpless”.
  3. Once you have recognized and named the feeling, it is now time to break out the time machine.   Here we  travel with our minds backward through our lives searching for a root to the emotion you chose and named above.    While still feeling the emotion that goes along with your concern or complaint, let you mind drift backward to where you have experienced this feeling before.   By keeping the feeling in your awareness, you allow yourself to follow the emotion that emerged in your current problem, back to where it originally started.

You may have a flood of memories or none at all, depending on how open you have been to your emotions in the past. Follow your breath and open to your past while focusing on the emotion you chose. When you allow yourself to be open you will find a scene that connects to your concern. Trust whatever arises, no matter how minor it seems. 

Your body knows which “dangerous” situation from the past it just connected to the present.It also knows which order the emotional needs of your body should be addressed in.  

If your body has physical illnesses, it prioritizes them and deals with them in order of importance.The same is true for emotional healing.Your body knows which emotional problems are the most pressing and will bring them into your experience.

What’s the precedent? 

Describe the situation and what’s going on.Describe the place and your surroundings.

Who is there? What are they doing? Repeat the feeling that brought you there.

  1. Establish conversation/rapport with that part of you, explain who you are, how much  time has elapsed since they got stuck in this scene and that you are there to  help them get out of that scene.
  2. Conduct back and forth dialogue, switching places between the “IS” and the aspect that is stuck.  This back and forth will benefit by being out in the room: establish a two places, one for the regressed aspect and the other for the in-the-present integrating self.   Make the distance between the two long enough.   Rug  at home vs. yoga mat.

Each time there is a question, switch roles to answer the question. If you come to an pause,feel which person needs to speak and move to that role to speak.This step establishes trust, agreement and commitment.

  1. Integration:  after establishing trust and commitment, have the aspect join the “IS” in the present, leaving the scene so that the aspect may be with the “IS”

  • Walk backward to your birth and come back to the present
  • Be open to see what registers in consciousness

              . Conversation between isolated/frozen/traumatized  and the person in                     the present who is older, safe, smarter, kind
              . Go back and forth until the traumatized aspect is willing to come into the                 present and be in the care of the older, integrating self. 

  • Integrating self. (IS) The self in the present moment currently taking care of business.This self is a combination of the best selves available for the task at hand.
  • Regression is returning to the past.Conscious regression is done with an intention of healing the past so that it operates harmonically in the present rather than as a “bumping discomfort”.   
  • Toggling is a term indicating rapid “unconscious”movement between past frozen/fearful/isolated aspects and the IS (integrating self). Toggling is the appearance of past experience in the form of “knowing” which is doing its best to influence the world in ways that keep the regressed self safe.
  • TV channel metaphor: different channels are always running but we can only view (be consciously aware of  one at a time). Conscious regression is intended to blend channels.Perhaps it’s like a story which includes a story line involving several characters on one channel, and then another channel where only one person’s reality is being broadcast.
  • Mutual regression happens in relationship when two or more people in toggle simultaneously. When this happens, one person may be having a conversation with another and the other person suddenly has toggled into the past and starts talking from an traumatic experience, which of course makes no sense to the person who is still in the present.
  • Bus metaphor:  regression happens when a part of the historical self comes forward from the back of the bus, unseats the Integrating Self, and takes over the bus. 
  • Family regression: It’s possible for mom and/or dad to use regression with children.

Semantic adjustments….change your speech, change your thinking,change your experience, change your life

Tense yourself

Making any statement about your self in the “present tense” immediately brings that statement you’re your conscious experience.

  • I Am being taken advantage of
  • I Am not a patient person
  • I get upset
  • Nothing is getting resolved
  • We don’t get along
  • I’m so irritable
  • In the past when we’ve argued I’ve felt caught/trapped.
  • I won’t  let go
  • I can’t let go
  • I’m so disorganized


Use the past tense to describe experiences you no longer choose to be happening.

  • In the past I got angry easily
  • I used to get jealous
  • I no longer get jealous
  • Staying calm I steer clear of arguments

Use the present tense to describe your self as you wish to be

  • I am choosing to be patient
  • I am learning to be patient
  • I am patient now
  • All life supports me now

Choosing to let go invites wisdom

EFT  Kate

What would it be like not to have fear?

When have you felt no fear?

Now introduce fear’s first appearance

Situation…………..K’s tapping…….even tho I feel scared I completely and totally accept myself………..even tho I feel separated I completely and totally accept myself…….feeling more connected and safe….Im not really separated but rather form as part of……..had to work through rejection, abandonment and separation…..

Therapist Techniques

  • You may talk to the younger self
  • You may have to speak to the offenders in the frozen frame to clear the space.
  • When you don’t know what to do, breathe. You are in touch with the lost self  of the “other” and your lost self has awakened.
  • TOOLS:    
  • Maintain your connection to your own IS….higher power….don’t get inducted into the fear.Be patient, wait.There is no hurry.This self in the “other” and in you has been waiting for decades.Taking time to clear your own self is modeling for the “other”.


  • ​Healing thru recognition of Unity
  • Healing through relationship
  • Diagnosing unhealthy relationship
  • Locating separative beliefs
  • Locating traumatic memories (conditioned/subconscious Regressions)
  • reworking negative regressions
  • Affirmations


Love is Letting Go of Fear
Science of Mind
Finding Our Fathers

  • Imagining the regression is not as efficient as when the body is involved and moves to indicate shifts from integrating to regressed selves. 
  • Set up a line representing your life from birth to present.    
  • Or set up two chairs from which you will speak as the integrating and regressed selves. 
  • Journal:  write out on a computer or paper a conversation between the integrating self and the regressed self.
  • Don’t let the IS tell the regressed portion of the self what to do in the memory scene.  The scene cannot be changed by the regressed part.  It’s frozen there, has  happened, and cannot be changed.  
  • Do tell the regressed part it is welcome to leave the scene and come into the present with the Integrating Self, which has grown while the regressed part has been struggling, and can offer the regressed part a meaningful, connected sense of understanding and purpose. 
  • If you feel confused, recenter, take a breath or two and invoke direction, healing guidance. 
  • Step out of the regression if you feel very confused and assume the role of the Higher Self.  Look at the regression and describe in the third person what is taking place right then.   “The integrating self is talking with the regressed self and there’s confusion between them.”
  • Talk to the Integrating Self from the observer’s point of view.  This 3rd party view offers an objectivity and allows the emotions to stay in the interaction between the Itegrating Self  and the Regressed Self.   
  • · If you have a partner/guide

              . Do talk to your guide/therapist/spouse during the process
              . Switch sides if you get stuck

Speaking of Feelings

  • Breaking the mold of regressive experience happens when the person
  • Speaks from the blocked emotion
  • Speaks what they need
  • Feels heard
  • When someone  is “regressed” in your presence, remain  in the present with them through the use of compassion.  This offers a stability needed in the regressed place.
  • intentional regression   Do’s and don’ts   (this is written for the individual you will be directing through the intentional regression.  With a little practice the technique can be done without a guide. 
  • Whether you are doing this exercise with another person or on your own: