Yes, you read that right.
With hypnosis and hypnotherapy, you can revisit the past and visit the future as often as is needed (therapeutically speaking) via regression techniques (to the past) and with what is known as pseudo orientation in time (to the future). But, why would you do so?
To help you resolve a problem or achieve a goal is why.
Hypnotherapy is psychotherapy conducted in a state of hypnosis. And there are different therapies for different things, depending on what it is that you want to achieve.
Hypnotic regression then, is the therapeutic process of going back in time to an event, either real or imagined; one that the patient believes is relevant to their current condition or problem.
I say ‘real’ or ‘imagined’ as your memories are tricky little buggers you see and they are not necessarily real. So, you can’t entirely trust them.
I know, shocking, right?
Have you ever shared an experience with someone and, a couple of years down the line, both you and they are retelling the experience, yet you both have either slightly different or wildly different versions of the same event?
That’s because memories can be distorted and altered by a variety of factors, including time, mood and the telling and retelling of it. The best thing that you can say about a memory is that it is today’s perception of an event that probably happened that way.
For the purposes of regression, neither the patient nor the therapist should assume the reality of the recalled events as, given the above, that memory may only be a representation of what occurred, and could include a certain amount of confabulation.
Confabulation is a marvellous word. In psychotherapy it means a memory error. It is defined as the production of fabricated, distorted or misinterpreted memories about oneself, or others, or the world at large. People who confabulate can present with memory errors that range from the small and subtle to the huge and bizarre.
However, you can revisit the past via regression armed with this confabulatory knowledge to help someone gain therapeutic value related to their current emotional or behavioural problems.
There are many, very imaginative ways to help someone regress to the past and you can even take a person back to a past life or a number of past lives. Again, you don’t necessarily need to assume the reality of the recall, you are merely visiting the past life experience for the purposes of therapy. If someone firmly believes that their problems of today are firmly rooted in an event from a past life, then the past life is where you just might need to take them in order to affect a resolution.
Regressions aren’t typically used early on in the therapeutic process and aren’t for everyone. For instance, it’s not ethical to regress someone with clinical depression or people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts.
With pseudo orientation in time hypnosis, you are travelling in the opposite direction . . . to the future. This can be done for many reasons: to help someone see or sense or imagine a more positive future, or a future where they are free from the symptoms of a chronic pain condition, or free from the symptoms of a condition such as anxiety, or simply to help someone build a goal to work towards.
There is even a specific form of therapy called Time Line Therapy (TLT), which evolved from both hypnotherapy and neuro linguistic programming (NLP).
TLT applies a system of therapy to the concept that we store memories in a linear manner. It can not only help eliminate painful emotions and dysfunctional behaviours related to memories from the past, but it can also help you learn from those events and then use that learning as a resource to help build a better future.
So, time travel is perfectly possible with the right therapy and the right therapist.
And, as hypnotherapy is a powerful way to engage the senses, I’ve even helped people travel up and down their own personal timelines in their own vivid versions of the Tardis and the DeLorean DMC-12.
Yes, you read that right too.
So, if you find a hypnotherapist expert in the practice of regression and pseudo orientation in time, and it becomes apparent that these techniques are therapeutically relevant, you may wish to inform them in advance of your preferred time travel vehicle.