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Age regression is a controversial aspect of a number of therapies. In hypnotherapy the term describes a process in which the patient returns to an earlier stage of life in order to explore a memory or to get in touch with some difficult-to-access aspect of their personality. Age progression is sometimes employed in hypnotherapy as well, allowing the patient to project themselves forward to see a desired outcome or the consequences of their current destructive behavior.
Age regression for the purpose of 'recovering' memories has become quite controversial inside and outside the therapeutic community, with many such cases involving child abuse, alien abduction and other traumatic incidents subsequently being discredited.
The notion of age regression is central to attachment therapy whose proponents believe that a child who has missed out on developmental stages can be made to redo those stages at a later age by a variety of techniques. Many of these techniques are intensely physical and confrontational and include forced holding and eye contact, sometimes whilst being required to access traumatic memories of past neglect or abuse or whilst being made to experience extreme emotions such as rage or fear. Occasionally 'rebirthing' has been used with tragic results. See Candace Newmaker. Accompanying parenting techniques may use bottle feeding and systems of complete control by the parent over the child's basic needs including toileting and water.
- ↑ Chaffin M, Hanson R, Saunders BE, et al. (2006). Report of the APSAC task force on attachment therapy, reactive attachment disorder, and attachment problems.. Child Maltreat 11 (1): 76–89.
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