Hypnosis with Groups
Guiding Group Regressions
by Henry Leo Bolduc C.H. and Marjorie V. Reynolds, M. Ed., C. Ht.
A reader from the west coast recently wrote a letter with a few important questions. Since, most likely, some other beginners have similar concerns, we shall use this column to address significant parts of the questions. The questioner has been given an individual response.
Question 1: “I recently guided my first group regression at a local community college. There were 25 people in attendance and the audience had some excellent questions and discussions. I got a lot of positive feedback but I know that many of the people were not able to access far memories. The ones who did had some amazing experiences but there were several others who just could not relax or go deep enough. Is this common?”
Response: Working with a group of any size is different from working with an individual; yet, it has similarities. When working with an individual client, you must build trust and rapport. The same situation occurs when working with a group but the difference is found in your establishing a connection with the group itself rather than with any one person.
Through your words, actions, and professionalism, you build trust. Every audience has beginner-level, student-level, and advanced-level participants. Welcome them equally and tell them that your focus of attention, mainly, will be on the beginner. You must communicate with the beginners or they will lose; you will, too. The other two groups, also, will need to gain from the presentation; they came to hear you and they must be included by being given some special gems of wisdom. Group work is difficult because you have to make adaptations to accommodate different levels of learning. Audience success is more related to the establishing of trust and rapport than to the achieving of relaxation and depth. If you get the first, the second will follow.
Establish your role for the group. As the speaker/teacher, your role is to provide a safe and comfortable environment in which to guide the participants to bring forth memories. They follow your guidance. You provide them with a format; they produce the memories. They have to do the work in a regression session. You guide them to bring forth memories, impressions, and experiences from within themselves. You help your audience to open their hearts and souls to the beauty, truth, and wisdom of the memories which are within.
Explain that different people tend to respond differently to group exercises and that it is of primary importance to acknowledge and to appreciate the impressions received from within. Explain the basic learning styles: visual--seeing or picturing a memory; auditory--hearing inner promptings; and kinesthetic--getting impressions, feelings, and emotions. It is important to explain that when some people read an article about past-life work in which the client reports seeing certain events, they assume that everyone is expected to see memories. Many people recall memories in modes other than visual. Auditory and kinesthetic recall modes are just as valid as visual modes and can be quite strong when the emotions are involved. Using such terms as experiencing or perceiving would include all modes of recall.
Sometimes it is good to guide a couple of group exercises prior to a demonstration of an individual session. Many hypnotists utilize such introductory sessions. It is good to begin with a topic in which everyone is sure to benefit. The topic, Ideals, is excellent for all groups because everyone receives something valuable or interesting from it. That topic, which is based upon the Readings of Edgar Cayce, would take approximately twenty minutes. A version of it is in the book Life Patterns, Soul Lessons, and Forgiveness. You may download it freely from this website. After the general topic (those sessions are separated by other exercises), a group regression seems to work well. The first experience tends to serve as preparation for deeper exploration. After those two experiences, the audience will have gained some background to relate to an understanding of a demonstration of an individual session.
Attendees who do not succeed in past-life recall in group sessions might be confused regarding what to expect. Since some people have unrealistic expectations, it might be a good idea to devote some time to a discussion of the ways in which group hypnosis is different from an individual session. Let them know what to expect. Perhaps a few individuals have not connected with you---trust and rapport are vital. Over time, there will be a higher success rate as, with patience, you learn to explain your procedure. Always let your audience know clearly the procedure which you are following. Remind them that they are doing the important work of recall.
Others might require more time to experience memories. In group work, of any kind, timing is vital. When you work with an individual, you, automatically, pace yourself to that person’s temperament. Since, in group work, everyone responds at a different pace, timing is difficult. There is a solution: the use of a watch. You could wear a watch which has a second hand. If you dim the lights to avoid distractions, you might choose a watch which has a luminescent dial. Tell the group members how much time will be allotted for experiencing. When you ask a question, allow time for the participants to select the response internally. Depending upon the schedule of the day, allow 45 to 60 seconds for the people in the group to experience a memory. A few might need more time but you must consider the group as a whole entity. Allotting too much time could cause a drift of attention in some members.
A common concern is the doubt that some people express regarding the reality of the past-life experience. They wonder if they are making up a story from creative imagination. You can respond by assuring them that the story received is relevant and valuable to them. They should analyze and study the story after the inner work has been completed. If they try to analyze a memory while it is unfolding, they are likely to stop the flow of memory. Technically, that problem occurs because of the difference in the essential functions of brain hemispheres. Analysis is a left-brain function; memory and recall are associated with right-brain functioning. When a memory (right-brain function) begins to open and the person decides to analyze it, the activity shifts to the left-brain for processing, thus stopping the flow of memory. Experiencing a memory in a regression session and analyzing it are done sequentially. Similarly, a person can drive a car and change a tire---but not at the same time.
Often, when a past-life regression session is a new experience in the person’s current consciousness, it, at first, actually does seem as if it might be imagination. In a matter of minutes, as the person stays with it, the story begins to flow with ease. The memory begins to open in depth, wonder, and sometimes, in amazement. Many participants say, “If I were going to make up a story, that is not the story I would have made up.” That comment implies that the story could have been a memory from deep within the unconscious mind---something more than creative imagination.
In workshops and in classes, the planning of a regression session to end a few minutes before lunch gives the participants time to record their experiences into a journal or a workshop manual. Then, when they go to lunch, they can form groups of four or five for the purpose of sharing the experiences of the morning. The sharing is valuable. People realize that everyone responds and experiences memory a little differently. Something else happens that is insightful: after they begin talking aloud, they realize that they received more than they had realized initially. Somehow, in the process of talking aloud, more of the information comes forward.
Group regression sessions are an easy and productive approach to pastlife study. The work is a serious approach to understanding self. We treat a person’s past lives in the same way as we behave regarding that person’s current life.
Your skills in guiding groups will improve through the years. You will refine your delivery and you will grow through the interactions with your audiences. By teaching the great value of studying and learning the lessons and benefits of past experiences, you will empower those people whom you reach. Explain that each soul has one life on earth with many lifetimes, trips, or segments, within that one life. Souls seem to have to complete the earth lessons before moving to other dimensions. Patterns and themes connect various lifetimes. Each lifetime brings new opportunities for growth, healing, and forgiveness. The intent of the work is for spiritual development and betterment.
Question 2: “Do you ever have someone who has an abreaction? If so, how do you handle that without disrupting the entire group?”
Response: When hypnotists first begin to guide group regressions, they are concerned about any unusual, extreme reactions (abreactions). Some hypnotists ask one or two friends, experienced in the work, to monitor the group during the trance part of the session. In group work, such available help rarely is needed; however, sometimes, participants seem as though they could fall off their chairs quite easily.
The best answer to your question is: prepare your audience regarding procedures and expectations. Set parameters throughout your presentation by explaining everything that you do and why you do it. Let the audience know that all experiences are normal and you will avoid abreactions.
Sometimes people come to your program hoping to get an inexpensive therapy session. At the beginning of the group session, be sure to tell the attendees that therapy is done in a clinic or in an office setting without the presence of an audience. Explain that past-life regression is done for spiritual growth, which includes an appreciation of our eternal selves by experiencing, and then processing, a past life which is relevant and beneficial to one’s current life. A person who wishes to utilize regression for therapeutic purposes can call to schedule an office visit either with you or with a regression therapist of his/her own choice.
In general, the most common reaction to regression therapy in a group setting is tears. There can be an abundance of quiet, healing tears---tears which somehow help to cleanse and to heal the soul.
Question 3: “I would like to do more public speaking and guide more group regressions, and am curious to know what has worked for you.”
Response: A common response to your question would be: a technique which works well for one person might not work well for another. Actually, when we talk about a technique which works well for one person, we are referring to the client. We choose a technique which works for the client rather than one which works for the hypnotist. The hypnotist must learn to adapt techniques to fit the individual. The welfare of the client is the first consideration. To learn more about public speaking, the book, Your Creative Voice: Reaching and Teaching from Your Experience may be downloaded freely from www.creativespirit.net/henrybolduc. The four published books and the numerous articles are copyright-free.
Here are seven ideas which seem to work well:
1. Ask friends and colleagues to help you with your work. That might sound obvious but, oftentimes, people are reluctant to ask for help. In return, you can help them with projects. Barter works well for many people.
2. In your early years as a speaker, you will have to do a lot of work. You actually might spend more time in trying to arrange speaking engagements than in giving them. You will have to work to get opportunities to speak and to teach; in time, your effort will bring great rewards. You also will need to schedule some time for writing. If you do the planting now, your harvest years will be very abundant and fulfilling.
3. Be generous. Strive to give as much as you can to life and always give more than you expect to receive. Generosity brings abundance. Share your gifts of knowledge and wisdom with your colleagues. Your clients, however, (except for the usual few pro bono cases) need to show respect for the work by paying a professional fee for professional service.
4. Love your work. Hypnosis and past-life exploration are two very exciting fields of knowledge. Share your excitement of spiritual growth and evolution. People everywhere are eager to heal the past and to build a better future.
5. Love your audiences. Sometimes it takes awhile for people to learn such a subtle, profound concept. People are paying money to come to hear you speak or teach. That honor brings great responsibility. You owe them the very best material, the very best sessions, and an enjoyable overall experience. Be professional as you model honesty, humor, and kindness.
6. If you attend presentations given by other speakers, you can help yourself to become a greater speaker and teacher. No matter which topic, you will learn from every presentation which you attend. Actually, the more you know about a topic, the more you will learn by appreciating nuances.
7. “Just be kind and patient” as the Edgar Cayce Readings counseled so many people. Work daily to promote your programs and to improve your presentations. Patience is the realization that success comes naturally with time and dedication. You have to plant the seeds before you can cultivate and harvest the results.
As you define and refine your teaching, you will learn much in the years ahead. When enlightened by new research, you will continue to adapt and to update techniques. Your success rate will improve every time you speak and teach. Seek to be of service to humanity. Fame is fleeting, service is healing, and generosity helps all of humanity.
Henry Leo Bolduc: www.henrybolduc.com
Marjorie V. Reynolds: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adventures Into Time
Post Office Box 88
Independence VA 24348 USA
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