Age progression (or future orientation) is a technique in which patients, in hypnosis, go into the future. This technique is particularly helpful for individuals who experience anxiety, depression or lack of confidence. During age progression, patients are encouraged to see themselves in the future; the therapist, in turn, provides them with solution-oriented imagery. Using goal setting or positive mental rehearsal, the individual is given the opportunity to imagine himself in his desired future in which he is in the winning position. For example, someone terrified of public speaking could envisage a scenario in which he is full of confidence, speaking to a large crowd of people. Another example might be a flying phobic who is able to imagine a positive experience while sitting on an aeroplane on a trip away. Some therapists suggest that patients step in to the situation and act as their best self. It is important that clients are given the opportunity to associate and really experience positive feelings relating to each situation; therefore, it is important to get them to visualise each scenario in as much detail as possible—this can be done using content or process suggestions. There are many ways in which the therapist can help people to move into the future. One example is the crystal ball technique; here, patients look carefully into the crystal ball and imagine their own desired future. One can also teleport patients to their desired future: the advantage of this technique is that is a very quick. Other age progression techniques involve sitting on a magic carpet, get into a ‘Back to the Future’-style vehicle, or looking at a calendar.
David Kraft is an experienced integrative psychotherapist from London, UK. He uses a multi-modal approach which combines psychodynamically-oriented psychotherapy with behaviour therapy and hypnosis. For an appointment, please telephone 0207 467 8564 or click Here.