For many years, the therapy field was dominated by a focus on the past. In this context, many clinicians were trained to use hypnosis as a tool to explore the past, and there is a rich literature documenting the use of hypnosis as a tool to induce age regression and the uncovering of traumatic memories. This article presents a therapeutic paradigm that focuses on the future. Hypnosis is used to induce creativity, flexibility, and openness to the future. In the context of health care, hypnosis is used to explore the best possible treatment outcome, which may be pharmacological, surgical, or a combination of both as well as other nonsurgical interventions. This article elaborates on the effective use of a therapeutic hypnosis strategy and technique focused on the future.
The authors tested the hypothesis that hypnotic age regression produces a shift from secondary to primary thought processing in hypnotizable participants. Thirty participants were tested for hypnotizability using the Elkins Scale of Hypnotizability (EHS). Participants were exposed to a tailored hypnotic arm-levitation induction and a hypnotic suggestion to age regress to 5 years of age and to have a dream. Primary-process thinking was assessed using the Primary-Process Thinking Scale. An independent t test with 2 levels of hypnotizability (middle and high) showed high hypnotizables demonstrated higher ratings of primary thought processing than those in the middle group.