Core Belief Engineering
By Lisa Sidorowicz, B.A., M.A., B.Ed., Certified Practitioner and Instructor

Age Regression

Age regression -- the experience of instantly reverting to a childhood emotional state -- can be triggered by a look or comment, a memory, a visual cue, a feeling, a sound, or even a smell. Instantaneously, one finds oneself five or seven or ten years old again: childhood feelings, thoughts, and perspectives overtake the mind. Helplessness may explode in a rush of rage; abandonment may pool into a flood of paralysing grief. In these highly charged moments, the ability to discern, think clearly, analyse, and respond to present circumstances is blinded by raw emotion. One may feel powerless, attacked, unloved, neglected, or ashamed, etc. When age regression occurs, one's feelings and reactions are uncontrollable, exaggerated, and often inappropriate to the present situation. One falls back into the behaviours, mind-sets, coping strategies, and defense mechanisms formed at a very young age, such as becoming defensive, withdrawing, retreating, hiding, shutting down, controlling, or numbing out. These reactions feel perfectly normal and justifiable to the person in the midst of this emotional state, but may leave him or her confused and frustrated once the adult state of consciousness has returned.

When an individual regresses to a younger version of himself, he is tapping very deep unresolved wells of childhood emotion. Growing up, a child's internal emotional environment is sculpted by the reactions, beliefs, emotions, and messages of parents, siblings, teachers, close family members, classmates, and friends. If, for example, a child grows up being shamed, criticised, teased, or invalidated, he may unquestioningly accept these judgements as truth and conclude at a deep level that he is unlovable and not good enough, that he doesn't belong. As a result, other people's beliefs about him (projections of their own low self-worth) become his uncontested beliefs about himself. These negative views and painful raw emotions eventually comprise part of the child's subconscious landscape, remaining alive deep within the mind. It is these holding tanks of unresolved low self-esteem and pain that get re-experienced later in life when, as an adult, some trigger reactivates the deeply stored pain.

In addition to the intense, unresolved emotions that are re-experienced during age regression, one also taps into subconscious parts of the mind that were created to cope with the original childhood distress. According to Core Belief Engineering (CBE), a results-based belief change technology, the mind is comprised of a multitude of such subconscious parts, each formed during childhood to help, protect, and serve us. Each part has its own belief systems, emotional and behavioural patterns, and coping strategies. For instance, a person who grew up in a highly critical environment may have a part dedicated to dissociating her feelings from her body whenever emotional pain becomes too intense. Another part may have the job of being a chameleon to fulfil other people's expectations to attain love and acceptance. Or, she may have developed a part that uses harsh self-denegration in an attempt to soften the blow of any further external criticism. Regardless of the success or failure of these coping strategies, they have become parts of her subconscious makeup. If this person grew into adulthood without resolving these subconscious feelings and protective reactions, any external criticism may trigger the release of her unresolved childhood feelings.

Core Belief Engineering has excellent success resolving age regression. Through a gentle yet powerful process, a CBE practitioner can guide a person to consciously reconnect to the subconscious parts of him or herself that are in pain, in order to heal at the deepest level. When subconscious pain is resolved, the deep childhood emotional void is made whole. This results in the person's ability to respond effortlessly to the circumstances that once triggered him or her, as emotional development has been freed and enabled to progress healthfully.

According to one's level of self-awareness, age regression can last for a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days. Indeed, some people live their lives in a perpetually age regressed state. When these emotional backslides are treated at the subconscious level, where they originate, emotional parts of the mind that have remained frozen in time at a younger age can be healed, chronologically updated, and integrated with the conscious mind. As a result, one lives empowered, self-confident, and able to choose how to respond to any given situation.