Regression Therapy and Being Little
Regression Therapy and Being Little
Regression therapy is a controversial method in psychology that some therapists believes can help achieve personal resolution or closure from previous trauma experienced. Generally, a patient is encouraged to relax and dive into memories, initially pleasant and progressing to the discovery of the traumatic incident(s), in effort to bring forward those feelings and thoughts to actively investigate during the remaining therapy session. The theory is that the discovery of a traumatic repressed memory will allow the patient to reveal the root cause of their mental health concern so that they can move forward with "recovering" and resolving undesired mental states. This is a potential method a therapist may choose to incorporate into sessions to resolve feelings of depression or various phobias.
Regression therapy is not used in a way to encourage or allow a person to experience only positive or pleasant childhood memories. The entire goal of the therapy is to uncover and discuss trauma in pursuing personal resolution. Because of the nature of this therapy experience many therapists would prefer to encourage the regression in the first part of the session and follow through with a discussion about the emotions and memories brought forth from the discovered memories. The experience is usually distressing to the patient and, unfortunately, the patient may choose to take an extended period of time, such as multiple therapy sessions, to fully discuss the entire memory.
This method of therapy is controversial due to a couple of factors that leave it vulnerable to dishonesty, whether intentional or unintentional. Many therapists feel regression therapy in itself is pseudoscience and some studies conclude that people claiming to have regressed during therapy sessions in this manner have simply lied about actually regressing in effort to reveal their underlying issues in a manner that felt safer or more acceptable to them. Some patients have been found to make claim of regressing to experience memories that are unfounded and what we refer to as "false memories" (simply just memories our minds make up as having happened but did not actually happen and can be verified as never having actually happened). Just like general hypnosis therapy, regression therapy really has very little conclusive evidence in proving it to actually be effective in positive mental health therapy, resolution, or recovery.
Within the CGL community we have personalities remarked as being age regressors, more commonly known as littles due to their childlike preferences and interests. This is a separate experience than that of those claimed by regression therapy or mental disorders such as formerly recognized as multiple personality disorder or disassociative personality disorder. Regression within the community is neither a form of therapy to uncover traumatic childhood experiences nor a mental health disorder affecting consciousness. Being an age regressor is a childlike personality trait that is atypical but not a mental health concern, and centers around positive feelings and experiences instead of negative, repressed memory.
Sometimes an age regressor may claim that they intentionally experience or embrace their regressive tendencies in effort to perform self-therapy and relieve stress, claiming to use it as a "coping mechanism" in times of personal distress of displeasure. While this is an acceptable coping mechanism for stress, trauma, abuse, or other unfortunate instances it does not necessarily go hand in hand as a requirement or standard of regression. A person who regresses may not have experienced childhood trauma or use their personality trait as a coping mechanism for stressful situations. Though, it seems most common that age regressors experience personal acceptance and stress relief by allowing themselves to embrace their regressive tendencies, episodes, interests, and desires. A major reason that regression is often stress-relieving for a person is that there are no negative experiences relived or discussed, and it is rare within the community for an age regressor to inadvertently regress to discover repressed childhood trauma.
Ultimately, regression therapy is not the same as being an age regressor. Remember that just because something feels therapeutic it does not mean it is actual therapy or can stand in place of therapy. Regressive episodes experienced by age regressors are not similar to that of regression therapy sessions. Age regressors experience positive moments, feelings, and potentially memories (though, age regression is not memory-based since it is core personality-based so regression does not necessarily mean the person is remembering their history) that is not the same as the idea behind regression therapy that is in effort to uncover and discuss traumatic experiences and resolve mental health conditions. Just as any adult person develops coping mechanisms for times of hardship, age regression can be used to allow an age regressive personality to cope with adulthood.