by Hans TenDam, C.P.L.T.
Here, TenDam relates how his views of the roles of emotions in regression therapy have evolved over time. He proposes that negative emotions have a proper and working place in our human experience and uses parts of sessions as illustrations of this point. He defines emotions in many different ways, such as communication, information, and states of being.
In my first years as a regression therapist, the role of emotions seemed clear-cut. Emotions were used to induce regression, to focus the session and to anchor the evolving train of events relived. Finally, emotions were the most noticeable part of catharsis.
A client may have recurrent bouts of deep loneliness. Focusing on the loneliness, we find that it connected with a sense of coldness throughout the body. If the session results in a shallow catharsis, no part of the body is cold anymore. In a deep catharsis, all parts of the body are warm. Likewise, in a shallow catharsis, feelings of anger may have disappeared. In a deep catharsis, they may transmute into feelings of peace, acceptance, and inner strength. In a shallow catharsis, negative emotions dissolve. In a deep catharsis, negative emotions transmute into positive emotions. All this is straightforward. Most fellow therapists will recognize this.