Phase 3 - Regression (emotion)
After the cognitive and behavioural work in phase one and two, the emotional element receives specific attention especially through the use of regression.
Regression with the help of a therapist
Regression with the help of a therapist serves primarily as a way to learn to apply regression independently, not as a means to heal. This phase ends when the client knows how to apply regression by herself. Some people will need much time to achieve this skill, others might be able to apply regression independently with hardly any or even no help at all. For people who have a very hard time accessing their feelings (much False Power-denial of needs (FP-dn)) Defence Reversal (DR) work is often more effective than accessing old pain with the help of regression during the beginning phases of PRI.
Applying the tool of regression independently is important in order to be able to connect old pain to its true cause: the old reality. In other words: regression serves as a way of gaining access to the repressed contents of the Childhood Consciousness with our Adult Consciousness, in order to facilitate integration of the old pain and the old reality which caused it, into AC. This phase in principle has an end. When we have a broad idea of what the old repressed reality looked like in general and we know (on an emotional level) what that would have felt like, it is not necessary anymore to experience the same old pain over and over again every time a Symbol occurs. When this stage has been reached regression remains of importance only in those situations in which a Symbol causes a very strong (over or under) reaction, which makes it impossible to apply phase four: Dual Consciousness. Or when we are confronted with a new Symbol and a pain that we haven’t previously accessed and connected to the old reality.
Experiencing regressions can also be considered as a form of ‘exposure’, just as is frequently the case with Defence Reversal. After all, during regression we expose ourselves deliberately to old situations and feelings that we would rather not undergo.