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Symptom-Focused Hypnotic Approach to Accessing and Processing Previously Repressed/Dissociated Memories

NCJ Number
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse Volume: 5 Issue: 2 Dated: (1996) Pages: 17-35
K L Ratican
Date Published
19 pages
The kinesthetic track back (KTB) technique of hypnosis has shown great promise in clinical applications, where it has consistently facilitated the identification of the origins of symptoms of child sexual abuse and has been an effective and safe tool, when used appropriately, for accessing previously repressed and/or dissociated material.
The KTB begins with the identification of the physical sensations associated with a current problematic behavior and/or feeling. The client, while in a hypnotic state, is regressed to a recent time when that symptom was exhibited. The client is then instructed to focus attention on his/her body and report what sensations are present and where in the body they are occurring. The client's conscious attention is then focused on those sensations, and the client is instructed to ask his/her unconscious mind to "carry you back to an earlier time and place when you felt those sensations." The client is asked to report whatever comes to mind, whether or not it seems significant or relevant to the symptom. Conscious analysis can be further suspended by asking the conscious mind to stand aside as observer and reporter of whatever comes to mind. This article discusses preparation for KTB hypnosis, how to deal with client resistance, the processing of the accessed information, and the efficacy of the technique. A case is presented to illustrate the associations between the symptoms and the accessed trauma, as well as the improvement in symptoms after working through that trauma. 24 references