In practice it is usual to introduce reliving suggestions after some preliminary induction and deepening has been accomplished, though this is by no means essential to producing the phenomenon, as is evidenced by the fact that some tests of hypnotic susceptibility such as the Creative Imagination Scale include an ‘reliving’ item. Reliving is technically very straightforward to establish and may be used in a variety of ways:- to rehearse coping strategies in recently experienced anxiety-provoking situations, to access good early memories for use as a personal resource, to uncover traumatic incidents, to re-experience life before the onset of chronic pain etc.

The general format of the procedure is to suggest to the client that they go back over time at their own speed (getting younger and smaller if this is appropriate) etc. . The detailed form of the suggestions will vary depending on whether the reliving is to a predetermined age, to a known incident, or may be simply an injunction to return to an experience which (your unconscious mind knows) is relevant to your current problems”.

Ego-state approaches can also be very effectively incorporated into reliving experiences. For example, by introducing an ‘older and wiser’ or ‘objectively observing’ self to interact with the ego state experiencing the reliving. There are many ways of achieving this - one is to ask the ‘older wiser’ part of the self to ‘step out of’ the ongoing scene, to observe the ‘self’ who is having the reliving experience and then to go back into the scene to offer advice, comfort etc to the ‘reliving’ self.
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