Reverse Speech is a relatively unknown technique for accessing the unconscious mind. The theory is that when speech is replayed in reverse, it is possible to find statements and words that have arisen out of the unconscious that may be of help to know. See

After a brief explanation of the theory of Reverse Speech, the practitioner started the tape running and I began to speak about the various things happening in my life, with her interrupting now and again to clarify various points. She had asked me to speak about those things which were most important to me at the time. After about 20 minutes I felt complete with my ‘story’, and then we booked a time some days later for us to go over the results. She explained about replaying the tape backwards and locating any ‘reversals’, and then writing it up, all of which takes quite some time.

When I returned some days later she greeted me with a typed document with a bunch of sentences, under which were some phrases, not all of which were necessarily correct English, which she said were the reversals she found. Then we went through them, relating the reversals to the context of the sentence they occurred in. Some of them were pretty straight forward, others were more metaphorical which needed some interpretation. She was very careful not to put her own interpretation on any of this, rather encouraging me to see or make connections between these phrases and the subject I was referring to in that sentence.

I became aware of a certain drowsiness which I recognised as what happens when the unconscious mind doesn’t like being delved into. At one point I put on the headphones and she first replayed a sentence then played it back in reverse at normal speed, then again at half speed. And lo and behold, there was the reversal amongst the gibberish of my normal backward speech. It was amazing to hear a clear phrase appearing out of the ‘soup’ of gibberish.

Going through the reversals, I mostly found I easily related to what my unconscious had said, and while there were no big surprises or life changing insights, it felt good to get some confirmation of what I sensed in my life, some fine tuning of my direction.

Written by Mark O’Brien for the “Session of the Month’, Here & Now magazine 1999-2005

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