- An older child will suddenly begin again to wet the bed or suck his thumb when the new baby comes home.
- A college student, away from home for the first time, will want to bring her teddy bear with her.
- A wife refuses to drive a car even though it causes the family much disorganization. A result of her refusal is that her husband has to take her everywhere.
- Regressions are a common culprit in marital unhappiness. Suddenly, the man no longer sees his wife as a peer, a friend, a lover, a mate -- he sees the critical mother! And he tantrums. He whines. He pouts. He turns passive-aggressive.
- A person who suffers a mental breakdown assumes a fetal position, rocking and crying. Regressing when under a great deal of stress, a person may be refusing to leave the bed and engage in normal, everyday activities.
- A person who has suffered a difficult divorce or death of a spouse may want to revisit the home of his/her childhood – those tender years before pain overruled all other feelings.
- Oral fixation can lead to increase smoking or eating, or vocal actions including verbal abuse.
- Anal fixation can lead to anal retentive behaviors such as tidying and fastidiousness. Obsessive-compulsive disorders can occur including those that lead to cruelty, extreme orderliness, or miserliness
- Phallic fixation can lead to conversion hysteria (the transformation of psychic energy into physical symptoms) which is disguised sexual impulses.
Following World War II, regression was often discussed as part of the treatment for adults and children who had been traumatized during the war. John Bowlby, the developer of attachment theory, commented optimistically on treatments that encouraged regression by caring for children as if they were infants. Similarly, Bruno Bettelheim proposed to treat autistic children by feeding them with bottles and providing lavish amounts of candy and other treats. These practices were apparently based on the idea that if people could be caused to regress in their development, they could then be guided to recapitulate or repeat the steps of early development and to emerge as mature beings.
Today, psychoanalysts may still use the regression concept as it was suggested by Freud, but are most unlikely to use "reparenting" techniques. Cognitive-behavioral psychologists are unlikely to use the concept at all. However, unconventional treatments such as Attachment Therapy may still employ what they call "age regression" methods, rocking, bottle-feeding, and diapering older children in an effort to send them back to early developmental stages, although in 2006 the American Professional Society on Abuse of Children decried such practices.