Category Archives: Past Life Regression

Past Life Regression Part 3: Healing Emotional Trauma and the Science or PLR

Past Life Regression, Part 3: Healing Emotional Trauma with PLR

Learning From the Past; Exploring the Future

PLR Part 3

In my hypnotherapy practice, I've been fortunate to work with numerous clients who were interested in exploring the possibility of previous lives. In each case, these people had tried for years to break deeply seated emotional patterns and limiting beliefs about themselves. While they had achieved some level of success, they still felt as though something was holding them back from fully experiencing and enjoying their accomplishments.

One client in particular was very memorable. As we discussed PLR as an option, he seemed somewhat spooked by the thought. Interestingly, when I said the word “reincarnation” he perked up. That was the touchstone that resonated for him.

This person is an author who was having difficulty promoting his books and believing in himself as an achiever.

As our session evolved, this client visited a past life that took place in the 1920s where he experienced a domineering mother, passive father and a family who did not appreciate his mental/emotional depth. In this life, his lessons were to keep quiet to maintain the peace and put his desires second to those of others. In short, he didn't matter.

One of the fascinating things to watch when a client is in a PLR is their body movement. In the hypnotic state, clients' body language can be significant abreactions. In this case, my client curled up in my recliner, as though he was recoiling from the world that was hurting him in this previous life.

We visited the end of this past life; seeing the death scene was freeing to him as he floated up toward space.

We talked about the lessons that he learned in this life: being alone, being second, being unappreciated. I asked him if he needed to carry the baggage of these lessons forward into his current life.

He replied, “No.”

As I guided him through releasing these faulty beliefs, he sat taller in the chair as each emotional weight was removed.

When he woke from the regression a few minutes later, his face was noticeably less strained, he was smiling and energetic. The experience had been profound for him and she took the lessons of the session with him.

Does this one illustration create a scientific case for PLR? No, it honestly does not.

However, it does have some very interesting commonalities with other past life experiences documented by therapists who have studied the phenomenon.

Dr. Michael Newton, author of Journey of Souls, has documented an outline of ten experiences that are common to those who are the subject of a past life regression. These stages are described perfectly in this article: Did Science Just Prove Reincarnation? A Look At The Soul’s Journey After “Death”

Contrary to the title, the process of PLR has not been proven scientifically.

Sadly, much research into the phenomenon has been sloppy. The work of Ian Stevenson is described here.

In any scientific process, it is important that the researcher be willing to allow his/her hypothesis to be disproven by the evidence resulting from data collection and experiments. It seems that Stevenson accepted surface observations as deeper proof in his desire to prove the hypothesis to which he dedicated his life.

At the University of Virginia, psychiatrist Jim Tucker is taking a more scientific approach. Tucker believes that there is something deeper to the human experience of reincarnation and is working with in the framework of science and quantum physics to discover explanations.

It is improbable that current scientific tools will reveal significant leaps into the realm of past life regression. The experience is more an expression of faith than it is one of science.

As the field of quantum physics progresses, we may find stronger links to the powers of mind over matter and the possibility of the ongoing existence of our souls/consciousness.

Even without hard scientific proof to back it up, the protocol of PLR is a proven tool in healing clients' issues in this current life.

I have seen the improvements that the past life experience brings to my clients. It is a powerful tool in my practice.

Past Life Regression, Part 3: Healing Emotional Trauma with Past Life Regression

Past Life Regression, Part 3: Healing Emotional Trauma and the Science of PLR

Learning From the Past; Exploring the Future

In my hypnotherapy practice, I've been fortunate to work with numerous clients who were interested in exploring the possibility of previous lives. In each case, these people had tried for years to break deeply seated emotional patterns and limiting beliefs about themselves. While they had achieved some level of success, they still felt as though something was holding them back from fully experiencing and enjoying their accomplishments.

One client in particular was very memorable. As we discussed PLR as an option, he seemed somewhat spooked by the thought. Interestingly, when I said the word “reincarnation” he perked up. That was the touchstone that resonated for him.

This person is an author who was having difficulty promoting his books and believing in himself as an achiever.

As our session evolved, this client visited a past life that took place in the 1920s where he experienced a domineering mother, passive father and a family who did not appreciate his mental/emotional depth. In this life, his lessons were to keep quiet to maintain the peace and put his desires second to those of others. In short, he didn't matter.

One of the fascinating things to watch when a client is in a PLR is their body movement. In the hypnotic state, clients' body language can be significant abreactions. In this case, my client curled up in my recliner, as though he was recoiling from the world that was hurting him in this previous life.

We visited the end of this past life; seeing the death scene was freeing to him as he floated up toward space.

We talked about the lessons that he learned in this life: being alone, being second, being unappreciated. I asked him if he needed to carry the baggage of these lessons forward into his current life.

He replied, “No.”

As I guided him through releasing these faulty beliefs, he sat taller in the chair as each emotional weight was removed.

When he woke from the regression a few minutes later, his face was noticeably less strained, he was smiling and energetic. The experience had been profound for him and she took the lessons of the session with him.

Does this one illustration create a scientific case for PLR? No, it honestly does not.

However, it does have some very interesting commonalities with other past life experiences documented by therapists who have studied the phenomenon.

Dr. Michael Newton, author of Journey of Souls, has documented an outline of ten experiences that are common to those who are the subject of a past life regression. These stages are described perfectly in this article: Did Science Just Prove Reincarnation? A Look At The Soul’s Journey After “Death”

Contrary to the title, the process of PLR has not been proven scientifically.

Sadly, much research into the phenomenon has been sloppy. The work of Ian Stevenson is described here.

In any scientific process, it is important that the researcher be willing to allow his/her hypothesis to be disproven by the evidence resulting from data collection and experiments. It seems that Stevenson accepted surface observations as deeper proof in his desire to prove the hypothesis to which he dedicated his life.

At the University of Virginia, psychiatrist Jim Tucker is taking a more scientific approach. Tucker believes that there is something deeper to the human experience of reincarnation and is working with in the framework of science and quantum physics to discover explanations.

It is improbable that current scientific tools will reveal significant leaps into the realm of past life regression. The experience is more an expression of faith than it is one of science.

As the field of quantum physics progresses, we may find stronger links to the powers of mind over matter and the possibility of the ongoing existence of our souls/consciousness.

Even without hard scientific proof to back it up, the protocol of PLR is a proven tool in healing clients' issues in this current life.

I have seen the improvements that the past life experience brings to my clients. It is a powerful tool in my practice.

Past Life Regression, Pt 2: Hypnotic Storytelling to Promote a Healing Identity

Past Life Regression, Pt 2: Hypnotic Storytelling to Promote a Healing Identity

Is It Fiction If It Has an Effect?

You are not you. At least not in the sense of your physical body and your ideas about the life that you perceive.

You are a story.

You are the story that you tell yourself about identity.

These stories can be both positive/empowering and negative/destructive. If you tell yourself that you are successful in business, even long before you actually have a business, you are more likely to be a successful entrepreneur.

If the story you tell yourself is that you are a loser in love and unworthy of companionship, you will most likely go through life alone, or in horrible, demeaning, unfulfilling relationships.

We live our stories every day. We make choices in our lives that validate our beliefs about ourselves and reinforce these tales. Our fictions become fact through repetitive reinforcement.

What happens when we become bored with our story? Or, maybe more accurately, what happens when our story no longer serves our long-term goals? What do we do when we feel that there is something better, more fulfilling, for us in this life beyond the limits of our current experience?

Can we change? Can we improve our story?

My experience with my clients is that we can. By reframing limiting beliefs, my clients are empowered with a sense of opportunity to achieve, rather than diminished by perceived challenges.

This is not an overnight process. Hypnosis is not a panacea, but it is a useful tool in reframing the stories and beliefs that are stored in the subconscious mind.

Where does Past Life Regression have a place in this process?

As I mentioned in my previous article, it is not the purpose of this series to claim PLR as a fact, that decision is personal and is the choice of my clients. My intention here is to suggest reasons as to why stories of past lives can be instrumental to healing in this present life.

In this article on storytelling, Gregory Ciotti discusses how and why stories are important to us. Politicians and lawyers use them to help make a case for their policies and positions, salesmen use them to engage our emotions beyond the cost of a transaction.

Stories are used to get us to buy-in, they entice us by creating relevance and commonality.

The embellishments of a story draw us in and expand our perception beyond mere facts. They help us imagine ourselves in a different circumstance.

Through this engagement, we perceive a different reality than one we may have considered prior to this exposure. If the emotional content of the story is strong enough, we may even be moved to change our position on a topic.

Transportation is an interesting phenomena that occurs in the brain when we become immersed in a story. As noted in this article from Berkeley, “Once a story has sustained our attention long enough, we may begin to emotionally resonate with story’s characters. Narratologists call this “transportation,” and you experience this when your palms sweat as James Bond trades blows with a villain on top of a speeding train.”

So, if the process of transportation can cause us to have a physical response to a fictional character, could it not also cause us to create a change in our lives based on what we may perceive as another version of ourselves?

Let's consider a fictional client. This person faces a challenge in their life and they have chosen hypnotherapy to help. Maybe they tried other means to change, maybe not. What matters is that they are here in my office now.

For sake of argument (and an easy, nearly universal) metaphor, let's say that they are unlucky in love. They cannot find the right person in their life and are repeating the same pattern over and over and over again. They are conscious enough of their pattern that the recognize it, but they feel they do not have the tools to change it. Initially, they place the blame for the ending of relationships on others, but eventually recognize that the only common denominator in all of these pairings is them.

After a series of protocols including suggestion therapy, parts therapy and possibly childhood regression, they've made some strides, but are still feeling that the problem is not solved.

The root for this may be that all of these protocols are based in the current life and the perceptions of it. The tools for reference are not in their toolbox. Much like if we were fixing a plumbing leak and found that we did not have a pipe wrench in our arsenal.

We may be able to make a suitable repair, but not a complete one until we had the proper tool.

We'd need to go to another toolbox.

In the case of our fictional client, this new toolbox is past life regression.

Why?

The initial answer is, if they client does not believe that they have the tools in this life to create the change that they desire, then we can discuss how this problem may have existed in another life. It is possible that they have already learned this lesson, or that they could gain new insights to help manifest change here and now.

There are factors that are important for the client to accept before we begin the session.

1. They must be open to the idea of past lives. If they are not open to reincarnation, we may be able to come to an agreement that the experience is just a metaphor and to accept it as a story to help them.
2. They must be willing to accept responsibility for what happened in this past life story. For example, if they are unlucky in love in this life, they may construct a story in which they were abusive to their partner(s) in a previous life. As uncomfortable as it may be, they have to accept that this event took place and learn from it.

We begin our session and they experience the story generated by their subconscious. As I mentioned in the previous article, my role is one of facilitator. I do not help them create imagery or situations. My only question is, “What happens next?” The client is responsible for the construction of the story – it is THEIR story.

If, as we noted above, transportation creates a physical reaction in us to fictional characters, how much stronger may that process be when the character is us? How much more strongly relevant may the story be for us?

During a PLR session, the client may discover that in the tale of their previous life that they solved this problem already, or they may perceive the same situation occurring again. They are given tools to frame what they learned in that prior situation to apply to the current one. Ideally, they have found their new tools in this toolbox and can now make effective repairs to their life.

What are your thoughts on PLR? I'd love to open this discussion wider.

Can Past Life Regression Lead to Healing in This Life?

How Can Past Life Regression Lead to Healing in This Life?

Part 1: Is PLR Right for You?

When I discuss the variety of modalities that I use with clients, the tool that raises the most questions is Past Live Regression (PLR).

It is a controversial protocol and concept. It is also typically not the first modality I will use with a client. It is important to me to help my clients resolve their issues as quickly as possible. We'll discuss the schedule of sessions, the tools used in each and then choose the path for them to move forward with hypnotherapy.

One of my favorite stories of reincarnation is that of James Leininger, a two-year old boy who had experiences of a WWII pilot. His story is told in the book Soul Survivor.

Here's a brief video of his story.

At the heart of the PLR concept are a variety of questions, including:

1. Are you open to the idea of reincarnation, that you lived a previous life?

2. Did you live a life before this one?

3. What lessons were you to learn in that lifetime?

4. Are you currently living out patterns based on issues from that lifetime?

5. Can you release these past issues and find peaceful harmony in this present life?

My intention for this series of articles is to discuss the protocol and the ideas behind it. I will leave the judgment of the reality of this concept to my readers as individuals.

As a client-centered hypnotherapist, I work within the framework of my client's beliefs. If they are not open to the idea of past lives, this protocol has no efficacy. Those clients who show interest in the process have seen benefits from increased awareness of the negative patterns which they find themselves repeating over and over in this life.

Once we have brought the pattern to light and given it a story, then we can move forward in changing that story to benefit the client, essentially lightening the burden of the issue or freeing them from it entirely.

So, I can hear you asking, “Is it real?” I can't answer that question for you. I can only reply with another question: “Are you open to it being real?”

As we create this world with our imaginations, so too can we define our lives through the power of story and imagination. Reality is subjective and defined by our personal perceptions. I will address this concept in the next article.

What story would empower you to become your best, to achieve your goals for yourself in (this) life? If you discovered that you had negative beliefs that were diminishing your ability to achieve your vision for your life, what tools would you use to change them?

Western science looks for proof on the physical level. I get that. I respect it. Quantifiable and verifiable are good things when measuring for growth.

Unfortunately, when it comes to faith, science is not necessarily a useful tool in proving spiritual concepts.

As seen in this article from Science Based Medicine, the author disapproves of PLR due to his assertion that it cannot be verified.

In trying to prove his point, he also makes incomplete or fallacious assertions, such as this sentence under the heading, “Could it be Harmful?”:

“Even if it seems to help some patients, it is known to have harmed others. The recovered memories can be very frightening. They can cause anxiety: one inquirer on the IBRT website was worried that he would become stuck in a memory and turn into a different person.”

Look carefully at that sentence. An inquirer to the website was worried that he would become stuck in a memory. HE WAS NOT STUCK IN A MEMORY, as the author's premise of harm seems to indicate.

The questioner was fearful of something occurring, he was not indicating that he was harmed because something had actually occurred.

Another note, since the author asserts it: Yes, some memories can be frightening. So are nightmares, which are also constructs of the subconscious. It is the responsibility of the hypnotherapist to facilitate the client through these frightening memories (if they occur at all) and help them to learn from them.

The author of this article seems to treat the “recovered memories” as manufactured, attacking thoughts outside of the control of the individual. There is nothing further from the truth. The subconscious mind of the individual client will not bring up any memory that the client cannot handle. They may face intense emotional reactions, but they will be able to work through those issues with proper guidance.

Another assertion in the article is that “The past life “memories” are evoked by hypnosis and strong suggestions by the therapist.”

My issue with this sentence is the use of the terms “evoked” and “suggested.” They imply that the hypnotherapist, like a phony medium, is leading the client to conclusions that the hypnotherapist wants the client to reach.

This, at least in my method of PLR, is blatantly false. The only question that I use while working with a PLR client is, “OK, what happens next?” There is no leading of the memory, such as, “OK. You are standing outside of a house. What happened when you walked in the door?” This is disingenuous to the healing of the individual. They must be allowed to experience the memory for themselves and construct the reality of the life for themselves. This is where healing occurs, hence the “therapy” portion of the word hypnotherapy.

If you are stuck in a negative pattern loop in your life, here are some questions to ask yourself to see if PLR is a possible modality for you to use to change your life.

1. Do you believe in the concept of past lives? Do you think it is possible that you lived another life prior to this one?

2. Are you willing to take responsibility for what you learn while in the regression?

If you answered “No” to either of these questions, then you are not likely to be a good candidate for PLR.

Next week we'll discuss why our stories matter and how the tales that we tell about ourselves create the life we are living.