Past life and life between lives regression are powerful therapeutic methods. Past life regression therapy may get to the origin of an issue when other methods have not worked. Some of the issues carried over from previous lifetimes include repeating patterns, limiting beliefs, phobias, relationship challenges, and physical symptoms.
Life between lives hypnotherapy assists clients to remember the afterlife between lives on earth, to discover life purpose, Soul lessons in relationships, and a deeper connection with their spiritual mentors/guides.
I present some existing research and case studies that support the premises on which these therapies are based. However, my intention is not to prove the existence of past lives or between lives. My purpose is to share transformative therapies which integrate mind, body and spirit.
In a time when many people are feeling disconnected from Spirit and each other, I have found that these experiential approaches often awaken a deep awareness of our oneness and wholeness.
Life between lives hypnotherapy (LBL) is a methodology developed by Dr. Michael Newton, a counseling psychologist. He regressed 7000 people to their memories of the afterlife, a place where their spirit went after death, between their lives on earth. He initially did not necessarily believe in an afterlife, nor was he religious or spiritual.
Dr. Newton began past life explorations when he happened upon a discovery during a hypnotherapy session with a client who he was treating for pain. When the client was asked to go to the origin of the pain, he remembered a previous life as a soldier who was killed. The pain disappeared after that.
Other clients reported remembering experiences in the spiritual realm, such as meeting loved ones who had passed on, spiritual guides and teachers. After many reports like these, Dr. Newton shifted from skepticism to experiencing his own sense of spirituality.
In a time where many people are feeling discouraged, often disconnected from Spirit and each other, the life between lives process helps us to have a direct experience of our true essence as immortal Souls. Many people report:
- overcoming their fear of death
- knowing their life purpose
- remembering they are not alone
- clarity about Soul lessons with their family and significant relationships
- experiencing unconditional love and oneness with Source
- a greater knowledge of the bigger picture of their Soul evolution over lifetimes
Words fall short in describing the LBL transcendent experience of overwhelming love, the feeling of connection to Source and the expansive knowing our Soul. Some have compared aspects of the LBL to a near death experience.
Past Life Regression (PLR)
It is recommended that a client have some previous experience in altered states by doing a separate past life regression session prior to undergoing a three to four-hour LBL session. This increases the clients comfort level by having practice in the trance state and having familiarity with the practitioner.
Past life regression (PLR) is a process of going back into a previous life time through hypnosis, thereby accessing memories to discover unresolved patterns and unfinished business that are still affecting this lifetime. This is not stage hypnotism where are you are asleep, are out of control and dont remember anything. During the PLR, part of you is aware that you are in the room, but you choose to tune out the current distractions and focus on an inner experience of the past life memories that come to the surface.
Trance states are not unusual. For example, you are in a trance state when you are distracted, driving down the expressway, and you miss your exit. Another example is when you go to the movies. You may be so focused on what is happening on the screen that you forget that youre in the theater. You are still conscious but you tune out external distractions.
There are some myths surrounding past life hypnosis. One myth is that people mostly remember famous lives as kings and queens such as Cleopatra. In the thousands of cases that I regressed over a 20-year period, very few people were well known. Dr. Helen Wambach, a noted psychologist, professor and therapist, did a statistical analysis of over 1000 people she had regressed either individually or in groups. None of her subjects reported a past life as a historical personage. Only 7 percent reported living upper class lives. The middle to lower class constituted the majority of all lives in all the time periods covered from 2000 B.C. to 2000 A.D. (Wambach, 1978).
There is also a misconception that the past life memories are just imagination. During the initial stage of regression, memories often seem to be imagination. However, this usually passes when the left brain, analytical mind goes into a deeper level of hypnosis. Most people report that If I were going to make the life up, that is not what I would have made up.
Past life regression therapy may be useful when other approaches have not resolved a persons issue(s). The origin of the problem may be in another lifetime.
For example, A middle aged client named Joyce had difficulty losing weight despite trying many approaches. There was no physical basis for this and nothing explained it from her current life. I asked her when the weight first came on. She stated that the weight gain started after a trip to Ireland. When I regressed her back to the root of the problem, she remembered a lifetime in Ireland in which she had died during the potato famine. Joyce later commented, I kept finding myself literally pulled to the famine houses and graveyards from that era, feeling so connected but not having any inclination of why other than that I could hardly be pulled from those locations. All of her children had died of malnutrition. She admitted to carrying over guilt from not being able to save her children. It should be noted that she chose not to have children in her current life. Could I believe the trip to Ireland in her current life may have triggered an unconscious residual survival instinct urge from her past life by gaining weight in her current life so as not to starve? The good news is she was able to forgive herself for not being able to save her children, lost weight and had more compassion for herself with her weight loss resistance.
Past life regression can be effective whether one believes in past lives or views it as metaphor. I have found as a psychotherapist, after twenty years of regressing thousands of clients that, PLR and LBL methods are highly effective and transformative. One to ten year follow-up case studies and interviews with clients to find out the long range benefits of their PLR and LBL sessions can be found in Soul Visioning: Clear the Past, Create your Future (Wisehart, 2008).
In addition, there is compelling research which has been done to investigate the survival of memory from one life to another. Ian Stevenson, MD, was a psychiatrist at the University of Virginia who researched approximately 2500 cases of children who spontaneously recalled past life memories. These children reported specific and verifiable details of their past lives, such as the towns where they lived, the names of their former families, and how they died. He documented physical evidence of birthmarks and deformities which correlated with how they had died, such as entry and exit wounds of bullets. Dr. Stevenson consulted public records in the places where these children remembered living. He was able to validate a high percentage of the childrens reports of the details from their past lives.
His colleague, Jim Tucker, MD, a pediatric psychiatrist, has continued Stevensons research after his death, at the Department of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia. Here is one example of a remarkable case study Dr. Tucker cites.
A two-year-old boy had nightmares of being shot down as a World War II pilot. He remembered incredible details that an average two -year old would not know, such as the name of his aircraft carrier and the type of plane he flew in. In addition, he knew his name and the names of his fellow pilots. His father, Bruce Leininger, who had previously never believed in past lives, was able to meticulously document extensive details even to the point of tracking down the boys sister who was still alive, in her 80s. (Leininger, 2010; Tucker, 2013)
Life Between Lives (LBL) Process
The focus in the past life regression is more on the past life. The focus in life between lives is on the spirit realm between lifetimes. It is a deeper hypnotic state than the PLR and lasts three to four hours. Clients prepare for the session by making a list of questions they want to ask their guides and teachers, such as life purpose; a review of their past life and this life progress; and their lessons and agreements with the important people in their lives. They also compile a list of important people in their lives who assisted or challenged them. These people may show up in the spirit realm as soul group members.
What happens in an LBL session varies according to what the Soul of the client needs to know and experience at this particular point in their lives. In my experience, the LBL can range from being highly structured, with buildings, gardens, and guides that appear in human form with various clothing, to the more abstract ones such as androgynous light beings. In some cases, it is direct channeling of the Higher Self guidance.
It should be pointed out that the LBL is not a linear process. It transcends time and space limitations. Past, present and future are accessible in now time. Communication in the spirit realm is telepathic and thought streams are often conveyed in downloads of information. However, for the purpose of clarity in sharing these reports, the process must be written in a more linear way.
The LBL Session
The following description of the LBL session is only a sample of possible experiences that clients report having. A more expanded explanation and case studies can be found in Dr. Michael Newtons books, listed in the resource section.
> Previous Past Lifetime
The client is guided into an extended deep state of relaxation and given a suggestion to go to their most immediate past life. It is reviewed briefly to discover significant people, themes and patterns. The client is then guided to the last day of their life and transitioned through death into the spirit realm. The physical body is released and there is a gradual vibrational reorienting into the spiritual body.
> Transition and Orientation
There are individual differences in how a person experiences the transition to the between state. Some Souls need recovery time after a traumatic death. Loved ones and compassionate spirit guides assist and reassure the returning Soul. There may be a restorative place such as a garden, a park, a healing room for rejuvenation until the Soul is ready to move on.
The returning Soul is often greeted by their primary spirit guide, who assists the Soul with a compassionate life review of the life they just left. The review could include lessons learned in their life and relationships, unfinished business, limiting beliefs or guilt they have carried with them, and more. The guides are allies and teachers through many lifetimes who provide direction and support.
> Soul Groups
Your primary Soul group are those who have incarnated many times with you. They range between three and twenty-five members, with the average of about fifteen. They may include family, friends, lovers, and children (Newton, 2000). Meeting with your Soul group can help you understand the roles various people play in your life, as well as the purpose and the lessons you have chosen to learn together.
> Council of Elders
The council of elders are advanced, wise teachers who are unconditionally loving., They help you to understand your life purpose, lessons, review your progress and planning your next lifetime. There is an opportunity to ask questions about your current life.
This is not a karmic review board, sitting in judgment of you. The focus of the review is your Soul development. There is no punishment, only encouragement to learn from mistakes, to release guilt, and to move forward with compassion for oneself and others. The idea is that errors call for correction, not condemnation. The lessons we failed to learn are presented once again in other lifetimes, often with the same Souls, but playing different roles. I liken it to the movie Ground Hog Day with Bill Murray, who kept waking up and reliving the same day over and over, making the same mistakes until he became more aware and changed his behavior.
LBL Case Study
I interviewed a client two years after her LBL session to find out the impact it had on her life (Wisehart, 2008). Judy was a 39 year-old holistic healing practitioner with a business degree who did an LBL session with me to find answers to her questions about her relationships and her progress as a Soul. She was at the time participating in a research trial for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, studying the effects of energy medicine on certain kinds of cancer survivors.
> Last Past Lifetime
Her previous lifetime was during WWII as a Filipino man who had died when the Japanese bombed Manila. It was a simple life and he was a hard worker. However, he gossiped, sat on the sidelines and complained too much. He contributed to his family but not to the community.
His village was bombed and destroyed. His last memory before death was a sharp pain in his head. Sometimes symptoms carry over from the past life and manifest in the current lifetime. Judy had headaches in her current life which lessened significantly after her LBL session.
> Orientation and Restoration
He quickly left the past life and transitioned to the spirit realm where he was met by two guides, a male named Marmon and a female named Josephine. They cleansed him with healing light energy to clear the pain and trauma of the violent death. Judy said, I felt like I had a new outfit on, a light body. Her guides reviewed the past life with her and she realized that she needed to stop complaining about life and take action.
> Council of Elders
Her guides then took her to a meeting in a round room where she met with her Council of Elders, dressed in blue robes. She called these her wisdom keepers. The wise beings were loving, yet firm. They discussed the lessons she needed to learn in preparing for her next life. They reassured her that although she was on the right track, she needed to be patient with herself because of her high expectations.
They discussed how she had been unavailable to her family in her past life as the Filipino man. Having been a judgmental and abandoning male in that past life, she came back in this current life to experience the reverse with a dominating father who was disempowering toward women. Judy realized that she had invited all the players in her drama to learn more compassion for herself and others.
She also wanted to know more about her current life relationship with one of her sisters, with whom she had had many lifetimes of difficulty. There has been jealousy and jostling for position between them. She realized that her sister had come into her life again so that Judy could disengage from the negativity. She needed to stop the pattern of complaining and work to change it.
Judy also wanted to know about a relationship with her boyfriend, with whom she had had a lifetime two centuries ago. They were in love but her parents wanted him to marry her older sister. He went along with the parents wishes and married her sister, leaving Judy heartbroken. Her sister in the earlier incarnation is his daughter from this present lifetime. He wont upset the applecart in this current life to be with Judy. She realized that she had to value herself enough to move on. (She did eventually follow up on this realization and left the relationship.)
> Classroom of Learning
After the meeting with her Council, Judy was taken to a place where her learning could continue. People often report attending specialized classrooms for advanced learning. She learned about healing methods, vibrational frequencies and bringing energy into coherence. Her healing abilities have been enhanced and she is utilizing her gifts in her current life.
We can debate the issue of whether consciousness survives death and if it is genetic memory, the collective unconscious, the non-local mind, a dream state or the immortal nature of the Soul. Perhaps quantum physics models will someday offer more answers to this. However, as a holistic psychotherapist who integrates mind, body spirit approaches into my practice, I have found past life regression and life between lives regression methods to be invaluable to many of my clients. They often report shifting out of a victim consciousness, having greater clarity of their life purpose, a greater sense of not being alone, an experience of unconditional transcendent love, a deeper understanding of the lessons they chose for this lifetime and the Soul contracts with the people in their lives.
Leininger, Bruce and Andrea. (2010). Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot . New York, New York: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition.
Newton, Michael. (1996). Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives, 5Th edition. Woodbury, MN: Lewellyn Publications.
Newton, Michael. (2001). Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives . Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications.
Newton, Michael. (2009). Memories of the Afterlife: Life Between Lives: Stories of Personal Transformation. St. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications.
Stevenson, Ian. (2000). Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation. Jefferson, South Carolina: McFarland & Co.
Tucker, Jim. (2008). Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children’s Memories of Previous Lives. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Tucker, Jim. (2013). Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives . New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Wambach, Helen. (2000). Reliving Pat Lives: The Evidence of Over 1000 Hypnosis-Induced Past-Life Recalls, New York: Barnes and Noble Books.
Weiss, Brian L. (1988). Many Lives, Many Masters. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Wisehart, Susan. (2008). Soul Visioning: Clear the Past, Create Your Future . Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications.
Woolger, Roger. (2004). Healing Your Past Lives: Exploring the Many Lives of the Soul . Boulder, CO: Sounds True.