Originally published 15 Jan 2020, updated 14 October 2022.
Past life regression therapy is a popular and growing practice among spiritual healers, psychologists, and medical practitioners. The trend toward seeking more alternative forms of therapy has brought great benefits to subjects who may have been unable to overcome blocks or barriers in their lifetime.
Among the emerging branches of hypnotherapy is the practice of past-life regression. This is the deliberate, conscious retrieval of memories and experiences in other lifetimes. In doing so, we aim to deepen the understanding of our relationships with other people, personality traits and patterns of behavior, health issues, pain and discomfort, and much more.
In the following post, you’ll learn:
- What is past life regression therapy
- The benefits of past life regression
- What a regression session feels like
- The Reasons we forget our past lives
- What to look for when choosing a past life regressionist
What Is Past Life Regression Therapy?
The idea of immortality has always been controversial. It’s an idea easily traced back to indigenous tribes worldwide and, in more recent public records, in Hinduism.
According to the Hindu view of reincarnation, the soul moves from one body to another upon death. The cycle continues as the soul decides to be born repeatedly out of desire. Modern research has a contemporary view of this soul journey based more on experience and sight and less restricted by the tenets of a religion.
Past life regression therapy is a way to tap into memories from previous incarnations to bring ancient soul wisdom into the current life experience.
Reincarnation and a Brief History of the Study of Past Life Regression
Historically, there have been minimal accounts regarding reincarnation and past life regression. Broader writing is that of Patanjali, a Hindu scholar. Patanjali said that the soul is always burdened by its karma.
Past life regression therapy was revived through the efforts of Madame Blavatsky, the Mother of Modern Spirituality. She co-founded the Theosophical Society, and her studies re-introduced the concept in the West.
The practice was further developed in the 1950s when credible medical practitioners began their advocacy of past life regression as an instrument to improve mental health. In 1967, Dr. Denys Kelsey was the first to use regression as a clinical therapy.
The Practice of Past Life Regression
Studies on religious beliefs in reincarnation did not take into account nor accept the idea of repressed memories. The practice of past life regression therapy was usually done as a spiritual process and, therefore, a means to venture into the unknown.
In clinical practice, to draw information about the subject’s past life, practitioners used hypnosis whereby unearthed memories from a past life were brought to consciousness.
This was very important for both the doctor and the patient, as unresolved issues in past lives are believed to be significant in healing the patient’s present problems. However, with their limited range of techniques and the harmful nature of the memories sought, it was not always quickly resolved.
Past Life Regression in the Media
In May of 2008, during an episode of her daytime talk series, Oprah Winfrey discussed past life regression with guests Dr. Oz and Dr. Brian Weiss, who had been studying past life regression therapy for many years.
Their subject, Jodi, sought Dr. Weiss’s help to know why she had a compulsive fear of dolls.
They described how Jodie saw her late grandfather shortly after entering a state of hypnosis, and minutes later, as she began telling what she thought was a car accident, she began to cry.
Jodie recalled a past memory of her dying unexpectedly, leaving her children to grow up without her. This resulted in a fear of dolls, which became a present-life metaphor for her inability to remain in that life to raise her children.
Months later, Jodi watched an episode of Oprah featuring the Osmond family. During the show, Marie Osmond presented a doll to Oprah. Jodi commented that had it not been for her past life regression session, she would have immediately turned off the TV because of her fear of dolls. It demonstrated that Jodi’s fears about dolls were already subsiding with only one past life regression session.
Often, merely witnessing the past life provides an adequate and helpful understanding of present-life responses, habits, and phobias. My practice is filled with clients who have had remarkable healings through past life regression and more efficient uses of this exploration I’ve developed over the years.
The Controversy of Past Life Regression
Even though people believe in reincarnation and some have experienced recalled memories, there are still reservations about past life regression.
Activities that are a part of the subtle realms, such as unconscious memories, will never be fully explained by the physical world tests that are generally required as evidence. The only actual proof is in personal experience and witnessing the resulting transformation.
People who have decided they don’t believe will not be convinced, nor will they apply themselves to the experience to get a balanced perspective. So be it. This is not their path.
For those on a journey of expanding consciousness, using hypnotherapy and past life regression therapy to assist in accessing the unconscious memories from another time and space is a blessing in expediting that journey.
How Each Lifetime Fits Together
Imagine that your soul is like an enormous diamond with infinite facets. Each facet represents a lifetime you have experienced. Your life, here and now, is represented by one of those facets.
If you’re only aware of that one facet, it’s as though you’re adrift in the ocean, untethered to the rest of you, detached from most of your soul, energy, and Self.
As you gain awareness of the other lives you’ve had, you attain their memories, experiences, wisdom, and perspectives. As you access more of those facets of the soul, you encounter deep insights into patterns, lessons, talents, and purpose. Clarity unfolds.
Remembering all of who you are is fundamental to personal growth, spiritual growth, and expanding consciousness.
- How can you be fully conscious if you don’t know or understand who you are?
- Are you acting in harmony or dissonance with all your other lifetimes?
- Are you supporting the purpose and efforts gained in past lives or disregarding the growth, talents, and accomplishments you worked hard to achieve in previous experiences?
- Are you integrating those aspects of you and your previous experience into a cohesive and actualized Being today?
Awareness and integration of as many aspects of the Self as possible are vital for the most rapid advancement of soul and purpose.
My First Past Life Regression Experience
My very first past life regression took place over four decades ago. This was the first session I did under hypnosis to explore my past lives.
Guided into a trance state, I closed my eyes and relaxed. My mind drifted gently away from the day-to-day issues and bustle of the modern world. A picture began to form out of the dark, much like a camera shutter opening. There was a flame, a torch, mounted on a wall. As the picture widened and became sharper, I discovered I was looking down a hallway lined with large, rough stones.
As I saw myself moving along this hallway, I discovered I could look into an open doorway. I saw a group of men around a heavy wooden table, intently discussing some political matter. I knew that I had no business entering that room. I was a young girl living in my uncle’s manor in England in the 1100s.
So began my journey to discovering my past lives. This was a milestone event that I had eagerly awaited for years, hoping to find the right circumstances and the appropriate person to guide me into my personal past life memories. It has been an evolving path ever since!
The Benefits of Past Life Regression Therapy
Like all heroes’ journeys, discovering our past lives can be both uncomfortable and tremendously fulfilling. The rewards of past life regression are empowering gifts that we give ourselves. These gifts are for our soul’s ever-increasing capacity to experience love and self-awareness while expressing our purpose. It’s a quest for ultimate enrichment.
Here are a few benefits that people have received after experiencing past life regression.
- Richer relationships, such as understanding our children, significant others, friends, co-workers, and family members
- Removing blocks to romance, career goals, and personal empowerment
- Learning about their soul group, discovering twin souls or soul mates
- Healing phobias, unexplained pains, chronic symptoms, or illness
- Understanding the origin of personality traits, birthmarks, phobias, and perspectives
- Getting clues to your purpose and reasons why you chose this life, this era, or your family
- Having clarity around your character and values
- Gaining insight into why you have particular challenges or are blessed with specific talents
- Personal growth through greater self-knowledge
- Broadening perspectives through having revisited a wider range of experiences and cultures
- Experiencing personal change through knowing your past life choices and decisions and how to improve upon them moving forward.
- Regaining personal empowerment
These benefits are seen and unseen, known with the mind and with the heart. These benefits are physical, spiritual, psychological, emotional, and material. Of course, the richest gains will be those most important to you and that you take the time to integrate into your awareness and character.
Occasionally people tell me they feel like they have so much to worry about in this life, and enough baggage to handle from the present experiences, that they don’t need to add to it by thinking of other lifetimes.
In my clinical and personal experiences, I find that by exploring other lifetimes, we discover there may be experiences from the past that are at the root of the issues being presented today. At the same time, strength and perspective can be drawn from our past experiences that will lend a treasure of wisdom and knowledge that quickly resolves immediate challenges.
Why Do We Forget Our Past Lives?
If we have memories from past lives available to us, why do we forget them?
The information about our soul’s journey is our innate right and vital to our self-awareness and growth. We have experienced every moment of that journey. It is a record of our own life. Why would that knowledge be forbidden or inaccessible?
There are three leading causes of amnesia concerning our past lives.
Children may remember much of their past life information when they are young. Yet, imagine, for a moment, what their experiences are.
While in the womb, they may be fully conscious of their past lives, purpose, and reasons for coming into a given life. Then comes the moment of birth, which is tremendously stressful, and sometimes life-threatening for both the mother and the child.
Once the baby emerges from the womb, there is the adjustment period—lights, cold air, learning to drink their mother’s milk, and people handling them.
From there, the child may have to put up with jealous or mean siblings, doting grandparents, and the struggle to communicate their thoughts, desires, and needs in a world where the inhabitants are not telepathic and perhaps not even sensitive.
Fast forward to learning to operate the physical body, grabbing, sitting, standing, walking, and finally, after an extended period, forming the first words coherent to their caretakers. By this time, much of the pre-birth knowledge and memories from a past life are locked in the recesses of the subconscious mind.
Around the age of four, the child may be able to fully communicate what remains of their memories of an entirely different lifetime. The words may be ignored, or the child is patronized, being told their stories are fantasy and that they should run along and play.
Memories of past lives recede into the shadows, locked away from the conscious mind, like acts of shame. Years later, those curious will struggle to regain their birthright memories and likely have to invest time and money to do so successfully.
Although most belief systems include some version of an afterlife, some cultures, and religious beliefs categorize past life memories as unreal or evil, and many people will find themselves disconnected from the past experiences that have contributed to their present selves.
Another reason people forget the experiences of other lifetimes is the need to escape negative memories. This forgetfulness may occur due to shame, horror, regret, remorse, fear, boredom, or grief.
Everyone has painful memories. Who hasn’t had their heart broken, lost a loved one, had a traumatic experience, or regretted something they said or did? These trying experiences are part of the human condition. Not only are they a part of our journey, but these problematic situations also measure our character and form the tests and lessons that allow us to accelerate our growth. When in crisis, we examine our choices and behaviors more closely, become more creative in seeking solutions, and strengthen our character in ways that do not occur during the easy times.
Yet, all too frequently, the attitude is to leave the past in the past. This implies that it is preferable to bury the memories rather than to draw them out, value the lessons they provide, and build character from them.
Often, people cling to the memories of those difficult times, defining their reality and sense of life by them. Compare this mindset to someone who works out to build muscles. They strain and stress to create the physical shape they seek, yet the bodybuilder puts the weights down when the exercise is finished and enjoys the results.
Contrarily, when people exercise their character through the weight of life experience, building their philosophy, sense of life, and wisdom, frequently they fail to put down the “weights,” dragging the stress and trauma around with them every moment into the future.
We become aware of the impact of bearing those burdens through past life regression. These unresolved traumas have been carried from their origin to the present, resulting in unexplained pain, blocks, phobias, addictions, and other dysfunctions. By adequately treating these events at the source, we are freed of their effects while still maintaining the resulting wisdom and growth.
Integrating Past Life Regression Therapy
The experiences gained from a past life and between life exploration can be eye-opening and life-changing. You will likely walk away from the session with a new perspective of yourself and the world.
It is valuable for you to find ways to integrate these experiences into your life in a helpful way. You can do this in several ways to support your investment in yourself and the recollection of your past life memories, and you continue on your exploratory journey into the future.
I often give my clients a Value System exercise, an essential tool for anyone, especially those focused on self-growth and self-awareness. You can work on it at home and then bring it to subsequent appointments as a basis for a dialogue about your progress.
Other homework suggestions for integration include journaling, meditation, and creative visualization.
How to Choose a Good Past Life Regressionist
In choosing a past life regressionist, a few factors must be considered. Do they make you feel comfortable? Are you able to establish good rapport? Is their style client-centered?
While many people provide past life regression services, they may not be the best person for your goals.
Here are three things you will want to be sure to avoid when you are working with a regressionist:
- Someone who lacks the credentials to guide you safely through the process. For instance, just because they are hypnotherapists doesn’t mean they have experience with past life regression or even believe in it! I am personally surprised by how many hypnotherapists do just this. So be sure that your regressionist has adequate training, believes in past lives, and has experienced several of their own. Only then will they understand fully what you are experiencing when they are working with you.
- Someone who manipulates the course of the memories. The subconscious mind is brilliant and can guide you to the exact memory that will be best for you. I’m aware of regressionists who impose their own beliefs on their client’s experiences, such as dismissing memories of lifetimes that occurred in the same century or if the person saw themselves wearing tennis shoes. These are not outside the realm of real memories, and dismissing them is unacceptable.
- Someone who uses leading language. There is an essential difference between guiding and leading. Leading questions and statements have been shown to create false memory or, at the very least, can create a breach in the rapport between a client and a regressionist. Here is a list of questions or statements that guide and a list of those that lead:
- “Move ahead to the next notable experience.”
- “Do you recognize that person?”
- “Can you describe your location?”
- “How do you feel about that?”
- “Move ahead in time to when you have an accident.”
- “Is that person your father?”
- “Imagine standing on a beach with a cliff behind you.”
- “Did that experience make you angry?”
The regressionist’s primary function is to keep you moving through the experience, to be supportive in the case of abreaction (an emotionally charged event), and to help you process the information so that it’s integrated and useful to you in this life.
While many excellent past life regressionists are available to assist you during your journey through your memories, you want to be proactive in choosing the right one for you. If you want to work with me directly, please book a complimentary Discovery Call.
Whether your goal is to work one-on-one with a past life regressionist, or integrate past life regression into your career path, choices are available.
Now that you have a deeper insight into past life regression and what it can do for you or your clients, I trust you will take a more serious look at your memories and how you can integrate them into your life for greater ease, self-awareness, and spiritual growth. If you still have questions about past life regression, please post them below.