Past Life Regression is a gentle form of hypnotherapy which takes an individual back through time to their previous lives or incarnations by accessing memories and experiences that are normally hidden in their subconscious mind.
Past-life regression (PLR) is one of the techniques that people often associate with hypnotherapy. PLR is a technique used in hypnotherapy that works with a person’s belief in reincarnation.
PLR takes you back in time, in your mind, to visit a life, or lives, you lived before. PLR has wonderful esoteric connota-tions of the mystical hypnotist with staring eyes, lulling his subjects into a trance and then parting the curtains of the mists of time as they travel back to some major historical event. All very nice, and it looks wonderful in those low-budget movies; however the reality of PLR is actually quite mundane.
Hypnotherapists are not taught to tear apart the fabric of the space-time continuum – nor do they have the power! If you believe in reincarnation, then your hypnotherapist may consider using PLR.
Many people who believe in reincarnation think that traumatic or upsetting events that occurred in a life they lived before are the root cause of problems they’re experiencing in the life they’re leading now; especially if they feel that they didn’t have the opportunity to resolve those events before the end of that particular past life. PLR gives you the opportunity to resolve those events and by extension, resolve those issues in your current life that stem from them.
So, do you need to believe in reincarnation for PLR to be effective? The answer is no. To understand why this may be, have a look at the next section, ‘Beliefs about PLR’.
In general, however, if you don’t believe in reincarnation, your therapist won’t touch PLR with a bargepole.
Beware of a therapist who pushes her belief system onto you. It doesn’t matter whether your therapist believes in past lives or not. Any therapist worth her salt works with your belief systems, not hers. Your hypnotherapist should not try to influence you either way with regard to your beliefs in reincarnation – or hers.
Beliefs about PLR
Okay. So is PLR real? Who knows? As yet there is no absolute proof one way or the other. Remember, we are dealing with belief systems here and that means, if you truly believe you have lived before, then it is very real . . . for you!
Many people and therapists believe in the powerful therapeutic results of PLR, but don’t necessarily believe in reincarnation. So what do they believe PLR is?
Here are some of the most popular theories:
- PLR accesses genetic memory. One school of thought believes that cer-tain memories are encoded in our genetic make-up. In other words, some-how memories are stored in our genes. When you experience PLR, these memories are dragged up out of your DNA and once again experienced.
- PLR accesses the collective unconscious. This idea comes from Jungian psychology. Carl Jung was around at the same time as Sigmund Freud. One of the many psychological theories he developed is that of the col-lective unconscious. Jung believed that we all store in our unconscious a whole host of memories that are shared by everyone , and which are passed down to us from our ancestors. PLR provides a means of access-
ing the collective unconscious and experiencing these memories.
- PLR is a dissociative experience. This theory says that a person experi-encing a PLR is creating a new existence in their mind from various pieces of their existing memory. Basically, you create a person and an existence through which you can ‘observe’ your problem, and its solu-tion, in a metaphorical way – so that you’re split off, or dissociated, from the problem. The distance provides a safe way to deal with the problem
and the unconscious means to apply the solution.
- PLR accesses memories from past lives. Okay, we’re back where we started. In this model, you believe that you’ve lived before and can access these past lives through hypnosis. As you access past lives, you can also influence them by helping your past self to resolve the unresolved issues that occurred in the life.
Whatever the truth of the matter about what PLR is, when it boils down to it it’s your belief that is most important. So, if you truly believe that your prob-lem stems from something that happened to you in a past life – and who’s to say you are wrong? – then discuss this with your therapist. If she judges that it is right for you to explore this idea, then she will be happy to take you back into your past existence.
Reasons to revisit past lives
So, why do you want to go back and visit your past lives? Usually for one of two main reasons:
You’re simply curious and want to find out about who and what you were before you came into this life.
You believe that the problems you’re having stem from events that occurred in a life, or lives, you experienced prior to this one.
Many therapists happily help you explore your past lives for no other reason than you’re interested in who you were. But it is the second reason that explains PLR’s most common use in the therapy room.
As you go through life, you have many conflicts and experiences that you need to work through and resolve. However, there are also many that you don’t. Obvious so far, but this is where past-life theory kicks in. Past-life theory has it that some unresolved issues may well be so significant, that when you pass into your next life they continue to affect you, creating some of the problems that you may now be experiencing.
That doesn’t mean to say that the unresolved issue you had in a past life will manifest itself in exactly the same way in your current life. Far from it, what you’re likely to experience is something that is almost a metaphor for the past problem.
- Weight issues: It may be that you were starving in a past life, and your weight problem is an attempt to prevent that from occurring in this life.
- Psychosomatic pain: It may be that you had a violent accident in a past life where a part of your body was seriously injured. In your current life you experience a pain for which there is no demonstrable cause, in a similar area of your body.
- Psychosomatic pain refers to pain that is purely in the mind. In other words, you are feeling pain somewhere in your body, but there is absolutely no physical cause for that pain.
- Phobias: Maybe you were locked in a dark room, or cell, in a previous existence. That experience then filters through to your current life where you have an irrational fear of the dark.
- Personality issues: Perhaps you were an oppressed peasant in a past life, always having to hold onto your emotions and feelings. In your cur-rent life you vent these feelings by being overly aggressive or emotional.
These are only a few examples of an almost endless list. In order to resolve these problems, you may need to go back to the life where they first occurred.
If you can resolve the issue in the past, the likelihood is that the problem in the present fades away too. Of course, after your past-life issues are resolved, you may have work to do on your current life, helping you to adjust to the positive changes that PLR has brought about.
Often, your current problem is an accumulation of unresolved issues from a whole variety of past lives, each needing to be dealt with and resolved.