Article: Past Life Regression Hypnotherarpy Q & A

Q: What is a past life regression?

A: The word "regression," as it is commonly used, refers to going back to an earlier time, experience, memory, mental state or developmental stage. Past life regression is the intention to go back to a time/place where the client existed in another body before physical birth into the current lifetime. This presupposes a belief in reincarnation or the cycle of birth and death.

Q: What is the difference between a past life regression done while under hypnosis and one that doesn't involve hypnosis?

A: Hypnosis is a natural state. We go in and out of levels of trance all day, every day. I would reframe the question: What is the difference between a past life regression done using the ritual of hypnosis, as opposed to one without any particular ritual? Many people benefit from being guided (in any therapeutic work) by a trusted practitioner. Most hypnosis/hypnotherapy sessions include an induction, which invites relaxation, and the client can relax and choose what directions to follow (or not). In a structured hypnosis/hypnotherapy session, the information provided by the client's unconscious emerges distinct (if done by an ethical practitioner) from the agenda of the hypnotist/hypnotherapist. If the past life regression is simply presented to the client as information directly from the facilitator, it is likely that the shared material tells us more about the practitioner than about the client.

Q: I'm not sure what I think about reincarnation. Is it possible that it is true?

A: There are at least four different possibilities regarding reincarnation. 1) Reincarnation is absolutely true. It is natural that our souls leave one physical vessel at death and enter the body of a newborn, then repeat the pattern. Lives flow in linear fashion, and we keep returning based on various ideas about learning lessons or spiritual evolution. 2) Reincarnation is absolutely true. We exist in a "simultaneous now," where all possibilities -- past, present and future of all choices considered, not considered, taken, and not taken -- exist all at the same time. In this case, there is no "past" to regress to, but simply other dimensions/vibrational realities. We are easily able to sense/experience not only our own other times and places, but all other times and places. All experience is available to everyone. That's why so many people believe they were Cleopatra or Jesus Christ in another incarnation. In this scenario, there is no such thing as separation, or a discrete "me." This model doesn't work with the idea of "lessons." 3) Reincarnation doesn't exist at all. Descriptions of past lives are simply the creative imaginations of the participants. This belief is held by many organized religions. 4) The memories are metaphorical stories offered by the unconscious of the individual as a means of education, growth and personal/spiritual expansion.

Q: What if the past life memories are only my imagination? I've had a past life regression before and it feels like I'm making things up.

A: The thing that has always seemed amazing to me is that, out of the millions of images, thoughts, feelings, sensations, etc., that your unconscious mind could have presented to you, why those? In my work as a psychotherapist/hypnotherapist, I've learned that the unconscious doesn't waste time dredging up things that have no deeper meaning to the seeker. It actually doesn't matter if you are having a "real" memory or not. What matters is what your unconscious presented, how it connects to your current life, and why it arose now? Asking yourself those questions will open the door to expanded awareness.

Q: Is there any danger involved in doing a past life regression?

A: For most people, no. Even if the facilitator is unqualified, the likelihood -- for a "normal" person -- is that the participant's inherent self-preservation skills, boundaries and innate wellness will allow the experience to be benign. Problems could emerge if the participant is experiencing mental/emotional distress and the facilitator isn't a licensed psychotherapist. Under those conditions, the practitioner could cause harm by not knowing how to hold a healthy and secure therapeutic environment and how to assist the client to resolve any difficulties that might emerge from the session.

Q: Is there a difference between getting a past life regression because it would be interesting, and getting one for therapy reasons?

A: Yes. My focus is on uncovering the roots of a problem, so I mainly offer past life regression hypnotherapy as another tool for education, healing and growth. Another option is what is often called an "entertainment" past life regression. This is when the participant is curious about the concept of reincarnation, past lives and might be wondering if she/he can be hypnotized. In this case, the focus is on the details of the experience (time, place, descriptions of physical things, gathering information that could be validated) rather than the underlying roots. These exploration-type past life regressions are often done in groups, as well as individually.

Q: Is it true that solving problems that began in another life can change my current life for the better?

A: There's lots of anecdotal evidence to support that. Whether you believe the source of the problem is in an actual other time and place, or you believe your unconscious is using the visions/information to heal you, change seems to happen. As with everything, it is true if you believe it is.