When I tell clients that I do "regressions," about 50 percent of them think I mean “past-life regressions.” Santa Fe is like that.
By “regression,” I actually mean the type of session in which I guide the client back to a particular place and time, usually when a trauma occurred, or when certain types of behavior appeared for the first time. This kind of session is useful for changing a client's perception of the past, for building self-esteem, as well as gaining perspective on the behavior of participants in a traumatic event or relationship. Although nearly every client benefits from some kind of regression, I never start with them. It's very important to develop rapport first, and the client needs to be proficient at going into trance.
What are past-life regressions?
Past-life regressions take a client back to another lifetime. I do them, but very rarely, and only under certain circumstances. First, proficiency at trance is a must. But also, the client’s goal needs to have a clear boost from such an experiment. I say experiment, because whether or not there is such a thing as reincarnation - past lives - is unprovable. Yes, some religions include the concept of reincarnation. But again, if something is truly scientifically provable, like gravity for example, then we would all agree.
The University of Virginia studies children who report memories of previous lives. After 50 years of research, they've collected over 2500 cases, most of which are outside of the United States. The psychology department acknowledge there may be other perceptual phenomenon that account for the children’s memories; however, these cases have been documented and researched in great detail.
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Do some children express what appears to be past-life memories?
My son, as a little boy aged 3 to 5, was a classic example of the kind of child the University of Virginia might study. He had a high IQ and was extremely articulate even before he could walk. When he was about 3 1/2, I took him to the Queen Mary Ocean Liner Museum in Southern California for an outing. There was a display of old ships. As I held him up to look closer, he started labeling the parts. I doubt that his preschool taught children what a “foc’sle” is. (FYI, it’s the forward part of a ship below the deck, traditionally used as the crew's living quarters.) He went on to tell his father and me how he had drowned. I got a book from the library with pictures of tall ships, and he did it again.
When he was 4 1/2, we took a tour of the captured WWII submarine at the museum in Chicago. There, in the torpedo room, he explained to the astounded folks on the tour that the torpedo tubes can fill up with water – in fact, that under the “right circumstances” the room could fill up with water – and that “drowning is a horrible death.” Then at age 5, in classic fashion according to the University of Virginia, he suddenly completely forgot that ever was the case. If you ask him about it today, he doesn't remember any of it.
My experience with my son gave me an open mind on the topic. However, I still don't prefer to focus my practice on past lives. For one thing, most people don't need to think about them - let alone experience one in trance - in order to achieve their goal. It usually isn't relevant to someone trying to lower blood pressure or improve work performance. And, of course, the idea of reincarnation is against some clients' religions. Clients who insist on having a past-life session usually want to control the outcome. Only once in my experience was this not the case. If a client believes he or she had a past life in Egypt, for example, that person will usually come out of trance in order to make sure that their experience is as predicted. No healing happens at all.
Who is a good candidate for past-life work?
When I do choose to perform a past-life session, I make sure the client understands that we don't know what's actually happening. Most likely, the subconscious is creating the context of what appears to be a past life. The client should only be attached to what happens in the session as a healing experience.
Past-life sessions can be very powerful for the right people. Past-life sessions can give new perspective on challenges that the client is currently experiencing. People who benefit often have serious illness or have survived extreme trauma. In describing their goals, these clients will have a quality of something larger being behind the issue than anything they've described. In other words, they feel “fated.” The past-life session can provide reasons, both logical and causal, for the current situation, and this can give the client much peace.
If a client asks specifically for past-life work, and has no particular goal other than to receive a past-life session, I most likely will turn that person away. There are hypnotherapists who specialize in past-life regressions, and their purpose is different than mine. When I choose a session, I do it with the intention to heal a client, or help the client achieve a goal. I’m not interested in past lives for curiosity’s sake.
Clients need a lot of preparation to do past life regressions successfully. They really need to be in the “theta” brain wave state as this kind of work feels like a waking dream. On the other hand, sometimes past-life work just happens. A client goes into trance and starts speaking about another time or place without any guidance to do that. If this happens, I just go with the flow. I trust the subconscious is giving the client what the client needs to heal.
For those of you who are skeptical about past-life work – and most clients are to some degree - no worries. I can't make you do or experience anything that you don't want to do. If you are one of those very rare clients who experiences a past life in a session all on your own, you will be comfortable doing that. That will be your subconscious mind's way of healing, and what you think about it after it's over is entirely up to you.
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