A Piece of Kemila's Mind

Exploring Past Life Regression

Today’s blog post is by psychology blogger Anna Kaminsky. Anna is a PhD student at the University of Toronto.

One thing that fascinates me about psychology is that it is never black and white. There are no prescribed solutions or hard rules and, as my clinical supervisor likes to say, “every case is a puzzle that needs to be solved”. There are many therapy techniques and hypnotherapy is one of the older ones, dating back to the end of 19th century when British Medical Association undertook the evaluation of medical effects of hypnotherapy. Patients receiving psychotherapy are on a quest to explore their unconscious mind in order to find the cause of an underlying problem and they undergo hypnotherapy to find answers. This is called Regression Therapy. While hypnotized the hypnotherapist takes the client back in time, often back to early childhood. Many times they discover a traumatic event that occurred and has since then had a detrimental effect on the client’s life and relationships.

Once the traumatic event or circumstance is uncovered the psychotherapist works with their client to process or work through the trauma from a different perspective so that it no longer has the same power to negatively affect the client’s life. The client is free of this burden and can move forward in a healthier manner with this insight.

Regression Therapy can also evolve into something called Re-regression Therapy and this is when, under hypnosis, the client is taken not only back to their childhood, but to a former life. They can also be taken to a future life when undergoing Re-regression. The purpose is the same, to find the underlying cause of current maladaptive feelings and behavior. This technique is called Past Life Regression.

Past Life Regression came into use in the 1890s in Paris when it was practiced by Dr. Pierre Janet who was in collaboration with Sigmund Freud. They were looking for an effective therapeutic technique and decided to experiment with hypnosis, taking their patients back to former lives. At the time and for the next sixty years, the practice was frowned upon, even taboo. It was thought of as nonsense and even some sort of occult practice.

The practice was then brought to the forefront in the 1960s by an American hypnotherapist named Morey Bernstein. His book “The Search for Bridie Murphy” came out detailing the past life regression of a Mrs.Tighe, one of his clients. Her regression went back as far as 200 years to a time in a former life when she lived in Ireland and had the name Bridie Murphy.

The details uncovered about her former life in Ireland were never able to be verified. They couldn’t even find a record that anyone named Bridie Murphy ever existed in Ireland. However when Mrs. Tighe was a child she had a neighbor named Bridie Murphey Corkell who was Irish and the conclusion was drawn that Mrs. Tighe was actually remembering stories Mrs. Corkell had told her as a child about her life in Ireland.

During this same period in time an English hypnotherapist named Arnall Bloxham who had an excellent reputation worked in conjunction with the BBC on a TV program showing the past life regression of a lady named Jane Evans. This was broadcast live with the audience watching as she regressed back to her former life in the twelfth century. She was a Jewish women named Rachel at the time, living in York in the year 1189 during the time when bad King John reigned. While everyone watched live she described her life, being married to a well to do moneylender named Joseph.

She went into a great amount of detail describing how she, her entire family and other people of the Jewish faith were brutally hounded by a mob. A nobleman named Richard Malebisse had borrowed money from her husband and refused to repay the loan and instead hounded these people to death. They tried to hide in York Castle with their two children but the constable of the castle threw them out. They ended up at a crypt belonging to a church located just outside of York where the entire family was murdered by someone wielding a sword.

This television show piqued the interest of an historian by the name of Professor Dobson mainly because Jane Evans was not an educated person and had no knowledge of an event in history called the York Massacre. He made it his business to check out the events described in Jane’s story. What he found was amazing. From the description Jane gave of the church where they sought refuge he concluded it had to be St. Mary’s Castlegate. But this church didn’t have a crypt, so he questioned her memory of all the events.

But several months later as the church was undergoing renovations, workmen discovered a crypt under the chancel. The crypt had arches and vaults made of stone that dated back to the twelfth century. The crypt had been filled up with all the rubble in the aftermath of the killing. All the events and facts related by Jane Evans under hypnosis ended up being corroborated by the facts that were known about the massacre of the Jewish people in York in 1180. This is when the rest of the people in the community agreed to be slain by Rabbi Yantof, who then took his own life. The nobleman Richard Malebisse fled to Scotland escaping the fate of the others remaining in York who thereafter were taxed very heavily and 100 citizens spent the rest of their lives in prison.

The recorded events given by Jane Evans is just one of many other recorded accounts that have been related in past life regression sessions that have later been found to be true. The past lives that have been described have been in many different bodies, including different sexes, in many different places and living in all kinds of circumstances. Apparently this is the ongoing continuing existence of our soul moving from one existence and life to another. We continue to reincarnate and I believe this wholeheartedly as do half of the population of the world who hold this a basic tenet of their religious faith.

Regression through hypnotherapy and Past Life Regression can be very effective tools in helping patients in psychotherapy. I use these techniques frequently in my practice. Uncovering and re-experiencing traumatic events from childhood and in past lives can be very helpful in treating a number of psychological issues such as:

  • Issues regarding fear of abandonment and insecurity – These issues are often related to memories of past life events such as being separated from parents during wartime, possibly being orphaned or dying alone in a famine.
  • Being depressed with no energy – This condition may be related to memories of losing a parent and not having fully grieved, of being deported, perhaps being massacred or anything else involving having no control over tragic events.
  • Suffering from phobias – Many kinds of past life trauma can contribute to current life phobias. This would include perhaps dying in a fire, drowning, being suffocated or the victim of a natural disaster.
  • Unspecified feelings of guilt – These feelings may be related to memories of blaming yourself for others dying, of something tragic happening that you feel responsible for.

When a patient discovers that the problem they’re dealing with in this life is somehow very like one that they had in one of their past lives there are therapeutic techniques that can be used to effectively process the event and help the patient recover and let it go. This involves helping the patient remember all the details while assuring them they are safe. You help them re-experience the trauma all the way through to the death when they pass on through to the other side.

At this juncture the patient is given a choice to either let the soul pass on to a new spirit world by traveling through a tunnel toward a b right light, or they have the choice of going back into their past life in order to make changes. Whatever change they choose to pursue regarding the events in their past life resolves their present life’s issues.

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