The Healing Benefits of Past Life Regression (PLR)
By Judi (Keter) Merritt
Judi (Keter) Merritt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, National Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Certified Hypnobirther and Certified Past Life Regressionist. She is owner of Embracing Life Holistic Counselling Services in Pinnacle, NC, and Winston-Salem, NC, where she practices both traditional counselling and alternative healing methods. Judi has seen miraculous changes and growth using these techniques in her own life, and is passionate about sharing her skills for transformation with others.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. – Albert Einstein
Past-life therapy can help you move past counter-productive thoughts and behaviors to clear a path toward personal growth. When you are relieved of negative and repetitive self-defeating beliefs and behavior patterns, your positive traits and gifts can be revealed.
As with many therapeutic modalities, Past Life Regression (PLR) therapy has its share of detractors. Some people believe that past lives are mere fantasy; others have gone to great lengths to prove that past lives exist. The important thing is not whether past lives are real but whether PLR can help you resolve the issues that challenge your healing. Regardless of your beliefs, you can benefit from the therapy.
How PLR works
PLR therapists use deep relaxation techniques to help you retrieve memories from this life. They then guide you back in time through your birth and before. During this gentle process, the therapist frequently suggests that you detach from any pain or discomfort and watch the scene unfold as if you were watching a movie on a screen. At times when you choose to be in the experience for healing, the therapist watches closely to make sure that you do not needlessly re-experience any trauma. During an individual session, there is constant communication between the therapist and client, and a tape recording is made for the client to have a record of the experience. The process is respectful and trusts the soul’s knowledge. The following case history illustrates how PLR therapy works.
Case Study: Mary
Mary (not her real name) experienced feelings of disconnection, known in psychological terms as dissociation. Although she had gotten some relief from other forms of therapy, including insight-oriented talk therapy and hypnotherapy, a nagging feeling of disconnection prompted her to try PLR. While undergoing PLR, Mary regressed to a time when she saw herself as a 12-year-old boy, Tony, scrubbing the deck of a large sailing ship docked in an English seaport in the 19th century. Tony wasn’t happy scrubbing the floor, but it was better than being with his mother and “stupid sisters” who teased and bossed him incessantly. His mother favored his sisters. His father loved him but was unavailable and frequently away from home to trade in China.
Mary/Tony progressed a few years ahead in that lifetime. She now saw herself at about 17. Tony had run away from home and stowed away on the same ship where he worked, which was sailing for America. When the captain, who liked Tony’s work, discovered him on board, he allowed the boy to stay on the ship. Withdrawn and sullen, Tony carried a great deal of anger in his heart toward his mother and sisters. Mary/Tony progressed to his life in America where he was taken in by a Native American family. Although he felt accepted and loved by them and happier than he had ever been, he still could not forgive his mother and sisters. He was progressed on to his death, which was peaceful, and to the time after the body’s death, during which the soul can perform a life review.
During the life review, Mary’s energy shifted, and with tears in her eyes, she said, “I know why I’ve felt so disconnected. I couldn’t forgive them, and now I can.” During the life review, Mary learned that as Tony, her soul had incarnated into the wrong family. His mother and sisters, unconsciously acting from love, pushed Tony away so that he could find the family he was meant to be with. Recognizing that the mother and sisters, on a soul level, had done what they did out of love, Mary was able to open her heart, forgive them, find peace, and experience a connection to all beings. To date, about eight months later, Mary still feels connected and alive, with no feelings of dissociation whatsoever.
Imagination is the doorway into our past lives. Did Mary really go back in time to find a past life, or did her imagination find the symbols it needed with which to work through her pain? Does it really matter in view of the healing that occurred? Forgiveness is one of the most important components of PLR, so for those who are uncomfortable with the idea of past lives, it may be thought of as a form of Forgiveness Therapy. Another very important component is recognizing the gifts that we were given when we were born into this life, so they can be nurtured to fruition, and we might offer benefit to others.