by Chris Connelly
Since qualifying in Clinical Hypnotherapy I’ve found the topic of Past Life Regression (PLR) generally gets mixed reviews within the hypnotherapy profession. Most often or not Hypnotherapy schools teach Past Life regression as a single unit within a framework of many other topics, if at all.
When during my diploma I came across the past life regression module it was taught as a therapy where the unconscious mind of the client may role play the presenting problem in a disassociative manner thereby allowing the client to work through the presenting problem but without having to relive that problem. Rather than the common approach to what has often been referred to as Tourist Past Life, where you guide the client back to a possible past life purely on the basis of the clients interest. I’ve lost count to the number of times I’ve heard “I want to see who I was in a past life”.
Intrigued in this therapeutic approach to past life regression, I continued my training in the area and have used this knowledge many times in my therapy practice.
For those who may be sceptical of the possible benefits of PLR, I wanted to write an article giving a case example of where I’ve used this therapy to a positive effect.
Gary (name changed to protect confidentiality) contacted me in the Summer of 2007 by phone asking me if I could help with his addiction problem. I naturally asked the manner of the addiction explaining if it was drug or alcohol addiction he must first see his GP and go through an appropriate withdrawal programme. He assured me it wasn’t either drug or alcohol but would prefer to talk to me about this privately face to face rather than over the phone. I agreed and a date as set.
When Gary turned up for his session a detailed case history was taken which revealed that Gary was 47 years old, was employed by a local haulage firm for many years where he drives lorries over the UK and Europe, often meaning he can spend many days away from home at a time. He has currently been married for over twenty years and has 2 children. Apart from smoking heavily and prone to chest infections, Gary had no other medical conditions.
Once the basics of the case history had been taken, I noticed Gary taking a deep breath in and on the out breathe almost as a sigh, Gary started to explain that his addiction centred upon the use of Prostitutes. Gary explained that his job meant that he would often think about his past especially when travelling away from home for many nights. This would often result in himself seeking out the services of Prostitutes.
Questioning further it was found that Gary wasn’t seeking prostitutes for pleasure or company but rather as punishment. Gary as a young boy of 7 years had been sexually abused for a number of years by a close family member.
Gary talked about how this made him feel and how his addiction which he had had got worse as the years passed. Throughout this period Gary could be seen to be getting more upset and angry, with himself, his life, the abusive family member and his current family.
After discussing a number of treatment plans, Gary opted for Past Life Regression because of the ability to explore and work through his problem by role playing as an alternative character.
A simple hypnotic induction and past life entry specifically to address the issue of concern was conducted before the past life scene was explored. In this past life scene Gary was a man of African descent living in the US Deep South during the 1870’s. He lived with his family in a small shack on land owned by a wealthy white family that he and his wife worked for.
As the scene was explored further it was discovered that this character and his family were often badly treated which led to feelings of resentment, helplessness and anger towards the family that had treated them in this manner.
Each scene going through the life of the character was explored and each time an issue relating to the treatment of the character or its family was uncovered various healing techniques were used to dissipate the emotion anchored to that incident.
This proceeded for about 75 minutes before finally taking the character up to the moment before dying and then through the dying process to finally purge all remaining negative emotions relating to this character.
Gary was slowly emerged back into the current life and current time before briefly discussing the events that had occurred during the session.
I recommend Gary returned next week for a further session to address any further issues that might arise during the following week.
The following week when Gary returned for his second session, Gary talked of how beneficial he had found the experience and how for the first time he felt that he was able to leave the past in the past.
The feelings of guilt and anger that had been with him since his childhood had dissipated and Gary was looking forward to his future.
A surprise secondary benefit to this therapy was discovered when Gary informed me that the relief and release he had felt from working through the abuse. From that point on he has not had any inclinations or urges to smoke, and regarded himself now as a non-smoker.
Chris Connelly DCH DHP GHR Reg