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What is a Past Life Regression?

Updated on June 28, 2011

Healing through Past Life Regression

A Past Life Regression is a hypnotherapy modality where the Hypnotherapist takes a client back to a former lifetime in order to discover a pattern, attitude, phobia, etc. Generally, the purpose of a regression is to discover what is preventing someone from moving forward from a particular issue in their life that is hindering them in some way.

Dr. Bryan Weiss is a psychotherapist who stumbled on to a past life with a patient while taking her back to her birth through hypnotherapy. He did many regressions with this woman which inspired the writing of his book ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’. His patient, Catherine, had been suffering from recurring nightmares and anxiety as well as some physical maladies that were beginning to put her in a state where she was almost unable to function in life. As a recommendation from another doctor, she went to see Dr. Weiss and both their lives changed dramatically as a result. Prior to his meeting this patient, Dr. Weiss was not a believer in reincarnation, since then he has done more research on the subject and added to his repertoire of books.

Past lives can affect areas of our lives that most of us are unconscious of. Certain tastes, biases, fears and even physical characteristics are a reflection of how those lives impact our current life. Some of these characteristics can be debilitating while others are practically unnoticeable. Many times we come into a life with the same people we have shared lives with prior. Many people have been able to release painful relationships after a regression when they learned of a prior connection and how they’ve carried the bond with them into this life where that relationship is no longer meant to be. For instance, one woman worked with a man that happened to be her boss. Their working relationship was so very disturbing and they had such an adversarial relationship that she began to dread going to work every day. She sought therapy and her therapist suggested doing a past life regression where this woman discovered that in a past life she was married to her current boss. She was having an affair during that lifetime and with her lover, she killed her husband. In this life, they were brought together and her boss was unconsciously remembering the pain and anger he experienced at the hands of this woman in another life. Once she discovered this, she was able to let go of the guilt from the past life which was affecting her ability to stand up to this man or move to another department. Somewhere in her Soul, she felt she deserved this treatment as atonement for her actions in that life. This woman’s example is how a past life regression can reveal the key to healing. Once she was able to let this go, she was able to communicate with him in a way that was empowering yet still have compassion and understanding with him which allowed them to communicate their differences and move forward.

Many people think of past life regressions as ‘entertainment’ and often seek out a regression in order to discover who they were. It is natural to be curious and there is nothing wrong with seeking a regression for that purpose. However, oftentimes a person’s Soul will have another agenda all together. You may seek a regression to find out if you were a celebrity or perhaps you suspect you may have been Cleopatra or Abraham Lincoln but if your Soul wants to work on another life; that is the life you will discover. That doesn’t mean you were not a celebrity, it means that the word ‘celebrity’ is not a word used in Soul language and it knows what you need for healing…big or small. You may experience a life where you were killed in a tidal wave or you can experience something much more subtle like the woman and her boss.

Other sources on Reincarnation

Past Lives, Present Miracles: The Most Empowering Book on Reincarnation You'll Ever this Lifetime!
Past Lives, Present Miracles: The Most Empowering Book on Reincarnation You'll Ever this Lifetime!

In this book, you’ll learn how to travel back to your previous incarnations to release buried obstructions so you can create the miracles in your life that you deserve! It’s safe, easy, and fun . . . and anyone can do it!


Common Questions regarding Past Life Regression

So how do people experience spontaneous past life regressions during a session?

When someone seeks help from a hypnotherapist, they often have a reason. Perhaps it is anxiety, or nightmares like Dr. Weiss’ patient. It is the intent of the session that can bring about a spontaneous past life. Remember, the Soul knows what it needs and if the anxiety is related to a past life issue, it is not unusual then to experience a spontaneous past life regression. This may not happen all of the time because if the Soul feels that the memory would cause more harm than good, then the regression will not happen. Most hypnotherapists are trained in regressions in the event that this occurs so that they will know how to move forward keeping the client calm and assuring them that they are safe.

Is everyone able to experience a past life?

Most of the time…yes; again it is up to the Soul as to whether or not it feels a regression is for the highest good.

What should someone expect regarding the experience?

People’s experiences vary. Some experience a memory like a movie on a screen where they see themselves in that life. Others may see little blips of images yet seem to know everything that is going on as though it is being ‘downloaded’ from another source. Some may experience the emotions involved in that life and others feel almost like observers, detached from any emotion related to it.

What if you don’t believe in reincarnation yet you experience what seems like a past life, can that be ‘cellular memory’?

Possibly, there is certainly a great deal of debate between those who believe in cellular memory vs those who believe in reincarnation. What both appear to agree on is that past life memories can happen. Cellular memory is a theory where it is believed that we do not have multiple lives but we experience memories that are those of our ancestors recorded in our DNA. Perhaps cellular memory manifests as certain traits and beliefs we carry in our DNA. For instance, when people receive organ transplants from others, they often experience a change in their tastes for certain foods or certain activities that were favorites of their donors. They do not experience actual memories that were experienced by their donors. It is possible that we carry certain perceptions passed down through cellular memory. Such as believing that if we are not making enough money or we suffer a tragedy it is our God that is sending these experiences to either punish or to teach a lesson. Our ancestors believed that if their crops didn’t grow or they suffered a natural disaster, the Gods were angry with them. That appears to be a parallel perception that may have been passed through our genes.


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    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I came across Dr. Weiss's "Many Lives" around 20 years ago, and then read his other books on reincarnation. At that time, regression therapists didn't advertise much, for fear of being labelled quacks. Because of this, I inadvertently became the lay regressionist for a friend who had so many mental and medical problems that she rarely left her house. She'd been seeing a "regular" therapist twice a week for years, but getting absolutely nowhere. After only a couple of months of our thrice-weekly 4- and 5-hour late night phone conversations, she become aware of many past lives and the unresolved issues in each that were causing her problems in this one. She quit seeing the professional therapist in the third week, btw.

      The only issue she left unresolved was the pains in every joint in her body. By then we knew they stemmed from being thrown from the top of a lighthouse in her most recent life (we even learned which lighthouse). She could see her broken body on the rocks below, but could not bring herself to identify the person who had thrown her to her death. Somehow knew it was a loved one in her present life whom it would be too painful to acknowledge as being capable of such a deed.

      Dick Sutphen put out a series of audio tapes which one could use to self-regress. I had one that I'd listen to with headphones at bedtime (the only time the house was completely quiet). It never failed to put me to sleep 10 minutes in and I only remember one time that I stayed awake long enough to know I had tapped into a past life. The tape would keep playing after I fell asleep, of course, but (except for the one time) whatever happened after that I have no idea, except that I *always* woke up quite refreshed and with a clear mind the next morning!

    • Lily Luna profile imageAUTHOR

      Lorri Woodmansee 

      7 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      Hi Christin,

      No, I personally have not had a dream of a past life although but I did shout out something interesting in my sleep one night, I just don't know what I was dreaming about at the time.

      I know people who have had dreams in which they felt they were experiencing a past life.

      Anything is possible.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 

      7 years ago from Midwest

      I enjoyed the post.

      Have you ever had a dream of a past life? I have had a few dreams where I relived past life experiences - some pleasant, some not so much, but in each one I spoke and understood different languages that I don't speak currently - that's how I knew I had actually relived a memory :)

      Interesting stuff for sure.

      My only conflict with "past life regression" is the number of people who say they were Cleopatra or some famous historical figure - perhaps they are tapping into cellular memory combined with some wishful thinking on those ;) who knows?

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      Interesting hub. Regression can be a useful tool in therapy. But some of us are very aware of our past lives, or at least when situations pop up that make us aware.

      My sister and I were sisters in a previous lifetime (I was under hypnosis once and found this out). In that past life, she abandoned me. Consequently, in this life she has always been there for me, a very strong supporter of me.

      Another experience I had about 10 years ago was also a past life encounter. There was another person I met about 10 years ago that I believe was a past life encounter as well although we did not resolve our issues in that lifetime nor in this one.

      voted up and awesome

    • Jewels profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      Great Hub Lily.

      Hypnotherapy is not the only modality to regress people. Inner Space Techniques is another proven method of regression where the client can source their blockages to moving forward. It is not hypnotherapy.

      You may be interested in the book by Ruth Helen Camden called Past Lives. It's filled with case studies. Fantastic read.

    • tebo profile image


      7 years ago from New Zealand

      Great hub. I am really interested in past life regressions and what we have done or been in our past lives and I do believe we have had past lives.


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