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What is Past Life Healing?

Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Past life healing is a form of spiritual healing that often combines hypnosis, spiritual guidance, and sometimes psychotherapy. This modality is based on a belief in reincarnation, which holds that a soul may enter into several bodies and live a series of lives in order. In past life healing work, the client is typically put under hypnosis and regressed to previous lifetimes. By developing an understanding of the events in one's past lives, the client is said to better be able to understand the challenges of the one he or she is living now. The spiritual guide or psychotherapist who facilitates the past life regression works with the client, using the information gleaned from the regression to assist in the client's psychological and spiritual healing.

Past life healings or regressions can be facilitated by psychotherapists, hypnotherapists, or spiritual counselors. In some cases the the past life regression is performed as treatment for a mental health problem, though in other cases the past life healing is intended to be a self-help or personal growth tool for the client. Clients who are practitioners of New Age or other alternative spiritualities may experience past life healing as a religious practice. The client may work with the facilitator just once or over a long period of time, particularly if the past life regressions are taking place in the context of psychotherapy. Past life regression has a number of proponents within the mental health and religious communities, which testify to its effectiveness as a tool in helping clients to heal from past trauma and to understand their life choices.

The validity of past life healing is the subject of significant debate. Skeptics note that there is no way to determine whether the "memories" of past lives are actually authentic. For example, some investigators argue that the effectiveness of past life healing is largely determined by the client's belief in reincarnation and the legitimacy of the past life healing process. Some say that clients who are skeptics are far less likely to experience positive results or "remember" past lives.

By ascribing serious personal problems and emotional disturbances to events that may or may not have actually occurred, some believe that therapists may be doing more harm than good for their clients. If the client is encouraged to work through a past life rather than a real-life traumatic experience, a valuable opportunity for healing may be lost. Similarly, if a client is told that certain behaviors are the result of past life issues, some hold that the client may be unable to take responsibility for his or her own behavior.

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