by "M.H"

"M.H." is a psychotherapist who does primal-type work with many different issues and is not exclusively a "past life" therapist. He is a medical doctor and clinical psychologist. His interests include medicine, neurology, biology, evolutionary principles, analysis and object relations, animal psychology, regressive work, primal therapy and hypnotherapy.
-- John A. Speyrer, Webmeister, The Primal Psychotherapy Page

After many encounters with past lives in patients and once in myself, I still am not a full believer that we have past lives. However, I find them challenging both intellectually and philosophically, as some of the documentation is compelling.

As a medical doctor, for initially ten years, I categorically refused to accept past lives both theoretically and clinically. I denied the experiences to both myself and others. Later clients started dropping into past life relives without any steering from me and though tempted to challenge them, I refrained, as the patients would be in deep feelings and "connecting", later expressing relief followed by reports of symptom removal.

Theoretically, it makes sense to postulate that past lives and interlives are veiled memories or fantasies conjured up because of the deep pain of the unconscious issues. In the clinic, however, when these memories are arrived at via the feeling route, they process like current life memories with the emotional theme being fully relevant to current life. Whereas, in dreamwork the symbols of the dream finally revert to real characters and events, the "symbols" in the past life will not necessarily revert to real characters or events from the client's current life.

Some of the characters in the past life relive may be recognized as a person from one's current life. But the past life drama or pain processed will not necessarily lead back to an, as yet, unfelt drama from current life, thus challenging classifying past life characters and issues as regular symbols, as in their reliving they do not dissolve as regular fantasies or dream symbols do.

However, resolving a deeply repressed feeling and issue in a past life experiential will frequently and almost always help in resolving more and more in current life trauma whether it is early preverbal or infancy, childhood or adult.

In this fashion, it is clinically worthwhile to allow these experiences to be processed in the normal fashion as they most probably will be followed by breakthrough in an otherwise blocked case. Past lives process, as usual, clinically, with fear, pain, guilt, sorrow, etc. The experiencer is in need of a witnessed release and resolution and integration.

As a clinician I find it rewarding to process past life material when it pops up, as it helps the whole case. Blocking it when it feels genuine to the patient, simply on theoretical ground, is counterproductive. The only time I would discourage a person from talking about past life is when there is no accompanying emotional charge that is exerting pressure for release through deep feelings and that would help resolve the case.

For example, some patients come in and they start telling long stories devoid of any hint of emotion about an incident in their past life; they are neither close to feelings nor in a useful altered state. They may be attention seeking or merely delusional and need to be processed at where they are in their particular process. This is very different from a clinically useful past life relive.

Many years ago I accidentally fell into what seemed to be a holographically visual past life without hypnosis or chemicals or any thing other than being stuck in my feelings. The past life opened up a lot of old, old sadness for me. Because of these findings with clients mostly and this one experience with myself, I decided not to quickly challenge a patient who reports past life material, especially when they are successfully expressing unfelt feelings and integrating them.

I still do not know the secret of past lives but I will work with the experiences considering them of clinical relevance and usefulness. If worked properly and spontaneously with no steering, forcing or dogma on the part of the therapist, these experiences will not carry any negative side effects. Only if force is used and dogma is laid on the patient will there be a possible negative outcome.

But then again this is true of any other non past life issue, For example, telling a patient to express anger at a parent and to swing at the wall with a bat when the patient is not even close to their feeling and then laying dogma on the patient that her father was necessarily an abusive bastard or else "you wouldn't have turned out unhappy like this" is probably more dangerous for some patients than any past life material. ( I have personally seen this exact scenario with the bat happen in at least three different centers. )

The spontaneous "primalling" of a past life trauma will give observable symptom removal in many cases of patients or therapists that have no theoretical framework to explain the results in accepted scientific terms. Is it placebo. Is it really a past life? Is it a powerful fantasy? Is it a borrowed metaphor that fits the feeling locked by the trauma? Is it even possible? I do not have a good answer as to theory, however, as a result of powerful re experience and freeing of affect, many of my clients experienced symptom removal.

When this first happened neither I nor the patient had any belief whatsoever in such situations, but I opted to continue and process it as I would a current situation and it proceeded to take the form of a deep emotional release and a flood of insight as it would with a connected traumatic situation in childhood.

Re experiencing one's past life or interlife state is a very emotionally powerful and frequently nurturing experience. I cannot prove these states really exist outside a patient's psyche, however they are a phenomenological and felt reality and as experiences they are very real.

Also read on the Primal Psychotherapy Page:

Primal Theory Vs. Past Lives Theory by Réal Beaulieu

An Argument For Past-Life Therapy by Bob Holmes

Symbolic Trauma Resolution In The Regressive Psychotherapies

The author has also written: