Regression Therapy
Regression Therapy

Roger Woolger

The Presence of Other Worlds In Psychotherapy and Healing

by Roger Woolger


An earlier version of this paper was first presented to the Beyond the Brain Conference, held at St. John’s College, Cambridge University, England, August, 1999. It was later published in its current form in Thinking Beyond the Brain, edited by David Lorimer, Floris Books, Edingburgh, 2001.

A good artist lets his intuition
lead him wherever it wants
A good scientist has freed himself of concepts
and keeps his mind open to what is

Lao-Tzu Tao Te King (transl. Mitchell) [14]

Consciousness creates reality

Amit Goswami The Self-Aware Universe

To my mind a major culprit behind our enthralment to the philosophy of materialism is the tiny little word “in”. From my somewhat labored examples it may now be clear how pervasively this innocent little word deceptively conceals a spatial metaphor that betrays its true allegiance to the materialist dogma. The unexamined use of the word “in” sadly restricts much neurological research and has taken on the status of a scientific myth about mind, energy and spirit, a myth in the Jungian sense of “something which is believed everywhere and by everyone” Read more

The Secret History of Reincarnation by Roger Woolger

by Roger Woolger


Worn-out garments
Are shed by the body:
Worn-out bodies
Are shed by the dweller
Within the body.
New bodies are donned
By the dweller, like garments.

-Bhagavad-Gita II

(Extracted from Healing Your Past Lives, Sounds True, Boulder, Colorado, 2004)

Not long ago, I saw a slogan on a bumper sticker: Reincarnation is having a comeback. It’s a sad fact that the scientific establishment in the United States still marginalizes most work that even hints at realities beyond our own, including regression therapy, parapsychology, and a vast body of research into paranormal phenomena, from out-of-body experiences to children’s spontaneous past-life memories.[1] [1] By clinging to such a narrow protocol, mainstream psychology risks becoming, in George Orwell’s memorable phrase, one of ‘the smelly little orthodoxies which are now contending for our souls.’ But fortunately, in most countries where I have lectured, the general public is far ahead of the academics. Nearly everyone has heard of the doctrine of reincarnation, and recent polls show that almost one in three Americans now believes in it, even though most of the Christian churches reject it. Read more

Deep Memory Process and the Healing of Trauma

by Roger Woolger and Andy Tomlinson

What are Deep Memories?

Cheryl was a young professional psychotherapist who attended one of our workshops on Deep Memory Process.  She was a very able therapist but had always suffered from crippling panic attacks when it came to speaking out in groups. By the the third day of the workshop she had successfully avoided such anxiety by carefully burying her nose in her notebook and deliberately saying as little as possible. The topic that morning was fear however, and when the examples turned to terror in group situations, she found herself having an anxiety attack at the very mention of the subject. Quite unbidden a flashback of herself as a little girl of four popped in to her mind and she found herself quietly weeping and trembling. Someone offered her the Kleenex and she shrank in embarassment. The group leader, Roger, unaware that she had been “triggered” invited her to say what was happening. She felt trapped and even more embarassed; the spotlight was truly on her and her worst fear. But bravely, when the leader offered she took the opportunity to work. Read more

Beyond Death: Transition and the Afterlife by Roger Woolger

 by Roger Woolger

He who dies before he dies, does not die when he dies

Abraham of Santa Clara

Zen has no other secrets than seriously thinking about birth and death

Takeda Shingen

We are not dealing here with irreality. The mundus imaginalis is a world
of autonomous forms and images…It is a perfectly real world preserving all
the richness and diversity of the sensible world but in a spiritual state

Henry Corbin

By way of introduction I should say that I am a psychotherapist trained in Jungian psychoanalysis and various other modalities and that my current practice uses what is called “regression” to early childhood, past life, interlife and other transpersonal or “spiritual” experiences. (In other contexts-see below-the word “regression” can equally refer to what shamans call “journeying”)  But I also hold degrees in the comparative phenomenology of religion, a subject that greatly illuminates the kind of areas which we are here today calling “beyond death.”

Our starting point today has been the, by now, quite extensive documentation of so-called Near Death Experiences (NDEs); you have heard the detailed reports discussed by Dr Fenwick and Dr. Powell’s reflections on similar experiences. It will already seem apparent that the scientific paradigm that seeks to fully explain these phenomona in materialistic terms is stretched beyond it limits. Not long ago I saw a tape of a major British television program where a woman suffered a clinical NDE during an operation and reported, while “out of her body” seeing an instrument in the operating room she could not possibly have seen while in her body and alive. Interesting and provocative as the discussion was, it was entirely limited to interviewing medical staff; no informed authorities on parapsychology (except a materialist sceptic), spiritualism, religious phenomena or metaphysics, specialists in thanatology, or experts from religious traditions were interviewed. Later I was told this is a policy decision of the television company! It was like a political discussion where only one party is invited to participate. Read more

How is it possible to remember Past Lives? A Reply to the Sceptics.

by Roger Woolger

There is for every man or woman some one scene,


some one adventure, some one picture, that is

       the image of our secret life, for wisdom first speaks

in images and Éthis one image, if we would brood

over it our whole life long, would lead our souls,

distentangled from unmeaning circumstance and the ebb

and flow of the world, into that far household

where the undying gods await all those whose souls

have become simple as flame, whose bodies

have become quiet as an agate lamp.

   W.B. Yeats


The visible world was made to correspond to

the world invisible and there is nothing in this world

but is a symbol of something in that other world
Al Ghazzali



Working with past life images and allowing them to unfold into scenes and stories is essentially a meditative process. It requires a stillness, a certain trust in the creative powers of the deep imagination as well as a readiness to encounter not just appealing but often dark and disturbing images.

In the previous chapter I suggested that there is often a deeper level to what we call our complexes, a layer that has a buried past-life core. However, you may still feel a little sceptical about what exactly these past life memories are, indeed you may find you doubt the very possibility of remembering past lives. The rational mind objects, and rightly so, to ideas that do not fit the generally accepted world view. So before proceeding it may be useful to examine some of the most common sceptical reactions to “past life” recall. Read more

Past Life Therapy, Trauma Release and the Body by Roger Woolger

About Roger Woolger


ROGER J. WOOLGER, PH.D, was a Jungian analyst, regression therapist and professional lecturer with degrees in psychology, religion and philosophy from Oxford and London Universities.

He trained as an analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich. Born a British citizen, Roger had lived and taught Jungian and transpersonal  psychology and comparative religion in North America and England.

He had been a Guest Professor at Vassar College, where he gave the Mary Mellon Memorial lectures in 1988. He had also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Vermont (1975) and Concordia University, Montreal (1979-80).

He had led workshops at the New York Open Center, Esalen Institute and Omega Institute, and spoke at a broad range of conferences internationally.

He died as of November, 18 2011.


Past life regression therapy, as described here, is a therapeutic technique that uses similar strategies and commands to hypnotic age regression (following a time line backwards, talking to the regressed persona etc) but which also draws strongly from Jung’s waking dream technique of active imagination and the embodied re-enactments of past events called by J.L Moreno, psychodrama (Woolger, 1996). As in hypnotic regression and psychodrama, the patient is guided back to and encouraged to relive traumatic scenes or unresolved conflicts from the past that have been previously inaccessible to consciousness, but which are thought to be influencing and distorting current mental and emotional stability. But instead of being regressed solely to the patient’s childhood, a strong suggestion is also given to “go to the origin of the problem in a previous lifetime”. In other words, the notional time-line is extended backwards to assume the soul’s continuity with previous existences via what some have called the soul memory or “far memory”. In many respects the rationale of past life therapy is similar to that of post traumatic stress therapies as well as to the cathartic or abreactive approach taken, but later abandoned by early psychoanalysis (Hermann, 1992). Read more

The Signs of the Times and the Time of the Heart by Roger J. Woolger (Part I)


by Roger Woolger


Each age is an age that is dying, or one that is coming to birth. (O’Shaughnessey)


In this talk  I want to distinguish three kinds of time: first of all the time of history, and the idea that we are now experiencing the end of a huge world cycle of historical time, end times that could possibly be heralding the beginning of a new age. (PART ONE) Secondly, I want to talk about visionary time, the time that belongs to the soul and the inner world, the kind of  time that we work with in all forms of depth psychotherapy, regression therapy, and most of all, past life regression. Thirdly, I want to talk about a very special kind of time, the time of the heart. (PART TWO) Read more

The Signs of the Times and the Time of the Heart by Roger J. Woolger (Part II)

by Roger Woolger


The Signs of the Times and the Time of the Heart


Visionary Time: The Time of Soul

You could not discover the boundaries of soul though you tried every path,
so deep does its measure reach down.

A remarkable feature of regression therapy is the rapidity and precision with which it takes us out of the “stuckness” of material reality, the solidity of the world, the fixity of the symptoms, egoic concretization of my tumor, my backache, my impossible life into a very different experience of the self and of time. By the use of a simple yet radical instruction: “Now, just close your eyes, lie down, and go inside” good regression therapy helps us move from talking about our personal symptoms and problems-externalizing and objectifying them-into the vivid subjective reality of our “inner world.”

What is “inside”? What is this “inner world” where centuries and lifetimes flash by in less than an hour or two, known so well and intimately to many of us. from regression therapy and shamanic journeying? It is this strangely condensed time with its infinitely rich territory of the inner world that I propose to call visionary time. Read more

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