WHERE ARE WE COMING FROM AND WHERE ARE WE GOING TO?
by Hans TenDam
Where do we come from? Regression started with experiments using deep trance. In 1886,
Colavida described age regression to early childhood. In 1911, Albert de Rochas published Les Vies Successives about regressions to past lifetimes. His results were in line what Ian Stevenson found in children’s cases, rather different from what we find in our therapy work. The difference can be explained, but that is not my issue here.
Ralph Grossi writes that in the forties stage hypnotists knew already that 90% of hypnotized people could go back to past lifetimes under hypnosis. Interestingly, hypnotic regressions were already used to explain present-life problems, but not for therapy. Therapy started with non-hypnotic inductions. Ron Hubbard, working with his E-meter and following thoughts and practices op people like Wilhelm Reich, found past lifetimes exploring trauma’s, which transformed his dianetics to a world view he called scientology.
Many people experienced life changes, but rejected the mental and organizational rigidity of scientology. With newer forms of psychotherapy, involving emotions and especially involving the body, like Gestalt therapy and bio-energetics (Reich again!) people started to stumble into past lifetimes.
And again and again, psychiatrists using hypnosis also stumbled into past lifetimes and found sudden and seemingly miraculous cures for their patients. Brian Weiss, Robert Jarmon and Shakuntala Modi are three who wrote books about their discoveries.
The first book linking past lives to practical therapy was Many Lifetimes by Denys Kelsey and Joan Grant (1967). The first important book showing real past-life regression as a therapeutic tool was Past Lives Therapy by Morris Netherton (1978). He, more than anybody else, is the father of our profession. In the same year, Edith Fiore published her book on therapy and Helen Wambach her book on statistical analysis of large numbers of past-life regressions.
As a profession, we are 30 years old in the year to come.
Meanwhile, Inner Child work has enriched not only our regression work to early childhood, but also our work with past-life traumas.
In practice, many hypnotherapists, though a minority, do regressions as a part of their job.
Many see past-life regressions as a fringe to their work. The great difference between hypnotherapists and regression therapists is that by far most hypnotherapists are male, and by far most regression therapists are female. It is no coincidence. Hypnotists steer and dominate, regressionists rather stimulate and follow.
So what is the core of our field? You may read in the minutes of our Round Table meeting in November (elsewhere in this Newsletter) what we have come up with so far. Do you recognize yourself in that? Do you agree?
I think an essential element in our work is also that we trust the intuition of our clients. It is not infallible, but almost without exception, even images and impressions that are at first sight incomprehensible, even weird, turn out to be the key to new understanding, producing new information and new ways to look at our problems. I have learned that when clients preface their remarks by strange! they have hit something really significant. Our intellect sifts and structures our information, but our intuition brings in new information and new viewpoints, so our intellect finally can solve our mental puzzles. And though we work strongly with emotions and somatics, solving a mental puzzle is always essential in solving a psychological problem. In this respect, regression therapy is a form of rational-emotive therapy.
Being so effective, why is mainstream psychotherapy so negative about us? Because our work is too interesting. Because we find so many psychic aspects in our work. And we unashamedly apply them.
Personally, I think acceptance by the mainstream, especially by the academic and institutional establishment is not nearing. It will simply not come in the near future. It requires a shift in mindset that is much more fundamental than a change in methodology. Telepathy, precognition, and many other psychic phenomena have been extensively researched and extensively proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, but are still ignored, ridiculed and marginalized by mainstream science. I don’t see us fare better. I see us fare worse. Because we deal with people as reincarnating souls. Nothing is more anathema to hard-core materialist scientists.
Working as a regression therapist and having an open mind, blows materialistic psychology to smithereens.
We should work as professionally and respectable as possible, but I don’t see us become respectable professionals in the foreseeable future. I know there are many scientists interested in new paradigms, but the optimistic writers about this remind me too much of the optimism a full century ago when psychic research attracted scientists and statesmen of fame, like William James and Arthur Balfour.
So what should we do – if I am right? Read me next time. Or tell me in the meantime why I am wrong on our Intranet.