By Patricia Wersinger
Do you believe in reincarnation? Have you had feelings of déja vu or of very deep connections to people and places as if you had already known them or been there before? Though we’ve been led to believe we “only live once,” recent research has shed light on the possibility that we may, in fact, have led more than one life. Though dismissed by skeptics who often won’t weigh the evidence, the field of past life therapy has grown exponentially in the last forty years since its pioneer, Dr. Brian Weiss, experienced phenomena in his practice that he didn’t know how to explain otherwise. Under hypnosis, patients evoked places and past experiences that seemed to pop out of nowhere. Giving detailed information that they had no knowledge of, in an awake state, they provided a provocative insight into a special dimension of the psyche that is still mysterious.
The reason this new field of psychology experienced a boom is due to its astounding results. In a short time, issues that have been lingering for years and seemed unresolvable through orthodox methods were finally dealt with and put behind for many people. On the other hand, you don’t have to be a believer in past life therapy to garner its benefits. Whether you believe that your mind actually explores a past life or not, a past life therapy session can be beneficial. By relaxing your mind into a state of hypnosis, it frees it of prejudice, judgment, control, and other obstacles that prevent us in traditional therapy to really open up.
I recently had the opportunity to have a past life therapy session with Ann C. Barham, LMFT, Certified Past Life Therapist. Ann is a very warm and friendly professional, born and raised in California, where she has practiced Past Life Therapy since 1998.
The session started off with Ann asking me what were the issues for which I’d like to find a resolution. After I brought up a couple of things that were on my mind, she asked me to tell her what type of place would be an ideal for me to live in. I told her I loved snow, infinite serene landscapes of snow, and that I was drawn to the North Pole (maybe in the middle of a summer in midtown Manhattan, this is not such an odd thing). She wanted to know what time of day was my favorite in the North Pole and I told her the morning, with a slightly overcast sky. She wanted to know if there were reindeer or dogs pulling sleds and I told her that I saw reindeer. After that, she invited me to lie down on a couch, and once I was comfortable, she instructed me to relax, let my eyes and face muscles rest, to allow my body to sink into the couch, and to detach myself from intellectual control — then, to imagine that particular landscape of snow that I cherished… and to describe it to her more in detail. She told me to fathom a staircase and to go down the stairs as she counted. At the count of 10, you should feel relaxed enough to let go of the blocks that obstruct your “inner eye” and should be able to see into your psyche at rest.
Photo by Adam Excell
She asked me to describe what I saw inside of my mind. In this semi state of suspension, I did not really feel that I was totally hypnotized because I was still aware of everything around me, yet I could fathom some random pictures pressing themselves upon my consciousness. Ann asked me to look at my feet and to tell her what was there. It took me a while to be able to see that I was wearing a type of medieval outfit with pull-on slipper socks.
I saw a castle standing on a hill away from a village in the foreground. Ann asked me where I was, and the answer just slipped out of my mouth: “France.” She wanted me to give her a date and I said, “1431.” Then I described my occupation in this castle as a court jester for a few princesses who adored me. I was a 17-year-old boy who had left his farm in a poor village and went to live at the court after the princesses had noticed me in my village, liked me, and took me along with them. I had no choice because my family was poor and this was an opportunity to lead an easier life because I didn’t enjoy my existence among pigs and cows. However, I felt frustrated with my court jester situation because I was merely a tool for amusement for a bunch of spoiled princesses. One day, the princesses granted me my freedom, and I was able to fulfill my dream of joining a commercial ship and to roam freely up the British Islands. I would sit all day in the vigil box at the top of a mast, staring at the horizon in the distance. This was the life I had always wanted. I loved that job because it gave me a sense of freedom and I did not have to entertain at the futile whims of the court. Ann wanted to know how long this life had lasted and I told her that around 50, I stopped my life on a boat and settled somewhere in Scotland, where I became a hermit, living among the natural elements. I did some writing about plants that I observed and tasted. There was heather everywhere and I was aware of the proximity of fish, whales, bears and other wild animals in the vicinity. Ann asked me about the last day of my life and I told her that I lived to an old age and died fulfilled and happy in my hut by the sea aware of the sea nearby.
Photo by Iker Urteaga
After the trip back in time, Ann wanted to know what I could surmise from the exploration of that “past life.” I told her that I felt it meant that I focus more time “far from the madding crowd” to explore my intellectual interests. I told her that New York City felt like a court in some ways, where people watch and judge one another according to superficial criteria of wealth, sexual attraction, and fame, rather than culture and awareness. I also became aware that I have a longing to move and wander in order to explore the world. This yearning must become a part of my life whatever the cost or difficulty to achieve it.
I enjoyed my session with Ann because I was able to look into my heart and to see what my frustrations were without my mind immediately interfering with my awareness to correct it and keep me in line. When you’re in a hypnotized state, your emotions speak directly to you. I’m not sure if I really went back into a previous life because my state of hypnosis was not 100%, yet the vision I saw was the one my unconscious pushed into my awareness to send me an important message.
Photo by Job Rascon
As a result of Ann’s therapy, I have decided to spend less time “court jesting” in trivial social situations but rather to go back to my love of authentic living, enriching myself with real knowledge without depending so much on outside approval. I have also decided to explore the world more.
If you’re not ready for a session but would like to learn more about Ann and past life regression therapy, read her book in which she explores the principle of reincarnation, the idea that we are eternal beings, animating many different human bodies and personalities across the ages, and that our past life experiences impact our current life and personality.
For more information go to/www.pastlives.org.