The beneficial psychological effects of PAST LIFE REGRESSION (PLR) are perhaps connected to its enhancing effects on transcendental beliefs. PLR, by offering an insight into past existence, may assist people in reverting to a form of consciousness of enhanced awareness, one in which there is a deeper commitment to live out life’s purpose Disciples of this procedure advocate that it is an effective means for personality modification and self-development. PLR may transmogrify hypnosis into a guided self-exploratory pilgrimage, but in a self-exploratory examination PLR should be regarded as positioned on the lowest step of the ladder of spiritual illumination. The idea of reincarnation invokes a sense of mysticism with a religious context and has a colorful semantic halo. I want to suggest that restraint is a desideratum when making an appeal to personal spiritual insight in psychiatry.
a. The therapeutic value of PLR is no different from that of other forms of psychotherapy.
b. The therapeutic effect may be due to its enhancing effect on transcendental beliefs.
c. PLR can be beneficial for personal development.
d. PLR is useful in identifying the source of information in instances of cryptomnesia.
e. Hypnotically regressed subjects have been known to remain in an altered state of personality for a long time, without responding to dehypnotizing suggestions.
Therapeutic benefits alone do not validate the particular technique that a therapist employs. PLR should be used only when it is unavoidable and it should be conducted only with informed consent. Again to use an analogy, every case of headache does not need to be investigated with a brain scan. The therapist ought to be discriminating when selecting patients. Unfortunately there are no set guidelines for referring patients to hypnotherapy, which is effectively outside the boundaries of designated areas of therapy. Patients should be encouraged to evaluate for themselves what benefit they would gain by remembering the traumatic events of an alleged previous existence.
Search for the truth of past life regression
Quoting Dr. James Paul PandarakalamThe theory of reincarnation may offer an insight into several features of human personality and biology that contemporary theories do not clarify adequately. Past life regression (PLR) is a posited journeying into past lives, undertaken while the individual is subjected to hypnosis. The late Professor Ian Stevenson’s book Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Aetiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects has become a classic in the parasciences and has a worldwide readership.1 It has resulted in a resurgence of interest in PLR. Alternate explanations proposed for previous life memories include wishful thinking, cultural construction, deception, self deception and paranormal explanations other than reincarnation.The dichotomy between scientists and practitioners is ever widening, as is that between evidence obtained by research and the outcomes of clinical work. Mental health professionals are commonly consulted about the efficacy of complementary therapies, and they need an informed awareness of the merits and demerits of these therapies. Professionals in psychiatry and psychology must address the dangers posed by the application of questionable mental health techniques, but at the same time they need to be receptive to their potential. Paying more attention to research in PLR would be more to their advantage than dismissing it in its entirety.
A word on Regression and unconscious maps
Memories are thus physical systems in brains whose organization and activities constitute records or representations of the outside world, not in the passive sense of pictures, but as action systems. The representations are accurate to the extent that they allow the organism to represent appropriate actions to the world.
— J.Z. Young, 1978