Curious about past life therapy? Or heard about it but aren’t sure if you should be interested, intrigued or just plain freaked out? We talked to Past Life Regression Therapist and author Ann C. Barham about past life therapy — what it is, what it isn’t, how it can help heal and what first-timers can expect in a session. If you’re new to this type of treatment, it’s enlightening!
Q&A With Ann C. Barham About Past Life Therapy
Fit Bottomed Zen: How did you get into past life therapy?
Ann C. Barham: After some years in a more conventional marriage and family therapy practice, I found that I wanted to help people resolve issues more rapidly. I also wanted to incorporate more spiritual components into my work, and I realized past life therapy might offer both. Shortly after deciding this, the top two world-renowned experts in past life therapy each gave a week-long professional training at a retreat center just 30 minutes from my home. Since my daughter was 2-years-old at the time and I didn’t want to leave her overnight, I couldn’t have asked for a stronger message from the universe that this was the right direction for me to pursue! I gradually introduced past life work into my practice and have been specializing in it for almost 20 years now.
FBZ: What is the biggest misconception about it?
AB: Probably the biggest misconception is that past life work is a lot of “woo-woo new age stuff.” It is actually a serious, transformational, therapeutic approach that appeals to all sorts of people. I have people from all persuasions and professions consulting me — from computer engineers to Protestant ministers! Another misconception is that you must believe in reincarnation in order to pursue past life therapy. Many clients aren’t sure what they believe about reincarnation, yet they want to explore, and they have eye-opening sessions that prove to be very helpful for them. The past life stories can always be considered unique metaphors that address and resolve current life situations in very powerful ways.
FBZ: What is the experience like for first-timers? What can they expect?
AB: Every first timer worries that he or she is not going to be successful in retrieving a past life. The truth is, however, that over 85 percent of clients retrieve past life information the very first time, and if they don’t, we usually find that the origin of the issue is something in their current life, typically from childhood. After taking the client through a deep relaxation, which in and of itself is quite healing, I direct them to the past life origin of the issue or area of interest. Memories emerge from the client’s unconscious mind and may show up as a movie in the mind’s eye (like a dream), through physical impressions and sensations, or a story intuitively comes to mind. Often it’s a combination of all three. I walk the client through the key events of the lifetime all the way through the death, and then we explore in the spiritual space between lifetimes to process the lessons learned, release any trauma or unfinished business, and gain higher spiritual insight. The latter part of the session is usually deeply comforting and meaningful for the client.
FBZ: What type of healing can this type of work bring about?
AB: The variety of ways past life therapy can help is quite wonderful. It can help resolve enduring relationship issues that may be a continuation of the past; unlock dynamics that keep us stuck in emotional distress such as depression or guilt or anxiety; find the spiritual/emotional components of physical ailments and help release them, which enhances healing; and rewrite self-defeating attitudes and beliefs that we may have carried forward from prior life experiences. This might include things like: I can never get ahead financially; I’ll never find a life partner; nothing ever works out for me; no matter what I do it’s never good enough; and the myriad of other self-defeating patterns that may be ruling our lives.
In addition, and on a more positive note, past life work can help us find our true life purpose; connect with loved ones who have passed and assuage grief and loss; eliminate our fear of death; and catapult us into a new connection with the spiritual realities of our existence.
FBZ: How many sessions does it take to be beneficial?
AB: The grand majority of clients find that a single session takes care of their inquiry or resolves the issue in question. If we are working on a particularly complex issue, at times we find this will chain back over many lifetimes, and an additional session can be helpful. A number of people choose to return again at a later time to work on another issue or to deepen their exploration. I’ve had some clients come back 10 years after their first session to address a new issue that has emerged in their life.
FBZ: If someone wants to try past life therapy, what should they do?
AB: Be sure to find a qualified practitioner, e.g., someone who is certified by the International Board of Regression Therapy or the Earth Association for Regression Therapy. I believe that it is best to find someone who is also a conventionally licensed therapist, because to make this work truly therapeutic rather than just fun exploration, it requires an important skill set acquired in professional training. Although past life therapists may be somewhat few and far between, I have found that sessions work extremely well via Skype or Zoom, so distance is no longer an obstacle for people who would like to pursue this type of work.
FBZ: Anything else you’d like to add?
AB: One of the things I love about past life work is that it promotes healing and change on a very deep level that does not require another “self help program” to realize important gains. The changes occur organically as the psyche gradually integrates the experience in the weeks and months after a session.
Another very important component of this work, and something we sorely need at this point in our current lives, is the melting of boundaries between races, religious and political beliefs, gender differences, and class distinctions. As we find ourselves in prior lifetimes when we were the exact opposite of who we are and what we believe today, we begin to realize that we are all truly connected in this human experience. We have, indeed, walked in each other’s shoes.
Do you have any experiences with past lives? I’ve been everything from a Victorian housewife to a burly mechanic on a ship. —Jenn