26 October 2008, JellyBean @ 9:07 am

Do we have previous lives? Have we lived before we were born? When we die, do we get reborn? Is there a way to remember previous lives? These are questions that humans have asked since the dawn of time.

Many scientists say that the idea of reincarnation is ridiculous and that we only live once, but there are some, like Dr Linda Backman, who believe that reincarnation is not only true, but that they have evidence of it.

Dr Backman is a licensed psychologist and since 1993 she has been using regression hypnotherapy to access past lives of her clients. She claims that this hypnotherapy allows the client to understand their soul mission, soul progress, soul relationships, and much more. Her name for this therapy is “Soul Regression Therapy”.

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The basics of hypnotherapy are simple. The practitioner uses specific breathing methods, guided imagery and other techniques which guides the subject into a relaxed trance-like state. It is when they reach this state that the practitioner is said to be able to access their past life.

According to Dr Backman, there are two components to ‘Soul Therapy': the first is “Past Life Soul Regression”, which deals with any past lives the subject may have had, and the second “Between Lives Soul Regression”, which she believes is the state of the soul between lives.

This form of hypnotherapy has recently become extremely popular and there have been hundreds of books written on the subject and therapists offering their services. But is it real?

Many people say that the descriptions of past lives are simply the creative imaginations of the participants. Other say that it is a kinf of metaphorical story made up in the unconscious mind of the subject. Of course others swear that it is real.

Some scientists say that the subject is merely acting on the suggestions made by the practitioner. The subject thinks that they should behave in a certain way to the suggestions of the therapist and therefore produce the results. Experiments have shown that subjects can imagine they are in the Roman coliseum two thousand years ago or on another planet a thousand years into the future, if guided that way by the therapist.

Investigations into alleged cases of past life regression support the view that what is brought forth during the hypnotic sessions are just the subjects life experiences and not a real past life. Scientific studies on the subject of hypnotherapy have been largely inconclusive as to its effects.

Proponents of past life regression point to a number of cases where subsequent investigation of the claims are proven correct or nearly correct. These cases often have no rational explanation of how the subject knows what they claim to know. It is a mystery which advocates point to as proof that reincarnation is real.

One thing must be remembered: the human mind is capable of manufacturing stories which it then believes. This has been clearly seen in “Recovered Memory Therapy”. Due to a variety of factors, many people have acquired memories which have later been proven to be false. This is called “False Memory Syndrome”. This syndrome has been responsible for wrecking many innocent peoples lives and reputations who have been accused of sex abuse by people with these ‘reovered memories’.

So what can we make of Dr Linda Backman’s claims?

The human mind is extremely fragile and suggestible. Perhaps these past lives are real and perhaps they are fake. No-one can be really sure one way or another. What is important for someone considering this sort of hypnotherapy is that they choose a therapist who is trustworthy and has a good reputation. You should also make sure that you are well informed before deciding to do any form of hypnotherapy.

Dr Linda Backman: Bringing your Soul to Light

The Skeptics Dictionary: Hypnosis

Alchemy Institute of Hypnosis: BEWARE OF FALSE MEMORIES IN REGRESSION HYPNOTHERAPY

Lynda Hilburn: What is Hypnosis?

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