by Thelma B. Freedman, M.A.
The following paper presents the results of a small research study that the author carried out in partial fulfillment of the requirements for her Ph.D. at Saybrook Institute. The author examined the past-life and interlife reports of phobic people, looking for any significant patterns and also for therapeutic outcome. Her results seem heartening to our field.
I became interested in examining past-life therapy for phobias in part because I had seen its effectiveness in my own practice. Treatment of phobias is mentioned by almost all writers on past-life therapy methods, and Clark (1995) found, in her survey of therapists, that nearly all (93%) placed phobias high on their lists of successes.
However, this was all anecdotal: There had never been a satisfactory formal study of this reputed success with phobias. But I knew that outcome with phobics could actually be measured, unlike some other conditions, because the symptoms of phobia are well-known and can be found on numerous scales and checklists, as well as in all the DSM’s. In fact, phobias are often the choice for researchers in all fields precisely because the symptoms are so easy to measure. So it was not hard to design a pre/post test study for the therapeutic results of past-life therapy with phobic people, using pre/post test scales to measure their phobia symptoms. These scales would give me real numbers that could be analyzed for significance.