Reviewed by Anastra L. Madden, Psy.D.
(as included in the The Journal of Regression Therapy Volume ViII, No. 1, Fall 1994)
Originally published in German, Reincarnation Therapy is an important contribution to the mounting literature on past-life therapy. Ingrid Vallieres’ work offers a brilliant and clear immersion in the finer points of therapeutically assisting a client toward liberation from traumatic dilemmas encapsulated in present and past lives. According to Vallieres, this liberation is achieved by consciously experiencing and crossing the painful boundaries of events, and of time, of an individual’s thinking, intentions, and actions. A unique feature of Vallieres’s method is that, from the onset of therapy, clients are connected to a biofeedback apparatus that registers both conscious and unconscious areas of traumatic material. The biofeedback readings offer the therapist and client unerring identification of unresolved issues.
Vallieres presents reincarnation therapy as working in three distinct yet interrelated areas of experience: (1) present life back to birth; (2) from birth back to conception; and (3) time before conception. Vallieres strongly emphasizes the importance of working through the traumas of the present life, most notably from conception to birth, before embarking upon former lives. And it is here in the penetrating exploration of the pre-birth or womb matrix that constitutes what I believe to be Vallieres most significant contribution in Reincarnation Therapy. Through her years of experience in the field, Vallieres has honed a solid basis for proceeding in this fashion. She states:
We work through the pregnancy back to conception, which is the first concrete life situation connecting the incarnating soul with its new body. Already it reflects the child’s life work. The thoughts, attitudes and feelings of the parents towards one another do stamp their character on the course of the child’s life, although the child has already established a tendency in that direction (p. 40).
Vallieres points out that along the continuum of life’s experience, including the womb, an individual cannot be influenced without some measure of consent. Each of us bears responsibility for our own level of consciousness; thus, we cannot be coerced or manipulated without there being a part of us that is in agreement with the influx of a particular energy, positive or negative. For example, Vallieres goes on to say:
What is said during the prenatal phase is of utmost importance for the baby. And it is not only the words spoken—the thoughts of the mother will become the baby’s thoughts (p. 45…the unconscious recording apparatus of the fetus activates every experience from former lives and applies these thoughts of the mother to itself (p. 42).
The tone reverberating throughout the content of Reincarnation Therapy is this echo of self responsibility. Although an individual may experience, in current or past lives, events of victimization, one is essentially never a true victim. The problems and difficulties that beset a person today are areas in which they were, at one time, also harmful to others. According to Vallieres, the law of Karma works within the dynamics of this mirroring principle. Causing harm is the opposite trauma pole of receiving harm. The unconscious, unable to distinguish between past and present, between time and place, will inevitably respond to a life situation that even fleetingly offers an opportunity to re-experience, and thus integrate, the consequences of thought and of behavior that brought harm to another.
In Chapter 5 Vallieres briefly summarizes 18 different psychotherapeutic modalities and how these therapies contrast with the in-depth exploration offered by reincarnation therapy. Not all, but the majority of therapeutic endeavors attempt to grasp a selective aspect of the subconscious nature which each one respectively views to be the core of the individual’s current painful dilemma. The value of reincarnation therapy is that it is not limited to an established theory; rather, it moves freely with the client’s process, marking and tracing traumatic points beyond the boundaries of time and space.
With clear simplicity, Vallieres highlights four “prerequisites” a person should bring with him should he choose the path of reincarnation therapy. First is a genuine desire for change, while the second comprises a trust of reincarnation therapy. The third prerequisite is that one be honest with oneself—an honesty that will help one to relinquish devaluing self perceptions, and pave the way for new, more realistic values of self and of one’s purpose in the world. The fourth and last point is endurance and perseverance in the therapeutic process.
Vallieres is similarly clear about the role of the reincarnation therapist. In addition to embodying a compassionate understanding and attention to detail, Vallieres underscores the essential component that makes the reincarnation therapist a profound catalyst for healing. She states:
Many people believe that because they can make people experience a former life, they would be able to practice reincarnation therapy. That is not true. There is no art in making someone experience a former life. Any non-therapist can do it with a few simple questions, but the important thing is to work at the traumas thoroughly for long enough for them no longer to be a problem (p.102).
Vallieres goes on to describe, step by step, how she helps the client to fully process and integrate the traumatic residues of the present life as well as the past. “Working through” is the key, and it is hard work for client and therapist alike.
In the final analysis, Vallieres has written a valuable resource book that will be exceedingly helpful for reincarnation therapists at all levels of training and development. She writes with confidence and conviction born of years of personal and professional experience. The concepts are threaded with the quality of “groundedness” and clarity; a style that never belies the profound truths that distinctly emerge. If anything were to be added to this important work, I would recommend including a bibliography with a list of suggested readings. Vallieres did not hesitate to note other authors when drawing on their work; however, due to the lack of appropriate references, the reader is not able to further research or study in-depth the salient points made. A bibliographical appendix would have served to enhance the usefulness of Reincarnation Therapy for seriously interested persons. Nevertheless, Vallieres work is a valuable contribution to the therapeutic field of present and past-life influences, and how to move this vast, diverse, unconscious memory into a creatively holistic and liberated consciousness. In Vallieres’ own words:
For once to become conscious of the whole content of our souls, to descend to the deepest levels, to reintegrate parts which have become separated, that is the principle of RT. We do not need to do anything for our development, first of all we must find out who we are (p.133).