The purpose of this study was to determine whether past-life regression therapy can lead to better quality of life, more profound belief about moral consciousness, and better psychological well-being. This quasi-experimental research included a control group designed to test these hypotheses. Each experimental participant underwent three past life regression sessions facilitated by two qualified regression therapists, plus seven days of life improvement practice between each session. Participants in the experimental group had better scores in quality of life than those in the control group. Within the experimental group, scores on moral consciousness as well as quality of life and psychological well-being improved and was statistically significant. The roles of past life experiences and lessons learned in past-life regression were also examined.
Past Life Regression Therapy (PLRT) along with the use of an Integrated Psychology Approach consists of guiding the participants by using PLRT and past-life lessons learned counseling to design new life improving practices (LIP). Ian Stevenson (1966) maintains that PLRT is an effective means of facilitating self-development or of resolving various psychological difficulties. Woods and Baruss, (2004) mentions that in the absence of psychological problems, PLRT can improve psychological well-being.
Three assumptions were raised by the use of this therapy:
1) the abreaction of past life negative emotion can improve the course of
2) the increase of psychological well-being can improve life quality, and
3) PLRT together with LIP can lead to more insights and profound
understanding of moral consciousness.
Some believe that the negative residuals of unfinished business in a person’s past life have energy to attract negative similar incidents to a person’s present life. The residuals were buried deep in the subconscious level of mind, in which individuals are unaware of them. The abreaction of the negative residuals would therefore reduce negative incidents in the present life. In addition, Soon, Brass, Heinze, & Haynes, (2008) found that subconscious relearning is unique to the individual, and the individual who can recall their past-life memories would be able to learn life lessons from them. With proper guidance, the relearning of these past lessons allows individuals to receive suggestions from their inner consciousness on ways to improve their present life.
The researcher conducted the same regression therapy procedure and individualized LIP counseling for their daily practices to all 20 participants, in the experimental group. These 20 participants were asked to put on the biofeedback device (IOM Hardware, the Wild Divine Software Programs) to monitor the arousal state. The past life regression procedure began when participants reached the relaxed state. The biofeedback device provides information on the activity of skin conductance which reflects sweat gland activity and heart rate.
The idea was to evoke past-life experiences in all three pre-scheduled sessions (one week time interval) for each participant in the experimental group. Rivera (2012) concludes that the improvement in psychological wellbeing enables participants to see new opportunities for quality of life. The improved moral consciousness has direct impacts to their life improvement practices (LIP). The researchers hypothesized that the combination of improved psychological well-being and moral consciousness has direct impacts to improve participants’ life quality. Life quality in this research is defined as one’s perception on his or her physical health, mental health, and interpersonal relationship.
This study used one-way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) as the statistical quantitative method. The rationale in using MANOVA is that regression therapy can improve both psychological well-being and quality of life. This research was designed to compare both psychological well-being and quality of life between control and experimental groups. The control group received only Positive Thinking training in the experiment.
To make sure that the subjects have substantial past-life experiences, the treatment was designed to have three weekly sessions. The researcher gave the Moral Consciousness counseling after the regression therapy ended.
After the experimental subjects gained cognitive understanding and emotional insight, the LIP counseling began. This step-by-step procedure is believed to be intense enough to install lasting changes in the cognitiveemotive-behavioral levels within a 35-day period.
It is worthwhile mentioning that regression therapy is the treatment process at the subconscious level. While moral consciousness counseling is the conscious process after the regression therapy ends, during which spirituality is the main topic of discussion. LIP consultation is the final process focusing on behavior changes.
The psychological well-being is immediately measured after the session in order to measure the positive results of regression. The moral consciousness is measured after the moral counseling finished. The quality of life is measured after the participants have completed their LIP exercise, at the end of the research project.
The research methodology is quasi-experimental with one control group, and the experimental period is 35 days. Both quantitative and qualitative analysis are viewed as equally important and are applied in parallel.
The independent variable in this research is PLRT. The dependent variables are the Scale for Psychological Well-Being (see Thai Department of Mental Health, Psychological Well-being Questionnaire, 2008). The measurement variables of life quality (see Thai Department of Mental Health, Life Quality Questionnaire, 2008) are:
(1) perception of the subject’s physical health,
(2) perception of the subject’s mental health and
(3) perception of the subject’s relationship with others.
The measurement of moral consciousness includes Spirituality (commitment to good deeds) and Inner Growth (development of life purpose).
The questionnaire used for measuring psychological well-being was the Psychological Well-Being Questionnaire which consists of 12 questions each with a five-point Likert scale to which respondents can agree or disagree.
The questionnaire items include questions such as Positive Relations with Others, Autonomy, Environmental Mastery, Personal Growth, Purpose in Life, and Self-Acceptance. [The finding reports decreases in negativity, and increases in positivity.]
The Life Quality questionnaire was modified and reselected to 20 questions, from an original 26 questions. These questions were designed to focus on participant’s evaluation of his or her perception of their personal changes in physical health, mental health and interpersonal relationship. This questionnaire uses a five-point Likert scale.
Moral Consciousness consists of a five-point Likert scale made up from three scales: nine items on Spirituality (faith in right conduct) and five items on Inner Growth. All 14 items make up a Global Scale that is an indication of a person’s position along the materialism/transcendent dimension.
Forty individuals between 25 and 60 years of age working at International Company Limited (ICC), Thailand, were divided into 20 experimental subjects (E), and 20 control group subjects (C). The inclusion criterion was individuals who are willing to improve their quality of life and those not willing were excluded. Those with a history of traumatic emotional events or those experiencing problems with concentration, memory were also excluded.
Nine of the participants were men and 11 were women in the experimental group and 8 of the participants were men and 12 were women in the control group.
The researcher used a dedicated room provided by ICC as the experimental lab. The researcher conducted the half-day opening workshop to explain regression therapy concepts and procedures to all 40 participants. The chairman of ICC gave the opening speech as this was one of their in-house development programs. The participants received the general experiment and the researchers clarified any misunderstandings about hypnotherapy.
At the end of this workshop, they were asked to complete a quality of life uestionnaire. The therapy schedule for the 20 participants in the experimental group was executed over a 35 day period composed of 3 regression sessions, each lasting 2 hours and a LIP counseling designed to last half an hour.
In each PLRT session, participants came individually and were required to sign a consent form. The instructions were given so that they felt secure and relaxed. The participants were discouraged from engaging in cognitive thinking during the guided regression, which lasted two hours.
Moral consciousness counseling and LIP counseling were customized for each participant, to enable them to improve their spiritual lives and their inter-personal behaviors. Participants were asked to complete a Moral Consciousness Questionnaire after each regression session. The questions focused on the past-life experiences during regression.
At the end of the study, a half day closing workshop was performed during which the researcher asked the participants to complete the life quality questionnaire for the second time. Then researcher shared some key findings and let all participants in the experimental group share their experiences about the benefits of regression therapies, moral consciousness consultation, and life improvement counseling. Finally, they were asked to complete open-ended questions of the life quality questionnaire, such as benefits, experiences and lessons learned.
The Life Quality mean score of the experimental group before therapies was 3.560 and that of the control group was 3.505. Scores after the therapies were 4.028 and 3.643 respectively. The comparison of life quality by MANOVA showed that the regression therapy improved life quality in the experimental group significantly compared to the control group.
The psychological well-being mean score of the experimental group before therapies was 3.958 and that of the control group was 4.250 (7.37 percent higher than the experimental group). After the therapies, the mean score of the experimental and control groups changed to 4.833 and 4.875 respectively. The improved score for the experimental group was 22.10 percent whereas that of the control group was 14.76 percent. The researcher found that improved score of the control group comes from an uncontrollable factor because the control group was asked to join a Positive Thinking training during the experimental period. At least, the researcher can conclude that the impact of Positive Thinking training is less than that of the therapies on psychological well-being. And yet, Positive Thinking training had no impact on the life quality scores.
In the experimental group, changes in life quality and psychological wellbeing were in the predicted direction, from 3.505 to 4.028 or 14.92 percent and from 3.958 to 4.833 or 22.10 percent respectively. The improvement in the experimental group is statistically significant. In the control group, life quality score changed from 3.505 to 3.643 or 3.93 percent but it was not a statistically significant difference. Scores of Psychological Well-being changed from 4.250 to 4.875 or 14.70 percent, which is statistically significant. The improved score on Psychological well-being of the control group came from their participation in the Positive Thinking in-house training session conducted by ICC international company as their regular employee training.
Table 2 shows improvement of scores of moral consciousness after each therapy. However, by research design, participants of the control group were not measured on the moral consciousness scale.
Table 3 shows a significant relationship between Psychological Well-being and Quality of Life at p<0.05. Yet, there is no significant relationship between Moral Consciousness and Quality of Life at p<0.05. However, there is a negative relationship between Moral Consciousness and Psychological well-being.
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∗ *Ph.D. Student, Department of Humanity, Buddhist psychology major,
∗ ** MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the AnamCara Center for Wisdom-Compassion- Peace