Article: In Search of the Mother Through Time: An Unusual Case of Healing Involving Past-Life Regression, Spirit Releasement, and the Love of a Mother – J. Mancini (Is.30)

by Joseph Mancini, Jr., Ph.D., CCHt

An exhausted mother comes to the hypnotherapist for help for her six-year-old son, who is beset with multiple physical symptoms and complains of something’s clinging to him at bedtime. The hypnotherapist suspects that the child is suffering from the consequences of an attached spirit, that is, a ghost who had not gone into the Light after death.  Though the hypnotherapist does not work with children, he intuits that the mother is somehow involved in the attachment.  And, indeed, she is; for when the hypnotized mother does a scan of the boy’s etheric body, she discovers that the spirit is another son, this one from a past-life, who has been looking for her for a very long time. She is able to help the spirit release her present son and find what he needs in the Light. The entire family soon experiences profound and lasting relief from an attachment that has negatively affected every member. Among other points, this case underlines the need for hypnotherapists to learn to develop their intuitive skills and to open to the very real phenomenon of spirit attachment.

As she slips her petite frame into the overstuffed chair I use for facilitating hypnosis, Elizabeth[1] seems to relax more than she has in several years. Yet, her otherwise pleasantly attractive face remains somewhat pinched with the anxiety and exhaustion that have plagued her relentlessly for a long time.

Nearly seven years ago, Elizabeth had come to my office to deal with her frequent nightmares, often about death, and her trauma from the very difficult birth of James, her first son: he had gotten dangerously stuck in the womb when the midwife did not realize soon enough that he was turned the wrong way. Though Elizabeth felt that the midwife had betrayed her for not knowing about the problem sooner, Elizabeth feared that she, too, had been somehow a betrayer of her newborn’s safety. Though there were other possible hypnotic paths to follow in this case, my most immediate concern was her doubts about being a good mother; accordingly, I suggested we start our work together by having her go to a past life in which she was an exemplary parent to reassure her that that skill was part of her spiritual DNA.

But her subconscious overrode that suggestion and instead brought her face-to-face with an image of her inner child wearing a “brimmed straw hat with a black ribbon and a short blue dress rimmed by thick black piping”; this sweet, little girl was walking along a beach, very excited to meet her. As Elizabeth remarked, “This girl [named Sophie] was . . . a happy girl, loving and capable of being loved, who was lost shortly after I was 5-6 years old when my family dysfunction happened and got in the way.  My parents betrayed me and made me feel that what I wanted was not worthy, and so I lost my inner, happy child.”  However, in her hypnotic trance, Elizabeth cried in joy at the sight of that child and was able to reconnect with and hug Sophie, who told her that she had been stuck within Elizabeth, “waiting to be [fully] birthed.” Moreover, Elizabeth discovered that James had felt the energy of her stuck inner child and “therefore became stuck himself.” Now that Sophie had been freed to be seen and accepted, she could bring to Elizabeth a sense of love and security that Elizabeth had been missing; for, as a consequence of that lack, this devoted mother had been prone to seek too much reassurance from her physical children. Sophie had told her also, with the inner child’s love now consciously available to her, Elizabeth would be able to display more patience with others whom she loved. Once Elizabeth consciously brought Sophie into her heart, she could access that inner child at any time by simply setting the intention to do so and becoming quiet and relaxed while placing her hands over her heart.

After that session, Elizabeth said, “… my nightmares all but disappeared, as did my fear of death.” Having had what she described as a “life-changing experience,” she then suggested that her husband and mother come for Life-between-Lives Therapy sessions with me.  At the conclusion of those sessions, Elizabeth remarked, “All of our sessions were truly transformational and are still part of our everyday outlook.” Yet, more healing took place a few months later, when she did a past-life regression with a huge group facilitated by Dr. Brian Weiss; in that regression, she went to a past-life in which, in a small hut at night near a campfire, she was an Eskimo mother dressed in big boots and furs who died in childbirth, though the child survived. As a result of her death in that regression, Elizabeth experienced a revelation: “I may have been subconsciously afraid that I would die giving birth to [James].” That fear, she further surmised, might have contributed in still another way to his having had trouble being born.


A few days before she nestles herself into the huge hypnosis recliner in my office, Elizabeth wrote to me seeking help for her second son, Andrew, who is about two years younger than James. Even though she knew that I did not work with children, she decided to chance contacting me to see if there was anything I could do for this second son. As she explained:

In general, [Andrew] has many health problems that even his holistic Doctor can’t quite get to the root of: asthma; allergies to foods, scents, medicines, bees, etc.; dark circles under his eyes; headaches; many feelings of pain that come and go such as back pain; and general feelings of being unwell. He is a very active 1st grader, and it has been debilitating for me dealing with his severe asthma and allergies since he was a baby. He also had a traumatic birth, at which time he almost died.

As with the traumatic delivery of James, Elizabeth, with a degree of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), once again agonized when she believed for a brief time that her second son had died from a difficult birth (caused by his shoulders getting stuck in the womb); within a short time, however, the midwife saved him from being asphyxiated. Indeed, even though her second son had survived, his chronic, generally poor health has taken a toll for seven years on the family, especially on Elizabeth, who has not fully recovered from Andrew’s near-death birth; and now, with Andrew’s health scares, she has been suffering from numerous sleepless, anxiety-filled nights and emergency room visits.

But just a few weeks before she contacted me, the situation had worsened in a peculiar way. In her own, written words:

Just a month or so ago, my 6-year-old son, almost 7, began telling me at bedtime when he is trying to fall asleep that he doesn’t feel well and that he feels like there is an extra part of his body attached to him that we can’t see. I didn’t make a big deal about it and assumed that this was just another passing complaint; but, since then, he has repeated this feeling/concern almost every other day when he is trying to fall asleep. Just tonight he told me that he feels like there is something attached to him on his back; it moves around.

Moreover, her first-born son, James, who sleeps in the same room with Andrew, has felt every night before going to sleep, as does his brother, that “someone is watching me.”  That eerie sense caused tears and fear in both of them.  Elizabeth added that she remembered, for some reason, I had told her years ago when I last saw her that I did spirit releasement work, which, she believed, was pertinent to her son’s situation.

From her description of several of Andrew’s symptoms, I deemed it quite probable that a spirit had attached to the boy. Commonly referred to as ghosts, Earth-bound spirits are entities that have not gone into the Light after death for various reasons[2] including, among others, major confusion and disorientation resulting from experiencing traumatic death to self, as well as to others. This confusion is often accompanied and exacerbated by limiting or erroneous beliefs about life, death, and how people are connected to each other. Though ghosts would always find what they need in the Light, they either do not know or trust that truth and, instead, try, unsuccessfully, to satiate their longings and needs on the Earth-plane through hauntings of places and attachments to living beings. However, because they are no longer in the flesh, attached spirits never fully get what they need; for their efforts rely on proxies they can only partially control. The effect on the proxies or hosts of these attachments can range from the development or intensification of physical problems and strange thoughts and emotions and actions to a sense of someone else’s being in or on one’s body.

No ghost, however, can attach without some kind of “invitation.” On the soul level, there is a spiritual contract between the attached spirit and the host for some mutual learning. On the level of three-dimensional life, the host consciously or subconsciously invites the ghost’s presence either through some direct request or some vulnerability that is a vibrational match to that of the spirit itself or its needs. For instance, an individual who might be very depressed and in search of a someone who could understand his or her situation might thereby unwittingly invoke the presence of a spirit who has been no stranger to depression. In another, but different example, one Christmas a young man of nineteen came to see me with his mother because he was quite sure that the spirit of a Vietnam veteran had attached to him and was giving him nightmares focusing on the soldier’s battlefield horrors.  Despite these indications of his distress, I kept feeling that there was another dimension to this situation. So, I asked him if he was thoroughly certain he wanted the spirit of the soldier to leave.  He hesitated for a long moment before sheepishly answering in the negative; after all, the ghost’s presence, however disruptive, gave the young man’s otherwise bland and aimless life some color and excitement. I asked him to understand what was really going on and to return in two weeks if he had resolved to release the spirit; unfortunately, he never returned to my office.  I say unfortunately because, as already noted, the attachment of a spirit is always at some point harmful to the host, not only because of the emergence or exacerbation of physical problems, but also, as already noted, of the sudden and continued presence of intrusive thoughts and compulsive actions and an overall stultification of the host’s emotional development.

While I was quite sure that Andrew suffered from a spirit attachment, nevertheless, as I reminded Elizabeth, I do not work with children, especially very young ones. As I heard Elizabeth’s concern and frustration through the phone connection, I started to say that I would refer her to my former teacher on the subject who, though he lived in a mid-western state, had developed an effective protocol for doing remote spirit releasement. However, Elizabeth clearly trusted me and wondered again if there was anything that I myself could do.  Suddenly, my grounded intuition, which I often rely on in matters of spiritual hypnosis, kicked in with a hunch: maybe she had something to do with the spirit’s attachment to her son. In this regard, I kept wondering about the possible present-day ramifications of the loss of her child in her past life as an Eskimo mother. So, I invited Elizabeth to come see me the next day to do some exploring of whether that past life had anything to do with the spirit attached to Andrew.


Now, settled in the huge hypnosis chair, Elizabeth says that she is willing to investigative whatever is necessary to bring any kind of healing to her second son and the rest of the family. Before I lead her into trance, I tell Elizabeth that, when she is in trance, I’m going to ask her to image Andrew and scan his body for anything that is not part of him; if she sees any such thing, maybe, with my help, she can send it to the Light.

After she slips easily into trance during the induction, she visualizes Andrew’s enthusiastically running to her with a big smile, just as he usually does when she picks him up after school. After I invite her to take him to sit in a private place, she leads him to the big hill near his school, where she talks to him about helping him feel better. Then, as she does the spiritual scan of his body, she discovers “a foamy black cloud on his [Andrew’s] neck. It extends onto his upper back and the back of his head….and wraps around to his chest as well.”

At this point, I pause her to give instructions to protect her entire being with her soul’s Light in order to prevent any spirit’s attaching to her. Once that is done, I invite Elizabeth to get the attention of the black cloud clinging to Andrew; but her first instinct is to be angry and try to brush it off her son.  After I caution her to treat the cloud with compassion instead, she says twice to the cloud that she notices it. Now being seen, the cloud turns toward her, displaying the facial features of a small, male child, who, when asked, says its name is Tommy and tells her that he has attached to Andrew “to be near” her.  “Because you’re my Mama, and I need you,” Tommy adds. Still angry at this spirit’s negative influence on Andrew and the rest of the family, Elizabeth’s first reaction to the last disclosure is contempt. Immediately, I once again caution Elizabeth to be loving and understanding if she wants this encounter to end positively. When I suggest that Elizabeth now ask Tommy when he attached to Andrew, Tommy says that it was at the time of Andrew’s traumatic birth that almost ended in his death. Tommy acknowledged that it was easy to attach then because Andrew’s “soul had a crack at that time since it [the birth] was a traumatic event for him[Andrew].”

It is time now to find out what Tommy meant by saying that Elizabeth was his mother. So, I invite Elizabeth to ask him if he will play with her. As Tommy eagerly says okay and hops off Andrew to be closer to her and walk in the grass with her, Andrew, now freed of the spirit, runs off to play down the hill. At my prompting, Elizabeth asks Tommy to show her what he looked like in the lifetime he had shared with her.  But that lifetime, contrary to my first hunch, was not that of the Eskimo woman. Instead, what Elizabeth sees is a lifetime during the late 1800s in the American West. She observes Tommy as a happy, energetic, seven-year-old boy, dressed in dusty shorts and a shirt, who had recently played with friends around their town, which is small enough to have only a one-room school.  In that lifetime, Elizabeth’s name was Mary-Ellen.  She sees herself wearing “a bonnet tied under her chin with a ribbon and a long dress with long sleeves, as was the custom of the time.”

With prompts from me, Elizabeth asks Tommy for more information. He discloses that he and she lived alone because his father had been shot to death when he was four. But he suffered still another trauma when he was about seven and came home one day from his one-room schoolhouse to find that Mary-Ellen was not there. Though he feverishly looked for her everywhere, he never saw her again. He believed she had abandoned him, and thus felt “betrayed, lonely and afraid . . . and lost.” Fending for himself while moving from town to town looking for her, he ended up at nine years old in a big city where he got into a street fight with other boys and was killed by a blow to the head.  After his death, he said, “I felt lost, just as lost after I died as I did before I died . . . and lonely.” Obviously, he had not gone into the Light and, instead, had been searching in vain for Mary-Ellen until he found her during Andrew’s near-death birth.  He admits now that “he had exacerbated his [Andrew’s] headaches and other symptoms in order to get her [Elizabeth/Mary-Ellen’s] nurturing.”  But he also acknowledges that his plan had not been going well enough to satisfy him over the last few years, principally because Tommy could not have Mary-Ellen/Elizabeth all to himself.

With my prompts, Elizabeth asks Tommy if he would like to have his own mommy whom he would not have to share with anyone else. While Tommy giddily shows his thrill at this prospect, he is shocked and pulls back a little from Elizabeth when she tells him that she is not now his mother, but knows and is very close to his real mother,[3] Mary-Ellen, who is in the Light, which has been shining above him, though he sees it only now as he looks up. Yet Tommy still trusts Elizabeth somewhat as she tells him that, if he calls to Mary-Ellen, it is very likely his true mother will come out of the Light to take him back with her. And that is just what happens: as Tommy calls to her, Mary-Ellen appears looking angelic and extends her arms to Tommy, who clasps her hands, and leads him into the heavenly realm. As Elizabeth says in an awed tone, “It’s a beautiful sight!”

I immediately demand that all other spirits and other entities associated with Tommy’s attachment who have been listening to Elizabeth’s conversation with Tommy follow him into the Light where they will all get what they really need.  As Elizabeth notes, “I see several black shadows darting up the hill through the grass and into the beam of Light.”

Next, as Andrew now runs back up the hill to rejoin her, Elizabeth applies to him a salve that she makes directly from “the love coming straight out of my heart.” She rubs this thick lotion generously into all the places on Andrew’s body where Tommy had touched it. “As I applied the salve to the back of his [Andrew’s] neck, I see him stand up taller and not stoop as he used to.  He [Andrew] seem[s] to feel instant relief as I apply it.” She then calls up her other son and her husband and lathers the salve all over them where they have pain and where Tommy might have touched them. Finally, she lathers, she says, “every inch of myself” with the same healing lotion.

When Elizabeth opens her eyes, her smile is broad and infectious. “I feel relieved, and happy . . . light and full of hope!”  Basking in her joy, she shares some spontaneous insights. She suggests that Tommy had not attached to her first son for several reasons: first, she senses that James is, perhaps, spiritually stronger than is Andrew and would not enter into a soul contract with Tommy for the attachment. While that supposition may or may not be true, her second revelation was more likely on target: she says that Tommy and Andrew most likely shared the same kind of delivery at birth—vaginal instead of C-section, the latter method being surely lethal at the time of Tommy’s birth.  Of Elizabeth’s four children in this incarnation, only Andrew was born vaginally. So, says Elizabeth, “Perhaps this made him [Tommy] more connected with Andrew, to have been born in the same way!”

Moreover, there is something here for Elizabeth to reflect on for her own growth. Throughout her life, Elizabeth has felt herself betrayed by numerous individuals, her parents, the midwife, her husband and others. Yet, her experience as Mary-Ellen, Tommy’s mother, casts some light on this theme of betrayal in the current incarnation.  For when Tommy notes that he felt betrayed by his mother when she allegedly abandoned him, Mary-Ellen/Elizabeth could not have helped feeling that he was partially right. In addition, being the Eskimo mother who died in childbirth and thereby left her child to die only a few years later, Elizabeth experienced an additional instance of a past-life self’s betraying her child.  In still another past life (which she told me about later), as a wealthy woman living in India, she was unable to protect her children and herself from being murdered by Indian soldiers. As I explained to Elizabeth, in this life, she was likely punishing herself for all those alleged betrayals by setting up situations in which she would be betrayed.  This set-up explains a good deal of her great difficulty in setting boundaries with others who would cross them and thereby cause her anguish—another part of the punishment. And her utter selflessness in taking care of her often-sick boys to the point of profound, negative effects on her physicality, sense of self, peacefulness, and marriage suggests what amounts not only to more punishment, but also to virtually a vow never ever to abandon any child again.

In helping her see how an erroneous, ancient belief, accepted over several lifetimes, has caused her ultimately unnecessary pain in the current life, I point how the so-called betrayals in the past lives were not what they seemed to be. As Elizabeth agreed, in the life with Tommy, Mary-Ellen was probably murdered by the same miscreants who killed her husband.  In the Eskimo life and the Indian life, the mothers had no control over what happened to their children, in the first case because she could not help dying, and in the second case, because the unarmed woman was overpowered and killed by armed soldiers. While all these situations were profoundly tragic, the women falsely felt responsible for what had occurred.

To further her understanding of the true relationship between past lives and the present one, I talk to Elizabeth about karma, emphasizing that it is essentially a time-space construct that has limited validity within that context and no validity outside it.[4]  Since karma, as commonly understood, depends on the notion of cause-and-effect, which in turn depends on the construct of time (that happened back then and now this happens as an effect), karma cannot exist beyond this times-pace, secondary reality. As quantum physics posits (Musser, 2017), there is no time (or space) beyond this three-dimensional world. Accordingly, so-called past lives do not exist in the so-called past but rather in the primary reality of “simultaneous time” (Roberts, 2012, Session 669), that is, concurrently, side-by-side, as it were, with all other lives. There are many profound implications of this view, but the one most relevant here is that no event in one life can cause or predetermine effects in another life. 

What about the correspondences, the similar themes and events, between this life and others?  They are freely chosen by the individual(s) in this life for the purpose of working the situations differently, with a different outcome.  And to do the different working out of the situation, we have soul contracts with other beings to interact with us, sometimes in very difficult, painful ways, not for punishment for past events, but rather for the advancement of our souls. So, in addition to her seeing that, as her past-life selves, she did not really abandon or betray her various children, Elizabeth needs to see that the actions of any of her past selves have no necessary effect on her present life unless she chooses to work the theme in a different way. Knowing this spiritual fact frees her up (and also the souls who contracted with her to be in this life who they have been and to do the things they have done) to make different and more beneficial choices. All of this change in perspective about karma makes complete sense to Elizabeth and further relaxes her.

A few days later, she writes to me:

I have felt relieved and lighter since our session. VERY tired in the evenings.  I’m able to fall asleep in 1 minute instead of the hour it used to take me—this is likely the relief after a burden is lifted that you mentioned. My son, [Andrew], has been noticeably happier and has not complained at all about feeling like anything is attached on to him, or any headaches or back pain since our session. It is still soon, but I think he will continue to feel positive changes and get used to an existence that is brighter. I know he had gotten used to his constant feelings of pain and of complaining, so it may take him some time to trust that this positive change is here to stay.  Neither Andrew nor James have complained since our session of that constant feeling they had at night of someone watching them….I know that this was a life-changing experience and that we will continue to feel its positive effects for years to come.

Indeed, nearly six weeks later when I email her to ask permission to publish this case study, she writes back:

Yes, we are all doing very well, and my husband and I were just noting how amazing it is that he [Andrew] has not complained once of the feelings of an attachment that he had consistently been mentioning before [such as] someone watching him, an extra head that we can’t see, another body on him, not feeling right. And his nightly physical symptoms are all but gone the back pain and headaches. As for me, from the first night after our session, I felt lighter and no longer felt debilitating anxiety over his [Andrew’s] well-being. I no longer worry about him at night. There are no words to describe what a shift this is for me, given that my fear/anxiety over his well-being, specifically at night had been mounting for years to the point where I was paralyzed in fear at night when he would cry. Now I don’t worry at all. What a blessing!

         Moreover, more than three months from the date of the session, Elizabeth writes to give a virtually identical update and adds this note that warms my heart: “You have brought our family much healing!”


Besides being a powerful account of the healing potential of hypnosis, this case study should remind readers of how important it is that hypnotherapists must grow in their spiritual understanding of this world and the other world and their interpenetration in order to render the greatest help to their clients. Far from being fringe phenomena, earth-bound spirits and their attachments to places and people should be major focuses of exploration, especially if the hypnotherapist specializes in spiritual hypnosis. Moreover, having a spiritual paradigm—like the main one I use in this text and in my practice and that is embodied in the Seth Material channeled by Jane Roberts—is another prerequisite for those who wish to help their clients navigate the wondrous intricacies of the primary reality. With such a paradigm, you can make sense of what otherwise is perplexing if not downright weird.

One final point: had I been open to working directly with young Andrew, I might have achieved the same result, but with many more steps, and thus the consumption of more time and energy with the consequent, greater cost to the family. And by my involving Elizabeth directly in the healing of her child, I gave her the opportunity to further absolve herself of the mistaken notion that she was not a very good mother. Especially in the case of Tommy, any, albeit false guilt she may have had in leaving him in that past life was canceled by her now helping him out of the lost status of a ghost and into the Light where his mother, Mary-Ellen, resided. As the saying goes, there are no accidents; and thus what appears to be an obstacle may well turn out to be a guidepost toward the right direction.



Baldwin, W. (1995). Spirit releasement therapy: A technique manual, 2nd Edition. Terra Alta, WV: Headline Books.

Mancini, J. (2017). The present power of past lives: The experts speak. Edgewood, MD: Two Suns Press.

McHugh, G. (2010). The new regression therapy: Healing the wounds and trauma of this life and past lives with the presence and light of the Divine. Middletown, DE: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Musser, G. (2016, 2017). “Why Space and Time Might Be an Illusion.” The Blog.       Retrievd from

Roberts, J. (2012). The nature of personal reality. San Rafeal, CA: Amber Allen Publishing, Inc.

Roberts, J. (1972). Seth speaks: The eternal validity of the soul. Novato,

CA: The New World Library.


[1] All names in this article are pseudonyms. Other identifying data are also disguised. Elizabeth gave permission to print this case study after reviewing it.

[2] Besides being disoriented by traumatic death, Earth-bound spirits may stay in the shadowy realm between this world and the other also because of an attachment (even addiction) to an earthly person, place, or thing.  Still other reasons for staying include a desire for revenge or a need to control someone or an intense desire to complete something they left behind unfinished. Sometimes fear of the Light where they believe they may be punished for their transgressions while on Earth may also keep them from moving on. One of the strongest limiting beliefs of ghosts is that they cannot find what they are looking for or needing in any realm other than the Earth-plane. (McHugh, G., 2010) and (Baldwin, 1995)

[3] What Elizabeth says here to Tommy is a simple statement, suitable for a young child, but which needs further explanation. Elizabeth is and is not Mary-Ellen. These two personalities (and others) have the same soul but are nevertheless distinct as personalities. A rough analogy involves the fingers on the hand: each finger is distinct and cannot be confused with any other finger; still, they are also all one since they all are literally of the same flesh and blood. What happens to one finger need not happen to all the others, though the potential for such is always present. This perspective augments the later discussion in the text about the limitations of the conventional notion of Karma. Since the past-life personality is and is not the current personality, what happens to the past-life persona is always available to the present self because they have the same soul; yet, because the two selves are also distinct, each self has the choice to accept or not accept aspects of the other life. (And, yes, since the past-life self is actually contemporaneous with the present self, given the fact of what Seth calls “simultaneous time” (Roberts, 2012, Session 669), it, too, can choose to accept or not accept aspects of the present self for its own needs—but that is a story beyond the parameters of this article.)

[4] I recommend several references for spiritual hypnotherapists, including (Mancini, 2017, Chapter 2), (Roberts,1982, 1972).

Useful information for this article