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Maybe Controversial? Thinking Outside One’s Parameters – Louise Ireland-Frey (Is.17)

Louise Ireland-Frey, M.D.

Louise Ireland-Frey has been a true pioneer in Past-Life Therapy and Spirit Releasement Therapy (SRT), and here she gives us her personal view of her own ventures into “controversial” fields, in this case SRT. She considers some reasons others may have for considering new ideas controversial, but warns us at the end to keep an open mind but not an empty one.


When my recent book, Freeing the Captives, was described as “controversial” ‑ in fact, as “very controversial” ‑ I was astonished. I had not thought of it as being so at all. A therapist friend commented, “I don’t feel that it is controversial, but then I know you and I am acquainted with releasement work. So it is not controversial to me.” We decided that probably the definition of the word “controversial” includes the reaction of persons to subjects that are unfamiliar and beyond the usual parameters of the person’s thinking.

The background for my activities in releasement work is the solid foundation of four indispensible books. In chronological order they are: Wickland’s (1974) Thirty Years Among the Dead, Chaplin’s (1977) The Bright Light of Death, Fiore’s (1987) The Unquiet Dead, and Baldwin’s (1992) Spirit Releasement Therapy. All of these were breakthrough books at the time of their publication. Mine is less so, being built upon theirs and others.

When I was in the third grade we were given Pippa’s Song to memorize. It ended with, “God’s in his heaven, All’s right with the world…” And I was surprised. Her world was all right, no doubt, but how could she say all’s right with the world? Just let her look around and see that all is not right in the world! I felt she was wrong. My own family life was good, my parents were wonderful, even my little sister was grand except sometimes…but the whole world was not like my family. Lots was wrong with it.

There have been other things that I felt were controversial. Take that common admonition, “Live in the NOW. The past is dead and gone, the future has not yet arrived; the present is all you have. Live in the NOW.” A mother was talking about that and sighed, “When you have small children, you simply can’t do that. You have to look forward and prepare for the future. Otherwise there would be chaos and the children would not be taken care of properly.” She was too tired to be angry, but she certainly was hearing the admonition from a mother’s point of view, and she disagreed with it. Therefore that slogan is controversial.

When we hear, “There are no accidents,” or, “Everything is just as it should be, as God intended it to be,” we might feel sincerely as Pippa did and truly believe these statements ‑ but other people might object to them. I feel that it is a hard-hearted attitude to point, even indirectly, at a hurt or handicapped person and say, “There are no accidents,” or, “That is your karma; you created it for your reality.”

Probably by far the greater part of the earth’s woes are indeed karmic, but we dare not look pointedly at one person and accuse that person of suffering from his own created pain. Some of the people who died in the gas chambers did have karmic reasons to be there, but others were caught up in Group Karma, and some had chosen, via their Higher Minds, to be there to offer comfort and courage to those around them in the gas chamber, as we therapists have found when regressing some of these clients to their former deaths. These sweeping statements that sound so “spiritual” may need to be considered controversial.

“Controversial” = Simply Unfamiliar? So why is Freeing the Captives labeled controversial? If the medical and other health professions consider it as the subtitle says, “The Emerging Therapy of Treating Spirit Attachment,” then I am sure there will be controversy. And that is good, much better than the silence that the medical profession apparently accorded Wickland’s work at the turn of this century.

What concepts in the book may be considered controversial? First, perhaps the general right-brain approach for many of the techniques and attitudes. We are trained from childhood to use the left-brain (“Pay attention. Concentrate. Think. Reason it out.”). Not until I took a course in self-hypnosis did I begin to use and value my right brain. Several little courses in extra-sensory perception (ESP) the next year added to the training of my right brain: (“Listen. Feel. Be open. Receive impressions”).

With this right-brain approach one finds it easy to personify many of the entities and “non-entities” with which one works in Releasement Therapy: e.g., vows, curses, thought-forms, emotion-forms, as well as dark force entities. As a matter of fact, when I first began meeting and recognizing these entities, I really didn’t know exactly what to do with them nor even how to approach them. It just seemed that the only thing I could think of was to personify them (as Baldwin had) and assume that they could understand and respond.

And that worked. What amazes one is that even the soul-less thought-forms and vows seem to have a kind of intelligence and livingness whereby they can converse with the therapist. Some of them even have emotions of a sort. All of this seems to be right-brain matter. It may be doubted by some therapists as well as by many lay readers. But it does work, and, as therapists, we go ahead and use whatever works for the clients’ benefit.

The Invisibles

A second concept unfamiliar to many in these modern years is the reality of the invisible world and its denizens. As complex as is the visible world of physical realities, the invisible world appears to be just as complex. It is not merely the simple “God, angels, and demons” concept of some religions or the vague uncertainties of non-religious persons. (Some cultures do have more definite and personal thoughts about the invisible worlds). In research with metaphysical hypnosis or in hypnotherapy we discover some of the myriad facets of these worlds where time and space are totally different from our ordinary concepts of them and often seem be unimportant.

Some of these facets involve the existence of energy-beings that we may call angels or demons. We receive information from the entities themselves about the Light (which some clients equate with God or the Source of All, others simply with protection or spiritual direction). If the therapist through the client’s ideomotor finger-movements receives a “No” to the question, “Have you (this energy or entity within the client) ever had a physical human body of your own?” then we accept that answer and assume the invader to be a negative type, even possibly a demonic type ‑ for positive entities do not invade. Positive entities, or “Bright Beings,” respect every individual’s privacy and free-will. Negative entities do not.

With the negative or dark energies the therapist converses as if with an ordinary human being, and the dark entity responds, its answers colored by its own individual “personality.” Many of these negative entities or energies are fairly mild, although they do exact some quick thinking on the part of the therapist at times. The strong dark ones, however, are vicious, sly, highly intelligent, and require all the wit and strength and dedication of the therapist, and the assistance of higher beings as well.

The existence of the higher entities, the Bright Beings, is to be accepted by each therapist who does releasement work with the dark entities. Even if the therapist can not “believe in” the real presence of the invisible Bright Beings (such as religious figures, saints, angels, or God) it is advisable for the therapist to be willing to call upon them for wisdom and protection while working to release the dark energy or entity. Belief is not necessary, but the assistance of the higher energies and the positive forces is necessary whenever the invading dark energy or entity is strong.

The hope of the therapist is to persuade the dark entity to change its nature and turn around from its present direction and to go toward the Light. With minor dark ones this process is fairly quick and easy, for these minor “demons” are like captives of stronger dark ones and really do not enjoy their existence. They quickly become willing to leave the darkness and go toward freedom and happiness in the Light, usually first entering a period of rehabilitation and learning.

The attitude of the therapist (even if he or she cannot “believe”) is like that of Universalists and Quakers and others, who are convinced that even the darkest soul, whether human or non-human, contains a spark of the divine ‑ is a child of the Light, originally. As soon as a negative entity can be persuaded to “Look into the very core of yourself” and perceive that spark, it knows that it has not always been dark, and the change in its attitude is immediate and amazing. (I think that Baldwin was the first to use this concept in modern releasements).

Dealing with Human Souls

With the souls of deceased human beings it is easy for us to establish a rapport, for they and we talk the same language, even if in different earth-tongues. We are all human beings, with the background of earth-life experiences, and we think similarly in most ways. Even if the deceased soul lived ages ago and spoke a language long dead and forgotten, still we receive the thoughts of this human being and our minds translate them into our own modern language. If the human had been a deaf mute, never talking nor even hearing speech, the soul may feel that it can not talk, although it “hears” mentally the words of the therapist. It can usually be persuaded to put its thoughts into the mind of the client, who will then speak the thoughts aloud for the therapist to hear. (Otherwise finger movements are used). This technique is the same as that used for all “non-entity” entities, like vows, curses, spells, etc.

Similarly with the souls of animals. If the therapist contacts the soul of a wolf or a dolphin, for instance, the therapist receives the thoughts of the animal as thoughts ‑ and they make sense in the context of the story being revealed in the hypnotherapy session. What more reasonable, then, than for the therapist to respond with his or her own thoughts, expressed, as usual, in speech? In my practice I encountered only a few animal souls as invading entities, and a few as wanderers not attached to a human host.

With animal souls and negative non-human entities, the most persuasive argument of the therapist is often the lure of happiness for the entity when it shall have left the client to go to the “appropriate place” in the Light; whereas for human souls the turning point in the entity’s attitude is often the thought of love ‑ either the remembrance of a person who loved the entity, or someone whom the entity loved. Even for hardened souls the memory of love is powerful and brings a softening of the cold emotions and attitudes, enabling the hardened souls to slough off the old negative habits and attitudes.

The hope of the therapist is to assist the deceased soul to “clean itself up” so that it can see the Light and know that that is the right direction for it to go. When it has put out of itself the greed, anger, hate, jealousy, and other negative feelings, and also fear, grief, remorse, and guilt, then it can stand clean, able to see and feel the Light which has been there all the time, unperceived.

Some souls say that the Light speaks to them, words such as, “Welcome,” or “Come,” and a few souls have said that the Light sings or hums a welcome. One client, a middle-aged businessman, laughed in embarrassment as he said, “You won’t believe this ‑ but the Light is saying, ‘Welcome home.’”

Before the soul goes into the Light and then to its appropriate “place” in the astral world, the therapist may offer a little advice, reminding the soul that it was not fair for it to invade another person’s body ‑ that a living person’s body belongs only to the resident of that body, not to anyone else. It is good for the therapist to let the invader know that the therapist understands with sympathy that the soul had not been aware of the law that invasion of another’s body is “wrong” and is disadvantageous to both the invader and the host.

The therapist may also mention to the soul the ancient “Silver Rule” ‑ i.e., “Don’t do to others what you don’t want others to do to you.” This is a good argument for dark entities, too. Then the follow-up: “After practicing the Silver Rule for a time, the next stage is even more beautiful, practicing the Golden Rule: `Do unto others as you would like others to do unto you.’“ (The still higher Rules can be omitted here). Such little bits of moral advice turn out to be valuable, for a surprising number of entities, both human and non-human, have never heard of such ideas and seem to be amazed at these “new” thoughts. The Silver Rule alone, if followed faithfully, would prevent nearly all negative karma for a soul.

The Method – Controversial Because Short.

As Rabia Clark (1995) found during her research, there are two main groups of regression therapists: those who have come up through the academic stream, especially in psychology, learning their techniques and basic assumptions in the classroom from recognized teachers and recognized books; the other a less homogeneous group of therapists with various backgrounds and in general using techniques aimed toward shorter therapy, a fewer number of sessions with each client. The two groups tend to keep to themselves. Therefore whatever is offered as a new technique or concept by one group may be controversial to the members of the other.

Because my background in hypnosis is informal and my professional training was received from a skilled, intelligent, but degree-less Master Hypnotist trained by Gil Boyne of the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners, and my previous work in regression (several hundred hours) was with a few friends who were using a non-standard method, I realize that my methods with therapy are apt to be controversial to many in the APRT. Well, we all are working to benefit our clients, and if we can share the good new ideas and techniques we discover, we shall all be glad for the expansion of our repertoire.

The method I learned in 1955 was to induce the client (after a very brief history of family, chief complaint, and hoped-for results) by counting quietly from one to seven a few times, then going right on into the session with an instruction such as, “Let your mind take us to the earliest moment of physical pain or discomfort,” or, “to the first time you felt conflict between the desire for freedom and the desire for security.” This type of instruction often brought a prenatal experience. Another common instruction was, “Let your mind take us to the experience we are supposed to get today,” thus leaving the choice up to the Higher Self rather than to the subconscious mind.

I started releasement work in 1981 ‑ really in 1980 in a very amateur way. After inducing the client into hypnosis I now use a guided visualization full of many symbols as a general clearing as well as a deepening technique. (One young woman said after the session, “I liked that story about the walk down the hill to the river”). I then ask the client’s subconscious mind to select which is the client’s “Yes” finger and which is the “No” finger. From there I can proceed with such questions as “Is the client deeply relaxed enough to begin the work today?” and “Is there any entity or energy in the client or the client’s aura that is not a true part of the client, not a part of his/her true being?” If the finger says “No,” the next question is usually, “Let your mind take us to the basic cause of this complaint.” Then the rest of the session follows the usual pattern for hypnotherapy, including the neutralizing of negative factors, the protection of the client for future encounters that might threaten in any way, and in general clearing up the emotions and bodily reactions that the cause of the complaint had produced. In one session much is accomplished, especially when directive clearing is added by the therapist.

If the finger has said, “Yes, there is an entity or energy in the client,” I thank the entity for letting me know of its presence, and ask its name. Then I talk to the entity by name, and it responds through the client’s voice. The client knows the emotions and thoughts of the entity and sees the circumstances that the entity describes. Thus both the client and I learn what the situation is. The first question to the entity is usually, “Have you ever had a human physical body of your own?” If the answer is “Yes,” the entity is a human invader and needs to be released. If the answer is “No,” the entity may be either a non-human entity or an alter personality created during an incidence of abuse when the client was small. (I have found very few of the latter.)

When all the invading entities have been contacted and released to go into the Light, then all the client’s complaints that were due to the presence of the invaders automatically disappear, either instantaneously or within a few hours or days. By this time the client may not need any more therapy at all. In any case, the symptoms remaining are those of the client alone and are approached and treated appropriately.

If the fingers have hesitated when asked about the presence of an invading entity, or if they do not move at all, the reason may be that the entity is trying to hide and keep the therapist from discovering its presence. Often the reason is that the entity is afraid and is fearful that it may be cast out of the host into an unknown fearsome situation. This is the case with aborted infant souls, victims of abuse, victims of murder, etc.

When asked if two or more entities are in the client, after signifying that at least one is present, the fingers again may hesitate. This may indicate the uncertainty to the subconscious mind about an entity with another nested in it. The next question, of course, is to determine whether that is so. I do not try to get specific figures at the start of a session ‑ just an idea of whether there is one entity, two, “three or more,” and deal with these first, coming back later to inquire how many more than three remain. The entities themselves can give us much information, as well, if we remember to ask them.

There is no special program or schedule to follow in the therapy. With each client the therapist starts without any firm preconceptions and simply goes along with whatever the client brings up, as if going together on a “Psychoexpedition,” as Schneersohn called it. Sometimes the therapist can make an educated guess as to what will turn up, but sometimes the expedition takes unexpected detours. Whatever comes, however, is valuable, whether it is straightforward or in symbols. If in symbols, the client herself will interpret them, not the therapist.

t is easier for the therapist if he or she holds certain basic assumptions in the philosophical sense, such as the continuation of consciousness after death, the assumption of reincarnation, acceptance of the reality of invisible energies and consciousnesses, belief in the wisdom of the person’s Higher Mind, and so on. It is a help if each therapist has become acquainted with his or her own personal beliefs and rejections and is sympathetic with the fact that some of the clients will have differing ones. Not having any preconceived ideas about times and numbers of sessions, the therapist can simply start, and then when the client is pleased with the results, just stop.

This means that the total procedure of therapy does not attempt to get the client completely adjusted to society or entirely cleared of all obstructions in the psyche. It does mean that the client may not have to spend as much time and money as would be necessary to become completely clear. If the client is satisfied, it seems reasonable to terminate therapy then, unless the therapist perceives a definite obstruction still remaining that needs to be eliminated and explains to the client the advisability of continuing therapy. Finger answers to questions as to any remaining major problems are helpful. Asking the client’s Higher Mind for an overview of the situation is an excellent way to terminate a session.

Hand Passes; Energy Work

Before the client is brought back to full consciousness the therapist may use the hands to make clearing passes over the body of the client and perform a protective “firming of the aura.” Therapists who have knowledge of this type of energy work are often able to perceive the effects on the client’s aura. Those who have had little training in energy work either omit this type of follow-up or else make do with what passes seem reasonable. Thus I pass my hands a few times slowly over the client’s body about three inches above, from head down to feet while saying, “I am asking that healing energy from cosmic sources come into my hands and down into this body, closing any openings or wounds, healing and clearing. Any negative energies are leaving this body and going into the outer air, to dissipate into mists that harm no living creature.” Clients have told me that they feel warmth from my hands. Sometimes I have altered the technique, telling the client on the last hand‑pass, “Now I am pointing my fingers down, and asking that healing energy come from the tips of my fingers, combing deeply through your aura, combing all negatives down toward the feet, down farther, down and down, and now out ‑ and I CLAP them into harmless particles that go outside and dissipate in the air.” (The ESP courses I took emphasized that negative entities dislike sudden loud noises, such as a hand clap, or even a loud finger-snap).

When a client voluntarily told of her reaction to this combing technique, I was impressed, myself. She said, “Oh, and when you pointed your fingers down, I felt the energy all through me!” The process seems to be one of those wonderful therapies that “can’t hurt and may help.” That is a great motto for many occasions and many types of therapy, when used with care and contact with higher powers.

Lost Soul Parts

A very recent case calling for an innovative variation was that of a very strong negative female entity who asserted that she had no heart. No heart at all, anywhere in the core of herself. The psychic co-worker who was channeling said he perceived that her heart had been torn out of her living body by the high priest when she was a young girl, as part of a sacrificial ritual. The channel felt that she had been in love with the high priest but, not being aware of the nature of the sacrifice until that last agonized moment, had all her love turned into a black hatred of him, and it continued to grow blacker as the centuries passed.

It occurred to me to find her heart for her, but I did not know how. Shamans go journeying, themselves, to seek lost soul parts. I could not go traveling astrally, but I said, “I am calling this entity’s heart. I don’t know where it is, but it is somewhere in the universe, and the universe knows where it is. I am calling for it to come.”

The dark entity had hated for so many years that now she was almost too strong for the channel. Himself an experienced meditator able to control the entities he contacted, he was hard put to hold her. He began to tremble, and I asked for extra protection and energy for him, and for the Master Jesus to please assist. The channel began to relax, said he was able to hold the strong entity again, and said that he saw Jesus holding out her heart to her with a gentle warm smile. At first the entity was very reluctant to accept the heart. She finally did so, and as she received it into herself, she became willing to leave the client and go to her “appropriate place.”

This idea of calling for a lost body-part (this time the heart, with its symbolic meaning of human tenderness) probably would work as well for lost soul-parts. The personal going-forth of shamans is not for all of us, but the Monroe Institute’s method of “retrieval,” using varying sound-frequencies sent into the two ears separately to produce differing states of consciousness, might well be a workable substitute for the shamanic method. At the very least, the two approaches seem to be comparable and very exciting to contemplate.

Pain Control in Regressions

One more controversial thought: the well-known, “No pain, no gain.” And someone enlarged it to, “The more pain, the more gain.” I heartily disagree, not belligerently but with grave earnestness. If a client has suffered once through a terrible experience, why should he want to repeat it in all its pain, physical or emotional? And why need he? The techniques of hypnotherapy include several ways in which to moderate pain when encountered in regressions. I can only infer that hypnotherapists who allow their clients to undergo great pain in regressions either believe that horrible motto or else have not received instruction in the ways in which hypnotized persons can be led through exceedingly painful experiences with minimal trauma. Some of these techniques include:

1) using third person instead of second person to the client. “What is happening to that body? How is that body injured?”

2) sending the client into Observer Awareness: “Now just watch as an observer, and tell what you see.”

3) using, repeatedly if necessary, the Directive words, “Look back, without pain or emotion, and tell me what is happening.”

4) inviting the client’s mind, “Let your mind come up here and be safe with us. We are your friends and we want to help you but we need to know a little more about what is happening. Come up here, safe with us, and look back down…”

5) After the first contact and partial seeing as an observer, the client can be sent back to relive the experience: “Now go back to the beginning and relive it all again, this time entering the experience but feeling only a bare minimum of any pain or fear.” If it is a very traumatic experience, it is good to have the client relive it several more times, each time with a little closer contact with the fear and pain: “…this time with only a moderate amount of fear or pain,” “…And now with whatever is left of the pain and distress.” By the time several repetitions have been relived, most of the distress has been worked out and the client may feel rather bored, or even amused. These feelings are excellent indicators of complete neutralization.

After the several relivings, taking the client up to the higher level to see the entire situation from the viewpoint of the Higher Self is always good. “Now as I count softly, let your consciousness go to the superconscious level and, as your Higher Mind, your Higher Self, look back at this experience and tell me how you see it now.”

Finally, the client may be asked to look back into the past, from the Higher Level, and find the cause of this terrible experience, the reason the client had to endure it. This may take the client suddenly into a past life. A few seconds is usually enough time for the connection to be made, and if the cause is indeed karmic, the entire attitude of the client suddenly shifts from victim to victimizer, or else to a previous vow to help in some good cause, even though it may mean to endure pain.

In certain cases of extreme distress, some pain may “bleed through” in spite of all the above attempts to help the client avoid it. The amount, however, will certainly be much less than it would have been had none of these techniques been used. And that cliché is untrue, that “the more pain, the more gain.” Perhaps a little pain gives some gain, but I am not even sure of that. It is the mental understanding that releases the client.

At the end of the session, before bringing the client back to normal consciousness, the addition of Directives is always good, for general health, clearness of emotions, clarity of mental processes, “memory of as much of this as you wish to remember,” and so on, with strong neutralization of any residual negatives the therapist perceives, especially those pertaining to the client’s present life ‑ family or job related, for instance.

And as related above, the passing of the hands above the client’s body helps to dispel residual negative energies. (In medical school in 1934 one professor told us students, “Hand-passes over the patient’s body help. We do not know why.” I was impressed by his honesty). The visualization of a protective capsule of light around the client’s body is valuable, asking the client to add his or her own visualizations frequently during the next week or two, during the vulnerable period following any releasement. This reminder to the client needs to be repeated after the client has returned to normal consciousness, for otherwise it may be forgotten in the partial amnesia that often attends the hypnotic state.


Without open minded questioning we might fall into habits of credulity or else the reverse, cynicism. It is healthy and progressive for us to keep our minds open. Remember the Three Wise Monkeys? I accepted hook, line and sinker, when I was a child, that they really were wise. Later I decided two monkeys were not wise at all, they were only withdrawn; and no one knew whether the third was wise or not, for he didn’t talk.

Could some old Oriental philosopher have created those Three Monkeys and labeled them Wise, just as a sort of joke on everyone who was as gullible as I? I think a wise therapist will keep open eyes, to observe the client’s facial expressions and mannerisms; will keep open ears to note the client’s tones of voice or tremulous breath sounds; and will open his or her mouth only to ask appropriate questions and to speak words of wisdom, comfort, and courage for the client.



Baldwin, W. Spirit Releasement Therapy: A Technique Manual. Terra Alta, WV: Headline Books, 1992.

Chaplin, A. The Bright Light of Death. Marina del Rey, CA: DeVorss, 1977.

Clark, R. Past Life Therapy: The State of the Art. Austin, TX: Rising Star, 1995.

Fiore, E. The Unquiet Dead. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1987.

Wickland, C. Thirty Years Among the Dead. Van Nuys, CA: Newcastle, 1974) (first published in 1924).