Article: Regression as a Process Precludes “Failure”: Therapeutic Reason and Purpose in the Client Not Regressing – Sydney S. Heflin (Is.18)

Sydney S. Heflin, Ed.D.

My clients, who wish to experience past-life regression for the first time, often express the concern that they will not regress or will not access a past life. It has been my experience with clients that, technically, there is no such phenomenon as “failure” to regress; that there is, indeed, therapeutic reason and purpose in the client’s not regressing in what is often considered the traditional manner.

Certainly, there are those individuals who do not access a past life in the first, and sometimes subsequent, sessions. However, I do not regard these experiences as “failures.” Rather, I view them as progressive steps on the path of the client to uncovering information that is valuable to the client, as well as to me as the therapist. In my experience, if the therapist and client make the commitment, before beginning the initial regression session, to work through whatever experiences are manifested by the client, a past-life connection will eventually emerge.

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In other words, my approach to any “blockage” or “failure” to regress is to treat it as a therapy issue that stems from a logical source. This includes the observation that even if the client accesses “nothing,” (e.g.: blackness, empty space, nothingness, colors, vagueness) they, in fact, are actually accessing valuable information. Therefore, while the past-life memory may be “right there” for some clients during the initial regression, other clients may have one or more intervening experiences (from this life or a past life) that must be processed through to access further material. This seems to be especially true if acute trauma is associated with the memory. It is notable that such trauma may be associated with the past life, with something in the client’s current life connected to the past life, or both.

Working from this perspective helps both the client and therapist to make “sense” of any apparent blockage. Logic, I have found, that is within the frame of reference of the client (whatever is “logical” to them) helps demystify the process, thus empowering the client and bringing her/him to a fuller understanding of her/his own process. This, I consider to be a critical component in the client’s journey.

A side issue, and no less critical, is the therapist’s level of comfort or discomfort when the client does not regress in what may be considered the conventional manner. When the therapist comes to a full and complete understanding that the entire shared experience of therapist and client is not an all-out succeed or fail situation, but simply a process to be moved through, the therapist’s higher confidence levels transfer to and empower the client in her/his work.

Initially, then, the therapist must determine the expectations of the client who has not previously had a regression experience. If there are unrealistic or faulty expectations, they can be identified and replaced with more realistic perceptions of the process. It is important that this structuring take place during the initial training session.

In my experience, when a client: 1) has been appropriately instructed in the initial training session; 2) understands that s/he will eventually regress at the point or juncture that is appropriate for her/him; 3) understands that any apparent blocks are there for a reason and are simply an integral part of her/his process; 4) understands that s/he will indeed, with patience, comprehend the “why” of any apparent block; then the client displays a heightened sense of confidence and comfort, and will generally work willingly, even enthusiastically, with the therapist.

It is important that the client understand that there is NO failure; that there is a reason and purpose for everything that happens within the framework of the regression experience, and that the reason may be addressed from a therapeutic stance. I also think that it is a shared responsibility of the therapist and client to work together to figure out what is happening from a therapeutic standpoint, so that whatever issue(s) exist can be rank ordered for priority and be addressed in the appropriate order. As each “block” to regression is recognized and processed through, the client uncovers the issue(s) and all intervening/subsequent boundary layers that exist between the desire to access a past life and the actual accessing of that regression experience.

Two Case Histories

I include here two case histories to illustrate the value of this approach. Some years ago, a young woman in her early 30’s (whom I will call “Yvonne”) came to me for past-life regression work. Her presenting issue was that she and her husband had been trying for several years to get pregnant. Both of them wanted a baby very much. After much time in their marriage had passed, they both finally had thorough medical examinations, which determined that they were both in excellent health and there was no apparent reason why they could not conceive a child.

Yvonne wanted to discover if there was a past-life connection to her and her husband’s inability to conceive. She understood the concept that I have presented above, and was quite willing to devote herself to her process. In the first regression session, Yvonne accessed only blackness. “I can’t see anything. It’s just black.” When instructed to “go into the blackness and notice what is there” she snapped out of trance with intense feelings of anxiety and dread.

Determined to do her work, Yvonne returned for session number two, in which she returned to that same blackness and the feelings of anxiety that she experienced in her first session. When again instructed, with positive suggestions, to “go into the blackness and anxiety and notice what is there,” she glimpsed something in the blackness that appeared to be animal prints in black mud, before snapping again out of trance.

It was in session number three that Yvonne was able to overcome her anxiety and recall a past life as a very young black-skinned woman, living in an African environment.

Perhaps 12 or 13 years of age, she was the mother of an infant. She had carried her baby in a basket down to a river’s edge to wash laundry. A very loving and conscientious mother, she carefully placed the baby in its basket in some grass high on the riverbank above the water. As she washed the family laundry and sang happily about her husband and new baby, a large black cat slunk out of the grass, snatched the baby, and disappeared into the trees. Absolutely devastated by this tragedy, the young mother took on false guilt and made the decision that she was not fit to be a mother, ever again.

Thus, it is obvious that if Yvonne had not been determined to do her work and had decided that her first regression experience was a “failure,” she would have not completed her healing in the expedient manner in which she did.

The second case history very briefly involves a woman I will call “Annie.” Annie simply wanted to experience “whatever I need to remember from a past life.” In the first session, Annie could only access colors. She reported nothing else, only colors. In the second session, the colors reappeared and eventually became a solid red. Annie displayed no affect with the earlier experience. However, upon encountering the “red,” she began to display rising anxiety and grief, discovering warmth and stickiness associated with the “red.” This experience was a direct memory of bearing a stillborn child in this life. In subsequent sessions, Annie discovered how the birth of that stillborn baby in this life directly related to a past-life experience with that same soul.

Of interest to the therapist, is Annie’s experience of accessing a past life by first having to process a current life trauma. This experience brought healing from both lifetimes to a still-grieving mother.

It is, I believe, the courage and determination of both Yvonne and Annie that are the hallmarks of their process. The value of the therapist appropriately structuring the client in the beginning stage of process has become apparent to me over the years. When the client understands that there is no “failure,” only growth through continued understanding, the client will (each in her/his own way) access the information s/he needs for healing and enlightenment.



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