Can Past Life Regression Help Us Grow and Heal?


By Dr. Ellenmorris Tiegerman, author of Past Lives Denied

The underlying theme of my upcoming novel, Past Lives Denied, is about the challenge of personally dealing with the possibility that you have had a past life experience given haunting dreams and flashbacks. The main character, Caitlin Morrys, is a projection of myself, given my own personal experiences during adolescence.  Caitlin is faced with self-doubt and self-questioning about her own sanity while she tries to grapple with the reality that others will have a negative but understandable reaction. The book and the storyline reflect my own process of dealing with an experience that is becoming much more commonplace and accepted in our society.  In other cultures that recognize past life theory and practice, there is more social acceptance about sharing such experiences. A very recent article that appeared in the Washington Post entitled “The Children Who Remember Their Past Lives” underscores the challenges faced by children and their families who are dealing with complex dreams and flashbacks. Past Lives Denied uses the backdrop of a university and a murder to highlight how Caitlin Morrys courageously faces her own personal issues with accepting herself and her past lives.  

My memory discovery didn’t take place in a traditional therapist’s office. I was on vacation in Crete at an archeological site, and before I went in, I had the strangest sensation that everything was familiar and I had been there before.  My conscious mind argued back, “Really?  How silly.  You just got here. You’ve never been here before.” I felt anxious, so I pulled away from the group and sat down, but I just couldn’t stop my thoughts about what was next to come in the tour.  When I finally decided to catch up with the group, I knew what had been there and where things were located. So, maybe, I had had too much sun. It could be, but when I spoke privately to the tour guide, and she confirmed the thoughts in my head, I had to admit to myself that this was very “suspicious.” At the time, I really didn’t know anything about past lives, and as a teenager, I just categorized the experience as interesting and kept it archived in my memory.  But it made me uncomfortable when I thought about it, so I tried very hard to forget it and push it away from my conscious thoughts. And, of course, the more I pushed, the stronger the imagery became.

I decided that I would write all of it down and put it away in some closet and forget about it. I couldn’t forget about it, but I never told anyone; it was my “big secret” and has been since childhood. I did ask people what they thought about “past life memories” and consistently received strange looks and snide comments, which certainly did not help put me at ease as a young adult. My parents were absolutely opposed to my questions to and explorations with other people. Life moved on, and my secret remained safely and securely hidden until I was much older and returning on a flight from a lecture. Someone had dropped a Time Magazine on my seat, and I picked it up to skim through it. There I saw a small article about a Harvard psychiatrist, Dr. Brian Weiss, who was reported to have hypnotized a client, Catherine, who reported a past life memory. I was transfixed and excited; maybe I wasn’t the only one after all.  I finally had my opportunity for closure when I read Brian Weiss’s book, Many Lives, Many Masters, which was all about his therapeutic experiences with his client Catherine.  

There is undoubtedly more acknowledgement of and recognition for the “idea” of past lives, which is both constructive and positive for those who have experienced these life-changing events. But what if you haven’t been through my event experience and you’re just curious about past lives and if you can access yours? Well, you can start to do a lot of things on your own if you don’t want to search out a trained therapist. Be patient about the process; there are no guarantees that you will successfully find anything initially. I recommend setting up a journal and purchasing a book on relaxation and meditative techniques. This involves daily practice and time to yourself.  Remember, this is a marathon and not a sprint race. Record in your journal your thoughts and your progressive practice. I found the journal entries to be very helpful over time, especially when I decided to record my dreams for several months. I set an alarm clock and woke up at 2 a.m. to record my dreams. Look for patterns of information, names, and places.  Can you recognize images of buildings or monuments, or people? Whether it takes a week or a year, or never, the search experience will be worthwhile. The question for each of us is, do we share this highly sensitive and personal experience and process with anyone else? If you do decide to share, prepare yourself for judgments, criticisms, critiques, and a flood of questions about your sanity at one end of the continuum and your motivation at the other end.

So, are your flashbacks, dreams and memories real? Should you believe them?  Should you explore them? Why not? Think about the importance and significance of the entire therapeutic area of dream therapy. Exploring the earliest images, dreams and memories in most standard therapeutic methodologies is well-accepted and certainly integrated to the healing practice of psychotherapy. You go back to your earliest childhood memories!  Why not further back? Why not explore the MEANING of your past life images to determine what they indicate/predict in your present life? The anxieties and fears in this life may have their origins in your past life flashbacks and memories. They may provide an explanation about your present behaviors and responses. Past life exploration can lead to present life healing! Trust your past life beliefs and images. Search for self-awareness!

Author Bio: 

Dr. Ellenmorris Tiegerman is the Executive Director of Tiegerman School and a Professor Emeritus at the Derner Institute for Advanced Psychology Studies at Adelphi University. For more information, visit

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