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Doctoral dissertation of Ronald van der Maesen, 2006

Studies on the effectiveness and client satisfaction in reincarnation therapy



Since the last 30 years there has been a growing interest in reincarnation or past‑life therapy in the western world among those who hold a philosophical orientation toward health. This orientation can be described as holistic, i.e., believing in the importance of body, mind and spirit in health (Astin, 1998). Past‑life therapy is a form of psychotherapy that can be categorized as a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The therapy is based on the assumption that actual health problems may have their roots in traumatic events in so‑called former lives or in prenatal or perinatal conditions.

The actual problems, being a possible consequence of those former events, maybe treated by regressing the patient to the event that brought about the problems in this life. In past‑life theory a traumatic event usually starts with a panic reaction on a body and/or mind‑threatening situation, followed by shock and dissociation, for fear of physical pain or anxiety for the consequences of the event. Because of the dissociation, the event becomes a traumatic event that cannot be integrated in the personality as a well‑understood and comprehended event and remains unfinished in the unconscious. In past‑life therapy theory, the event, being unfinished, may be brought to the actual life as a scar in the “human soul” in the next incarnation. Reliving the experience and abolishing the dissociation responsible for the traumatic character, helps the client to finish the unfinished event and to accept and to integrate its meaning in the present personality. Consequently, the current symptoms in present‑day life may be reduced or disappear, according to the theory of past‑life therapy.

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