Past Life Therapy (PLT) Theory

From Dr. Morris Netherton's 45 years of clinical experience: "A Modality for Success/  The Netherton Method of Past Life Awareness and Integration" 

Part One of Four Parts (edited by Thomas Paul, Founder of PLTC Past Life Therapy Center):

Past Life Therapy Theory with Brief Examples
-Part 1

As a client-centered process ,a past-life session is determined by the unique needs and abilities of the client.  Sessions use techniques which most efficiently access unconscious trauma and eliminate it from present day living. A session starts by locating trauma using body sensations, strong emotions, or words and phrases which are impactful. The process finds words and gives them emotions or finds emotions and gives words to them.  Impact of these words and emotions is then found in the physical body. Greater spiritual awareness is always experienced as a result of the change from fear and confusion to clarity and self-understanding.

A session recognizes the pre-existence of an altered state induced at the time of the original past trauma and kept active by the mind's inability to complete these experiences. The language and emotions of these earlier incidents serves as post-hypnotic commands imbedded in current conversations and acted out in current behavior. Once recognized in present life, they are used to locate the trauma or origin and will be noticeably absent from today when their control is gone.

A session begins with a brief discussion of the presenting problem as a way of reaching the point where the client is asked to "close your eyes because you're already in the experience where we will work."  No attempt is made to induce a state of relaxation as this is counter-productive to fully realizing a state of trauma.  Relaxation and fear do not coexist in these sessions. The following is an example of the language used by the therapist to further the session.


"The scene you're now in holds the answers you need in this session..... (1) say the first words you think of             coming from where you are.....(2) feel the physical stress in your body and tell me the first physical position that     coexists with the stress.....sitting, walking, lying down.....recognize where you are as you become conscious of     your situation.....(3) tell me the strongest emotion of which you're consciously aware."

The primary mode of perception is of importance here only as a means of determining the strengths and weaknesses of the client. The weaknesses in perception will be addressed as part of the therapy, thus developing for the client a feeling, thinking, and sensate balance.  Once the client responds, focus is deepened and maintained by a repetition of phrases and sentences that lead through the experience.  Repeated phrases will lead to accessing either emotions or physical affect.  A cathartic release is the goal of this procedure and will be experienced if continued long enough.

There is a structure of past-life incidents that therapist should know and use to assure completion of the issues uncovered. Presentation of this structure and techniques for its use require greater detail than I can provide here. The therapist uses this structure and composition to establish experiential boundaries that provide grounding needed to clear confusion and uncertainty.

The content of past-life experiences is important only in how it relates to present time and how it reveals the reason why the trauma is still unconsciously alive. Once the script is revealed, a process is directed to locate and erase (resolve) trauma from various points of the experience. The final trauma to be cleared is that occurring at the time of death. After all emotions, words, pain, and confusion are cleared from the complete experience, including death, the soul is easily and freely released from the body. Resistance to this separation indicates some emotional attachment still exists somewhere in the experience. The mind will easily find this and release it.  Once free of the past trauma, the client recognizes a greater truth about the experience and is guided to "say and do now what you couldn't say and do then. Finish it!"

A point of identification carried from the past-life death is located during present-life conception and the process of resolution is put in place for continuation. Further reinforcements are found when mother first recognizes her pregnancy consciously. This occurs in the second or third month of pregnancy when her reaction is unconsciously recorded by the fetus.  Another vulnerable point for the fetus comes in the seventh- eighth month when the physical and emotional pressures on the mother are reaching a peak of intensity.

During the birth experience, the body experientially survives that which caused death in the past life.  Because of this, a negative survival pattern is created as part of the life script. The client is encouraged to change this script by consciously resolving these experiences much as the past experience was changed.

My earliest sessions revealed a client's confusion as the greatest block to completion of unconscious experiences. The client becomes lost in words and emotions which lead to an escalating swirl of images and the repeated answer, "I don't know....."

Once I began using the physical body's reality as an anchor, confusion no longer controlled the session. The body memory is not subject to the confusion of the mind. The body's experience remains literal regardless of the illusions and "tricks" of the mind.  The physical symptoms that are part of a past-life death are carried to the next conception and reintroduced as part of the new DNA code. During the first six to eight weeks of pregnancy, the mother's experience will provide the verbal and emotional components to the physical development of the glands, organs, nervous system, and indeed, the entire body. Thus, mother's statement, "My back is killing me" will define the physical formation of the fetus' spine and connects to a past-life by hanging, (for example).  Sessions during this early period of pregnancy reveal the process by which physical memory is carried into this life.

(Other examples include): The diabetic body remembers starving to death. Migraine headaches are physical memories of hanging or blows to the head.  Multiple Sclerosis is the result of memories of lingering battlefield deaths with injuries that paralyze the physical body. These are only a few of the body memories carried from past-life to the next incarnation.

The most recent advancement in body memory comes with the research findings of Dr. Candace Pert. Her discovery of emotional receptor centers and neuropeptides link the mind and body as one entity. These receptors are encrusted throughout the body in locations ranging from the brain to the bone marrow of the entire skeletal system – They are ordered by the DNA, thus placing the receptors present at conception. The receptors serve as the mechanism that sorts out the emotional information exchange in the body.


"This messenger molecule (neuropeptide) and cell receptor communication system is the psychobiological basis of mindbody healing, therapeutic hypnosis, and holistic medicine in general."1

   1 Rossi, Dr. Ernest, The Psychobiology of Mind-Body Healing, 1987.


The findings of Dr. Pert and Dr. Rossi may lead to a reevaluation of some practices dismissed as quackery by modern medicine.  Their findings prove that any emotions can be centered and felt in any part of the body.

"This system is the backbone of body memory as there is no longer a strong distinction to be made between the brain, the mind, and the body."2

If therapy is focused only on physical symptoms, it will find an unending number of past-life and present-life experiences which reveal horror stories of rape and mutilation as reasons and explanations for current problems. Positive response to their lives is often limited to a "better understanding" and a willingness "to accept the things that can't be changed." Real change occurs when the therapy confronts the victim within which controls the way of life.

The victim as survivor is part of the life script present at birth. Its foundation is complex and resistant to change. If this resistance is confronted too soon or with too much intensity, the client may leave therapy because she feels you, the therapist, are abusing her.

During an intake session, I question the client about any possible incomplete pregnancies prior to the client's birth. A prior abortion or miscarriage may be an imbedded source of identity as victim. Many times the client is also the soul of the aborted fetus which returned to the mother for a completed pregnancy. If this is true, the aborted fetus was a helpless victim. When conceived the second time, the soul promises the mother "to be a good girl/boy this time if only you will let me live. I'll do whatever you want. I'll make everybody happy if you let me live this time." 
When the doctor declares the baby to be "alive and well," the earlier promise now becomes a way of life. This "good girl" is now mother's victim who must keep everybody happy.


2 Pert, Dr. Candace, Massage Therapy Journal, Fall, 1987.

Therapy will often change the core identity from victim to victimizer. At this point, friends and family of the client will declare therapy a failure. "It's not working. Things are getting worse." The therapist must anticipate this change and discuss it with the client before its onset. Sessions must continue to resolve this opposite positioning in the client's behavior.

Both victim and victimizer must be addressed in sessions until neither can control the client. A new position will emerge as these two fade away.  The client experiences the role of the benign observer increasingly present in making daily decisions and interactions with friends and family. Free of reactive impulses, choices are made that reflect consideration for the optimum good of all.

During the prenatal period of transition from past-life to present-life the fetal unconscious mind is developing with mother's experience, words, feelings, and physical sensations, providing the second level of conscious function. Because of this attachment to mother, a process of separation will begin, at birth, when the umbilical cord is cut.  At this point, the baby's conscious mind begins its own function with the unconscious mind formed by the entire nine month prenatal experience. The unresolved issues from past-life as continued by mother's prenatal experience through birth now form the basis for unconscious beliefs and feelings.

The process of separation from mother also continues the process of past-life resolution. I am often challenged as to the baby's ability to "think" and "know" in uterus. If a developing fetus had a conscious mind, it could self-identify and think for itself.  It would consciously problem-solve throughout the nine months and be born free of unresolved fears and confusion.

The unconscious mind must be formed during a time when conscious memory of experiences is not possible. The unconscious mind's content must be accepted without being subjected to the logic, analysis, and choices of the conscious process. This begins at birth when life experiences will be motivated by the unconscious script which will be evaluated and changed by the conscious mind. This process of interaction between the two levels of the mind will determine the soul's progress toward resolution.

There are also vital points of impact on the baby's physical body as it passes through the birth canal. An adult's low functioning thyroid gland must be investigated when the throat is in the birth canal ("slow down, slow down, stop pushing for a moment," the medical staff says which now commands the thyroid to slow too). Dyslexia must be addressed as the baby's body is turned and rotated during delivery ("that's right, that's right" as the baby is rotated to the left). This is especially true if forceps are used or if the birth is a Cesarean section.

(Note: C-Section babies need to resolve their birth experience within the first few therapy sessions or they will go from scene to scene, but never finish any of them.  They will unconsciously be waiting for the birth doctor, in this case the therapist, to finish it for them.  Once they complete the birth experience, they learn to finish things; therefore, they can finish any other experiences that surface for resolution). 

Migraine headaches must be investigated if mother wasn't dilated enough for the head's easy passage. Most physical problems are found during the pain and stress of the birthing process. The manner in which you experience birth will determine your formula for coping with stress for the rest of your life. 
Additional books by Dr. Morris Netherton are available at PLTC Bookstore.

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