Note: Dr. Morris Netherton (1935-2020) has retired from 50 years of clinical practice. However, his methods are proudly continued at Past Life Therapy Center® with Dr. Thomas Paul.
The Netherton-Paul Method, or Past Life Therapy Center® De-Hypnosis Method (developed by Dr. Thomas Paul and Dr. Morris Netherton), encompasses similar techniques and theories of psychotherapy and hypnotherapy; however, the boundaries are lifted from the unconscious mind, enabling the client to resolve present-life issues rooted in unresolved past experiences (UPE). There is no voodoo, "hocus pocus" traditional hypnosis or trance technique necessary to get someone to experience a past-life. Truthfully, regression someone into a past-life can oftentimes be the easiest part of the therapy. The more challenging part is helping the client make all the connections and to resolve their confusion and traumas from past-life deaths. The primary goal is to work with someone to "'complete his or her unfinished problems'' via the unconscious mind. The Netherton-Paul Method spends a lot of time in periods when a client may have not been conscious, such as during surgeries, trauma, shock, prenatal, blackouts, etc. A therapist will try to retrieve that recorded data and integrate it with the conscious mind. It’s unpredictable where the unconscious mind will go because it is not concerned with present-day reality, linear language, or sequence of events.
Past life regressions have surfaced in the works of pyschotherapy pioneers, but may have been coined as fantasy, symbolic expression, synchronicity, hallucinations, or metaphors. These days the possible notion of past-lives is unavoidable for even the most rigid traditional therapist. Carl Jung had a technique, which he called the “active imagination.” It was best described as an interaction with the unconscious mind. In a relaxed state of mind with the conscious mind dormant, one is encouraged to allow images to come to life by their own "psychic" intuition, while letting go of all expectations, presuppositions, or interpretations.
Dr. Morris Netherton’s first experience with past life therapy began in the early 1960’s, when his family physician unconventionally recommended he see a psychotherapist for his ulcers and dermatitis. During his therapy, he became sleepy and expressed his inability to stay awake for the session. His therapist said, “Let’s keep going and see what happens.” She kept talking while Netherton fell into a trance. He was fully aware of his surroundings and her voice, but his unconscious mind took him to a past-life where he was a prisoner in Mexico around the mid-nineteenth century. His therapist was alarmed and had misgivings about continuing the session, but he insisted that they keep at it.
On his way back home, his dermatitis disappeared, which was reinforced by unjust tethering to a post in the blazing sun. The dermatitis was a re-manifestation of his painful sun blisters from a past-life. During the second visit, he experienced the life in prison again. The guards were kicking him in the gut exactly where he had an ulcer. He led the therapist to his past-life death, where he died from diphtheria. A day after his therapy session, he was pain-free. It was at that pivotal moment Morris Netherton committed to learning how to enabling others to release themselves from suffering too.
During his early career, Dr. Morris Netherton spent eight years with the Los Angeles County Probation Department as a supervising counselor in the Juvenile Detention Center where he took the opportunity to hone his techniques and theories with troubled adolescents. This is where he formulated his birthing process when a young man was going through withdrawals and destroying his room. When Netherton entered the young man’s room, he was in a corner and in a fetal position. He told the young man, “I know where you are and let’s get you out.” The young man started breathing as directed, while Netherton was addressing him as if he were in his mother’s womb. The young man started repeating the same dialogue that he had heard from his mother and the medical staff during his birth. He felt the sensation of numbness when she was given anesthetics to ease the pain. Through vigorous breathing, the young man was reborn with miraculous changes. This led to a positive shift in his present behavior, which expedited discharge from the detention center. With such success, for the next six years, Dr. Morris Netherton served as Director for the Crisis Intervention Program in Juvenile Detention Centers for three Southern California counties where he participated in the development of short-term therapy procedures for children from troubled homes.
Since Dr. Morris Netherton didn’t have a mentor or school to teach him this new technique and discovery, there was no structure or discipline involved. His subjects were recalling past-lives, prenatal, birth, surgeries, and other forgotten traumatic experiences. This was the genesis of the Netherton Method of Past Life Therapy and one of the vanguards of the alternative medicine movement of the 1960s. Because his techniques incorporated spirit, conception, mind, body, and soul, it didn’t fit the scientific model, which led to many skeptics. Alternative approaches today are still persecuted by licensing laws, insurance companies, and doctrinal research. However, since he first developed his theories and techniques new studies have come out that have garnered more acceptance of past life regression therapies in the world of traditional psychology.
Past Life Therapy (PLT) is becoming more popular and widely accepted around the world. In many countries, PLT is considered a respected modality, in the same way that acupuncture and natural medicine has grown in popularity in the United States. There are increasingly more courses being taught in universities as Past Life Therapy becomes an accepted part of psychology academic programs. Dr. Thomas Paul and Past Life Therapy Center® will be offering PLT training and certification in the near future (subscribe for details and notifications).
There are many approaches to doing past life regression. Some practitioners may use a hypnotic induction process, meditation, Reichian breath work, or free association. Some practitioners may unnecessarily lead the clients, or not finish a past-life death, and leave out the integration process. Some novices are only facilitating exploration, fantasy, or discovery regressions, which are not therapeutic for the client. Regressions like this can leave a client confused without resolution.
Psychics are becoming more popular and are claiming to do past life regressions. They may tell clients what their past-lives were without allowing them to discover, process, and integrate the past-life for themselves. This is only a reading and interpretation from a psychic, and is not a proper past life regression, or Past Life Therapy. The Netherton-Paul Method of Past Life Therapy (Past Life Therapy Center® De-Hypnosis Method) is only facilitated as a therapeutic process and not intended for recreation.
The Netherton-Paul Method includes a thorough interview and the time spent througout therapy is client-centered based, similar to what Carl R. Rogers (1902-1987) believed. Being empathetic and congruent are the key factors in Client-Centered Therapy when interviewing and problem solving. When the client sees a therapist as being genuine, a greater degree of constructive personality will be achieved. A Netherton-Paul trained therapist works with information gathered from the client, or details that are elicited from the unconscious process.
Do I have to believe in reincarnation?
A belief in reincarnation is not necessary for Past Life Therapy to be effective. As long as one works with the process, the mind will function whether or not one believes in reincarnation. The primary goal of a practitioner is to help a client get better. He or she is not trying to prove a theory, doctrine, truth or facts. He or she is working with what one’s mind can do and will do if one allows it. I’ve had clients who are religious and while in the middle of their regression they have said, “I'm a Christian, is it okay for me to do this?" or "I cannot do this because I’m Catholic.”
Fear of the unknown and being vulnerable seems to be the primary reasons for trepidation in doing any type of therapy. When a client has any resistance with working in a past-life, I simply change the wordage. I might say, “Let’s pretend that you were in a past-life, or allow your unconscious mind to imagine.” Using free association or the active imagination helps free a client’s mind from any negative connotations that may be brought up by using certain words. Replacing the word reincarnation with the word imagine will enable a client to process a past-life regardless of their fixed paradigms. A client doesn’t purposely try to be resistant or reluctant. This may be their survival pattern and a therapist will need to improvise. Some of my best clients have been Christians and were easy subjects who slipped into past-lives effortlessly.
What has made these past-lives believable is when a client recalls a scenario that correlates and is parallel with his life here and now. The images may be very vivid and the trauma may seem real. They might cry as if it were happening in the present. After the regression, they might have a look of astonishment and say, “I couldn’t just be making this up, could I?” I usually answer the question with, “do you feel good about the session?” If the answer is yes, I say, “Good, that’s what matters and allow this session to process.” When a client sees significant changes in his or her life, the truth is secondary.
In Western cultures, reincarnation is in its infancy. The philosophical concept of reincarnation, however, is ancient. The belief is most commonly associated with Eastern religions. Among the ancient Greeks, Pythagoras led an influential religious order supporting the doctrine of reincarnation. The Kabala, a collection of Jewish mystical lore, also acknowledges the idea of past lives. Early Christians debated the notion for several centuries. Many supported the doctrine of the third-century teacher Origen, who attempted to blend the Christian and Greek philosophies into a coherent whole. Reincarnation was an integral part of his teaching. Origen believed in the “pre-existence of souls” and wrote in the 4th century: “Each soul comes into this world reinforced by victories or enfeebled by the defeats of its previous lives.” In A.D. 533, however, a council of the church, meeting in Constantinople, pronounced Origen’s teaching anathema to Christian belief. His books were burned and he was shunned. Although Christianity rejected the belief in reincarnation, it re-emerged in the sixteenth century. Traces of it can be found throughout Renaissance thought, and in the writings of major romantic poets like Blake and Shelley, and even the novelist Balzac. By the eighteenth century it was no longer threatening, but absurd to many, that we could live more than once. In the West today, the belief has drastically changed, but is still misunderstood. Eastern Philosophy is slowly saturating the West and creating more conscious awareness about past-lives.
Do I have to believe in karma?
What actually is karma and how does it effect reincarnation? In Buddhism, it is believed that karma is the natural law of cause and effect. Karma is the driving force behind reincarnation, which is also called, “rebirth.” Karma is often misunderstood in the West as fate or predestination. It is best thought of in Buddhism; an infallible law of cause and effect that governs the universe. Everything we do is accumulated in this life, then taken through the death experience and then reborn again. Karma does not decay like external things, or even become inoperative. It cannot be destroyed “by time, fire, or water.” Its power will never disappear, until it is ripened. We are told that nature, using a river, took ten millions years to dig the Grand Canyon. Can we expect a man’s soul to be perfected in sixty to seventy-five years? Buddha said: “Do not overlook negative actions merely because they are small; however small a spark may be, it can burn down a haystack as big as a mountain.”
Karma, “The Secret”, and Past Life Therapy : What is karma? How can Past Life Therapy utilizing de-hypnosis resolve karma?
Post-Trauma From Surgeries
The unconscious mind operates like a tape recorder. Indiscriminately, it records and stores any and every event that takes place. Your conscious mind may refuse to acknowledge or remember the more painful and terrifying events in your life, but the unconscious mind never shuts down. Picture a tape recorder that is continuously in record mode. It’s stored with information that provides the conscious mind with emotions that will shape our perceptions and reality and how we come to feel and express ourselves. This is the basis for one’s entire personality, regardless if one is conscious of it. When the unconscious mind is tapped (we push the playback button on the tape recorder), recall is discovered.
During surgery, your conscious mind is shutdown, but your unconscious mind is on. A patient is recording the words, actions, and attitudes of the medical staff. Those external influences can have a deep impact on the outcome of the surgery, recovery time, and patient’s feelings. Even if there is complete silence, the patient can hear the non-verbal words and signals coming from the staff facilitating the surgical procedure. Because the unconscious mind is not able to decipher and discriminate those external influences, there could be messages that are being recorded and misconstrued. A surgeon, who is having domestic problems, may bring that energy into the surgery. Because the surgeon is angry, the patient may record, “is there something wrong with me or am I an inconvenience?” The patient may feel invalidated or violated. Epinephrine, or adrenaline (the alarm hormone) in the brain, provides the strength and ability to respond by either fighting or fleeing, which may impair the memory. How do you think the body is reacting when you are signing release forms, which indicate there could be complications or that the surgeon is going to make an incision on you? If your body were to speak, it might say “I could die.” Anesthetics that are given for surgical procedures often affect the memory and can cause amnesia. After recovery, a patient may vaguely recall some things, but only fragments. This is why many patients may appear confused and emotionally disturbed after undergoing even the simplest procedure.
Beginning in 1964, D.B. Cheek of the University of California San Francisco studied patients who had created problems with their surgeons prior to their operations. The patients, while under anesthesia, were exposed to negative comments by their surgeons. Cheek found that some of the patients could, under hypnosis, recall their surgeon’s conversations at a verbatim level. In 1965, Levinson staged a mock crisis during the surgeries of a number of patients, during which surgeons made statements that the procedure was failing and the patient might die. When asked about their experiences on the operating table, some of the patients became extremely agitated. Other studies tested the effects of positive statements while a patient was anesthetized. These suggestions affirmed that the patient would have a healthy and quick recovery during their post-operative procedure. These individuals did indeed spend less time in the hospital than the patients who were not given such positive suggestions.
Morris Netherton worked with a woman who had seven surgeries within a three-year time span. When she entered his office, she seemed defeated and desperate. Many of her organs had been removed and she was tired of being unhealthy. She was very upset with her surgeon, and didn’t know why. During regression, Netherton was able to elicit the words from her unconscious mind that had been recorded in surgery. The doctors detected some cancerous cells in the ovaries. While she was undergoing the surgery, the surgeon said, “Well, I hope we got it all, but I don’t think so.” Months later, the cancer spread and she was back for surgery. She kept using the same surgeon who was repeating the same negative dialogue. When she had her first breast removed, the surgeon said, “Well, if she’s like all the other old broads, she’ll be back to get the other one removed.” Two months later, she had the other one removed. In the last surgery, the surgeon said, “I guess that’s it, there’s nothing left to take out.” Her surgeries did end, but she felt like something was wrong. Her health did improve working with Netherton, but she still wanted to know if what she had heard in surgery was true. Netherton advised against her seeking this out, but she insisted that she had to confront the surgeon for herself. He denied the conversations she heard in her surgery, but his assistant pulled her off to the side and said, “I was there and that is what he said, I’ve told him many times that the patients can hear what we’re saying.” Netherton’s client wasn’t seeking a lawsuit, but still needed validation.
While applying The Netherton Method, a therapist is able to access a client’s unconscious mind during his prior surgery. The session is a complete reenactment of the surgery, including the primal feelings before the operation. The therapists try to find any negative suggestions that may have been recorded. It is not difficult to elicit information from surgery. The object is not to hear dialogue at a verbatim level. The main focus is to bring up the primal feelings from during surgery and how those feelings may be affecting one’s life presently. Doctors are more careful these days, but there are still many who are oblivious or do not care how this can affect one’s mind. During regression, releasing the negative beliefs, then affirming with positive suggestions formulated by the client, is the framework of The Netherton Method.
During the initial interview when meeting a client, I will ask the client if he or she has had any prior surgeries. By observing how a client responds to the question, a therapist can pick up the discomfort through her voice, trembling, or other body language. Clients will periodically express that he or she had an unpleasant experience with his or her surgery, but without explanations. Being nude, anesthetized, along with prior, unresolved issues, could make a patient undergoing surgery feel vulnerable and scared. I will ask a client what their primal feeling was about the surgery. I’ve had a woman once say she felt violated. In our interview, I found out that when she was a teenager, an older male molested her. This issue was left over and unresolved from the past. She felt that her surgeon was projecting sexual energy toward her during the surgery. True or not - by being nude in a room with an older male without any control, she felt like she was being taken advantage of. Some of these stories may be fabricated, but that is rare. I worked out the surgery along with her prior issues involving a past-life rape. Sessions like these give my clients the opportunity to become in control of their lives and to not feel like a victim anymore. These issues, especially if we have not reflected on them and integrated them into self-understanding, can continue to affect us in our present lives.
Surgeries, accidents, and other traumatic experiences seem to open up other portals to the unconscious mind. Very often a client will slip into a past-life while doing a regression on a prior surgery. Seemingly, there is always a strong correlation of a client’s past-life that relates to his or her present life. It may only be a metaphor that the client is verbalizing during a session, however, the emotional imprint from a past-life that is reactivated during a regression, is just another opportunity for a client to feel catharsis and some hope that he or she will live a better, happier, healthy life. Truth and facts are irrelevant for this process to work, but more importantly it is how a person identifies him or herself in a story or movie, and becomes the victor over an adversary. A therapy session can become more like a journey in which we try to be the hero or heroine in our own lives.
I had a client who was having problems communicating, expressing, and being himself around others. He had had a root canal recently and had been completely anesthetized for the procedure. Before the oral surgeon for the root canal had diagnosed him, he had been having problems at his job with his boss. He had felt that he was overworked, and at the same time, he was intimidated to ask for a raise. He never did mention this to his boss, and two months later, he started having problems with his gums and teeth. After his surgery, his entire face was swollen and he couldn’t speak. He was emotionally disturbed and didn’t understand why. While we were processing this prior surgery, he saw vivid images of men tying his neck, arms, and legs to a stake. They also cut out his tongue so he couldn’t speak. When he was five, he had had a tonsillectomy while his parents were going through a separation. He felt like he was in a dilemma because he had to choose with whom he would live. He had been born with the umbilical chord wrapped around his neck. These past experiences intermingle and point to the same issues of one not being able to express one’s self with fear of dying if one isn’t obedient.
Traumatic Events, Accidents, and Lost Memories
Stressful experiences can become overwhelming and traumatizing. These experiences can directly affect the memory. There are different stages of memory impairment, depending on the stress factor. Experts may label these disorders as “Dissociative Disorders” or “Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.” Many people suffer from these conditions and are not conscious of it. It is partially due to the false depictions that are made through TV and film. They show people as being catatonics or not coherent, which is not always the case. A person may appear to be healthy and is functioning fine in society, but is suffering from PTSD. One may ask oneself, “Why couldn’t I remember that?” or, “Why am I not able to make any association to the experience?” Unequivocally, there is a difference between the way people recall traumatic memories and their actual sensations and emotions of the experience. In Bessel van der Kolk’s book, “Traumatic Stress”, he and his colleagues found that of all their subjects who had been traumatized, only one was able to associate to the trauma over a period of time. Five of them, now as adults, who had protested that they had been abused as children, couldn’t tell a complete story of what had happened to them. All they had were fragments or intuitions that they had been abused. Essentially, these people had dissociated themselves from their experiences. A person who has been traumatized is often unable to formulate an organized conception of the horrific experience. If not confronted, the traumatic experience will continue to haunt the person with powerful emotions of the experience in the form of fragmented sensory perceptions and emotional states.
There are many chemical changes that take place in the mind-body during a traumatic experience. The amygdala, a brain structure of the limbic system, is involved with processing emotions and a fundamental part of implicit memory. It evaluates the meaning of incoming stimuli. Once the amygdala attaches emotional significance to sensory information, its emotional evaluation is passed on to the hippocampus. The hippocampus is like a cognitive blueprint, which organizes the information and integrates it with previous memories of similar sensory details. The greater the emotional impact delegated by the amygdala, the more intently the memory is permanently recorded by the hippocampus.
If the emotional intensity is too high, the hippocampus could become overloaded and create a hindrance in making a proper categorization and evaluation of the traumatic event. Chemically, during this crucial event, a stress hormone called cortisol works by binding to receptor sites in the hippocampus. If the traumatic experience creates overwhelming emotions, too much cortisol is released and binds to each neuron. The neuron acts as an impulse-conducting cell that is a functional part unit of the nervous system. For the brain, “experience” means the firing of neurons, which is like outgoing information. The onslaught increases the metabolism of the cells so much that they essentially overheat and die. As a result, the hippocampus cannot organize elements of the traumatic experience into a unified whole. A person may only re-experience the painful sensory fragments, not the accurate knowledge of the event. The traumatic experience is recorded like a separated entity and dissociated from the other life experiences that are unified and easy to recall. This type of processing is impairment to the autobiographical memory and may be referred to as “psychogenic” amnesia.
A person can experience “shock” from a natural disaster, car accident, rape, death in the family, or many other traumatic events. Once he or she is stimulated by the trauma, adrenalin and cortisol are secreted into the body to help provide strength and ability to respond by fighting or fleeing. Clients undergoing surgery will also experience this heightened survival reaction at a secondary level when anesthesia removes the conscious mind. A person may appear to look fine, but is suffering immensely inside.
There are ways of unraveling unresolved issues so one can integrate the pieces that have been missing in one’s life. Accessing the unconscious mind with de-hypnosis will help a therapist move successfully beyond blind spots and memory blackouts that often stymie traditional talk-therapy. A person will only relate to what he or she consciously remembers. A person’s own defense mechanism may block the important, crucial elements that are needed for resolution. Working with someone who has been through trauma, can be very difficult and exasperating, especially if one has already gone over and over the same issues without any breakthroughs.
Here is a case example of a woman who came to me for therapy because she was not able to have a normal sex life with her boyfriend, including never reaching orgasm. This is a summarized version of the actual dialogue in our session:
The client indicated that she had been sexually abused and that she had worked on this issue for many years with another therapist. By using the Netherton-Paul Method, I was able to bypass her conscious mind and go back to several suppressed memories of being sexually abused. I asked her to give me the exact details, emotions, feelings and non-verbal words that were taking place. She said, “He’s coming into my room again. He’s walking over to me and says he has a surprise. I know what this means.” I asked her, “What does this mean?” She replied, “It means he is going to do that thing I hate!"
I prompted her, “What’s happening now?” She answered, “He’s taking off my clothes and pulling down his pants… he’s putting his penis inside me…oh my God it hurts.” I asked her, “Did the pain eventually stop?” She said no, “But I think my body went numb so I didn’t feel the pain anymore.” I asked her what survival pattern is being put into place here. She answered, “Every time I am penetrated, my body goes numb so it doesn’t hurt… oh my God, and every time I have sex with my boyfriend I would feel as if I wasn’t there… I would blame him and previous boyfriends for not being connected to me. I was the one who was disconnected.” She also told me that every time a man would buy her a gift or tell her he had a surprise, she would be suspicious or even feel sick. She would often refuse gifts and felt as if there was a hidden agenda behind the offers. I replied, “So receiving gifts and hearing the word surprise put you back in the room with your father?” She answered yes and added, “Why didn’t I find these things with my previous therapists?” I responded that we hadn’t finished. I asked her what her father would say to her during the abuse. She replied, “I can’t remember.” I asked her, “If you could remember, what would he be saying?” She answered, “He’d be saying, 'just be quiet… it’ll be over soon'…he’d be telling me, 'If you say anything, something bad will happen.'" I told her, “Maybe this is why you were not able to talk about this. Because you were already in shock and recorded this in your unconscious mind, the belief that something bad would happen if you said anything. During your previous work with other therapists, your body would kick into fight or flight mode. Instead of experiencing the trauma as a benign observer, you got caught up in re-experiencing the trauma along with the confusion, which may have interfered with your actual memories and emotions of the event.
As Robin Fivush has stated: The research on traumatic memories conducted thus far, has focused on public events, events that may be painful or stressful, but do not involve secrecy or shame. But many traumas experienced by young children are silenced. The ability to discuss past events with others, and to verbally rehearse these events to oneself, may play an instrumental role in children’s developing abilities to understand and interpret their experiences. Placing past events in the context of one’s ongoing life history allows one to integrate past experiences into a cohesive sense of how the world works and who one is. Children experiencing traumatic experiences who are not given the opportunity to discuss these events with others may not be able to integrate these negative experiences, and thus may be left with recurring fragments of memory that are associated with highly negative affect that cannot be resolved.
The Influences of Prenatal, Birth, and the Portal to Past Lives
Dr. Netherton believes that during prenatal, the fetus has no discriminating, conscious mind present, but the unconscious mind is properly functioning and recording implicit memory from the mother. The unborn baby’s beliefs and survival patterns are created in the womb and it is essential for a client to uncover the events of his conception and fetal development in detail. Even if the fetus is in its early stages of development, the same molecules of emotions are present throughout the body, creating cellular memory and recall. Candace Pert, author of “Molecules of Emotion” says that intelligence is in every cell of our bodies. The fetus records all of the mother’s feelings, but is not able to decipher the true reality. According to Margaret Mahler, author of “The Psychological Birth of the Human Infant,” the physical birth and psychological birth do not take place at the same time. She sees the mother and infant as really one unity, which she calls a dyad. During the early months of infancy, the baby is not yet born psychologically. By psychological birth, Mahler means becoming a separate, autonomous human being with an identity of one’s own. She believes that how the mother behaves and how she feels about her baby, both consciously and unconsciously, will affect her baby’s development.
In the late 1960s and early 70s, investigators were finally able to study the child, undisturbed, in his natural habitat. Amazingly, the fetus can see, hear, and taste while in utero on a primitive level. Most importantly without any discrimination, he can feel without an adult’s sophistication. Everything that his mother is feeling is internalized as if it were his own feelings. If mother is sad, he is sad – if mother is angry, he is angry – if mother is happy, he is happy, and so on. Chronic anxiety or stress can have a strong, negative influence on a child’s personality. On the other hand, a welcomed pregnancy where the mother is joyful, relaxed, and supported, can lead to the emotional development of a healthy child. The womb could be seen as where learning begins, or if one believes in rebirth, it is also a place where unresolved past-lives have the opportunity to be reactivated for future resolution. Even with advance technology and knowledge, it is difficult to prepare the perfect environment and regulate the mother’s emotions before delivery. A mother could rehearse over and over what to do when she goes into labor, but still deliver a baby into the most extraordinary circumstances. The most important and crucial aspect during birth is the emotions of the mother. If a mother is truly calm, confident, and knows that both the baby and she are going to be fine, even under the worst conditions, the birthing process and development of the child will be much healthier. On the other hand, if a mother appears to be calm, but is feeling anxiety, the baby will receive mixed messages. This baby may grow up to be an adult who represses his true feelings and acts very passive aggressively to uncomfortable situations.
Dr. Michael Lieberman showed that an unborn child grows emotionally agitated (measured by the quickening of his heartbeat) each time his mother thinks of having a cigarette. She doesn’t even have to put it to her lips or light a match; just her idea of having a cigarette is enough to upset him. The fetus is not able to discriminate the difference between, “if his mother is smoking”, or “just thinking about it.” But his body is sophisticated enough to associate the experience of her smoking with the unpleasant sensation it produces in him. The oxygen supply drops in the maternal blood passing the placenta. This is physiologically harmful to him, but possibly even more detrimental to his psychological process. He doesn’t know and is uncertain when he will feel that physical sensation of discomfort again or have often it will reoccur.
Czechoslovakian psychiatrist Stanislav Groff tells how one man under medication was able to describe his fetal body very accurately – how large his head was in comparison to his legs and arms – what it felt like to be in a warm amniotic fluid, and to be attached to his placenta. Then, while describing his heart sounds and those of his mothers, he suddenly broke off midway and announced he could hear muffled noises outside the womb – the laughter and yelling of human voices and the tinny blast of carnival trumpets. Just as suddenly and inexplicably, the man declared he was about to be delivered. Intrigued by the vividness and detail of this memory, Grof contacted the patient’s mother, who not only confirmed the details of her son’s story, but also added that the excitement of a carnival had precipitated his birth.
Dr. Gerhard Rottman at the University of Salzburg, Austria, did a study on 141 pregnant women. These women were placed in four categories depending on their attitudes toward pregnancy. The women that were labeled the “Ideal Mothers” because they wanted their unborn children both consciously and unconsciously had the easiest pregnancies, the most trouble-free births, and the healthiest babies – physically and emotionally. The women who had negative attitudes, which Rottman labeled the “Catastrophic Mothers,” had the most devastating medical problems during pregnancy, and bore the highest rate of premature, low-weight, and emotionally disturbed infants.
The groups that he labeled the “Ambivalent Mothers” were mothers who appeared on a superficial level, quite happy about their pregnancies. But not surprisingly, their unborn children recorded the ambivalence, and at birth, had a high rate of both behavioral and gastrointestinal problems. The fourth group called the “Cool Mothers” appeared to be deeply confused about their pregnancy because of their jobs, financial problems, or because they were not ready to be mothers yet. Rottman’s tests showed that unconsciously, they desired their pregnancies. On some level their children picked up both messages, and it apparently confused them. At birth, an unusually large number of them were apathetic and lethargic.
There are so many factors that can influence a “new-to-be” mother in both negative and positive ways. The father has a major role in this influence. The quality of a woman’s relationship with her spouse can shape her attitudes toward being a mother. Dr. Stott rates a bad marriage or relationship as among the greatest impetus of emotional and physical damage in the womb. On the basis of one of his studies with over thirteen hundred children and their families, he estimates a woman locked in a problematic marriage has a 237 percent greater risk of bearing a psychologically or physically damaged child than women in a secure, nurturing relationship. The womb is like the child’s first world. How he experiences it – as friendly or hostile – does create an emotional blueprint of personality and character predispositions.
This doesn’t mean the rest of the child’s life, up until he becomes an adult, is predestined because of his memories in the womb and birth. If he learns what happened to him negatively during prenatal and birth, he can deprogram those beliefs with the Past Life Therapy Center® De-Hypnosis Method.
Wilhelm Reich (1887-1957) once-famed psychoanalyst, associate and follower of Sigmund Freud, initiated breath work with his patients. Through vigorous breathing exercise and muscle contractions, his patients were able to release deep emotions while re-experiencing their birth.
The body is a road map to whatever is going on inside. Dr. David B. Cheek used hypnosis to access the unconscious mind during a study he did with four young women and men that he had delivered twenty years earlier. He kept accurate delivery notes on their birth and knew that there was no way they could have obtained any of the concealed information. In every case what the hypnotized patient told Cheek was confirmed by what he found in his files. Stanislav Grof used LSD for his studies, and found that his subjects were able to feel the struggle in the womb before birth. He now uses intensive breathing practices rather than LSD and still finds prenatal imagery fully accessible to consciousness. Dr. Morris Netherton used a similar approach that directs awareness of the primal feelings.
Getting a person to recall unconscious material in the womb and birth is only the beginning process of the Past Life Therapy Center® De-Hypnosis Method. The therapist searches for the mother’s primal feelings, both verbal and non-verbal messages, because focusing on how the mother’s physical body feels during pregnancy and birth is pertinent to the process. A mother’s physical discomfort is recorded and sometimes held in the body/mind of her baby. Bodyworkers, such as Rolfers, have witnessed psychosomatic symptoms held in the body. During the emotional release, the body workers described the client acting out his birth and his mother giving birth simultaneously. Even if the mother is anesthetized and not coherent, she still has feelings that her baby is recording. Netherton stumbled over a few regressions where his clients were coherent, and then suddenly the clients became drowsy. The sessions became challenging because the clients entered into darkness and confusion, but Netherton realized that his client’s mother was anesthetized and no longer conscious. Netherton would get his clients to breath out the drugs until he or she was back in his or her body and coherent. Another interesting discovery that Netherton came across while working a client’s birth was when the client started speaking from a third party’s perspective. Netherton was hearing dialogue from the hospital staff. After regressing many people back to their births and hearing those external voices, this experience helped him shape and hone the process to work post-surgeries.
Many people are still skeptical of working out their past lives and prenatal experience. They may ask the question, "Why?" Pessimistically, they may believe the past is over and there’s no way to change it. In some cases this may be true, but for most people a mind left in confusion will continue carrying out chaos emotionally and physically until the unconscious elements reinforcing victimization are resolved.
Mothers seem to fabricate a different story to their offspring of what really happened during pregnancy and birth. From drugs, anxiety, and stress, their memories are nebulous and not accurate to the primal feelings experienced by the child. Our job is not to find out exactly what mother was saying or doing during her pregnancy, but how that experience shaped her child’s beliefs and health.
Some adults suffering from migraines have discovered that they were delivered by being pulled by forceps. After reenacting their delivery, they were able to connect and see why they associated physical pain around the head in order to survive. The migraines lessened, and over a period of time they disappeared. Moving forward seems to be a common problem with many people. The expression “I feel stuck” usually has cellular memory attached to it. I have worked many of these sessions with my clients and have repetitively found their experience with birth involved a long hours of labor (often drug-induced) with other complications where the baby “feels stuck.” Helping the client to re-experience the pushing through the birth canal seemingly gives them a new start. A client compared this metamorphic feeling to when he was baptized and had his head dunked in water. Some of my clients who seemed to have abandonment issues were born while their mother was not conscious. She was heavily sedated because of complications and pain, and not consciously connected to the birthing process. The baby felt alone and scared without mother’s love. Infants put in incubators for a long period of time showed anti-social skills and behavior later in adult life. Being picked up by the nurse or mother, and then put back in the incubator only reinforced this confusion. They grew up not trusting people and formulated the belief, “as long as I am alone, no one can hurt me again.”
When mothers find out this new knowledge, some of them panic because they start feeling guilty that they did something wrong. The interesting part of Past Life Therapy is working through someone’s birth and finding the portal to another life. When Stanislav Grof was facilitating LSD psychotherapy in the 60s, his clients experienced the violence of birth along with symbolic images that now may be conceived as past-lives and past-life deaths. In these sessions, the struggle of the newborn trying to survive appeared to be synonymous to a person trying not to die. The deaths of the past-lives are usually similar to one’s present birth. The unresolved issues from past-lives are inexplicably re-stimulated by all external influences outside the fetus. For example, the fetus will pick up and record the energy, feelings, and vibrations that are around him. If there is chaos in his new home, this could re-stimulate a past-life where he is a wounded and dying soldier in the war trying to get home. He leaves one battlefield with confusion around home, love, and values, and is reborn into a home with the same circumstances to work out spiritually, emotionally, physically, and psychologically. His past-life death may come from a blow to the head. In his present life, having the pressure of forceps on his head during his delivery re-stimulates that past-life blow, causing him to have migraines.
These past-life deaths are entrances to a new life. The more excruciating the birthing experience is, the more traumatic the past-life death was. Choking on the mucus could be a death by drowning, suffocating, strangling, or being buried alive. Prolonged labor could mirror being trapped, stuck, or dying slowly. Breech birth recalls painful deaths where limbs have been pulled or stretched, as in racking and other grim tortures. Cesarean section triggers violent death memories of being hacked or cut by swords, knives, or child sacrifice; it's also indicative of past-lives deaths of being stuck/trapped and in need of rescue. Hemorrhaging and blood transfusion evokes memories of bloody deaths, or of bleeding to death.
Not all births are violent or chaotic, but the people who experience a peaceful birth rarely end up in my office. By portraying these case studies, I hope mothers are relieved from any guilt they have in regards to their child’s birth and outcome. Mothers and fathers are not the only ones that are making this choice. Every infant comes into the world with his or her own unfinished karmic dramas. A soul will be drawn to certain mothers and fathers to give it the best possible opportunities to resolve its karmic business. Netherton states that soul or psychic tape is by no means blank, either in utero or at birth. Processing one’s birth and previous past-lives, is a gift of understanding the sacred contract that was made at the time of one’s conception with one’s parents.
Misconceptions of Hypnosis
What is hypnosis? The American Psychological Association Division of Psychological Hypnosis provides the following definition:
Hypnosis is a procedure during which a health professional suggests that a subject experience changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts, or behavior. The hypnotic context is generally established by an induction procedure. Although there are many different hypnotic inductions, most include 1) suggestions for relaxation, calmness, and well-being, 2) instructions to imagine or think about pleasant experiences. People respond to hypnosis in different ways. Some describe their experience as an altered state of consciousness. Others describe hypnosis as a normal state of focused attention, in which they feel very calm and relaxed. Regardless of how and to what degree they respond, most people describe the experience as very pleasant. Some people are very responsive to hypnotic suggestions and others are less responsive. A person’s ability to experience hypnotic suggestions can be inhibited by fears and concerns arising from common misconceptions. Contrary to some depictions of hypnosis books, movies or on television, people who have been hypnotized do not lose control over their behavior. They typically remain aware of whom they are and where they are, and unless amnesia has been specifically suggested, they usually remember what transpired during the hypnosis. Hypnosis makes it easier for people to experience suggestions, but it does not force them to have these experiences.
What most people do not understand is that being hypnotized is like being in a trance. It is a special state of the mind in which the body is relaxed and the mind is able to pay attention to inner experience without criticism or judgment. You may have experienced these light trance-like states of mind by a long drive, meditation, watching a movie, or just daydreaming. You pay little or no attention to your surroundings and relax the analytical mind. But at the same time you can be more aware of your emotions. In medium trances, it could be described as an out-of-body experience. You are still aware of your surroundings, but it’s more like dreaming. In deeper trances, people are less aware of their bodies. This type of trance is used to produce hypnotic analgesia and anesthesia for people who are allergic to pain killers.
Most misconceptions about hypnosis are found in early movies where it is a tool of vampires, evil doctors, or those plotting against the king. The 1962 classic “The Manchurian Candidate” is about a group of American soldiers that are captured by Koreans and brainwashed into becoming sleeper agents by a hypnotist. Woody Allen’s movie “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion”, made in 2001 is about a top insurance investigator who participates in a hypnotist show where he is hypnotized with an embedded command. The investigator appears to be fine when he goes home, but every time the hypnotist calls over the phone and says the embedded command, the investigator goes into a hypnotic trance and steals jewelry for the hypnotist. All these films were written by writers to sell a script with no basis in fact, then or now.
The real hypnosis that is being promoted in TV and film are the commercials using repeated jingles and phrases such as, “aren’t you hungry”, “you deserve a cold beer”, and “all you need is this pill.” The products sold by these commercials are household names due to their unconscious acceptance by people hearing these suggestions.
Hypnosis is not mind control. No one under hypnosis can be induced to do anything against his or her will. Whatever moral and ethical codes you hold in a normal waking state will still be in place under hypnosis. You can actually lie when you are in hypnosis. Even with stage hypnotists, you can easily say no and walk off the stage. The only influence that hypnosis produces is helping someone become relaxed and less inhibited. Additionally added to the hypnosis is alcohol and screaming spectators – and you are there to make your friends laugh and be a good sport. These people remember everything that happened, and if they don’t, it was due to the excess alcohol and not the hypnosis. In a clinical setting, you will remember everything you experienced or everything you need to remember (unless for therapeutic purposes the hypnotist feels that remembering would be detrimental).
Hypnosis is just a tool to create better suggestibility or bypass the left hemisphere of the brain, which functions as the linear, logical, analytical side. The right hemisphere is of the brain is where one’s autobiographical data is. It encompasses self-awareness, intense and primal emotions, and an integrated sense of the body. Tapping into this part of the brain creates catharsis, change, and movement. Hypnosis helps alleviate any resistance that may occur in the analytical brain during processing. The job of the analytical brain is to scrutinize, discern, and create other filters and defense mechanisms in order to survive. However, one needs to learn how to turn it off, so it can allow the healing properties of therapy to take positive and lasting effect on one’s unconscious mind. Once the new blueprint is recorded, it naturally blends with the conscious mind for processing and integration.
How does The Netherton-Paul Method (Past Life Therapy Center® De-Hypnosis Method) work?
There is no scientific proof or a theory I could put together to convince everyone. There have been SPECT scans done on the brain where the doctors could see cerebral blood flow changes during retrieval of traumatic experiences during regression therapy. There are other tests being done, but the well-being of clients is living proof.
When Morris Netherton was in his graduate program, he already had a private practice and was seeing clients for mental and health problems. Netherton, by being naive to the traditional paradigm of psychotherapy, asked his professor about addressing health ailments with psychotherapy. His professor proclaimed, “You cannot use talk-therapy to address health issues or diseases.” Jokingly, Netherton said, “Does that mean I have to call some of my clients back and tell them that they are not well?” The comment wasn’t well received, but essentially it revealed that “belief” is more important.
Netherton continued to work his sessions with the belief that “anything is possible.” After forty years in practice and training other therapists around the world, many have witnessed convincing phenomena. He has had people speak different languages without learning it prior. Some of his clients have found their old death certificates from past-lives. Young children have recalled historical places, names, and events without ever having access to this information. A client appeared to have a light, red ring around his neck after processing a past-life session where he was being hanged by a rope. However, the sessions that have changed both Netherton and his clients were the ones that healed and brought hope to those who suffered from severe health or mental ailments.
Dr. Morris Netherton worked with an autistic little girl who didn’t speak first, but he got her to sing in his sessions. After years of therapy, she was capable of living a normal life and went on to sing in a major Disney play. A women suffering from migraines for forty years, suddenly after a few months of therapy, no longer had the pain. He has worked with Louise L. Hay, author of “You Can Heal Your Life” in the early 1980s. He's worked with HIV clients and had great success in helping them reduce their viral load to the point where it was no longer detectable. He’s had clients with cancer, and through therapy, the cancer went into remission. In conjunction with a client's traditional medical treatment, the Netherton Method of Past Life Therapy has been highly effective in addressing ulcers, MS, and other health ailments. Netherton-Paul trained facilitators don't claim to be doing the healing, but that the process itself does the work. He is just the vehicle that a person uses to get where they need to go. The mind-body has many of the tools necessary to heal. The Netherton-Paul Method just helps direct self-awareness.
There are chemical reactions consistently going on in our bodies every moment. A chemical reaction could be caused by an emotion. The same neuropeptides that are in the brain are throughout the rest of the body. Basically we could say that every emotion is floating throughout our bodies with receptor centers attached to cells. If we feel anger, sadness, or joy, the receptor center pulls the right peptide to the cell to create the emotion. Every emotion creates cellular and molecular change. By working with mind, we can create that chemical change to heal ourselves. Every cell in our bodies is both structurally and functionally related to every other cell in our bodies. Similarly, all our thoughts, beliefs, fears, and dreams are dynamically connected within the structure and function of our psyche. Emotional experiences, psychological choices, and personal attitudes and images not only affect the functioning of the human organism, but also strongly influence the ways it is shaped and structured. This is not to say that heredity, physical activity, nutrition, and environment do not influence the mind-body; they unquestionably do. Rather, I am suggesting that when all these forces are merged in the creation of a human being, the force of the aware human psyche seems to be the most formatively powerful of all.
For most things to work it just takes belief. Dr. Morris Netherton and Dr Thomas Paul believe that anything is possible and that it's important to remain curious aobut the mind. Jungian analyst, Eugene Pascal, says in his book Jung To Live By, "Some will object that all of this is just a figment of one’s imagination, therefore unreal and of no intrinsic value in understanding or transforming ourselves. If our imaginations are not reality, if our psyches are not reality, then how are we to determine what reality is?”
Prenatal and Early Attachments
Where does learning and behavior begin? Why do we react or respond the way that we do? How do we develop our coping skills to deal with everyday stressors? Attachment theory posits that early attachments to our caregivers shape us into who we are – our thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, associations, responses and reactions. The phenomenon is usually an unconscious process and happens both mentally and physiologically. Attachment theory primarily focuses on early childhood attachments. However, I am going to propose that behavior patterns start developing during the prenatal period. I think it is important to first understand attachment theory before delving into prenatal learning.
From its inception, attachment theory was a theory of psychopathology, normal development, and behavioral patterns. It was concerned with the formation and normal course of attachment relationships and the implications of atypical patterns of attachment. John Bowlby’s (1944) study of 44 thieves revealed hardship and distress in the lives of these young men. He reasoned that this was no mere coincidental association, but rather had causal implications. Still, he doubted from the start that the connection was simple, direct and linear. However, these findings displayed how there was seemingly an inevitable outcome due to environmental malignancy.
At the level of the mind, attachment establishes an interpersonal relationship that helps the immature brain use the mature functions of the parent’s brain to organize its own processes; in other words, to self-regulate. The emotional transactions of secure attachment involve a parent’s emotionally sensitive responses to a child’s signals, which serve to amplify the child’s positive emotional states and to adapt or regulate negative states. In particular, the aid parents can give in reducing uncomfortable emotions, such as fear, anxiety, or sadness, enables children to be soothed and gives them a haven of safety when they are upset. Parents become mirrors of their infant’s emotions. Repeated experiences become encoded in implicit memory or in the unconscious as expectations and then as mental models or survival patterns, which serve to help the child feel an internal sense of what Bowlby called a “secure base” in the world. These mental models or survival patterns are the primitive source of our behaviors.
Researchers are now able to link specific functions and understand healthy development of the brain. The genes children inherit have a large impact on their development, influencing the inborn characteristics of their nervous systems and how they will react and respond to their external world. The way that they perceive their external world creates a biochemical reaction that precipitates emotion, behavior and brain development. From this perspective, we can look at behavior as a response to a biochemical change in the body. These experiences also directly shape children’s development and can influence the activation of genes and the sculpting of the brain.
The human infant is one of the most immature of offspring; having a brain that is quite underdeveloped compared to how complex it will become as the child grows. Also, we as human beings are exquisitely social; our brains are structured to be in relationship with other people in a way that shapes how the brain functions and develops. For these reasons, attachment experiences are a central factor in shaping our development. Mental retardation has been seen in children who lacked nurturing and experienced other social deprivation. Children who fail to thrive are usually a product of their environment. The release of stress hormones leads to excessive death of neurons in the crucial pathways involving the neocortex and the limbic system – the areas responsible for emotional regulation. We can examine genetic factors, but exposure of a child to adversity during his prenatal months can be a precursor to future biological problems.
A child’s capacity to modulate stressful situations highly depends on his early attachment development. The way that he perceives and responds to external input is going to be based on his earlier brain development and the old associations he makes with the new sensory input. Self-regulation seems to be one of the functions of the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This area is also responsible for the autonomic nervous system. This controls the heart, lungs, and other visceral functions to establish homeostasis. In order to keep balance and healthy emotional regulation, the child must be able to process and integrate incoming external stimuli in an organized fashion. An adult, who was once bitten by a dog when he was a child, will naturally experience fear when he comes in contact with dogs unless he has undergone mental or behavioral modification that helps him cope with his prior trauma. He could literally experience fear and visceral changes in his body such as his heart rate increasing or shortness of breath as if he were experiencing the trauma all over again.
Early interactions with his caregivers allow his brain to develop the neural structures necessary to move from dyadic regulation (caregiver soothing discomfort) to more autonomous forms of self-regulation (child able to cope with stress without caregivers). Such relationships involve sensitivity to the child’s signals, contingent communication, and reflective dialogue that permits the child to develop coherence and mentalizing capacities. Achieving self-organizing occurs within emotionally attuned interpersonal experiences. At the emotional core of attachment relationships are the amplification of shared positive states and the reduction of negative affective states. As these dyadic states are experienced, the child comes to tolerate wider bands of emotional intensity and shared affective communication.
Mary Main, a pioneer of attachment theory, and her colleagues devised an instrument called the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI), in which parents were asked about their recollections of their own childhoods. What Main’s research indicated was that the way these parents told their own stories – how they made sense of their past, or didn’t – was the most powerful predictor (85 percent accuracy) of whether their own children would be securely attached to them. If adults could create a reflective, coherent and emotionally-rich narrative about their own childhoods, they were more likely to form a good, secure relationship with their children – regardless of how “insecurely attached” they themselves had been as children or how inadequate or even abusive their own parents were. It wasn’t what happened to them as children, but rather how they came to make sense of what happened to them that predicted their emotional integration as adults and what kind of parents they would be.
Specific hypotheses that may be derived from these theoretical ideas are as follows:
1. Early attachment history will have ongoing importance for later socioemotional adaptation, even after taking into account current circumstances and intermediary experiences.
2. The child’s manner of engaging the environment in subsequent developmental periods will be predictable from patterns of attachment in infancy (children, in part, create their own environment).
3. Similarly, reactions of others, including those outside of the family, will be predictable from infant attachment patterns.
4. Even following changes, early patterns of attachment retain a potential for reactivation.
5. Certain issues and certain arenas of functioning – those tapping anxiety about the availability of others or apprehension regarding emotional closeness – will be especially likely to reveal the legacy of early attachment, even during periods of generally adequate functioning.
For children with avoidant or resistant histories, emotions that would have facilitated effective communication and exchange are defensively modified or cut off. As a result, when experiencing distress the child may fail to signal directly a need for support, become embroiled in negative emotions, and be unable to draw from potential supportive social relationships. Moreover, for individuals with insecure attachments histories, working defensive strategies of avoidance or resistance may themselves be vulnerable to breaking down under stress. For individuals with histories of extremely harsh or particularly chaotic care giving contexts (disorganized attachment relationships), the process of regulation, the consolidation or integration of self across behavioral states, and acquisition of control over modulation of states may be disrupted. Empirically it has been shown that disorganized attachment in infancy, followed by subsequent trauma, is the most potent combination for predicting dissociation in early adulthood.
In this perspective, early attachment variations generally are not viewed as pathology or even as directly causing pathology. Rather, varying patterns of attachment represent “initiating conditions” in systems terms. In this regard, they do play a dynamic role in pathological development because of the way in which environmental engagement is framed by established tendencies and expectations. Moreover, patterns of infant-caregiver attachment and other aspects of early experience may have a special role in the developmental process via their impact on basic neurophysiological and affective regulation.
For the infant and young child, attachment relationships are major environmental factors that shape the development of the brain during its period of maximal growth. Therefore, caregivers are the architects of the way in which experience influences the unfolding of genetically preprogrammed but experience-dependent brain development. Genetic potential is expressed within the setting of social experiences, which directly influence how neurons connect to one another.
The next question is when does attachment actually begin? Does it happen when the soon-to-be mother is singing to her unborn child? Is it when the parents see the ultrasound picture of their baby and get excited about what name they are going to choose? Or is it when the soon-to-be mother tells the news to the father and he is angry and doesn’t want the baby? The growing fetus inside is connected to everything outside of the mother because it internalizes all that the mother feels. Because the fetus doesn’t have the brainpower yet to decipher reality, it is still absorbing and recording experiences on a cellular and unconscious level. It experiences everything as if the mother was an extension of itself. The fetus is affected by biochemical changes caused by the mother’s emotional experiences. The mother and her baby are engaged in a dialogue long before the baby’s birth. Her activity level and emotional state interlock with the unborn baby’s characteristic cycles. As she adjusts to the rhythms of this new life within her, the fetus, in turn, is already experiencing the tempo of her life, and through her, that of its father and other members of its family.
A pregnant woman’s environment and how supported she feels is going to deeply impact the growing fetus. If she feels abandoned by the father or lacking outside support, the baby is going to experience the same abandonment or rejection (as they felt in their past lives). While the immature brain is forming along with other organs, there are chemical messengers sending information throughout the body. Even though the brain is not fully developed, the same neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain which transmit messages from one nerve cell to another) are traveling through the nervous system, the endocrine system, and the immune system. This adds up to one big intelligence network where the conversation is both to and from the brain. The chief source of those shaping messages is the child’s mother. We are not talking about everyday stressors that create transient anxiety, rather matters that are constant and stagnant feelings of fear. Chronic anxiety or a wrenching ambivalence about motherhood can leave a deep scar on an unborn child’s personality. On the other hand, such life-enhancing emotions as joy can contribute significantly to the emotional development and temperament of a healthy child.
Whether or not a pregnant mother is aware of how important her interactions are with people, or her attachments to others, it is inevitably creating attachment patterns for her growing baby. The womb could be seen as where learning begins. Dr. Michael Lieberman showed that an unborn child grows emotionally agitated (as measured by the quickening of his heartbeat) each time his mother thinks of having a cigarette. She doesn’t even have to put it to her lips or light a match; just her idea of having a cigarette is enough to upset him. The fetus is not able to tell the difference between, “if his mother is smoking”, or “just thinking about it.” But his body is intellectually sophisticated enough to associate the experience of her smoking with the unpleasant sensation it produces in him. The oxygen supply drops in the maternal blood passing the placenta. This is physiologically harmful to him, but possibly even more detrimental to his psychological process. He doesn’t know and is uncertain when he will feel that physical sensation of discomfort again or how often it will reoccur.
Czechoslovakian psychiatrist Stanislav Grof tells how one man under medication was able to describe his fetal body very accurately – how large his head was in comparison to his legs and arms – what it felt like to be in a warm amniotic fluid, and to be attached to his placenta. Then, while describing his heart sounds and those of his mothers, he suddenly broke off midway and announced he could hear muffled noises outside the womb – the laughter and yelling of human voices and the tiny blast of carnival trumpets. Just as suddenly and inexplicably, the man declared he was about to be delivered. Intrigued by the vividness and detail of this memory, Grof contacted the patient’s mother, who not only confirmed the details of her son’s story, but also added that it was the excitement of a carnival that preceded his birth.
Dr. Gerhard Rottman of the University of Salzburg, Austria, did a study on 141 pregnant women. These women were placed in four categories depending on their attitudes toward pregnancy. The women that were labeled the “Ideal Mothers” because they wanted their unborn children both consciously and unconsciously had the easiest pregnancies, the most trouble-free births, and the healthiest babies – physically and emotionally. The women who had negative attitudes, which Rottman labeled the “Catastrophic Mothers” had the most devastating medical problems during pregnancy, and bore the highest rate of premature, low-weight, and emotionally disturbed infants.
The groups that he labeled the “Ambivalent Mothers” were mothers who appeared on a superficial level, quite happy about their pregnancies. But not surprisingly, their unborn children recorded the ambivalence, and at birth, had a high rate of both behavioral and gastrointestinal problems. The fourth group called the “Cool Mothers” appeared to be deeply confused about their pregnancy because of their jobs, financial problems, or because they were not ready to be mothers yet. Rottman’s tests showed that unconsciously, they desired their pregnancies. On some level their children picked up both messages, and it apparently confused them. At birth, an unusually large number of them were apathetic and lethargic.
Dr. David B. Cheek used hypnosis to access the unconscious mind during a study he did with four young women and men that he had delivered twenty years earlier. He kept accurate delivery notes on their birth and knew that there was no way they could have obtained any of the concealed information. In every case, what the hypnotized patient told Cheek was confirmed by what he found in his files. Many patients spoke of memories coming in forms of recurring dreams, thoughts, habits, fears or other phenomena. Birth memories have come forth in response to psychoanalysis, LSD, psychodrama, submersion in water, and yogic breathing techniques.
If prenatal attachments have an impact on gene expression and personality, there might be a connection to alcoholism, depression, schizophrenia, and other defects that are based on hereditary causes. From the womb to early childhood is the most crucial period for a child to developing attachments. It will lay the foundation of his characteristics and self-regulation skills. Healthy maturation of his brain will depend on these elements. However, a person’s brain is not hardwired. It might be scarred and resistant, but it is malleable. Approximately 90% of all genes are engaged in self-regulatory, adaptive responses in cooperation with signals from the environment. On a cellular level, this means we are constantly changing inside. If we surround ourselves with positive stimuli, especially ones that encourage and make us feel good, we create the potential for long-term, positive changes.
Human connections create neuronal connections. These attachment relationships and other forms of close, emotionally involving interpersonal connections may serve to allow synaptic connections (communication within the brain) to continue to be altered, even into adulthood.
Past Life Therapy (past life regression therapy) with Dr. Thomas Paul enables its clients to resolve any unconscious confusion from prenatal and past lives experiences. The most important step in improving your health and personal/professional life is booking an appointment. Dr. Thomas Paul practices past life regression therapy primarily in Los Angeles, CA and can be retained worldwide for week-long intensives or by phone consultation. He has 6 years of training and mentoring with the founder of Past Life Therapy, Dr. Morris Netherton, who has granted Thomas Paul ownership of his therapy organization and his publications, including the first published book in the reincarnation therapy field, Past Lives Therapy. Dr. Morris Netherton has retired from his 45 years of clinical practice and teaching PLT methods; however, Dr. Paul is continuing the Past Life Therapy Center® (Netherton-Paul) De-Hypnosis Method through the foundation he created, Past Life Therapy Center® (PLTC). Dr. Thomas Paul has over a decade of experience in PLT and has proudly achieved the designation of Master Past Life Therapist by Dr. Netherton.
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