Past life regression therapy, is based upon the premise that we are eternal beings (souls,
if you will,) who carry forward learning and experiences from one human lifetime to
another. As eternal souls, we experience physical life on Earth in a series of human
bodies and associated personalities. On a soul level, we choose each life circumstance
as a means of challenging ourselves with new situations and opportunities for
learning. For those who believe we live only one human lifetime, the stories elicited
by this therapeutic approach serve as marvelous symbolic metaphors for the issues
and situations being faced in the present time. Whether uncovering 'real' past lives or
not, the approach has helped many people resolve issues and get past stuck points that
were resistant to other therapeutic approaches. In addition, it's a fascinating way to
experience other aspects of your self and your personality.
I met up with Karen Willis who practices past life regression therapy at Harford
Acupuncture & Associates in Aberdeen, to learn more about this unconventional
treatment. Karen started her career as a special educator, working at John Archer and
Past Life Regression Therapy
Meadowvale Elementary School for 15 years, before she began to feel restless. "I just had a
feeling I was supposed to be doing something else, but I didn't know what," she explained.
When she had her own past life experience, everything clicked for her. "I knew then that it
was my mission in this life, to help others find healing the way I had experienced it," said
Karen. She began studying and training with experts in the field. She received her Hypnosis
Certification from the National Guild of Hypnosis, and her Advanced Past Life Regression
Certification with Henry Leo Bolduc; a certified hypnotherapist with 45 years of experience
in past-life exploration research, and a respected author. She also trained in Quantum
Healing Hypnosis with Dolores Cannon.
Karen's religious background is firmly rooted in Christianity. The fact that reincarnation is not
part of Christian doctrine, doesn't bother her. "For me, exploring past lives is complimentary
to my Christian beliefs. I think Jesus is the pattern, and we are given opportunities to come
back and learn lessons that will enable us to be more like him," she said. "It made me a much
more spiritual person, not necessarily a more religious one," Karen added

So how exactly does Karen help people connect with their former lives? It's a combination
of hypnosis, progressive relaxation, and guided imagery. Contrary to how hypnosis is
sometimes portrayed on television or on stage, you do not lose control over yourself
under hypnosis. Hypnosis makes you more open to suggestions. But you cannot be
forced to engage in behavior that is not acceptable to you. You are fully alert and aware...
just very relaxed.
"We carry residue of previous past lives, and sometimes just earlier in this life. If pain
from the past is not recognized, processed, and ultimately released, the wound continues
to infect the current life until healed. Past life regression can allow you to see repeating
patterns, people, places, values and life lessons that all contribute to who we are in this
world. Sometimes unfinished business is carried over from life to life, and this experience
can help you identify and come to a new understanding of the people and events in your
life from a larger perspective. Given enough information, we can make different choices.
Deep healing can happen with the simple realization of past influences affecting our lives
today," explained Karen.
To get a better idea of how the whole process works, Karen agreed to do a past life
session with me. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was determined to go into it with
an open mind and experience what I could. The challenge for me would be to relax (not
something I do easily) and refrain from trying to analyze everything. Karen invited me
into her office and I sat in the enormous overstuffed chair. Karen reclined the chair and
tucked a blanket around my legs and feet. "Are you comfortable," she asked. "Very," I
replied, and we began.

Karen sits next to me, and begins to speak in a slow melodic tone. She asks me to close
my eyes, and we begin breathing... inhaling beautiful thoughts, and exhaling any stress..
I try to concentrate on her voice, and push aside any other thoughts. Karen continues
to talk by my side, gently encouraging me to relax every part of my body. She begins a
visualization exercise, and ask me to place myself in an urban environment. "Describe
what you see," Karen says. She switches things up, and we move to a new location. Again,
she ask me to describe what I see. She continues to speak, guiding me towards a more
peaceful relaxation. I hear her tell me not to judge, or think about what I see, not to worry
if it seems like I'm making things up... just experience them. She continues to speak. I
feel more relaxed than I can remember, but I'm worried I'm not being hypnotized. I
feel like I could just stand up and walk away. I try to stop thinking... I focus on Karen's
voice, forcing other thoughts aside. She asks me to imagine a giant pyramid consisting of
pure white light. This is my protection from any physical or mental harm. She begins to
guide me down a stairway, symbolically taking me deeper into my subconscious. I let my
imagination be guided by her voice and we arrive in a beautiful place, my happy place.
She asks me to describe it to her, and I do... in more detail than I've ever imagined it
before. We stay here for a while, and then she guides me on.
We float up to a fluffy cloud, which is our mental mode of transportation for the
rest of the journey. I follow her voice, carried by the cottony cloud, back in time and
space to another place with information I need to know. "We're looking for the most
appropriate time and place to stop," she says slowly. "Gently drift off the cloud and
float back down to the earth... Where are you," asked Karen. At first I didn't know.
She asks me to describe what I'm wearing, starting at my feet. Eventually I recognized
myself, not as another person, but as a younger version of myself. "That's ok", Karen
replied. "Sometimes we need to deal with things in this life first." As it turns out, I had
several places to visit in this life, before I was to get to my past life experience. I was
really shocked as memories that I hadn't thought of in years resurfaced. Karen guides
me through visualizing the process of forgiveness and letting go. "Whenever we hold
unforgiveness towards others, we imprison ourselves along with them. Forgiveness will
set you free," she said.

After several stops in my past we journeyed far enough to reach a past life. Again, Karen asks me
to describe myself and my environment. She never leads with any information, just gently asking
questions, allowing me to supply the content. I have the distinct feeling I'm making this up, it
doesn't feel like a memory, but I don't judge... I respond with whatever comes to mind first. I'm
shocked when I realize I'm a man (something my conscious mind would never imagine), and not a
happy man either. The past life I described was full of loss and loneliness. I can't go into too much
detail, because the experience is intensely personal. I freely admit I occasionally felt a tear slip from
beneath my closed lids.
After the past life experience, Karen asked me if I would like to visit my spirit guides, which I very
much did. She guided me from my fluffy cloud, to a place of total acceptance and unconditional
love, populated by beautiful beings made of pure light. In my mind I could see them all around
me, alien but familiar. One light approached, and I felt that I recognized my aunt's smile. I love her
very much and was heartbroken when she passed away last year. The being didn't look like my aunt
Anne, who had been frail and in pain when I had seen her last. This light radiated strength and love,
and for some reason I knew it was her. I smaller light playfully danced around her, inviting me to
play some imaginary game. I instantly knew it was Paul, Anne's brother, my uncle... who had died
in an accident as an infant. I was hoping to see my father who had passed away only a month ago.
I didn't see him there, but Karen reassured me. "It's ok, he's on a mission. They are all here to help
guide, teach and support us," she said calmly.
Slowly Karen guided me back to earth... back to the present time and space. I did feel very relaxed,
and calm despite the emotional nature of our journey. The most widely expressed criticism
among skeptics of this type of therapy is whether the past life experiences really occurred or
not. Theoretically, it doesn't matter. If the story someone creates in their mind causes a greater
understanding of one's self or behaviors, and incites resolution, then that is what really matters.
After experiencing the process for myself, I can't tell you whether or not I travelled into my past
lives or really met some of my spirit guides. I don't know if it was a memory or a creation of my
imagination. In retrospect, if it was my imagination that created the experience out of nothing,
I am very surprised at what it came up with. I can't see myself imagining that I was a man, for
example, under any other circumstances. Or why I wouldn't have imagined seeing my father's
spirit, since I wanted to so badly. On the other hand, if I was actually in touch with my subconscious
and accessing information which is normally unavailable to me, than it was truly a miraculous
experience. Either way, the fact remains, my spirit felt lighter and brighter after my session with
Karen. The process took 3½ hours, although it seemed much quicker to me.
So who is a good candidate for past life regression therapy? Almost anyone who feels they have
unresolved issues, or wants to strengthen their bond with the spiritual world. People who suffer from
unexplainable phobias can find answers and solutions during past life regression. Karen was terrified
of large bodies of water for most of her young life. After experiencing several drowning deaths in past
lives, Karen is no longer afraid. Individuals who suffer from obsessions, or who continue to make the
same wrong choice in life, may be able to find answers and healing in their past lives. If you feel a little
cut off from your spiritual self, this is a great tool to reconnect with your faith.

If you are interested in trying past life regression therapy, I would highly recommend Karen. She
is also experienced in guiding people through life between life experiences which is a spiritual
adventure of self discovery where you explore your spiritual history and uncover soul memories
of the spirit world between lives. I liked her from the moment I met her. The twinkle in her eye and her
peaceful demeanor, made me feel confident enough to let my guard down, and explore the experience as
unhindered as possible. I shared very personal things with her, and found solace and understanding in her
interpretations. If I had to come up with one word to describe the experience, it would be "liberating."

Harford Style Magazine, Spring 2014