PLR case studies
The following cases of regression hypnotherapy are taken from Dr. Brian Weiss’ book,
Elaine (Neck, shoulder & upper back pain, phobia)
“Elaine is a respected psychologist in the Miami area. She came to me to see if past life therapy could alleviate a chronic physical condition. For years Elaine had suffered intermittent, excruciating pains in her neck, shoulders, and upper back. During the initial interview, I discovered that Elaine also had a lifelong terror of heights, a monosymptomatic or single-symptom phobia. This is how Elaine later described her experience during hypnosis and what happened to her life as a result:
"I saw a lot of darkness--blackness—and I realized that I was blindfolded. Then I saw myself from the outside. I was standing on top of a tower, one of those castle towers made of stone. My hands were tied behind my back. I was in my early twenties, and I knew that I was a soldier on the side that had lost the battle. Then I felt an excruciating pain in my back. I could feel my teeth gritting and my arms stiffen and my fists clench. I was being lanced, I could feel the lance in my back, but I was defiant, I wasn't going to scream. Then I felt myself falling, and felt the water of the moat closing around me.
"I've always been terrified of heights and drowning[…] But the next morning when I woke up I thought, Something's different. Something's very different.' "
What was different was that Elaine's back pain and her fear of heights had disappeared.
In a subsequent session, Elaine vividly re-experienced a lifetime in medieval France. In this lifetime, Elaine had been an impoverished, dispirited, and hopeless male in his twenties. This man lacked the courage to be different, to speak out, to emerge from his rut and change his lot in life. Dispassionately, Elaine described the filthy brown rags that had been the man's only clothes. Eventually, the authorities wrongly accused Elaine of a crime she did not commit. But a scapegoat was needed, so Elaine was arrested and hanged in public. She went to the gallows grieving and mired in her hopelessness, almost relieved to be leaving her wretched existence.
After this session, her chronic neck pain disappeared. So did something else. As a result of her experiences in the French lifetime, Elaine was able to pinpoint a new area for emotional growth in the present. She saw that her experiences then had influenced her current reluctance out and to take risks. Elaine decided to take the plunge. She risked-her professional reputation by telling newspaper reporters and other therapists about her remarkable experiences in her past lives. And this time, instead of being hanged in public, she was congratulated.”
Jack (Migraines, gouty arthritis, high blood pressure, anger, phobias)
“Jack is a forty-year-old cargo pilot who came to me for help with a cluster of physical and psychological symptoms. Physically, he suffered from migraines, gouty arthritis, and high blood pressure. Psychologically, Jack stored anger for weeks before suddenly venting his feeling in an intensity that approached rage. Jack also suffered from a very particular monosymptomatic phobia. Every morning as he buckled himself into his pilot's seat and taxied for take-off, he'd anxiously and repeatedly look out the window to make sure that his plane still had a right wing.
Having been an Air Force pilot for years before he became a commercial flier, Jack was an extremely seasoned and responsible pilot. He had never experienced any emergency situation that could have caused his current anxiety. Yet every morning when he woke up, all he could think about was whether the wing of his plane was going to fall off that day.
In therapy, Jack experienced a number of past lives in a combination of classical regression and the key moment flow process. In his first session, Jack recalled a life as a cowhand in the Old West. In that lifetime, Jack died when he was crushed by a falling boulder as he rode his horse through a mountain pass. As he relived the death experience, Jack recalled the suffocating feeling. As the regression continued, Jack moved into a different life and a second key moment.
He discovered that he had been a German air force pilot shot down by friendly fire over Germany in World War II. The friendly fire had blown away the right wing of his airplane. Jack died as the crippled craft plummeted to earth. As he re-experienced the death and the between-life stage that followed it, Jack also relived the terrible anger and frustration he had felt because of the mistake that had prematurely cost him his life and had forced him to abandon his young family.
After this regression process, Jack felt elated, as if a huge weight had been lifted from him. Now he had an explanation for the irrational anguish he had been experiencing in his present lifetime. Within two weeks, he and I both noticed that his wing phobia had entirely disappeared. Finally, he was able to get into the cockpit without casting a terrified glance out to the right side of his plane. His anger about the pointlessness of that death also helped him begin to understand more about the source of his frequent rages.
At Jack's second session, we decided to explore the origin of his gouty arthritis. Once in trance, Jack immediately slipped back into key moment flow regression and recalled a prior lifetime when he suffered severe bilateral knee injuries from running into a low fence. As a result of this accident, not only had he torn up both knees, but he had also endured serious infections, and eventually, atrophy of his lower legs. He never recovered fully and required care for the rest of his life. He had become angry and depressed and had an early demise.
Another connection between a current physical and emotional discomfort had been made.
Next Jack recalled an ancient lifetime in which an animal horn had penetrated his head, pierced the occipital lobe of his brain, and emerged from his body just underneath his right eye, the site of his present migraines.
Since that session Jack has not had another migraine. Although only time will tell if past life therapy has eliminated this chronic condition completely, there is a marked improvement in his level of well-being. His gout has also lessened. And much of Jack's anger has been replaced with peacefulness. His values have changed since he has experienced some of his previous lifetimes, and his perspective on life and its meaning has widened. Now that his fear of death has begun to erode, the things that previously angered or enraged him seem silly, small, irrelevant. This is a common result for many patients who have undergone past life therapy.”
Selma (Cancerous lesion, stomach ulcers, childhood sexual abuse)
“Selma is a forty-four-year-old woman who owns a printing business. Like Jack, Selma suffered from more than one chronic physical condition. Selma had a cancerous lesion on the vulva that had been removed several times but kept coming back. When she came to see me, she had been using a chemotherapy cream on the lesion with no effect. When we discussed her medical and psychological history, Selma related a number of physical and emotional challenges in her life.
She suffered from allergies, skin rashes, and a history of stomach ulcers. At the age of eleven months she had badly burned the skin on her left thigh and had received one of the first skin grafts performed in. America. Selma had numerous childhood surgeries on her thigh, accumulating a total of five hundred stitches. After an operation she underwent at the age of fourteen, Selma's body finally reacted to all the pharmaceuticals that had gone through her system by breaking out in an angry and painful red rash all over her body.
After this, she became generally weakened, experienced more physical illnesses, and developed an intolerance to the sun. In addition, cancer ran in Selma's family. Her mother and her sister had died within the previous two years—her mother from brain cancer and her sister from cancer of the pancreas. And as a child, Selma had been sexually abused by an uncle.
Despite her many physical and emotional hardships, Selma came into therapy with hope and confidence that she could turn her life around. In her first regression, Selma saw herself as a dark-haired boy of thirteen, apparently a resident of a feudal village. Selma entered the lifetime at the moment of death, as armored men on horseback pillaged and destroyed her village. One soldier stabbed her in the chest with a sword and she died instantly. Selma's spirit immediately left her body. As it did, she felt a wonderful feeling of floating, a feeling of peacefulness and relief at leaving that earthly existence.
Selma then entered a centuries-ago lifetime in Holland and recounted how a relative living in that family's household had abused her sexually. She recognized that relative as the uncle who abused her in this life as well.
The factual details of these memories may have been hazy and fragmented, but the emotional content of the memories was very vivid and dramatic for Selma, particularly the memory of previous abuse. As we finished the session, Selma felt calm and composed, especially when reviewing the history of abuse with the Dutch man who was now her uncle. Selma experienced a great relief and clarity from being able to link these details together in a cause and effect pattern in her mind. As she discovered this pattern, she also seemed to free herself from some of the emotional residue of this traumatic childhood experience.
Eight days later, when Selma arrived for her next session, she reported that the cancerous condition had improved. The formerly recalcitrant lesion had shrunk dramatically and had become much less sensitive.
Selma also reported that in the interim she had experienced a dream about an aunt of hers who had burned to death at the age of sixteen, many years before Selma was born. Selma bears a close resemblance to this aunt, and family members tell her and photographs show her that they even have birthmarks in common. Since dreaming is also a common method of past life recall, Selma and I discussed this dream before proceeding with the session.
In the regression of that day, Selma recalled being a nurse on a large London hospital ward, probably in the nineteenth century. As she made her rounds, a soldier entered the room and shot her in the stomach and the chest. This session was extremely emotional for Selma, who relived the death experience before she floated upward. After this session, Selma's ulcer began to improve. Once again, she experienced what was for her the clarifying liberation of cause and effect.”
Diana (Hostile relationship with daughter, depression)
“Diana, a wealthy forty-year-old woman from Philadelphia, came to see me because of her chronic depression. As therapy progressed, I became convinced that a tumultuous and perpetually hostile relationship with her daughter was the root of this woman's unhappiness.
My patient had experienced an instantaneous dislike of this daughter dating from the first moment she held the newborn baby in her arms. Diana had not experienced these upsetting emotions at the birth of any of her other three children. Far from it. Joy and elation had been the hallmark of their births. Diana was perplexed by the instant and lingering anger and revulsion she had felt toward Tamar, who was now eighteen. By the time Diana entered therapy, the two had been arch enemies for nearly two decades. Their relationship was punctuated by frequent, violent arguments that were usually set off by something trivial.
During regression therapy, Diana related that she had suddenly gone into hemorrhagic shock and nearly died just before Tamar's birth. Diana remembered floating out of her body and watching her husband panic and run out to get the doctors. She had then experienced a classic near death episode.
After this session, I thought that the relationship might improve. Perhaps the patient had nurtured an unconscious or subconscious hatred of this child because the birth had nearly killed her. This regression memory alone might have provided the catharsis necessary to release those negative emotions.
At her next session, however, Diana reported that life with Tamar remained as stormy as ever. We tried regression therapy again. This time we were more successful. Diana's memories revealed that this lifelong animosity, felt equally by mother and daughter, had its source not in the birth experience, but in a past life. In the lifetime in question, Diana and Tamar had not been related. They had been arch rivals for the same man's affections. And the man in question was now Diana's husband and Tamar's father in this lifetime!
Clearly, the arch rivals were still battling it out in their current incarnations.
Diana and Tamar's relationship improved somewhat after she had this memory of their past life competition. Diana did not tell Tamar about the episode since she simply didn't feel comfortable about sharing this unusual experience. But when Tamar underwent a past life regression with a different therapist in another state, she regressed to the very same past life with the very same details. At this point, Diana was shocked enough to share her own experience with her daughter.
With this startling and illuminating new perception, their relationship finally transcended the fixed script of endless competition and hostility. Diana and Tamar are now good friends.”