Dr. Gaurav Deka
Way back somewhere in 2009, an Indian TV channel came up with this unique show called Raaz Pichle Janam Ka. It explored a fascinating process called 'Past Life Regression,' taking several participants back across time and space; entering a different lifetime that had already been lived. Re-incarnation stories had found a way of coming to life through this programme. Many noted celebrities including Celina Jaitley, Shekhar Suman, Monica Bedi, Payal Rohatgi found themselves on the couch, zapping across dimensions into another lifetime. The facilitator then, Dr. Trupti Jain, is now a famous psychologist and holistic health practitioner. After the Trupti Jain phenomenon came into light, Past Life Regression Therapy, which today is ubiquitously known as PLRT, became a broadly used healing modality. This was the beginning of the "alternative-healing" or the "mind-body-soul" boom in India.
The origin of Past Life Regression Therapy dates back to the time of Dr. Brian Weiss, a famous American psychiatrist, who in the process of speaking to his clients in a state of trance/hypnosis figured out that they revealed memories of a different kind. These memories were mostly instances from a different time and space of which they had no conscious recollections of in the present lifetime. Dr. Weiss had a hard time differentiating these memories from delusions or confabulations, and later concluded that they must be coming from a past life. He observed that these patients after revealing these memories and going through the trauma of their deaths (most deaths being traumatic or brutal) once felt much better. Some of them became absolutely fine and no longer required treatment or medication. Some others even revealed that after seeing a past life, they felt that something was released and they walked out happier, the old sadness or the old anguish no longer plagued them. Surprisingly, later Dr. Weiss found out that the details provided by his patients about their earlier lifetimes matched with the description of places, known histories and even families they claimed they were parts of. Documenting these cases, Dr. Weiss wrote the famous series of books: 'Many Lives, Many Masters','Only Love Is Real','Same Soul, Many Bodies','Mirrors of Time', et al.
In the beginning of my medical career, for almost four years I found myself falling prey to clinical depression. It was an unceasing struggle to go to the psychiatrist for that many years, popping tablets, changing regimes, waiting endlessly for it to be over. But the more time left me, the more I found myself tumbling into a dark abyss. I had no idea if that pit had any hard bottom against which I could hit myself and come back to life. Even traditional forms of talk therapy like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) or Psychoanalysis didn't help. It was only in my fourth year that I found a lady, while on a trip to Mumbai. She was the first living Past Life Regression therapist I had come across in my life. After bonding over several common past stories and histories, I finally decided to go through a session with her. We decided to look into my depression and the root cause of it. It took almost two to three hours for me to come out of the state of trance. When I came out, I felt lighter. I felt something within me had fundamentally changed. I went back to her for two more sessions. By the end of that month in Mumbai, I was a different man. That was the beginning of my entry into Regression Therapy.
Regression, in its common etymological usage, only means going back in time. We travel backwards all the time throughout our day – be it while wondering about the last meal yesterday, or of the last good movie seen a week back, or of what was said to us by a parent before leaving home. We regress all the time, anytime. However, usage of specialized techniques and tools to go back in time and resolving issues is a fairly new concept and procedure. In Regression Therapy we not only regress back to our past lives to resolve issues from the present life, but we also go back to memories of our current life to relive the painful experiences and the traumas.
Any experience, which is not lived fully, remains an incomplete experience. Anything that is not lived consciously remains frozen in 'that' time and space. These experiences keep coming back to us in the form of patterns or recurrent negative emotions seeking completion. In regression therapy we not only go back in time and re-live these experiences with full consciousness but we also release the frozen energy trapped inside the trauma troubling the client in the form of depression, anxiety, PTSD, or even a physical ailment like cancer, enuresis, or say back-ache! The central idea being, every disease starts as a thought, a thought that doesn't let you be at ease (dis-ease). Within a session of regression, we go back to the origin of that thought, explore the event, relive the trauma and release the thought or even the need of it.
Today, where we are still struggling to erase the stigma of 'shrinking' oneself, there is a need to take up other alternatives and holistic forms of healing the mind. There is a need to try and accept faster modalities of working with the human mind that have been quite prevalent in the West and is on its way to make a mark in modern India. In such times, Regression Therapy might come as a saviour to many, the way it did to me.
(Dr. Gaurav Deka is a Delhi-based medical doctor and psychotherapist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)