Heather Friedman Rivera has been spending the past few years researching into accounts of reincarnation and past life therapy as part of a research project by the Past Life Institute. She has published a book on her research and I was asked to contribute my views on whether past life therapy would one day be accepted by the mainstream medical profession. This is my contribution to the book:
Past life therapy, as the name implies, is based on a belief that we are reincarnated. While I appreciate that some past life therapists may not actually believe in reincarnation, but use the technique for its own sake, almost as a metaphor for achieving therapeutic change, the mainstream Western medical perception of past life therapy is that it is based on the belief that we are reincarnated. A belief in reincarnation may require a much larger leap of faith than the belief that needles can be inserted into energy lines to stimulate better health.
The second obstacle to past life therapy as a valid treatment modality is its association, through the belief in reincarnation, with Eastern religions. Religion and western medicine do not integrate well and I think this is another reason why the Western medical profession finds it difficult to accept it as a valid treatment modality.
Thirdly, Western medicine is based on research and results. Western medicine requires evidence and proof, so until such time that past life therapy can be researched and can produce reliable research data to prove the existence of past lives I think it will continue to be considered a fringe therapy.
So to summarize, for Western medicine to accept past life therapy as a valid treatment modality, there would need to be a shift in perception, this would come about through research and considerable scientific evidence of actual past lives, and as a treatment modality it would need to be separated from its religious context.
Heather’s book is called Healing the Present from the Past: The Personal Journey of a Past Life Researcher and it is due to be published by Llewellyn. You can contact Heather at the Past Life Institute