Hypnotherapy for Spiritual Regression, Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2006.
Dr. Michael Newton is a counseling psychologist, master hypnotherapist, and teacher. He has been on the faculty of higher educational institutions and has served as a group therapy director for community mental health centers and spiritual renewal organizations in cooperation with hospitals and social service agencies. Now retired after forty years of private practice, he is considered a pioneer in uncovering the mysteries of our life between lives through the development of his own hypnosis techniques.
Michael Newton is the author of the best-selling books Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls (winner of the most outstanding metaphysical book award of the year at the annual Book Exposition of America in 2001), which have been translated into over twenty-five languages. Dr. Newton received the annual award of the most unique contribution by a hypnotherapist from the National Association of Transpersonal Hypnotherapists. He has been conferred as a Chevalier of Honor by the Order of Constantine for international education. Dr. Newton is the founder of the Society for Spiritual Regression (now called the Newton Institute for LBL Hypnotherapy), which is an international organization designed for the purpose of training experienced hypnotherapists in the techniques of life between lives regression.
—Source: Life Between Lives (About the Author)
Life Between Lives is a fascinating door-opener not only for professional hypnotherapists that it is actually written for, but also for lay persons who wish to know more about the power of hypnotherapy in its spiritual dimension, as life-between-lives regression therapy.
In my review of this book I will address the professional reader, simply because the quotes I shall provide from the book are addressed to this target group. For the uninitiated, let me put a precaution first.
As regression therapy seems to be very popular today, and as there are today thousands of different regression therapies, let me point out why LBL is not a regression therapy in the popular sense of the word. Traditional regression therapy regresses the client into a former life, or a series of former lives, but does not touch the realm in-between lives. Dr. Newton explains:
The fact is that most past life regressionists merely jump their subjects from one former life to the next. Some still believe the time between lives is a grayish limbo of no consequence. This notion is changing and I have wondered if it didn’t originate with the ancient Tibetan Book of the Dead, where people read that ‘the time between reincarnations in the Bardo is a maximum of seven weeks.’/14
What is this realm of existence, and what is its vibrational nature? Call it the Bardo with the Tibetan Book of the Dead, or call it the ‘astral plane’ with Charles Webster Leadbeater, the word is not the thing.
What is important here is to see that Dr. Newton has created a totally new, daring and absolutely unthinkable way of hypnotic regression that fills the gap between the already fashionable past-life regression and standard hypnotherapy, which typically regresses back to childhood and the realm between conception and birth.
Dr. Newton is a twofold pioneer, he is a pioneer both regarding the professional conduct of a hypnotherapist (who was formerly simply not supposed to engage in this kind of regression), and he is a spiritual pioneer because he opened a new channel for truly religious experiences.
To begin with, I was dumbfounded that Dr. Newton confirmed in at least one instance my research that concludes as to the existence of every human emanating a specific energy vibration that I came to call Emotional Identity Code. Dr. Newton writes:
No two sessions are exactly the same because each soul has a specific energy pattern for recovering stored immortal memories and their own unique history of existence./4
I shall now provide and discuss a few pointed quotes so as to demonstrate how Newton addresses the professional LBL hypnotherapist and what advice he gives for the still quite esoteric practice of LBL hypnotherapy. Admittedly my quotes are rather limited, but this is due to the simple fact that this book addresses a professional audience that will need much less guidance for purchasing a book that might be of interest for them.
For Dr. Newton, the existence of the cosmic energy field that I was trying to conceptualize in my own research vocabulary is not a matter of doubt, but a simple fact of life. He writes:
Your understanding and positive healing energy is vital as you work to expose the client’s inner vision of their soul life. In this way you also facilitate alignment of the subject’s vibrational soul energy to the rhythms of their human brains. /6
And Dr. Newton confirms the perennial wisdom tradition that may have inspired him when elaborating hypnotic regression to a realm of life which was overlooked so far by almost all regression therapists:
I have great respect for Taoist philosophy. The Taoists believe that inspiration occurs when one’s conscious mind gets out of the way of their natural unconscious energy. In a sense, our cosmic chi (energy) is what brings harmony and clarity to the body. Having a keen internal focus also makes you a better therapist./11
Newton also affirms the existence of soul values by affirming the higher reality of a soul-based continuum and karma that reveals itself during LBL hypnotic regression. His advice to practitioners is to help the client find their own personal identity by getting the complete (lost) picture of their soul reality. Dr. Newton explains:
Current truths are succeeded by a higher and acute awareness of ourselves that is at the core of expressing our personal identity. As spiritual regressionists utilizing the power of hypnosis, we are now blessed with a new medium of therapeutic intervention. If you are able to assist people in seeing the light of divinity within themselves and foster self-discovery, then you will have made a real contribution toward the ultimate enlightenment of our race./6
With this statement, Dr. Newton actually fully describes my own mission, and I felt grateful for the encouragement I received through his book. Also regarding the bioenergy, his book delivers practical information that is barely to be found anywhere else.
Please understand that prana is not the breath itself nor the oxygen involved with breathing but the energy connected to the breath. It is a connection to the energy of all living things as a universal life force. I have worked to train myself to seek energy pathways necessary to reach a particular client’s mind while asking for help from my guide and my subject’s guide. I begin by opening my mind and asking for guidance. In this way I try to receive information and not send it. What I do send to my clients are messages of confidence and reassurance. /12
In my research on sound and energy, I have learnt that the human voice is a powerful musical instrument and vibrationally very important, when used intently and ingenuously. Now, I was wondering what the relationship was between sound and bioenergy, and got some clues in Jonathan Goldman’s books Healing Sounds (2002) and Tantra of Sound (2005) that I reviewed earlier in this volume. Now, Dr. Newton writes on the subject of a hypnotherapist modulating his or her voice, and thereby manipulating vital energies:
I have mentioned how a subject’s own mental compass within their higher spiritual self can assist them in reaching the depth they require for specific soul memories. Also, that one must always be aware of the two different magnetic energy fields which are activated between the minds of client and facilitator working together. I bring this concept up again to remind spiritual regressionists that the voice is another means of reaching through the subject’s energy field and is useful in both removing emotional blocks and deepening. /41
Carefully pacing a session and using different voice inflections involving the application of sharp, soft, encouraging, and calming techniques takes on greater hypnotic importance during a long mental journey./42
I work to pitch my vibrational voice tones to match both the sound and type of responses coming from my LBL subject. /Id.
Before the arrival of my clients, I take a few minutes to exercise my voice range and sustain certain notes, especially in the lower registers. Calibrating my voice with that of the client from time to time fosters the merging of vibrational energy./Id.