The idea of having lived a past life may seem unbelievable, but for local resident Ann C. Barham, it’s a reality, and a career.
Barham, who established her practice as a licensed marriage and family counselor after moving to Gilroy in the mid-’80s, was inspired to pursue additional training to add certified regression therapist to her title.
“It’s kind of like God’s talking to me, and He says, oh now it’s time for you to do this,” Barham said of the source of her inspiration.
In Barham’s first book, The Past Life Perspective, Discovering Your True Nature Across Multiple Lifetimes, she reveals several of her own past lives, including a young Asian girl who killed herself after having disgraced her father.
The book features 21 past life experiences, all clients of Barham, and provides readers the opportunity to delve into this form of therapy, which uses hypnosis as a way to recover memories of past lives.
Barham appears Saturday (4 p.m.) at BookSmart in Morgan Hill to discuss and sign copies of her book.
Having gone the traditional therapy route with little success, many of Barham’s clients sought her help for myriad problems including relationships, physical ailments, and for some, help in defining their life direction.
“The idea is that the stories are not only interesting, but instructive and illustrate so many of the common issues that we all share,” Barham said.
Following each of the book’s case histories is a summary of the life lessons the stories provide, along with uncovering essential truths, which Barham believes can apply to everyone.
The guiding principle of this type of therapy is that each of us unconsciously carries experiences from our past lives that continue to affect us in our current lives.
Similar to early childhood regression in traditional therapy, past life regression looks for the origin of a problem, where it stems from, and then addresses it.
“We’re essentially doing the same work, we’re just taking our timeline back further into prior lifetimes, so in that sense it’s very consistent with what we do with conventional counseling,” Barham said, adding, “Most of the time a single session does it, which is really nice.”
Unlike conventional therapy, a single session lasts two-and-a-half hours, as the individual is placed in a continuum state of consciousness, while remaining very much awake and alert, similar to a hypnotic state.
According to Barham, this allows brain waves to slow down, making it easier to access past life memories.
“We go to that relaxed place where you’re not paying as much attention to what’s going on physically around you, and you’re more directed inward, and then these things can drift up,” Barham said.
A number of Barham’s clients came to her as skeptics, but even the non-believers found this particular method of therapy beneficial.
“The wonderful thing I’ve also found, even if you don’t believe in multiple lifetimes and all that, the stories that come up can actually be just really wonderful therapeutic metaphors for whatever is going on in your life, and can be very helpful in healing on that basis,” Barham said.
The motivation to continue in this particular method of therapy is the fact that it produces immediate, positive results for her clients.
“It’s just so profoundly rewarding to help people resolve an issue that’s maybe been plaguing them for over 20 years,” Barham said.
“I also just really trust that whatever a client really needs to get, is what will happen for them here.”
Taking her clients through past life experiences, up to and beyond the death of that past lifetime, the individual is made aware of these, “really beautiful love-filled, spirit-filled places.”
According to Barham, some clients tell her after one session they’ve lost their fear of death.
In an explanation of the past life process, Barham uses the comparison of waves on the ocean, to our eternal souls, each wave having its own personality, which over time, merges back into the ocean, and eventually pops up again.
“That’s the journey that we’re on, and my understanding is that our souls choose to come in to different bodies, and different personalities, different places in the world, different circumstances, in order to learn, and in order to advance on this planet. So thank goodness we have more than one opportunity to do that.”
Meet author Ann C. Barham on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 4:00 p.m., at BookSmart, 1295 E Dunne Ave, Morgan Hill.