International Board for Regression Therapy


Ask the Expert

"Ask the Expert" will be a rotating monthly feature of IBRT's website. All experts are IBRT-certified past life therapists, and willing to answer any questions you may have about Regression Therapy and its applications.

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Past "Ask the Expert" questions--

Pierre Dubuc, Ph.D.

Pierre Dubuc obtained his Masters in Social Work from the University of Ottawa in 1963. He has been practicing regression therapy for more than twenty years and has guided nearly 10,000 regressions. He has also given radio and television presentations about regression work in the U.S. and Canada and has been a board member of A.P.R.T. (Association for Past Life Research and Therapy) for two years (1997-99). In 1999, he was awarded his Ph.D. in therapeutic counseling from the International University of Sri Lanka.

For more information on training conducted by Pierre Dubuc, click here.

If you have any questions for Pierre, please address them to: and we will post the questions and answers here shortly.


1- How do I know the past lives people say they lived are real?

You don't. You just can't. Because the memories they recall come from their inner world and relate to a different time and usually a different geographic location. So it is very difficult, probably impossible in most cases to prove the connection of their recall with a memory of the past. 

When I receive a client, I never comment whether I believe the past scenes recalled by a client are real or not. I personally think that only the person can decide whether they are real or not. It is a very subjective thing.

In fact for a past life therapist, it doesn't matter whether the past life recall is real, imaginary or symbolic. The therapist will ask the friend-client to trust what is coming to him/her in regression from the subconscious so as to use the emotions contained in that visualization, for healing purposes. For example, the scene might be one where the client finds his past personality falling off a cliff. In such a case, whether it happened or not makes no difference because the purpose of this regression happens to be one where the client needs help with the emotion of fear of heights. The validity of this therapeutic position is confirmed by Rabia Clark, Ph.D. in Past Life Therapy, The State of the Art, Rising Star Press, Austin, TX, (1995). In her doctoral thesis research which includes a sample of a few hundred regression therapists, she demonstrates that the belief in reincarnation or not by both the client and therapist has no impact on the outcome of the therapy. 

To understand the healing part, let's just consider the fact that when one lives a traumatic or a painful emotion, this person needs to share it with someone, in order to heal it and gain something from the experience, whether it is the death of a loved one or a terrible accident. When one doesn't, and instead bury the emotion, usually this emotion will tend to surface at some point and affect that person in one way or another. What regression does is to allow this buried emotion to surface again, and gives the person the chance to talk about it, release it and leave it behind as one more experience in life. But one must remember that the recall could be brought back to the surface by the subconscious as a "real fact" or as a "symbolic fact". In either case, what we have to deal with primarily is the emotion, the cause of the discomfort.

If the reader is interested to question further the validity of reincarnation I will refer him/her to two different authors. One is a psychiatrist, Dr Ian Stevenson who has spent nearly forty years of his life searching for ways to prove the reality of reincarnation such as in Reincarnation and Biology, Vo.1: Birthmarks and Vol.2: Birth Defects and Other Abnormalities. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1997 (approx. 1100 pages). In his research with approximately 2500 cases all over the world, Stevenson has collected information through the spontaneous recall of children (not under hypnosis) mostly under six years of age who were able to remember their most recent past lives, the names of their past family members who were still alive (although older), the name of  their villages, the way they had died, and other abnormalities such as birth marks that they still carried from their traumatic deaths. One case I remember is a young boy in India who was able to recognize from his last life, his parents, his brothers and sisters who were living in a village 500 miles away and even identify where his body was buried, a different place from where his parents thought the grave existed. It's a fascinating book. Stevenson approaches those facts with a scientific mind and concludes that there seems to be logically no  rational explanation to understand those facts other than with the principle of reincarnation.

 Tom Shrodder is the other author, a journalist from the Washington Post, who accompanied Stevenson in Lebanon and in India during one of this research trip. Tom Shrodder wrote Old Souls, The scientific Evidence for Past Lives, Simon and Schuster, NY, 1999. It is a most interesting book, full of fascinating details, describing how Stevenson went about finding his cases and how he scrutinized them with a scientific mind. Definitely a book worth reading.

2- My brother-in-law says I could get stuck in my past life and turn into another person. Is this true? --Scared but Curious.

Many people are scared of the fact that we may have reincarnated in many lifetimes. For most of us it seems to change radically our conception of the world into something unknown, and maybe untrustworthy, different from what we have learned at school or in our family growing up. Let us remember how Galileo was judged, approximately in 1632, by some high officials of the Christian Church because he was saying that the earth is a planet circling the sun. We can chuckle about it today, because we know now without a doubt that the earth is just a planet. Yet, how many of us know that Galileo's judges refused to even look into his telescope, for they considered this concept so ridiculous. Perhaps that deep down they were very afraid of this possibility. In the same way, I can understand that people might be afraid of being stuck in a past life. 

On the other hand there have been reports sometimes of people regressing into a highly traumatic past life and coming back perturbed by their regression. The reason for this is that there have been people calling themselves past life therapists untrained or improperly trained to do the job and sometimes they let the client relive a traumatic event into a past life, and did not help that client to heal properly the emotion that came to the surface. From such an experience I can understand that the resulting impression is that the client was stuck in a past life. In fact, he was stuck with the emotion, not the past life. 

I would like to add that in my practice of twenty two years as a past life therapist and with close to ten thousand (10,000) regressions, I have never seen anyone stuck in a past life and turn into another person. We all keep our present personality. Interestingly though, we can purposely reactivate within ourselves some qualities or talents that we have developed in a happy past life. I have done this with friend-clients hundreds of times, and it always works out. The happy past life quality or talent will surface again and will enrich us. But, we keep the same personality; just a little bit more enriched by the recall of this happy past life. For example, a person finds herself as a talented pianist in a past life. Two days later, when she goes for her piano lesson to her present piano teacher, he finds her so amazingly advanced that he makes her jump over a whole lesson manual. This person has kept her personality, but she has enriched it by reactivating within herself her own artistic talent.

In summary, let's say that the deep, buried, painful emotion from a past life is just one that was impossible for the person to deal with e.g the moment of a traumatic death. When the past personality died in a traumatic way, because he/she was overcome by fear and physical pain, there was no possibility  to deal peacefully with the said emotion. That emotion is still part of the present personality, is just buried within the present personality and screams out loud to come to the surface and be healed. Its force can be compared to a dormant volcano which at some point needs to erupt to exude the inner tension. This is the purpose of regression therapy when the person  regresses into a difficult or traumatic past life. It has a cleansing purpose. But in a regression into a happy past life, the purpose is to reactivate the past talent or quality from which one can benefit. 

3- What kind of problems does a past life therapy help with? --Troubled.

From my philosophical standpoint I would like to postulate that we come onto this earth and incarnate into a body in order to experience different emotions and learn to transmute them into an energy of love. In the "Beyond Time", or in the "Interlife" we each choose a specific personal combination of emotions to experience. Let's understand also that the word e-motion can be divided in two words, E: which in physics means energy, and of course the word motion. From this we can conceive that emotion means energy-in-motion, which we come to experience in this material world, in a physical body. Within that perspective it is possible to conceptualize the trilogy of the spirit (the higher self), the emotion (the soul) and the physical (the body), the three of them being interconnected. When one has learned to transmute those energies in motion into pure energy of love, while living in a human body, one doesn't need to incarnate any more.

The personal combination of emotions that one chooses might be emotions such as sadness, lack of self esteem, self doubt, fear of the unknown, absence of love, rejection, guilt, self blame, arrogance, fear of height, abandonment, depression, fear of lacking money, etc... Each one has also chosen to live his/her own combination of emotions within varying degrees of intensity. What happens when one does not succeed in dealing with those emotions is that the buried emotions will affect the body in some way or another. This has been proven by Dr Ryke Geerd Hamer, a German physician, with the help of 20,000 scanners of the brain. He has demonstrated that when one does not deal with a painful emotion and tends to bury it, the brain will react by triggering a very specific illness in the body associated with that said buried emotion. For example, cataracts are normally caused by a painful emotion where the person does not want to see something painful in his/her life. In fact one can observe that cataracts happen mostly to senior citizens probably because they do not want to see painful things happening around themselves, for example their children going away and not showing the affection they would like to receive, or perhaps because they feel painfully useless or worthless. Another example involves cancer of the left breast with right handed women. According to Hamer, such cancer is always provoked by a conflict related to the "nest" or family, for example, a mother becomes very distressed by her child's serious illness, does not deal with this emotion and keeps it to herself. In such a case one can say that the distress call received by the brain, being so powerful and having no outlet, (according to Hamer) will trigger a mechanism of illness, in this case cancer of the left breast. And if the emotion of distress happens to be dealt with, the brain will trigger a mechanism of healing for that organ. Another example can be taken with lung cancer, which seems to be triggered by an unconscious or buried emotion of fear of death. And it goes on like this for every illness, each one being triggered by a painful and intense buried emotion that one does not want to or is not capable of dealing with by himself.

The role of the emotion in relation to the biological reaction of the brain triggering a mechanism of illness or a mechanism of healing is most interesting and most challenging. In fact it is even revolutionary to the point where traditional medicine is resisting this new concept or discovery. But surely one day they will look into the telescope of Hamer. I am not aware at this point how traditional medicine is reacting to this research in North America. But I know that at least one school of chiropractic is actively becoming interested in the concepts brought forward by Hamer.
 This discussion must be considered by the reader as a very brief summary of this topic. I would love to continue, however this is not the place to discuss or analyze this more deeply. I will refer the reader to the author himself, Dr Ryke Geerd Hamer, in Fondement d'une Médecine Nouvelle, Tome 1 and 2, Cologne, ASAC, Chambéry, 1993.

N.B. I know that there is an English of this, but it has been difficult for me so far to find it. For the interested reader, write to ASAC, BP 134, 73001, Chambéry, cédex, France. 

My purpose here is to show the interconnectedness among the spirit, the emotion and the body. In the "Beyond Time", the Higher Self establishes its own life plan by choosing a combination of emotions (the soul), which in turn during one's lifetime will attract all kinds of emotionalized experiences felt in the body in the form of different sensations, sometimes translating into physical illness. But when the said emotion is dealt with, the brain will trigger a healing mechanism with that organ. When viewed from this perspective, then illness is not seen anymore as a sign of death but as a sign of life and spiritual evolution, where one can identify the emotion at the root of illness, and deal with it, recognizing the lesson, or the gift it gives oneself through that experience.

I hope the reader will forgive me this long preamble to a very simple answer to the original question, "what kind of problems does past life therapy help with". I believe that it is easy now to understand that the purpose of regression therapy (regression into our youth, our birth condition, or into a difficult or happy past life) is to help us deal with buried or unconscious emotions. In the process, one becomes recognize the emotion, can accept it (without pain) and is in a position to understand its meaning. At that point that person can learn about the gift that ordeal has offered to him/her. He/she then can stop being victimized by this emotion, and can benefit from it. From that point of view, one can see that regression therapy can be a help with most problems people face, each problem always being associated with a specific personal emotion, that must be dealt with as part of one's life plan. In other words, regression therapy can help with all kinds of difficulties, either emotional or physical  in nature.

Perhaps twenty five years ago, when regression therapy began its expansion in the western world, it quickly started to be recognized for easily helping people with emotional problems such as phobias (fear of height, fear of darkness, fear of blood, agoraphobia, etc.), lack of self esteem, guilt, and difficulty assertiveness. Each of those emotional problems of course were triggered by a negative emotion. But gradually the body of evidence accumulated by regression therapists suggest very strongly that regression therapy, because it can help identify and remove the emotional cause of illness,  can then contribute to help people heal themselves even from major physical illnesses such as cancer. However I have found that the secret to this success is the combination of regression therapy with traditional or alternative medicine.

N.B. This discussion must be understood as a very brief summary of what can be said on this topic. I would like to insist on referring the reader to authors such as Hamer of course, but also to a main book in the field of regression therapy, written by Winafred Blake Lucas, Ph.D., Regression Therapy, a Handbook for Professionals, vol. 1 and 2, Deep Forest Press, Forest Park, CA, 1993. This book gathered ten major authors in the field. I also would like to refer the reader to my own publication on the matter, a book originally written in French, but in the process of being translated into English, The Journey of the Spirit, Towards Soul and Body Healing (e-mail:

Pierre Dubuc, M.S.W., Ph.D.
Director of Pierre Dubuc International Center, a holistic center specialized in training regression therapists.
St Sauveur, P.Q.
J0R 1R0

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