Michael Newton, Life between Lives Hypnotic Regression Reviewed by Fiona Bowie 21st November 2009
Michael Newton, a hypnotherapist and founder of the Newton Institute for Life Between Lives Hypnotherapy (see Links) has recently published his fourth volume, 'Memories of the Afterlife' (2009). Unlike the earlier three books, 'Memories of the Afterlife' is a collection of 32 short chapters by therapists trained via Newton's Institute, detailing various case studies. The fact that Newton's interests and methods are being widely disseminated will of itself add considerably to the volume of data available for those interested in LBL (Life Between Lives) studies. Newton was vulnerable to the charge that the schema he mapped out from regressing hundreds of clients was too schematic and inflexible. Each hypnotherapist will have his or her own take and this variety will enable researchers to judge the consistency or inconsistency of the data being produced more effectively.
For those new to Michael Newton's work, he moved from using hynotherapy as a conventional therapeutic tool to looking at past life and then interlife or LBL regressions rather by accident, as seems to be the case with most pioneers in these fields. Under hypnosis clients respond literally to requests, so when asked to move to an incident that gave rise to a particular form of illness or behaviour, a client might move not to their childhood or some other period in their current life but to a previous life. Having discovered the therapeutic benefits of exploring (supposed) past lives, Newton stumbled upon the existence of the rich and complex lives that most people appear to lead between physical incarnations. He asked one client to go to the source of her sense of isolation, and unwittingly slipped in a trigger word when he asked whether she missed a group of friends. The woman started to cry and claimed that she missed some of her group of friends while on earth, which was why she was lonely, and that they were with her right now. As Newton began to explore this interlife period with clients over several decades he built up a considerable body of evidence, some of it consistent with earlier studies and with the teachings from other esoteric and religious sources, much of it quite new. The results of these case studies were set out in two extremely influential and compelling accounts, 'Journey of Souls' (1994), and 'Destiny of Souls' (2008). A third volume, 'Life Between Lives' (2007) contains some new material and sets out in detail the methods used to obtain the data,used to instruct hypnotherapists in the Michael Newton Institute. All four volumes are published by Llewellyn Worldwide, Woodbury MN.