An abreaction is quite common in Past Life Regression and Regression to Cause (current life regression). Abreactions are strong emotional or physical reactions to something re-experienced from the past. And in Past Life Regression Therapy (PLRT), an appropriate abreaction is actually desirable!
In PLRT, as with any therapy, it is essential that the therapist remains well grounded and has expertise in dealing with these emotional outbursts. With a layperson, or a lightly trained hypnotherapist or regressionist, an abreaction could re-traumatize rather than achieve the desired healing.
It is not the abreaction that is helpful and therapeutic unto itself—it is the act of resolving the issue(s) or trauma that is most beneficial and restorative. And it is best to do this with a skilled clinician.
When the work is done, it is cathartic, cleansing and incredibly freeing!
So What Exactly is an Abreaction?
An abreaction is a highly emotional expression or manifestation of unconscious/repressed ideas or emotions. Many individuals express extremely deep emotional responses — such as sobbing, anger outbursts, screams, laughter and even physical reactions — to issues which arise during a regression session.
An abreaction of feelings long repressed has an intense overpowering quality. Abreactions in PLRT are very real emotions which have been pent up for centuries. Allowing for these highly emotional outpourings is very valuable and cathartic to the healing process!
They Can Be Intense
For example, one of my clients was sobbing and screaming in the chair during the PLR as she watched her husband being beaten to death–they were both slaves.
Another client was stoned to death in a past life and she re-experienced it while in my office. Her abreaction was so intense that when she left that day, her whole body hurt from both the emotional and physically trauma. She had been so contorted and struggling so much in the chair that her body was worn out. This was also true of the same client when she re-experienced her birth.
These abreactions were important elements of the regression therapy experience – and in the end, they were profoundly therapeutic.
A Real Experience with Real Emotion
An abreaction is one of the ways that we can be pretty certain that a past life memory is real. It is hard to deny, when one has such strong emotional reactions, that they are responding to anything other than an actual event.
“If someone’s phobia is eliminated instantly and permanently by the remembrance of an event from the past, it seems to make logical sense that that event must have happened.”
…PLR pioneer, Dr. Edith Fiore (“The Unquiet Dead”)
Even with our powerful and extraordinary imaginations — if we are ‘inventing a memory’ or ‘imagining’ a life – there is a different quality to these emotions as compared with an abreaction from an actual past life.
This does not mean that memories cannot be fabricated—they can, but if our subconscious creates a fabricated memory, chances are it’s a metaphor for something we need to deal with in our lives. And because of that, it would be healing regardless.
The Lack of Emotional Reaction
That being said, in contrast, some people lack emotion and abreactions — distancing themselves from their emotions and their experiences. It doesn’t make it any less real – it just means they aren’t ready to work through it and move on at that time. They would probably have to revisit that life again when they are ready and the time is right.