Holly Joy – Welcome to Across the Realms Psychic Talk Radio. I am your host Holly Joy. Today we are here with Ann Barham who is a certified past life regression therapist and licensed marriage and family therapist online and at her office in Gilroy, CA, which is near San Josie. Ann is joining us tonight to teach us about past lives, reincarnation and hypnosis. Anyone who is interested in doing a guided meditation to stimulate recalling past lives, you can download that for free on Ann’s website, pastlives.org. Welcome Ann.
Ann Barham – Hi Holly I am really delighted to talk with you this evening.
Holly Joy – We are delighted to have you here with us.
Could you explain to us how past life therapy was born and the philosophy behind it?
Ann Barham – Sure. The whole idea of past lifetimes and reincarnation is pretty ancient. It used to be more I think the purview of astrologers way back when where they would cast your chart and tell you that you had a past live. As far as more modern past life therapy the way we understand it really came into being I think with the publication of Dr. Brian Weiss’ first book Many Lives Many Masters and that was back in the late 80s. He brought that book out and Dr. Weiss was a very conventionally trained psychiatrist who used hypnosis with some of him patients and his kind of landmark breakthrough patients ended up going into hypnosis into something that looked like an entire lifetime. He started pursuing this and eventually that became his specialty and he has written many, many books now and is known worldwide for his work. So that is how it really got started as a more therapeutic technique.
The philosophy behind it is the idea that we are all eternal souls and that our existence and our awareness has been ongoing prior to our current life and will continue after death in this life and that we have the opportunity to come onto the human plane over and over again to gather new experience, to learn lessons, to meet challenges that we set for ourselves on a soul level and that because of these many lifetimes that we have there are times when experiences from those prior lives kind of infringe upon our current life it is like unfinished business. Very similar in conventional counseling when you are going back and working on your childhood. Something that happened in your childhood that’s really unfinished business that they’re still feeling that haven’t been expressed or there is some sort of injury or insult or there was a loss that hasn’t been grieved and that these things can unconsciously impact us as we go through our life. With past life therapy we are kind of expanding the time frame back into our prior lifetimes that are perhaps infringes upon us now.
Holly Joy – It is very interesting. Let’s get started with your own story and how you became a past life therapist?
Ann Barham – Sure, well gosh I was raised Roman Catholic it never fit for me. When I was about 13 years old a good adolescent I decided to assert myself and let my family know that I wasn’t going to go to church with them anymore. I started doing a lot of reading and was kind of drawn to eastern religious traditions where reincarnation was one of the accepted principals and that just really made a lot of sense to me, it just seemed to fit. I went through my conventional counselor training and got my license as a marriage and family therapist and really didn’t think about doing past life work for a number of years until I just kind of realized that there was really something more that was beckoning me. But, the interesting story is when I was in graduate school getting my masters I was in a class called therapeutic imagery, which is about using guided imagery to help people with perhaps physical healing or overcoming emotional issues and for the end of the semester the professor said, “Now I just want to show you that occasionally when you are doing imagery work with people something might come up that looks like a prior lifetime.” As it turned out he actually was quite big into past life work, but he didn’t really advertise that. This was his way of kind of sneaking it into the class. He asked for volunteers and I had had quite a bit of trouble with my little toes. I had what is called rotated hammer toes that kind of laid on their side and rubbed against the side of my shoes and it was a real problem for a lot of the athletics that I was doing then and I had even had surgery on them and it still hadn’t solved the problem. So, I told him about the issue with my toes and he selected me to do this demonstration in front of the class. He had me lie down on this filthy carpet in the front of the class and he put me through this relaxation procedure and instructed me to go to the origin of this problem with my feet. I started getting images of this young Asian girl whose family was going to bind her feet, which was a custom at one time. I was very upset about that idea and was rather rebellious and I actually made a plan to run away, but got caught and was eventually disowned by my father who was some sort of official and this was just very dishonorable. So, he actually sold me into slavery and eventually I ended up killing myself because of the shame. The amazing part of the story also was, while this was going on as I am lying there in the front of the class, my legs were shaking uncontrollably it was like my legs had hung on to some sort of energy from this and they were releasing it all as we were going through this regression. I have had absolutely no problem with my feet and toes since that regression, It just took care of it just like that, which is a pretty unusual situation that it could be that quick and simple. I used to have people stop me in the hall at school saying, “How are your feet Ann?” I would be like, there great thank you. I certainly had a demonstration early on of how effective this kind of work could be and at a certain point decided that I would go in that direction with my counseling practice because it seemed like a way to help people a lot more quickly. Also, I just found it so fascinating and so interesting and did quite a bit of training and then converted my practice gradually into doing just past life work.
Holly Joy – It sounds like everything happened in the way that it was supposed to.
Ann Barham – I agree with you entirely, in fact when I did decide that maybe I should look into doing past life work, the two biggest names at that time in the world who were considered past life experts came to a retreat center a half hour from my house and they each did a week-long training and that was within six months of each other – so it was like thank you Universe! I make this decision and boom, you provide a very easy way for me to get into this – that was pretty awesome.
Holly Joy – Do you happen to know of any other past lives that you have had?
Ann Barham – Oh, I know many of them as you might imagine because I do this kind of work I have also traded sessions with a lot of people. Just to name a few, I went through a lifetime as a Viking where I loved to go out and rape, pillage and plunder. A priestess in ancient Egypt in a temple. Isis, the good Isis the goddess not Isis the terrorist. I was a teacher during the time of the Spanish inquisition in Spain. I have gone through more than one Native American lifetime, some of them awful because of what was going on and some of them absolutely wonderful a marvelous, marvelous experience in some Native American lives before the white men arrived. Minor king in Europe in the middle ages, just a wide variety and that is part of what is so fascinating is to see the diversity of experience we have all had as we are both male and female in all sorts of regions of the world, different countries, different time periods, wealthy or pauper, we have kind of done it all if we go back often enough and look into our lives.
Holly Joy – Absolutely. So besides the healing of your foot, were there any other changes in your life from having these past lives revealed to you?
Ann Barham – That is a little harder to say. The real focus of that session was to go after the issue with the feet. Healing that was pretty awesome. There were sort of this underlying theme of rebellion against the authority and I think that one probably seeing that and processing a little bit of that helped ease that up a little bit in my personality because I did have a tendency to, if you told me A, I’d want to say B and not bough down to – I say so because I am your father kind of thing. That used to really hit my hot button and I think that helped ease that up, but at the same time I was more of an adult then to so it is kind of hard to say exactly how that all played together.
Holly Joy – But it did. From your understanding of how past life regression started and its original purpose, would you say that the practice has evolved or uncovered more benefits than originally intended and, If so, what are they?
Ann Barham – Yes, actually the practice has evolved. It started more as a way to fix a problem, for instance someone had a phobia that didn’t make sense – they are afraid of water or they are afraid of heights, or they had an enduring emotional issue like depression that you just couldn’t find a good cause for, or they had an issue in their relationship that no matter what they did it was always a really unhealthy dynamic. So that was really where it started it was really focusing on solving problems. More recently and in fact a lot of the clients that I see now also are coming in just out of either curiosity or they are working on their spiritual life and wanting to expand their spirituality and past life work is a wonderful way to do that. It really puts you into the internal nature of our soul and understanding the path that we are taking across many lifetimes. We also do work after the death in a lifetime in that disincarnated place, wherever we go where we are able to access higher spiritual truths and guidance and stuff like that. So, that is a real big component now. Another really fun thing that we can do with the past life work is go to lifetimes where we had certain strengths or talents or abilities that we can kind of more consciously bring forward into our current lifetime and really draw upon those. A good example would be a client I had not long ago who was in a role of leadership and wanted to really strengthen her confidence in her leadership ability. So we went to a lifetime where she had a very strong role as a leader and was very successful doing that and very comfortable doing that. She was able to plug into that and access the fact that – yes I do know how to do this and I have done it before and I can pull that almost like pulling that former personality forward as an adviser to help her in her current life. So that’s really a fun area. The conflict work is something that a lot of people do these days who would not otherwise consider that they need to do any kind of counseling or therapy. They are just wanting to expand more.
Holly Joy – The common theme I think about for people are phobias, with me it would be spiders.
Do you feel that phobias are connected to past lives?
Ann Barham – Oh they very often are. I have worked with a certain number of people with phobias. For instance we’ll have people who are afraid to drive on the freeway, but they have never had a serious accident and they have never seen a serious accident. I’ve taken them back to lifetimes earlier on where either they died or loved ones died in auto accidents. You certainly, spiders or something like that is pretty obvious you know people die from spider bites especially in years in the past, so that could be a pretty common thing. When we are talking about a phobia it is not your normal kind of self-protective mechanism that says hey that spider looks dangerous, you had better stomp it. It is more that just they freak out at even the idea of a spider. So phobias are like really intense reactions to something where there is no real explanation as to why they would be so afraid of that thing. So that very much points to the possibility that there was a past life experience that was very negative having to do with whatever the stimulus is of the phobia.
Holly Joy – So, I’m curious, how far back, because you have a long history of yourself, but how far back have you’ve been able to regress the client?
Ann Barham – Probably the furthest we’ve gone to, I had a couple of people go to pre-history, in the time of the Neanderthals – that’s the way they described themselves. With a prominent brow and smaller statue, with the rough features and all of that, so I believe I’ve gone pretty far back sometimes.
Holly Joy– Do you feel that you have a clear understanding of our past history of events?
Ann Barham – As far as my understanding of the human history, like on intellectual level?
Holly Joy – Yes.
Ann Barham – I’m not a major student of history, but I love doing like historical novel reading of stories and that’s kind of make us the past life of stories going cause going back to individual people’s stories in certain periods of time, so my knowledge is a little bit from what the average person knows about the history and then also everything I’ve done with the unique views; I’ve also been to people’s lives with different views and different places of the world. There’s like a little personal view of what someone’s life was like at the certain point of time.
Holly Joy – It sounds like you have a very interesting job and you actually have an upcoming book that will detail your most interesting and inspiring stories from actual client regression. Right?
Ann Barham – Yeah, that’s right. I have an agent right now that’s starting to market the book to the publisher and then to myself it’s a big deal to get an agent these days, and I really cleansed my favorite stories from the past 16 or 17 years cause I happen to keep various copies notes and I kept a database for myself of what the issue was , what somebody came in with and what the result was, what the story was. So I pulled out my favorite and it just seemed like it would be ashamed for the stories to just stay in my files and not get up there in the world. My clients, they were happy to have their short stories shared, as long as they can protect their confidentiality with changing their names and things like that. Quite a few of very interesting stories in this upcoming book.
Holly Joy – Have you noticed the correlation between birth marks and how clients have died in past lives?
Ann Barham – Yeah, that does sometimes happen. It’s pretty amazing how our bodies sometimes carry forward some difficult issues from the past life. One good example is; I had a fellow who went back to Vietnam in the War and he was describing how there was one bullet that grazed him behind his left ear and that he was shot in another place and he said how he has actually has a little dibbed in his head, at that same location behind the left ear and that he has some other birthmark located where the other bullet was, so he had actually expressed other wounds. We ran into that certainly with birthmarks and also with physical issues that would come up, for instance like my feet, that come up in your current life that can be traced to your past life. I had one gal who was all of a sudden having problems with her Achilles tendons. She came to me and wanted to know what was going on with that. She went back to a life time where she had been captured and made a flame on a ship and she needed to row, and what they actually did is they put some hot pokers and burned a whole right through and around the Achilles and the ankle on them put chains on them. So that her body was reflecting now that area of Achilles that she had in her past life.
Holly Joy – Sounds awful. What about, this is probably more idea, but what about people that are born without an arm, but they still feel it?
Ann Barham – Now that’s really interesting; I haven’t had someone come in looking at something like that. There’s a couple of different ways you could look at that. Indeed it could be something that was from your previous life. Understand that it was kinds more on a soul level, the decision to come in a less than perfect body has a lot to do with a particular lessons that individual follows and needs to learn in that life time. Sometimes someone who maybe comes in with a down syndrome, they are doing it as a service to other people in the family. . There’s important lessons that the rest of the family learns by having a family member with down syndrome or some other real difficult situation and then this one has decided to do a service and come in and somehow stays because of the way it’s gonna impact the other people.
Holly Joy – They are really doing a service for everyone because when you think about it, just progressing medical studies and other things like that?
Ann Barham – And there also such incredible loving people that we learn a lot from being around them.
Holly Joy – Are people shocked to find out that they’ve been other gender, other races, or had theoretically different believes?
Ann Barham – It’s very poignant from client. If they’ve done any reading they understand that this is the thing that’s gonna come up. But I do occasionally, I would still have a… I had a man the other day and he went to a lifetime where there was no women… I also had a client who went to a life at the Nazi time and he went down with a plane and died in a plane crash. When he realized that he actually had been a Nazi, he was pretty upset. He was like – that’s not possible! In his mind he was saying all these German words and understanding, and it was a mess, because he doesn’t speak German in this life. He had to kind of realize that, wow, this really was… But the amazing thing about it is that it really helps us to understand that even though we have many differences in the world, that we’ve all been on many different sides of these issues and we hopefully not rush to judgment, rather than getting to them vs. us. Rather different thinking.
Holly Joy – Would you say that’s part of how you hope that past regression therapy would consciously affect people as a whole?
Ann Barham – Yes, absolutely. I think if we can get out of our decisiveness and begin to understand how connected we all are and that we’re all doing the best we can. Whatever belief system we have right now in the prior life we might have been on the exact opposites sides and thought we were totally right, so… Trying to really understand our commonality and get out of judgment that we have towards people who are different. I definitely think that as more people embrace prior life times, then maybe more and more will have some feeling around that.
Holly Joy – Do your clients usually come to solve a pre-existing issue or what other reason some of them might come to see you?
Ann Barham – So kinda like I said earlier, definitely if they have some issue or problem, or they wanna find out about the relationship issue or maybe some emotional thing. Maybe they’ve felt depressed and they can’t understand why or they feel like nothing that they do is ever gonna work out, or something like that. So people will come in with that kind of issues, but there are some people that come to explore some periods. There are some people that will come in and say- I’m not even sure that I believe in past lives, but I wanna try this. SO you don’t even necessarily have to be convinced that our lifetimes are reality in order to have a successful regression. Some of them are just opened enough to give it a try. People do come in for quite a few reasons, but usually they have some sort of question in their mind. A lot of people come in for looking of their purpose in their current life, because they are feeling like they are floundering around or they’re thinking of changing the direction of their career, or something like that. They want to access some guldens in all of that.
Holly Joy – Most of my clients come with love questions.
Do you have a lot of clients to come in wanting to find out their connections to people in their lives or about soul mates?
Ann Barham – Yeah, certainly. That is definitely one of the key things that will bring people to the past life work. Either they wanna know how they were connected with that person in their past, or they are looking at they have some problematic dynamic with someone and they wanna see what’s with that.. They can maybe help resolve it. Often if they’ve had someone who’s died and they want to reconnect with them it’s very, very assuring that someone important to them has passed over and he can go back and say that he’s with them their entire lifetime. You know that you’re gonna be together again and it’s helped you get through the grieving process. So relationships always are one of the key things that people would be interested in.
Holly Joy – I would imagine that would be a very powerful life-changing experience.
Ann Barham – Yes, it can be a ton, for sure.
Holly Joy – SO back to the message of universal oneness; do you have an opinion or do you feel that this is why more children are remembering and being able to validate past lives?
Ann Barham – I would certainly hope so. It seems like we’re evolving and we are coming to a place where there’s more awareness in our whole vibration. It’s getting a little higher despite some of the things going on in the world. I do think that the children coming in are certainly going to have a role in this, they will be much more open.
Holly Joy – Occasionally I’ve heard of children doing past-life regression. Is that more common now?
Ann Barham – There’s a gal in Florida and it’s been her specialty to regress the children, and she has written a couple of very good books, one call Children’s Past Lives. I don’t know really how much common that really is, but there have been probably more validated cases that have stepped forward. I think parents are more accepting of that too, because they have a child who starts talking about their past lifetime. They don’t immediately tell them to shut up and don’t be ridiculous. Parents are better about wanting to hear what their kids have to say. I think overall the better environment is helping with all of that.
Holly Joy – SO someone doesn’t have any memories of their past lives, but they’ve always been told that they are an old soul.
What are some signs that they’ve been told that can help them find out if they’re reincarnated?
Ann Barham – From where I stand from, everyone has. But things that, kinda clues that you can look for.
One of the things to look for is your relationships with people that are important in your life. If there’s someone in your life who plays a really big role, either positive or negative, the probability is that you’ve been together before. What you might do is you can just allow your imagination to run with – where were we together before – And what imagine comes up in your mind. Maybe you’ll see an image of a noun fastened and you’ll say0 Oh, Gosh, maybe we were in France together! So kinda playing with that can skip the juices flowing.
Also when you meet someone for the first time and you have a really strong, immediate reaction, and it feels totally familiar, right away, that’s the good signal that you’ve known them before, so you might just allow your imagination to run, or kind of see what kind of images might arrive.
Other things that we can look our are talents and skills that you have, that come to you completely naturally. You didn’t even have to study it.
Traveling can be a really good way to stimulate a past life memories. I had a client not long ago and she said she went to Paris, for the first time ever, and she immediately knew where everything was. She didn’t need to use the guide book. She’s never been there, she’s never studied it and she just knew. This is cleared up there and she had this immediate feeling of being at home and knowing where everything is. That’s some really strong indication that she had a lifetime in Paris. We can see areas of the world that really bake to you, or the areas that you wanna stay, or that you have no interests in visiting.
If you have a talent for certain forms of languages, if you have a love for certain kinds of cuisine or maybe you like to collect the antics from the certain periods. All of those kinds of things.
Or you’re just fascinated with World War I, or the Civil War.
Anything that has a really strong draw for you is kind of a clue. It’s kinda like doing a little treasure hunt; what are the personalities that seem pretty strong and what are the people that play important roles. Then just kinda allowing yourself to kinda let imagination rolls first in the meditation if you go to a quiet place. This is kinda a way to ask for images of the prior lifetime.
It also applies to dreams; if you have recurring dreams or certain situation, or location keep coming up in the dream, it’s very often that’s a past life material, and you can also ask for that before you go to sleep at night. Tell your unconscious mind that you will really want to have a dream about a prior lifetime that is important to you. Just see where that goes.
Holly Joy – On your website, pastlives.org you have video series and one of those videos talks more in depth about the most common signs, so if anyone wants to learn more about this they can watch for videos at pastlives.org.
I want to ask you about past lives on other planets?
Have you had any clients regressing off earth?
Ann Barham – I have only had that happen once or twice. I’m not clear of whether we were getting something about it or whether it was more from imagery that was going on or a metaphor for something. Part of it has to do with the process that I use. When I’m doing the regression I am directing the person to get back to he planet., to different time and place. So, if there was a lifetime that was located somewhere that really strongly needed to come through, grand majority had their lives on earth.
Holly Joy – You touched a little bit on your hypnosis process, but can you tell us a little bit about and explain why it’s an effective tool ?
Ann Barham – It’s very much of just getting into a relaxed state as you would if you were going to meditate, or pray. Just bringing your focus inward, rather than outward on what’s going on around you. I just use a progressive muscle relaxation through the body and a few deepening techniques of people walking down the stairs and other things. SO they’re going deeper to a really comfortable place. A lot of past memories aren’t that far underneath the surface. We’re just too busy in our everyday lives to even notice when that’s floating up, or to label it properly as a past life memory. It’s kinda hard to work it on our own. We need a guide to kinda help you move through the events in the lifetime. In hypnosis, you get to that relaxed state, your focus is more inward to what’s going on and your mind or your intuition or whatever is speaking to you and you’re able to follow my suggestions a little more easily. I think a part of it is a concept that we need a technique or tool to get to this material. We don’t have to get through hypnosis, but it seems like it’s the easiest way for most people because it’s like they’re shifting gears. They went to different states of mind, and they said – in hypnosis I can go to these different states of mind .
Holly Joy – Do you happen to know what percentage of people believes in reincarnation?
Ann Barham – I have some old figures from some old studies and I don’t know if anything more recent has been done. If it has, I’m not aware of that. There was a gal that claimed that 25% of American adults said that they believe in reincarnation. Another 29% weren’t sure one way, or another. When we add that together that’s a 45% of adult population that at least considers it it’s possible, which is kinda surprising. The general impression is that… There was a study in 2010 that was looking at the minor acceptance of reincarnation and this was kinda mind bowling to me. There was this Catholic bishop or something that said that 28% of Catholics believe in reincarnation. That was really surprising because the church you see is really more conservative. So it certainly is growing. I would love to see a more progressive study currently again, but I’m not that sure if anyone got that going.
Holly Joy – Do you feel that this subject is still a little taboo?
Ann Barham – It Is in some places. It depends on your audience entirely. We have to realize that half of the world’s population accepts reincarnation as a fact. It’s not even a question. It’s just more in a western world that it’s an issue, or not. If you’re talking with someone who’s very fundamental Christian, it’s probably a really taboo subject to do, or really far right conservative. But I think in general it’s much more widely accepted and it’s surprising to me how many people are interested in talking about it or think of it as fascinating or believe in it, even though they go to a local Christian church, and they hold both of it in their hands and they don’t have a problem with the two going together. It’s certainly way less to happen than what it used to be. One thing I wanted to share; I remember when I was doing my early training, so this was 20+ years ago, there were some regressionists that talked about having some crosses burned in the front yard of their office. There were areas of the countries and places where it was considered the devil’s work at that point. So at least we’ve come very, very far from that.
Holly Joy – There’s been a lot of things that have been considered the devil’s work that are no longer today thankfully.
We have a couple of questions in chat:
1. If we are sent back here, until we have completed a task on earth?
2. If we’re successful in a past life do we come successful many times, or is it more opposite things?
Ann Barham – How interesting, great questions.
So these questions are definitively related and it has to do with how many times we come back and the nature of the lifetime when we come back. It’s not exactly linear; I like to look at it in terms of building a mosaics and there’s different parts of mosaics that have themes or patterns. SO we might come in and start working on anger. In certain life anger lays a big role and we’re not done with anger yet, but the next time we come back we might work on love in that area of mosaic. And then we come back and we work on having children. Then we may come back and say – it’s time for me to come back and work on anger-. So we don’t necessarily say – I’m gonna come and work on anger now and do a straight linear progression from one life to the next to finish up anger, we kinda do it more?, but I think that we work on the certain things until we’ve reached completion to our soul’s satisfaction. Then we may put that thing to rest. I don’t think there’s a big grading chart in the sky that says: You’ve done anger now, check out! You can go on to the next one. It’s really more of a decision on a full level – Have I mastered that adequately? Have I done what I wanted to do around that? SO then it could be released.