1. What initially inspired you to be a writer, and who had the greatest influence on your work?
My interest in being a writer began when I was quite young. I was initially motivated by the inspiration of my father,who started his career as a journalist. By the time I was a teenager I was writing short stories and studying the styles of the great writers of literature. The communication of ideas, both spoken and written, were always an important consideration to me as I continued to study speech, creative writing, and journalism in college, along with psychology. I continued to take writing classes after college at night in order to better define the genre in which I wanted to communicate. Later, when I became an evening college teacher, I worked on my skills in public communication. While writing and speaking were an avocation for me as I developed my practice in counseling psychology, I see now that this all had purpose in the years before my association with Llewellyn and the publishing world. When the time finally came in 1994 to write and lecture about my first book, Journey of Souls, I was ready. It is strange as we look back on our lives and see the various forks in the road but not what is beyond. I always knew I was supposed to make one solid contribution to society, but for so many years I had no idea what that was while I was actually preparing myself for the future. My early interest in hypnotherapy was another sign post, and I had no clue where it would eventually lead either.
2. Life Between Lives is the third book in your series about the afterlife. How does this new book differ from Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls?
It is different because with this book I detail my methods of spiritual hypnotherapy to acquire information about the soul. While Life Between Lives is intended to be a practical guide for hypnosis practitioners in the art of spiritual regression, it offered me the opportunity to clarify many questions from the public about what it is like to be a client and achieve a super-conscious trance state. I am hoping this book will help dispel the mystery about the process of spiritual regression that took me so many years to develop. It is my desire to attract more therapists into our field and more of the general public to seek out a trained spiritual regression therapist once they read about this process.
3. You have developed your own spiritual regression technique called Life Between Lives (LBL) hypnosis regression. Can you give us a brief description of what this is and why it is so specialized in the field of hypnosis?
The art of spiritual regression involves taking ordinary people from a fully conscious wakeful state into deep hypnosis in order to reach their super-conscious mind, which houses our soul memories. In this state, a person is able to see all their past lives and the life between—or their afterlife—in the spirit world. When working with a client, the spiritual regressionist must spend a great deal of time preparing the client and employ considerable deepening after induction to achieve the trance state necessary to being them into contact with their immortal soul. It is not the induction, but the deepening and conditioning that is my secret to success with spiritual regression. This takes time. Rather than the usual one hour hypnosis session, an LBL requires three to four continuous hours of very difficult work on the part of both facilitator and client. I have detailed these procedures in Life Between Lives.
4. During your spiritual regression sessions, is there one moment that is especially meaningful to your clients?
This is a difficult question to answer because there are so many profound moments, but one of the most powerful mental scenes experienced by people in deep hypnosis is the moment when they first see themselves communicating with their personal spirit guide. It is like a revelation seeing their spiritual teacher, and many people become so emotional I often must pause in my questions until they recover.
5. People call you “a messenger of spiritual truth,” and I am curious how you feel about this?
Well, of course this is very flattering, and comments like this make all the years of hard work worthwhile; but the fact is that higher truths about our existence exist within the unconscious minds of everyone. My task is to help people uncover their soul mind and discover their own spiritual truths. It is my clients who have educated me about spiritual truth.
6. How has the information you have obtained from your hypnosis research into the afterlife affected you personally?
I owe so much to the thousands of clients who have brought me into the light during more than three decades of research. I was a real skeptic about all things spiritual in my early life. I studied philosophy, history, comparative religions, and traveled extensively always seeking something that eluded me about the meaning of life. Frankly, I did not believe in a power greater than myself, nor did I believe in life after death. I have detailed my awakening and discoveries in the introduction to Journey of Souls. It was my clients who brought me to the party.They came to me from all philosophical persuasions, and yet once they were in a deep trance state—a medium I believed in—they all told me the same thing about an existence beyond physical life. After so many cases, I could not sustain my doubts about creation, order, and purpose in the universe. Thus, it is my clients who have given my own life meaning and enriched my existence.
7. What advice would you give to someone who is interested in learning about LBL work?
Start by reading Life Between Lives to see if the field is attractive. I feel some academic background in psychology, counseling, or mental health therapy is extremely valuable to LBL work. A person should have at least one hundred hours (two to three hundred is preferable) of basic and advanced hypnotherapy training, plus two to three years practical experience, especially with past life regression. They should be motivated by a sincere desire to help people find themselves in terms of who they are, where they came from, and why they are on Earth. Finally, I would say that one should be prepared for long, hard hours of intense work with clients.
8. How do you think the field of hypnotherapy has changed in the time you have been involved in it, and where to you think it is going in the future?
My professional life began in l956, the year of the famous Bridey Murphy case. The younger people I work with today consider this case ancient history, but at the time it was sensationalized in all the newspapers. This was the case of the Colorado housewife who was regressed into a former life as a young girl in Ireland. While the case seems very ordinary by renewal in public interest toward reincarnation and the field of hypnosis. The study of hypnosis became more popular by the increasing number of books on past life hypnosis, while LBL therapy was still in the future. Journey of Souls reached the public in l994. As the Twenty-First Century progresses, I see a new approach developing in the use of standard therapeutic techniques toward spiritual regression to aid patients in better understanding themselves and the life they have chosen. Another reason why I wrote Life Between Lives was to encourage the interest of non-hypnotherapists in the mental health field.
9. What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
To have been given the privilege to reach so many people in different cultures around the world with the concept that no one is here by accident and that everyone has purpose. I have received so many wonderful letters in the last ten years from people in all walks of life explaining how my books have helped them face life in new ways and given them greater resolve. These letters mean a great deal to me. We live in an overpopulated world where many people feel a loss of personal identity and a sense of separation. It is important that all of us realize that we are endowed with an inner knowledge and wisdom and that there is a spiritual home of unconditional love waiting for us all.
10. Now that you are retired from active practice, where can those interested in a spiritual regression go for referral?
My activities today involve teaching my methods to experienced hypnotherapists. Toward this end, I founded Newton Institution for LBL Hypnotherapy. All a person needs to do is click on our website to obtain a referral for trained therapists around the country.