Here is a piece I wrote for http://www.reincarnationforum.com, which I started in 1997. Since then Deborah Barr has been charged with guiding a diligent volunteer team in responding to hundreds and hundreds of posts about reincarnation and past lives. There is a wealth of information on reincarnation on the Forum. I encourage you to check it out. The following post is in response to questions as to whether one can access past life memories through CD's or with the help of someone who has no training in past life regression--usually a friend who wants to "experiment". This does not necessarily apply to responding to children's spontaneous memories, as I describe in my books. That is a special case, since the memories surface on their own in early childhood. This is about prompting unconscious memories, mostly with adults. Here's my response:
Q.: What about regressions by the untrained? I know that many people experiment with self regression, having no experience other than following the example in books or from CD's. If they are lucky, they have some experience which might be beneficial, or a fragment of a past life comes through that is interesting. And, if they are really lucky, they gain some insight or actually resolve something in their present lives.
I have also heard from people who are not trained in past life regression techniques who guide regressions with others and get backed into a corner when they run into some difficult material (trauma) in the past life or PRESENT life and aren't quite sure what to do with it. That might cause some problems when you leave someone hanging with images, feelings, and even body sensations that they can't process or are uncomfortable for them.
My feeling is that past life regression can be very powerful in accessing unconscious material. If you run into something that relates to trauma in this life or a past life, you better know what to do to help the person move through it. If not, it's like leaving an open wound that might need suturing; it might heal on it's own or become worse.
I've had clients come to me who said they worked with a past life regression therapist who cut the session off mid-way because they were out of time. Or, they go through a past life experience without processing the death or trauma. I think that's irresponsible, unprofessional, and not helpful to the client.
There are certain aspects of a regression that need to be considered and worked with: understanding trance states, getting to the heart of the past life story, processing the thoughts and feelings around the death, sometimes re-framing the experience while in an altered state, and making the connections between the past life and present life. We do this so the client can "make peace" with the past life, forgive others or self, and release emotional and physical impressions from that life so they can let it go. By missing some of these steps, you may not resolve anything, and could make things worse by opening up the issue and not showing the client a way through.
If you want to explore past lives yourself, great. Read about it. Try it through meditation or with one of the CD's out on the market now. Often the best past life material comes up spontaneously in dreams or waking visions. These spontaneous experiences can actually heal us and give us great insight, and often prompt us to want to explore more.
Past life regression with others involves techniques that have been developed by therapists over the last 40 years or so here in the West. If you are going to regress others, you should know the territory first and be ready to take some responsibility for what happens when you start exploring the unconscious.
These are my feelings about the issue. I speak from 20 years of experience.