Andrew Newton Therapy

Andrew Newton Hypnotherapy

British hypnotherapist Steve Burgess, has written a book entitled ‘Famous Past Lives’ which I think it’s still available on Amazon. The book concentrated on three of his clients, all of whom were convinced they had lived before as famous historical figures.

Two women, both of whom were convinced they had been Queen Elizabeth I in their past life, had taken their fantasy to unreasonable extremes. 

The author of this mammoth piece of drivel really should start writing for Mills and Boon.

‘I’m Queen Elizabeth Ist! No… I’m Queen Elizabeth Ist! No… I’m Queen Elizabeth I, and so’s my wife!’

The book was worse than I expected and to be honest, I wondered who was fooling who. Seriously, the first client, Lisa, displayed all the symptoms of a serial fantasist.’Lisa is the only one of the clients… who did not come to me for help with a specific issue. etc.’ And there’s the first clue!

Her ‘evidence’ under hypnosis (there’s the second clue) is so full of school-girly fantasies about clothes, jewellery, men, love, romance (and lots of it) and roaring fires and four poster beds, and powerful male minions at her service, to be credible. There is nothing at all about politics, which would have been of paramount importance rather than the enormous pile of immature piffle reported in the book.

There is nothing there that she couldn’t have learned from either of the Cate Blanchet Elizabeth films. I have them on DVD. The client’s account of coming out of the cinema after watching Harry Potter and having the sudden urge to dance the volta, is an indication of her being emotionally highly strung, or at least someone who is easily gets over-excited, It’s also a tell-tale indicator of the woman’s mental state. Cate Blanchet dances the volta with Sir Walter Raleigh in Elizabeth, the Golden Age.

It is obvious to any student of the human condition that this is a woman who doesn’t simply want to be loved, as in a normal relationship. She not only craves romance, there are clear indications she craves obedience and the excessive attention that goes with it. All the signs are there and they should be recognised.

One of the responsibilities of the therapist is to be able to see through the fancies and work with the real underlying problems — without being bamboozled by the make-believe protestations of a fantasist. I’ll bet she has a collection of Elizabethan merchandise and that she drags her husband around all the historic sites in the country, in all weathers, and I’ll bet it drives him nuts. I’ll bet he’s also the sort of guy that goes along with it in exchange for a quiet life. I’m wondering if there sleep in four-poster bed?

Hubby of course will forever remain on the outside, uninvolved in the fantasy. His role will be unquestioningly supportive, but that is all, never a part of the make-believe world. His role is to silently observe while she touches the stonework of Fotheringay Castle, open 9.00am to 5.30pm May Bank Holiday to end of September.

She occasionally slips into that mock Shakespearean language she used under hypnosis when she’s giving her husband a tongue lashing. I also suspect he would be a much more revealing interview. On close examination, some of the language she employs is also straight from the films. I’ll bet she’s also got both Glenda Jackson portrayals and the earlier Bette Davis version, all the related Hollywood pap, all the guidebooks and anything else she can get her hands on.

I suspect that Mr. Burgess is not the only regression hypnotist she’s been to. It’s not unusual for fantasy prone individuals to do this sort of thing on a regular basis in order to affirm their fantasy. It’s an expensive hobby.

Deep down she really wants to be Elizabeth but also knows it can never be. So for her, this is the next best thing. All those nice therapists who reinforce the delusion and allow her to be Elizabeth — even just for an hour or so — can’t be wrong! There is a danger that the therapist becomes the enabler and contributor to the fantasy. Her completely ridiculous assertion that she was once Queen Elizabeth I is reinforced by another order of magnitude.

As for the book, I’ll bet she’s ordered more than one copy. I suspect Hubby will be suicidal by now, after all, he can’t possibly comprehend the higher plane she’s on, let alone play any meaningful part in it — after all, how could he… he wasn’t there! There’ll be no ‘Ooh, Sir Robert, let’s try the volta position!’

If she presented herself as a client to me, I would to try to find out what was missing in her life that makes her wish so much for this other life, a place where there are no 20th century conveniences and where even a queen of England has to pee in a bucket. Maybe deep down she’s hoping that one day, by some miracle, she might get invited to tea at the Palace — hoping that by some dreadful accident of history, it’s all been a terrible mistake and she should come straight away to take her place at the head of the nation.

Attention is what she came for and she was not disappointed, but what she really needed was the truth, because the client is not always right. But she’s in a book now, something which will convince her even more that ‘I’m special’.

Other than the excitement of their own vivid imaginations, there is not one shred of evidence that support these ‘past life’ fantasies. Hypnosis can play havoc with memory and imagination, both of which can be easily enhanced and manipulated if that is what one sets out to do — especially when a client is prone to flights of fancy.