Frequently pre-natal memories involve a "knowing" of things and events. Its psychoneural mechanism is unknown. At other times feeling states and sensory memories descend without a clear or objective comprehension somewhat like your experience of floating without any intricate comprehension of being a fetus inside your mother.
My work involving long term observations of regression suggest that sounds are recorded somehow, somewhere in the organism without comprehension of the words heard but with a reaction to the emotional tone accompanying them. Thus singing registers and raging registers which can be disturbing and scary.
Ones' system may somehow recall specific words to be reconstructed later by the unconscious after the person acquires language abilities, so what is registered as the sound of the word "DIE" for example can later on acquire the meaning of the word die and unite with the emotional tone of an angry mother along with the physical imprint of the emotions and the adrenalin and other hormones of an angry mother umbilically transmitted to the receptive fetus.
A lot of kinesthetic memories are recalled such as movement or pressing. Much has been written about recall of very specific musical pieces by a baby, pieces that were frequently played to him in utero. Also recall the famous heartbeat tape of the mother which was played to crying babies in a nursery, leading to calmness and suggesting a recall of the maternal heartbeat.
Proving that people can remember in utero experiences is of great scientific, academic and practical importance, but to a clinician, obtaining clinical relief of symptoms or unhealthy patterns is the main concern . If a patient is getting better and better and less symptomatic by resolving what seems to be a past life or an in utero experience of traumatic nature, then by no means should we stop that process regardless of whether our theoretical framework can intellectually accept the patients experience or not.
It might be helpful for those who draw theoretical red lines for themselves to simply go with the process and let the body carry it to an end where a resolution of the crisis is obtained. Simply tell yourself, "It may just be crazy fantasy, but I still wish or am driven to experience and complete it guided by my body responses and feeling relief obtained and perhaps even insight when reaching the endpoint of that process. The endpoint will signified by relaxation and resolution of the tension and sometimes deep rest or sleep.
The flexibility, described above, is almost always helpful; if the memory is a real one then well and good. If the "memory" is a symbolic fantasy construct, then it will eventually open the path to the "real" underlying memory and serve as a stepping stone or a practice run preceding the real one, in which case it provides the patient with confidence similar which is gained in a rehearsal.
I believe it is utterly foolish to forcefully harness a patients successful flow simply because of a theoretical block in the mind of the therapist. In many cases these intellectual boundaries when reinforced, during an experiential process, seem to stem out of fear or a defense in the patient or therapist.
Even subtle indirect restraint can delay the healing. if a patient is rambling on while calm cool and collected and telling you about alien spaceships then these are symptoms that need to be addressed. But if the patient is in deep feelings with corresponding crying or trembling or anger and all the body accompaniments and begins experiencing something unbelievable then I normally allow them to continue as long as the emotional flow continues. I treat their content as I would any more believable traumatic experience of later childhood!
On occasion, the patients progress comes to a halt or plateau when he reaches a forbidden experience. This is either because the material is too scary or due to its "unbelievability" where the patient fights it to avoid appearing or believing they're crazy or foolish.
Its normal and necessary to have limits to what you believe possible in normal everyday life. But stopping a good and productive flow of emotion and content simply because of cognitive constraints is not always helpful.
Many of my patients start their flow by talking emotionally to their pets or their old house or other odd things that you're not expected to have feelings towards (personalizing the inaminate), such as a house or country, etc. but believe me, you should not interrupt them as there is a reason why a person cries for some unusual object and in the end they often have a very powerful experience going through many shifts including seemingly bizarre material that serves as a safe starting point or stepping stone - sometimes a necessary one - in processing the experience pressing for release!
I mentioned the above partly to share some personal clinical practices I developed and chose for my work when it comes to "unbelievable material." Another reason was to encourage you to lift any intellectual vetoes you might be enforcing on your own process. I wondered if your boundaries were hindering your freedom to let go with unconscious material that you might be unknowingly avoiding.
Other Writings of "M.H." which appear on this website: