The Incredible World Of Sub-Personalities, Ego States & Past Lives
The Incredible World Of Sub-Personalities, Ego States & Past Lives
Dr Thomas Zinser, Ed.D

Thomas Zinser, Ed.D. is a hypnotherapist (Ret.), author, and international speaker living in Grand Rapids, MI. He holds a from the University of Notre Dame (’71 ), an M.Ed from Xavier University (’72), and received his doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Texas A&M University: Commerce in 1977.

After serving as a staff psychologist at a local psychiatric hospital, Dr. Zinser started a private practice in 1980. In 1987, he was specializing in hypnosis and the treatment of dissociative disorders when he met Katharine Mackey who channeled a spirit entity named Gerod.

Through Katharine, Gerod offered information about specific clients that was helpful in their treatment. He also offered information about spiritual and metaphysical realities in general. After several sessions with Gerod, Dr. Zinser established a clinical collaboration with him that continued for fifteen years.

In addition to helping clients, this collaboration led to an unprecedented mapping of psychic and spirit dimensions of the self. The result was an approach to healing which he called Soul-Centered Healing.

Dr. Zinser tells the story of this collaboration, and the healing methods that emerged from it, in his book, Soul-Centered Healing: A Psychologist’s Extraordinary Journey into the Realms of Sub-Personalities, Spirits, and Past Lives

Soul-Centered Healing

A Psychologist’s Extraordinary Journey into the Realms of Sub-Personalities, Spirits, and Past Lives

When clinical psychologist Tom Zinser started working with multiple personality patients, he had no way of anticipating where his work would ultimately lead.

Using hypnosis, Zinser learned how to communicate directly with the sub-personalities that, he eventually learned, exist even in healthy individuals. Oftentimes this therapeutic technique would lead to healing and psychological integration. But other times, it would lead to confusing or frustrating results. While he made substantial progress, Zinser also reached a professional impasse.

The breakthrough came when Zinser was approached by Katharine Mackey, a secretary in his office, who channeled a spirit named Gerod through automatic writing. Gerod, it seemed, was interested in communicating with the psychologist.

Zinser approached the suggestion of “meeting” Gerod with a cautious but curious mind, only to be astonished by the clinically useful information that Gerod provided. Gerod claimed the ability to see directly into the souls of Zinser’s clients, and provided very specific guidance on how to help each one. Equally important, Gerod sketched out a map of the human soul, its structure, and destiny, far wider than models provided by clinical psychology.

What started out as an experiment turned into an amazing fourteen-year collaboration with more than 650 sessions between Gerod and Dr. Zinser. These sessions enabled Zinser to breach the impasse, guiding his clients to integration at a much deeper, spiritual level. The collaboration also lead the author to a wider understanding of the soul’s structure and journey, explained in this book.

Soul-Centered Healing is not a book about channeling, but about the importance of seeing our own psyche in a larger context. This compelling, mind-opening account — sure to be controversial — reveals the landscape of a larger psychic and spiritual reality, of which we are a part.

What emerged from this collaboration with Gerod was an approach to healing radically different from the psychology and psychotherapy I was trained in. It was an approach that recognised the psychic and spirit dimensions of the self.

Key Concept, Ideas, and Lessons

I have gathered the key concepts, main ideas and lessons of the book. However I strongly advice to purchase the book so that you can gain a more thorough understanding of Dr Zinser’s extensive work with Gerod and with Soul-Centered Healing.

This is an approach that sees everyone as a soul incarnate.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings, we are souls, choosing to incarnate to have a human experience.

Soul-Centered Healing recognises that there are psychic and spirit dimensions of reality; and just as we live in the physical body, in the physical reality, we also live in these psychic and spiritual dimensions as well. Although for most of us, most of the time, we are not consciously aware of those dimensions.

This approach also recognises that there are entities, energies and forces, operating at these levels that can cause a person pain, or distress, fear, confusion, it can manifest in any number of ways: physical, emotional, psychological.

In working with Soul-Centered Healing a central aim with a client is to determine whether there are any entities, energy forces, operating at these levels, that are interfering, causing, contributing to the person’s distress and pain.

If there are, SCH uses protocols and procedures to determine whether there are any entities, energy forces present, and if so to resolve and integrate any parts, energies, that are part of the client, part of the self-soul, and to remove any entities or energies that are separate from the client, either through persuasion (persuading them to leave) or forcibly removing them.

Soul centered healing Dr Thomas Zinser
Soul centred healing Dr Thomas Zinser
Dissociative Identity Disorder

Dissociative identity disorder (DID), previously known as multiple personality disorder (MPD), is a mental disorder characterized by the maintenance of at least two distinct and relatively enduring personality states. The disorder is accompanied by memory gaps beyond what would be explained by ordinary memory issues.

Ego-State Therapy

Ego-State Therapy is a developed form of therapy dealing with sub-personalities. The multiple personality is that person who has been subjected usually to extreme kinds of trauma.

“Ego-states are beings separate from the conscious self, and living in separate existence at another level of consciousness. They are all beings, each conscious and alive in their own reality.

Is a psychic reality, not a physical one. It is a realm ruled by consciousness, not the laws of matter. Once I accepted ego-states as real beings, I accepted also the reality in which they existed. I changed the way I thought about them and how I treated them in therapy.”

The basic understanding is that when a person is overwhelmed by trauma, the mind can split off that experience of trauma and in a sense move the conscious self aside and create a sub-personality to take over that experience. That sub-personality will assume the conscious mind and its job will be to do whatever is needed for the person to survive or to protect the person from pain, or threat, or hurt.

These sub-personalities can have a strong influence on the person, sometimes they are strong enough that they can set up emotional patterns of behaviour in the person’s life.

The aim of Ego-State Therapy is to use hypnosis to make contact with a sub-personality or sub-personalities that is or are involved in the client’s presenting problem, the difficulties that they are bringing to the healing process.

The communication process takes place through an old hypnotic technique called ideomotor response.

Ideomotor Response Hypnotic Technique

In the hypnotic induction finger signals are set-up, but it could also be nods of the head, it could be movement of the hands. For example: the first finger lifting for yes, the second finger lifting for no, the whole hand lifting to communicate stop or ‘I am not sure’.

Ideomotor Response is a very quick way to bypass the conscious mind; when we are using these signals, the conscious mind steps aside, it moves away from the process.

Through this technique, the therapist is communicating directly with the sub-personality, and the conscious mind is not interfering. It helps to avoid the ego defences, the distortions, the resistance that comes from a conscious level. When we are trying to bring back trauma to the conscious mind, there may be resistance set off, there can be ego defences set off.

The conscious mind does not even need to listen what the therapist says, but those parts of the unconscious mind are able to hear and respond in whatever ways are most helpful to the entire self.

Communication with the Sub-Personality And Healing Process

When contact is made with the sub-personality (through the Ideomotor Response Technique), the therapist explains to the sub-personality why he/she is here, what the healing process is about, help it to share its cut-off/split-off experience, and share it with the conscious mind.

In that sharing, the conscious mind becomes aware of what happened so long ago, and at the same time the sub-personality in that sharing of the pain that is carried inside can experience a release of the pain, or the hurt, the confusion, all that it has been carrying.

This is the basic Freudian process of the healing: make the unconscious, conscious – bring that forward, let the self go through catharsis, the ego-state release and then move into integration.

The problem with this is that so often in this communication with ego-states there is blocking, where you are communicating and then all of the sudden those finger signals come to a stop. The communication has been blocked, it has been shut down. This is when an hypnosis session often stops because the therapist cannot get a communication going any longer.

Dr Zinser said in one of his interviews he believes this is why Freud abandoned hypnosis; he believes Freud run exactly into the exact same kind of blocking, the same unreliable information as he was.

For several years Dr Zinser experienced this kind of blocking in his sessions with Ego-State Therapy; it was a frustrating process and he was ready to consider other options.

However, he says ‘here we have the old saying When the student is ready the teacher appears‘.

This is when the Spirit Guide called Gerod came to help and it become quite clear that Gerod could read each person’s soul in present time.

Gerod told Dr Zinser that the Protective Part of The Mind was responsible for blocking the Ego-State Therapy.

The Protective Part Of The Mind

Our protective part does not care if we are going shopping tonight, or meeting someone for dinner. It is focused on what is happening all around the body,/self right now. It will be aware of the grocery aisle or restaurant if and when the body is there.”

This is a part of us that is conscious, lives in the present, but it is separate from the self. It is in a sense always ‘scanning‘ in the present, and its job for scanning, is survival. Its job is protection of the self and survival of the body.

The protective part of the mind also has a developed emotional psychological part of its consciousness.

It is a limited consciousness, it is not worried what you are going to do tomorrow, it is not thinking what you did yesterday, it is strictly in the present. If there is a threat to the body, or the self, the protective part will be triggered, it will react.

It is the protective part, once it is triggered, that can trigger the creation of a sub-personality.

In the first session of Soul-Centered Healing, the Protective Part is contacted first. The therapist asks: ‘Protective Part, do you know about the healing process we are using?’. This is when we usually get a yes (through the ideomotor response hypnotic technique). Almost always the protective part knows.

The protective part is almost always in agreement with the healing process, because the protective part is always on the person’s side for doing anything that makes life better, safer, less painful.

The protective part is always in agreement, as long as it understands.

The next questions to the protective part is: “Protective Part, are you receiving love light energy for yourself?”. The answer is often yes. We then contact the Higher Self.

The Higher Self

The Higher Self is 99% of the time willing to communicate and wants to help with healing. Anything that is going to advance the growth and bring healing to the person. The Higher Self plays a central part in every hypnosis sessions.

Gerod says of the Higher Self:

It’s as though the Soul projects a piece of itself into the conscious present personality, and this piece is a piece of the soul’s Light.

The Higher Self is a direct conduit from our conscious self to our Soul’s Light, to that infinite love, to that knowing of ourselves as spiritual beings.

In Soul-Centred Healing work, we can ask the Higher Self to review inside, and see if it can locate the source of that blocking. The Higher Self can help locate ego-states, sub-personalities and bring Light to them. Once the ego-state experienced the Light, it never wanted to be without it.

The Higher Self can support with a protective energy an ego-state in sharing painful and terrifying experiences with the conscious self. When the ego-state was ready to share, the Higher Self could help it release the pain and distress and finally help the ego-state move to its place with the conscious self in the present now. The conscious self is now aware of that experience and the ego-state can move into integration with the conscious self, in the sense to be part of the whole life.


A personality is created for protection when we are experiencing trauma. Subpersonalities are created usually in childhood and adolescence when the person in much more vulnerable, their identity is not well established and their defences are not really well in place yet. Sub-personalities can be created, depending on what that child has experienced.

A child is five years old, something is occurring, an experience is happening, that is very traumatic. When the conscious self can no longer tolerate what is happening in the experience, it just cannot deal with, then the protective part will react, will start the creation of a sub-personality to take over that situation and do whatever it has to be done in order to take care of it, to survive.

Once that trauma has passed, and the person is safe, that sub-personality does not just disappear, or dissolve; it will move into the unconscious mind.

The personality is a living being, it’s a psychic being that exists in a very narrow reality. Its reality is created by its own consciousness, and unfortunately created by the consciousness of the trauma it is living. The sub-personality is stuck in this reality of pain and suffering.

A sub-personality is often not aware of the reality that person is living in the present time. Now the person grows up to be 30, if something occurs that in a sense touches on, or it is close to the experience that the 5-year old had, let’s say a rejection experience, that 5-year old sub-personality can be triggered and it is going to react and try to protect in the same way as the five years old.

The 30-year old conscious-self may may start to wonder what is going on, the reaction may be way out of proportion, or maybe it is so painful that the person does not understand where it is coming from. This is what happens when a sub-personality comes into the present.

A sub-personality is intelligent, it can reason, it is emotional, and so often these sub-personalities are created in a psychical experience, so they carry with them the physical part of the trauma. That may show up in the present time, in the 30 year old adult, and all of the sudden may get a pain in the leg, or tension in the throat.

Past-Life Sub-Personalities

Gerod explained that we have sub-personality, as well as past-life sub-personalities.

Very often it is physical symptoms that are the starting point, that are the trigger.

Let’s say a person falls of a horse and injures her arm. The injury and resulting pain in her arm may trigger a number of unresolved past-life sub-personalities that have been injured and their pain has been triggered. It was not necessary the woman’s arm itself, it was these past-life sub-personalities that were still carrying their physical energy. Healing those past-life sub-personalities usually results in the release of the pain and energy of the trauma.

If a person died with a number of sub-personalities that were still in their own reality, they were still in the trauma, the soul would move to the Light, however a number of those unresolved sub-personalities may not go to the Light.

Sub-personalities are part of the Soul’s Light, and of course are part of the Light, but when they have been traumatised they can be cut off from the Light, they can seek out the darkness.

They find ways not to remember, not to be aware what happened. There are ways for them to stay away from the Light in order to stay away from the pain.

The “Pocket Of The Soul

Sub-personalities have their own beliefs, needs, motivation and free will. Which mean, after death the soul goes to the Light but a number of sub-personalities may decide that they do not want to go to the Light because they think this would bring up the pain. They do not understand that this pain can be released; what they understand is that pain is all happening again.

Gerod says that when there are sub-personalities that act that way and say no to the Light, they are all folded up withing a pocket of the soul, where they are kept safe from the Light.

“When the soul choses to reincarnate again, and the reincarnation process begins and the soul starts to move to the physical plane, the pocket within the soul will open back up. Those sub-personalities, that are now past-life sub-personalities, are coming back into play. This does not mean that they will all be re-activated; it means that if there are events happening in the person’s present life that are repeating from other lifetimes, these will trigger those past-life sub-personalities.

You may have a soul who for a number of lifetimes has been working out on a particular issue or a particular theme and that past may be triggered in the person’s present life. That person may not understand what is going on, he/she may see the result of what is going on: pain, hurt, anxiety, headaches, depression and so on. The person may overreact to everyday situations or be upset about something, but may not be consciously aware of what is causing it.

> Past Life Regression and Regression Therapy

Earthbound Spirits

” Spirits become bound to the earth for many different reasons, all of them having to do with the spirit’s consciousness. Depending on what they have been taught, some spirits are afraid that in the Light they will be judged and punished. Hoping to avoid what they believe will be painful; they attach themselves instead to some place or some person in the physical reality”

(Soul-Centered Healing, Thomas Zinser, Ed. D.)

In the natural cycle of life and death, the spirit moves to the Light after it has left the body. However, sometimes spirits become what is known as earthbound, because they cannot progress as they remain mentally attached to the earth plane for various reasons such as unfinished business, belief, traumatic death, anxiety for a loved one on Earth, fear of the Light, fear of death, etc.

They may be referred to as ghosts, spirits or intelligent hauntings, but are generally thought to possess the same personality and traits as the person who has passed on.

Earthbound spirits are rarely malicious, most of the times they are just confused and look for help. Sometimes they are not even aware that they have died. They manifest in different ways: they may stay in houses or places, or they attach to a living person.

Spirit Release Therapy process is not just about releasing the spirit, but it is trying to understand what is going on for us; for example, a person may present a problem/issue that may come from this current life or a past life.

The Higher Self is a deeply wise knowing part which is in the spiritual world and is monitoring everything that is going on. The spirit release process takes the person in a altered state of consciousness in which he/she is directed to the traumatic part that needs to be healed.

> Earthbound Spirits: What Happens After We Die?

> Spirit Release Therapy

David Furlong Ph.D uses the metaphor of the house to describe what happens with dub-personalities:

“Think yourself as a house, and parts of you living in different rooms of the house. What may happen sometimes is that one of the parts may invite a stranger from the outside into the house, and this stranger may create a problem. You may sometime get spirits that do not come into the house but ‘just sit in the garden.

This is the process through which spirits attach to subpersonalities.

Evil Spirits

“According to Gerod, these were not just earthbound spirits – lost, confused, or mischievous – trying to hang on to the physical reality. They were spirits who were intentionally intruding upon or threatening the client with whom I was working, and they seemed to know very clearly what they were doing.”

Unlike earthbound spirit, evil spirits want nothing to do with the Light or receiving help from spirit guides. When identified, they refuse to cooperate, and would try to block or interfere with the healing process. They usually refuse to leave a person or cease their harassment.


“These spirits are evil, but not that powerful. They are working their way, so to speak, to the higher (or lower perhaps I should say) levels of capability. Command that those spirits leave by the will of the Creator, Who created all, Who is the Light and Who created them … They will be conniving and protesting but they will go, for ultimately the will does have the choice and the choice for God’s love and Freedom will prevail.”

According to Gerod, the souls that are in darkness cannot reincarnate. They exist in some state or dimension of consciousness outside time and space.

Beings Of Light

According to Gerod, there were myriad souls in the Light, and they existed at different levels and served the purposes of the Light in many ways.

A number of earthbound spirits I worked with had reported seeing these helping spirits waiting for them in the Light. It didn’t happen every time, and I could not predict when it would happen again. When it did happen, though, in almost all cases, it was helpful.

These helping spirits appeared to be the same kind of spirit beings encountered by people in the near-death-experience, only in those cases, they are usually counselling the person against making his or her transition. Instead, their efforts are intended to guide the soul back to their body and their life on earth.

Spirit Guides

Gerod told Dr Zinser in the beginning of their work together, that one of the promises of the Divine, the Light, was that everyone who incarnated would have at least one guide, in the sense that was with them and aware of them. Through a lifetime they may have a change of guides, or may have more than one guide. Those guides are available to us at all times.

– A guide will not interfere with a soul’s free choice, is not going to tell a person what to do because there may be a lesson for the soul. The guides know not to interfere with free-choice.

– There are people because of their pain, or their confusion, their disbelief, may give a message that they do not want that guide near them, they do not want that Light energy to come close to them. The guide will not violate that, they will stay distant if that is the message coming from the soul they are working with.

The guides are very tuned in free choice, which is an absolute.

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– Hypnotherapy: What Is It?

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Giancarlo is a fully qualified Spiritual Healer, Reiki Master, Hypnotherapist and Past Life Regression Therapist. He lives and work in London, United Kingdom. Read more.