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Reincarnation therapy, beware therapists?

Posted: 30 July 2008?

writer Keith Sellick

Resurrect the unemployed

The Dutch have a well-deserved reputation for liberalism: cannabis cafes, legalised brothels and REO Speedwagon loving darts players such as Barney. So it is no surprise that when the UK government is beating vulnerable people with the big stick of welfare reform, the Dutch have come up with a novel approach to help the unemployed back to work.

The council in Maastricht (you can imagine the Euro-phobes frothing at the mouth already) is pioneering a 10-week course of regression/resurrection therapy. The aim is to help "welfare claimants come to terms with their past lives and this will help them find jobs", Luc Winants, social affairs councillor, told the De Limburger newspaper.

The local mystics at the complementary centre explained the theory behind the courses: "Reincarnation therapy can help, because people's complaints and problems have causes not just in the present but also in previous lives."

But, just as Dutch liberalism is wilting under the heat of "weekends on the weed" holidays, the Maastricht Council adds a UK-style threat: "Dutch citizens may be required to undergo past-life regression or risk losing their welfare benefits."

With such a sanction, maybe the government will pilot the therapy in the UK. After all, several ministers may need to resurrect their careers after the next election.

Although what would Professor Layard, with his talking therapies, make of it all? I imagine communing with the dead is rather quiet.