Yale-Educated Psychiatrist Tells Oprah How He Became a Believer in Reincarnation (+Video)

June 12, 2014 Updated: June 12, 2014

Psychiatrist Dr. Brian Weiss had his belief system turned on its head after a frightened, confused woman sat in his office and made startling revelations. This patient, Catherine, not only remembered past lives that seemed to explain her present-life phobias, but also provided intimate details of Dr. Weiss’s life—knowledge gained in the mysterious space between incarnations.

“I was such a skeptic, so left-wing, so academic and I started already explaining it away,” Weiss recalled in an interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this month. “Maybe she saw movies or read about this, or maybe it’s the collective unconscious that the psychoanalyst Carl Jung wrote about … But when she came back next week, her symptoms were disappearing.”

For example, she was asked to go back to the time when her phobia of water began. She remembered drowning in a tidal wave. It wasn’t until his fourth or fifth session with Catherine, however, that Dr. Weiss was convinced.

While under hypnosis, she told him she could see his father and son in the space between lives.

This was in the days before you could Google your doctor, as Oprah pointed out. Furthermore, Weiss didn’t have personal memorabilia displayed in his office—he didn’t even have his diplomas displayed.

Catherine said of Weiss’s son: “He’s very tiny … His heart is turned around backwards.” Weiss’s son had died after only 23 days of life due to a rare heart condition fitting Catherine’s description.

Catherine said Weiss’s father had died of a heart failure and that Weiss’s daughter was named after the father. This was also accurate.

Weiss has championed past-life regression therapy ever since, treating many patients and writing several books, the latest of which is “Miracles Happen.” A graduate of Columbia University and Yale Medical School, Weiss is chairman emeritus of psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami. He made the journey from extreme skeptic to believer down a path he did not seek, but which he was compelled to follow.