I think you can do something similar with characters. The important thing is they have to go back for a good reason (it must form a vital part of the plot, else it is just padding). They should gain something from the return to their past - healing, an answer to a problem etc. The other important point is the visit to the past should be long enough to be useful but not drag on too long. We found a day visit was enough for what we wanted to achieve.
In fiction, I think you would want to limit how much time/words/pages was spent on this. In The Lord of the Rings we are drip-fed the story of how that wretched ring came into being. The past had to be explored as the story of how and why Sauron forged the thing came out. Yet this does not stop the flow of the story, it adds to it. It adds to the drama. The story would make less sense without it. And that is how you know the fictional revisiting of the past has hit the right note.