Clinical parapsychology: counselling experiences of clients who report anomalous experiences and the training needs of therapists
KeywordsBF1001 Parapsychology. Psychic research. Psychology of the conscious
RC475 Therapeutics. Psychotherapy
BF1048 Hallucinations. Sleep. Dreaming. Visions
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AbstractObjectives: To investigate 1) the experiences of clients who have reported anomalous experiences (AEs) in secular counselling services, 2) the experiences of therapists who work with such clients, and 3) the training needs of students. Method: Interviews were conducted with clients and therapists, and focus groups explored the training needs of students on counselling programmes. Results: When clients sought counselling the majority of participants we interviewed said that they felt dismissed when they tried to discuss AEs or reported that their counsellor did not take into account their worldview. Therapists reflected on how clients are often reluctant to disclose AEs to them for fear of being seen as ‘mad’. They emphasised the importance of exploring the meaning with clients rather than imposing an explanation or making a judgement as to the authenticity of AEs. Most of the students that took part in the focus groups felt that they were unequipped to work with clients who reported AEs and stated that they had not received any training on these issues. Conclusions: Findings have implications for clients in terms of accessibility of services, engagement with therapy, and psychological adjustment following AEs. It would be useful for therapists to have reliable and accurate information about AEs and/or for students to be introduced to the topic whilst undertaking training.
TypeConference or Workshop Item
Roxburgh, E. C. and Evenden, R. (2016) Clinical parapsychology: counselling experiences of clients who report anomalous experiences and the training needs of therapists. Poster presented to: Bial Foundation 11th Symposium: Behind and Beyond the Brain: Placebo Effects, Healing and Meditation, Casa do Médico, Porto, Portugal, 30 March - 02 April 2016.