Adults' Reports of the Role of Psychotherapy in Integrating Their Childhood Near-Death Experiences: A Preliminary Investigation
Description: Abstract: The Purpose of the exploratory research was to learn if adults who had childhood near-death experiences (NDEs) sometime between pre-birth to age 17 years had psychotherapy and if they believed it helped them achieve psychological integration of their NDEs. Participants completed three instruments: the NDE Scale (Greyson, 1990), the author-developed Childhood NDE and Psychotherapy Questionnaire, and the three Subjective and Psychological Well-Being Scales (Diener & Biswas-Diener, 2008). Of 29 respondents, 23 met the NDE Scale criteria for an NDE. Results for the 15 (67%) who had engaged in psychological integration of NDE's and more positive emotional feelings (r = .77, p < .01) and fewer negative emotions (r = -.84, p < .01). The correlation between psychological integration of NDE and success with a small effect (r = .16, p > .10). The psychotherapy factors identified by participants as successful i helping them process and integrate their NDE's included having a therapist who accepted the NDE as real and validated the experience and who helped the NDEr express thoughts and feelings about, explore the meaning of, and resolve any guilt around the NDE. Results supported the idea that psychological integration of NDEs is related to subjective and psychological wellbeing, and the provided clues about features of psychotherapy that might promote NDE integration. Limitations of the study, implications of results for psychotherapeutic interventions, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Date: Spring 2013
Creator: Moores, Jenny R. & Ammen, Sue