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From Trauma to Transcendence: Clinical Perspectives on an Evolutionary Process

Description: Abstract: Trauma and dissociation play a decisive role in initiating spiritual experience. This article explores transformational crises and spiritually transformative experiences (STEs) that occur within the context of trauma, physical illness, and mental disorders. Such growth or transformation may be a natural evolutionary process, in which the defense mechanism of dissociation plays a part. Consciousness is challenged to transform when one's ego identity and defenses are threatened. Ultimately, one may arrive at a radically re-ordered conceptual framework and higher-order functioning. Acknowledgement of this evolutionary dynamic may serve as a bridge between two fields: clinical psychology, with its expertise regarding the effects of trauma, notably dissociative states, and transpersonal psychology, with its expertise regarding transformational processes. Research from both fields is explored, as well as case examples from the author's biography, her clinical practice, and the collective. The concept of functional dissociation is introduced, and clinical considerations are addressed.
Date: Winter 2014
Creator: Colli, Janet Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Healing Power of Extraordinary Spiritual Experiences

Description: Abstract: Extraordinary spiritual experiences (ESEs) events that appear to be direct perception of spiritual facts, have a history in Western societies of being stigmatized and pathologized except within very limited religious contexts. That negative view has caused real harm to many "visionaries." But in the latter 20th century, social science research began to show that ESEs are actually common in the general population and that they are normal. Near-death experiences are a well-known example. The growing body of research literature suggests that many conventional theories about spirituality are empirically mistaken and that ESEs may have the potential to be powerfully health promoting. This emerging evidence creates both a great ethical obligation and a research opportunity.
Date: Spring 2014
Creator: Hufford, David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Integrating Spiritual Experiences: Peaks to Plateaus

Description: Abstract: This article provides a distilled sketch of my observations of three general phases in a process of integrating spiritually transformative experiences (STEs). The process may be thought of as both marking development over time as well as being microgenetic, spiraling through phases in brief moments. In addition, three forces activated in an STE -- transcendence, communion, and destruction -- as well as challenges frequently associated with these types of experiences are described with brief case examples as they manifest across the three phases. Awareness of these phases, along with their overriding questions and challenges, provides an open-ended framework for helpers to use in assisting the spiritual experiencer toward integration.
Date: Winter 2014
Creator: Hart, Tobin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Electromagnetic Phenomena Reported by Near-Death Experiencers

Description: Abstract: Electromagnetic (EM) aftereffects have been reported following near-death experiences (NDEs). These effects include both (a) EM actions, apparent actions by the individual on the surrounding EM environment, and (b) EM reactions, apparent reactions of the individual to the EM environment. This study investigated EM aftereffects among 216 NDErs, 54 persons who had been close to death without NDEs, and 150 persons who had never been close to death. NDErs reported both greater EM actions and greater EM reactions than did either comparison group. Among NDErs, those with higher scores on the NDE Scale reported more EM aftereffects. Thse findings corroborate and extend prior studies and suggest the need for controlled experiments to measure the kinds and strengths of EM fields generated or channeled by NDErs, the kinds of EM fields and devices that are affected by NDErs, and the kinds and strengths of EM fields to which NDErs react.
Date: Summer 2015
Creator: Greyson, Bruce; Liester, Mitchell B.; Kinsey, Lee; Alsum, Steve & Fox, Glen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Near-Death Experiences: Quantitative Findings from an Aotearoa New Zealand Sample

Description: Abstract: Most of what is currently known about near-death experiences (NDEs) has come from published case studies and larger scale research projects conducted in Western Anglo-European cultures. This article presents findings from the first large-scale retrospective, quantitative study of NDEs conducted in Aotearoa New Zealand over a two-year period, between August 2010 and December 2012. We investigated the occurrence and phenomenology of NDEs in 220 participants. Results revealed the characteristics and occurrence of NDEs in this sample were similar to those reported in other Western samples. Results of a multivariate regression analysis showed belief in the survival of a soul after physical death and being of Māori ethnicity contributed a significant amount of unique variance to NDE Scale scores in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our study represents an important contribution to understanding NDEs in Aotearoa New Zealand, although more research is required to futher elucidate and advance the findings.
Date: Autumn 2014
Creator: Tassell-Matamua, Natasha & Murray, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries

Iranian Shiite Muslim Near-Death Experiences: Features and Aftereffects Including Dispositional Gratitude

Description: Article describing research to explore the near-death experiences (NDEs) of Iranian Shiite Muslim experiencers. It outlines the methods and results of the study and explains how the experiences compare to those of Western experiencers.
Date: Autumn 2014
Creator: Ghasemiannejad, Alinaghi; Long, Jeffrey; Nouri, Farnoosh Faith & Krahnakian, Komeyl
Partner: UNT Libraries