Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review of Perspectives of Clinical Parapsychology: An Introductory Reader

In 2007, twenty professionals from eight different countries gathered in Naarden, Netherlands to exchange their experiences and scientific knowledge in the field of clinical parapsychology. Perspectives of Clinical Parapsychology: An Introductory Reader, edited by Wim H. Kramer, Eberhard Bauer, and Gerd H. Hovelmann was the result of this conference. Containing thirteen contributed articles and an 126 page working bibliography, the book can be considered an up-to-date introduction to this developing field. It can serve as a guide for psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and family doctors who find themselves confronted with clients who report apparently “paranormal” emotional experiences, but do not exhibit the traditional signs of psychopathology.

There are a small number of professionally-staffed outpatient clinics in Europe and South America that serve people experiencing paranormal emergencies. However, resources for those suffering in North America and other parts of the world are limited. Fortunately, several chapters in the book give staff members of these clinics an opportunity to share their methods. In the chapter Experiences with Psi Counseling in Holland, Wim H. Kramer summarizes the types of complaints that are common at his counseling practice and outlines two kinds of therapeutic techniques. Clinical psychologist Ian R. Tierney of the University of Edinburgh offers the Lessons from a Case Study, where he outlines the successes and failures of his therapeutic approach to a particular counseling case in which a woman was distressed by apparent psychokinetic events happening around her. In the Group Therapy Approach to Exceptional Human Experiences, Alejandro Parra presents the techniques applied by the staffed professionals at his Argentinian institute. And the overview of Counseling at the IGPP (Institute for Border Areas of Psychology and Mental Hygiene at Freiburg University, Germany) should be considered required reading for anyone interested in establishing their own counseling practice to serve those distressed by anomalous experiences.

The bulk of Perspectives of Clinical Parapsychology contains 2,400 entries of Gerd H. Hovelmann's working bibliography Clinical Aspects of Exceptional Human Experiences. The quality of the material, which spans many different languages and an array of mainstream scientific journals, demonstrates that counseling paranormal experiencers has been more than just a fringe interest for some time. In fact, the sheer volume of research presented in this final chapter seems to run counter to the idea that the worldwide availability of competent clinical services is unsatisfactory. However, as noted by Hovelmann, “up to quite recently there have been only a few systematic, coordinated actually provide adequate counseling and treatment models for those who have (or claim to have) such non-ordinary experiences. Much less has there been any concerted transform empirical research findings, theory building and related treatment models into practical counseling approaches” (p.190). This book may be considered one such attempt.

Whether or not a variety paranormal experiences can be seen as scientifically proven phenomena is still a matter of debate. But reports of distress resulting from paranormal experiences in otherwise psychologically healthy people are widespread. The knowledge and methods shared in Perspectives of Clinical Parapsychology can assist professionals who are evaluating these kinds of reports in clinical, counseling, and social welfare settings, and may help them ease the suffering of those who are having a paranormal emergency.

Kramer, W., Bauer, E., & Hövelmann, G. (2012). Perspectives of Clinical Parapsychology : An Introductory Reader. Bunnik : Stichting HJBF, 320 p.

To order the book, email

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Human Experiences Survey

Researchers Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado and Dr. Christine Simmonds-Moore are interested in learning more about a variety of human experiences, some of which are unusual, but are by no means uncommon in the general population. They are undertaking an online survey to explore individual differences, synesthesia (the tendency for some people to experience two senses together, e.g., colored words or numbers; tasting shapes; spatially organized calendars, etc.), and a variety of anomalous experiences (for example, extrasensory perception).

They would very much appreciate it if you would take the time to complete this online questionnaire, even if you have never experienced the things described on the questionnaire.

Please email Dr. Christine Simmonds-Moore if you have any questions about the survey.
Christine Simmonds-Moore, Ph.D.
University of West Georgia,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Clinical Approaches to Exceptional Experiences

A conference co-sponsored by the Rhine Research Center and University of West Georgia Psychology department

This event will take place in Durham, North Carolina Friday 9th and Saturday 10th March, 2012.
The conference includes a Welcome Reception on the evening of Friday 9th March (from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.)and a day long conference on Saturday 10th March. Registration will open from 7.30 a.m. (with coffee available) and presentations running from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The conference is of particular relevance to those who have an interest in exceptional experiences, those who are working with (or planning to work with) people who have experienced distressing exceptional experiences those who are currently working as clinicians, social workers and nurses (etc.) researchers into exceptional experiences, and those who may want to further understand their own exceptional experiences. CEU credits will be available (those wanting CEU credits will be required to attend the Friday night reception and the conference presentations). 

Topics will include: discussing the types of experiences that people have, normal explanations for distressing experiences (e.g., those which are sleep related), the history of clinical approaches to exceptional experiences, various clinical approaches toward distressing exceptional experiences, insights from practicing clinicians and those who have had exceptional experiences. 

If you are interested in this conference, please register here to join our conference mailing list. We will then be able to send out additional information

Early bird registration will end January 31, 2012.