Most people believe in an afterlife (according to research surveys e.g. Pew Research Center, 2008; Reaney, 2011). Many people have had afterlife experiences, including after-death communication experiences and end-of-life dreams and visions (e.g., Kamp & Due, 2019; Kerr, 2014; Lipka, 2015). Excited by shows on TV, many people now seek the services of a “medium” (who may be able to communicate with the dead). Why? Reasons include wanting reassurance that their deceased loved ones are at peace, seeking closure on unresolved issues, or exploring the possibility of continuing a relationship after death. This presentation discusses potential benefits and downsides of such readings, and offers follow up options to promote well-being.
You will learn to:
- Differentiate a medium and evidential mediumship.
- Identify experiences in which an afterlife is encountered (e.g. after-death communication, near-death, shared-death) and end-of-life dreams and visions.
- Identify research that indicates readings with mediums should be further investigated as a resource for non-medical/non-psychological healing.
- Discern potential benefits and potential downsides to such readings.
- Relate options to promote wellbeing after a reading.
And you will also get research-based resources for further exploration.
Time: Watch at Your convenience. The presentation was pre-recorded.
Beth Christopherson, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist in Houston, TX. She has published and presented on the ethics, options, and challenges for mental health providers in assessing and addressing afterlife beliefs and spiritual experiences in articles such as The Elephant in the Room of Grief and The Spiritual but not Religious: What Social Workers Need to Know. She also developed and presented the workshop Ethically Integrating Afterlife Beliefs in Therapy at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and recently published a paper with Dr. Julie Beischel, Assessing Afterlife Beliefs in Psychotherapy.
Because Beth values both the academic and spiritual aspects of grief and loss, Beth serves as an ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Death and Dying; she is on the clinical advisory board for the Windbridge Research Center, a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC), and a volunteer for Forever Family Foundation. Beth frequently presents at local universities and medical schools on a variety of topics related to mental health and quality-of-life issues.
Image above created by Paula Belle Flores
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