Exceptional Experience and Health

Essays on Mind, Body and Human Potential


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About the Book

The study of the effect of “exceptional” experiences and beliefs on health—including anomalous, placebo, or hypnotic healing and mystical, religious, transpersonal, and creative experiences—is attracting increasing academic and public interest. This collection of essays explores the nature of mind, its impact on the body, and the relationship between “exceptional” experiences and physical health, mental health, and the potential for other types of perception. Examining the influence of spiritual practices, mental imagery, and alternative healing methods such as Reiki and Johrei, the essays encourage the expansion of mental health practice to include the full range of exceptional experiences. By normalizing experiences that are often pathologized, this book recognizes that exceptional human experiences can and do have value for physical and mental health.

About the Author(s)

Christine Simmonds-Moore is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of West Georgia and has received several Bial research grants, given to promote exploration of a variety of exceptional experiences.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Christine Simmonds-Moore
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 312
Bibliographic Info: 14 illustrations, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5966-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8867-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction: Overview and Exploration of the State of Play Regarding Health and Exceptional Experiences
(Christine Simmonds-Moore)      7

1. The Mind- Body Connection and Healing
(John Gruzelier)      27
2. Altered States of Consciousness, Mental Imagery and Healing
(David Luke)      64
3. Excerpts of Intercorporeality: A Phenomenological Exploration of Energy Healing
(Carl Williams, Diane Dutton and Chris Burgess)      81
4. The Function of Religious Beliefs and Practices: Buffering the Impact of Exposure to Traumatic Events
(Eve Binks)      94

5. What Meditation Can Do: Mental Health or Exceptional Experiences
(Stefan Schmidt)      113
6. The Muse in the Machine: Creativity, Anomalous Experiences and Mental Health
(Nicola J. Holt)      131
7. Exploring Ways of Manipulating Anomalous Experiences for Mental Health and Transcendence
(Christine Simmonds- Moore)      171
8. Transformative and/or Destructive: Exceptional Experiences from the Clinical Perspective
(Isabel Clarke)      196
9. Counseling at the IGPP: An Overview
(Eberhard Bauer and Martina Belz)      210
10. Clinical Psychology for People with Exceptional Experiences in Practice
(Martina Belz)      223
11. Clinical Parapsychology in the United Kingdom
(Ian Tierney)      242

Bibliography      255
About the Contributors      295
Index      299