Mission

My goal is to raise awareness that spiritual experiences are a natural and valuable aspect of what it means to be a human being.

Aims

 

  1. To provide information and advice about spiritual or other unusual experiences.

  2. To provide counselling and support when people are concerned about or distressed by spiritual experiences.

  3. To undertake and report on high quality academic research on spiritual experiences.

  4. To deliver education and training about spiritual experiences.

  5. To raise awareness and bridge the complementary worlds of spirituality and mental wellbeing.

  6. To depathologise and normalise these kinds of experiences in contemporary society.

Principles

 

There are many different attitudes towards unusual experiences ranging from militant scepticism to uncritical acceptance. The principles below summarise my own approach to unusual experiences:
 

  • Anomalous Experiences - I am interested in 'anomalous' (unusual), 'religious', or 'spiritual' experiences and beliefs. Many other terms are also used to refer to these kinds of experiences including: exceptional, peak, mystical, psychic, transcendent, paranormal, awakening, and spiritually transformative experiences.

 

  • Life Context - I understand that anomalous experiences are an inseparable part of a person's life and beliefs that cannot be properly understood if taken out of that context. I am interested in understanding anomalous experiences from the perspective of the experiencer as well as from psychological perspectives.

 

  • Non-Ideological - I endeavour to be non-sectarian/non-denominational/non-partisan with no hidden agenda, no proselytization to prior beliefs, or evangelical aims. When listening to people I endeavour to be open, honest, and non-judgmental. My own position with regard to many spiritual beliefs is one of open-minded agnostic.

 

  • Normalising - On the basis of much research I take the view that these experiences are not usually due to physical or mental illness and that spirituality is a natural component of the human being. I take an unprejudiced, normalising perspective on such experiences in order to counteract the negativity that some experiencers encounter from others.

 

  • Fellow Explorer - My role is one of fellow explorer, not as guru, teacher or spiritual guide. I cannot provide you with spiritual guidance or the answer to life, the universe and everything. I emphasise your own responsibility for the actions you take and their resulting consequences. All I can do is help to clarify the options and explore them with you in a safe environment.

 

  • Research Based - As far as possible my understanding is guided by, and based upon, empirical research in areas of academic study related to spiritual & religious experience, transpersonal psychology, and clinical parapsychology.

 

  • Confidentiality - Whatever you discuss with me is kept private and confidential. As with all professional therapists I may discuss your case in anonymised form with my supervisor. If I did wish to undertake research with you this would be done with your prior consent. I would only break confidentiality in rare instances, for example if a child or vulnerable adult was at risk. I also adhere to the principles of the GDPR & Data Protection Act 2018.

 

  • Professional - I believe it is important that I keep myself up-to-date with skills and techniques that may be of assistance. Therefore, I endeavour to meet the same standards as any professional therapist. This includes regular supervision, a professionally accredited training, insurance, adherence to an ethical code, and continuing professional development. This is in addition to my academic training in the study of anomalous, religious, and spiritual experiences.


I adhere to the code of conduct and ethical guidelines issued by the CNHC. The CNHC complaints procedure can be found here.