Patients’ Disclosures of Near-Death Experiences and Other Anomalous Death-Related Phenomena: Perspectives from a General Psychiatric Clinic.
This article reviews five cases from a psychiatrist practice. The five cases are unique in that they all contain anomalous death-related experiences. Clinical implications are also discussed.
Although a burgeoning literature exists on the subject of anomalous death-related phenomena, relatively little attention has been given to understanding or describing case studies of disclosures of such phenomena within the therapeutic context, particularly that of a general psychiatric practice. During a period of 18 months in the first author’s general adult psychiatric clinic, two patients disclosed a history of near-death experiences, and three patients disclosed other anomalous experiences relating to the deaths of loved ones. Presented are the clinical contexts in which these disclosures occurred; the patients’ views about the disclosures, solicited from subsequent reflections with the psychiatrist; and the psychiatrist’s observations of the patients’ subsequent presentation following their disclosures. The findings are discussed in the context of the existing literature. Implications for psychiatrists and other mental health professionals are then discussed as well as possible future research directions.
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