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Exceptional Experience and Health: Essays on Mind, Body and Human Potential

From the publisher’s website: 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--has expanded and gained wider acceptance. 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, different types of mental imagery, and the practice of alternative healing methods such as reiki and johrei, the pieces propose ways of harnessing positive potential and 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.


Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Overview and Exploration of the State of Play Regarding Health and Exceptional Experiences, by Christine Simmonds-Moore

Part one – Belief, Mind and Body

Chapter 2. The Mind-Body Connection and Healing, by John Gruzelier

Chapter 3. Altered States of Consciousness, Mental Imagery and Healing, by David Luke

Chapter 4. Excerpts of Intercorporeality: A Phenomenological Exploration of Energy Healing, by Carl Williams, Diane Dutton & Chris Burgess

Chapter 5. The Function of Religious Beliefs and Practices: Buffering the Impact of Exposure to Traumatic Events, by Eve Binks

Part two – Exceptional experiences and mental health

Chapter 6.  What Meditation Can Do -Mental Health or Exceptional Experiences, by Stefan Schmidt

Chapter 7. The Muse in  the Machine: Creativity, Anomalous Experiences  and  Mental Health, by Nicola J. Holt

Chapter 8. Exploring ways of manipulating anomalous experiences for mental health and transcendence, by Christine Simmonds-Moore

Chapter 9. Transformative and/or destructive: Exceptional experiences from the clinical perspective, by Isabel Clarke

Chapter 10. Counseling at the IGPP – An Overview, by Eberhard Bauer and Martina Belz

Chapter 11. Clinical Psychology for people with Exceptional Experiences in practice, by Martina Belz

Chapter 12. ‘Clinical Parapsychology’ in the UK, by Ian Tierney


About the editor: Christine Simmonds-Moore teaches in the department of psychology at the University of West Georgia and has received several Bial grants, given to promote exploration of a variety of topics pertinent to understanding exceptional experiences.

First Author: 
Christine Simmonds-Moore (ed.)
Reference Information: 
Exceptional Experience and Health. McFarland, March 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0786459667