Affirming the positive in anomalous experiences: challenge to dominant accounts of reality, life, and death

Steffen, E.M., Wilde, D.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-7416-4348 and Cooper, C.E., 2018. Affirming the positive in anomalous experiences: challenge to dominant accounts of reality, life, and death. In: N.J.L. Brown, T. Lomas and F.J. Eiroa-Orosa, eds., The Routledge international handbook of critical positive psychology. Routledge international handbooks . Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 227-246. ISBN 9781138961432

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Abstract

This chapter argues for a critical positive psychology perspective towards so-called anomalous experiences (specifically the experience of sensing the presence of the deceased and out-of-body experiences), which are often welcomed by perceivers and which tend to be pathologised or dismissed in dominant Western discourses, especially in medical ones but also in general scientific discourses due to the challenge they present to dominant conceptualisations of reality. The chapter highlights some of the benefits that perceivers have reported including how these phenomena can promote transpersonal events and positive emotions as well as post-traumatic growth. However, the difficulties perceivers have as a consequence of being dismissed are also pointed out, and it is argued that an affirmative stance towards positive anomalous experiences in psychological scholarship and practice could be a way forward but that this may require a preparedness to take a questioning stance towards dominant Western understandings of reality, life and death.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Creators: Steffen, E.M., Wilde, D.J. and Cooper, C.E.
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: Abingdon
Date: 2018
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 30 Apr 2018 12:20
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2019 03:00
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/33386

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