Mental health and mediumship: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

Wilde, D.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-7416-4348, Murray, J., Doherty, P. and Murray, C.D., 2019. Mental health and mediumship: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 22 (3), pp. 261-278. ISSN 1367-4676

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There is a lack of research examining the lived experience of mental health as a practicing medium, yet the nature of mediumship work inherently presents a number of challenges to the mental health of practitioners. In this study, we aimed to gain an understanding of how mediums experience their mental health in relation to their mediumistic practice and how they recognise and respond to psychological difficulties experienced by their clients. Fourteen mediums from the North West of England took part in one-to-one interviews, which were transcribed and subject to interpretative phenomenological analysis. Four themes were identified: From past traumas to mediumistic identity; Spirit makes sense, mental illness is chaos; Being resilient but vulnerable; and Ethical mediumistic practice. The research highlights the value of not dismissing or attempting to change appraisals of valued aspects of mediums’ anomalous experiences. However, the findings do indicate that support for exposure to clients’ difficulties (such as vicarious trauma) might be helpful, in the same way in which other professionals might receive support with such experiences. Future research into mediums’ help-seeking for mental health difficulties and their experiences of counselling or psychotherapy would be valuable in identifying if and how their psychological needs are met.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Mental health and mediumship [running head]
Publication Title: Mental Health, Religion & Culture
Creators: Wilde, D.J., Murray, J., Doherty, P. and Murray, C.D.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 2019
Volume: 22
Number: 3
ISSN: 1367-4676
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 01 Jul 2019 10:34
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2020 03:00

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