The client, the therapist and the paranormal: a response to the special edition on psychotherapy and the paranormal

Tony Lawrence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, I provide a published paper response to the papers in this special edition on the paranormal and psychotherapy articulated largely from my career as a parapsychologist. In the introduction I note the definitional differences between advocates and counter-advocates in terms of what might be ‘paranormal’, although I argue ultimately that definitional differences aside, the therapist’s relationship with the client’s unusual experiences is critical, taking a phenomenological stance which is echoed by at least two of the papers in the special edition. In broad review, the papers make a variety of welcome contributions; historical individually and small sample phenomenological and also more metaphorically in terms of articulations of the haunting nature of collective and intergenerational trauma in the social and cultural sphere. I review the papers from a parapsychological perspective, considering the evidence drawn from parapsychological studies where it supports or adds to the topics of each paper. In concluding this response, it seems clear that therapists often work from first principles when relating to clients’ anomalous experiences, and that the papers of the special edition each offer practising therapists some important evidential and practical insights into working with client presentations of ostensibly paranormal and anomalous experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-192
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotherapy & Counselling
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Paranormal
  • anomalous
  • parapsychology
  • psychotherapy
  • phenomenology
  • trauma


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