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The First Online Parapsychology Foundation Forum:
Recent Advances in UK Parapsychology
By Nancy L. Zingrone, PhD
PF Lyceum Blog #38
Posted May 8th, 2015
Recently Lisette Coly of the Parapsychology Foundation sponsored a free online course on scientific parapsychology that was offered on the WizIQ social media teaching platform and organized by Carlos S. Alvarado and I. The course is still getting registrants and is at the moment sitting at 919 participants. Besides the amazing line up of speakers, I am convinced that the course was so successful because of Lisette’s willingness to sponsor it as well as participate by issuing the course completion certificates that will be distributed beginning this month.
Since the live portion of the course ended on February 14th, Lisette and the folks at the Foundation have gotten excited about the possibility of fulfilling the Foundation’s mission to act as a worldwide forum supporting the scientific exploration of psychic phenomena by offering a variety of online opportunities for students, researchers and interested others. To that end, the upcoming first-ever PF online forum is the beginning of what she and we hope will be an active calendar of online offerings.
The first-ever online PF forum “Parapsychology Foundation Forum: Recent Advances in UK Parapsychology” will be offered live on Wednesday, May 20th, from Noon Eastern through 7pm Eastern. The event will be built around the upcoming visit of a group from the University of Northampton. Some of these folks are old friends and previous grantees. The Foundation prides itself on finding and funding and/or collaborating with some of the most promising people in the field. For example, Professor Chris Roe not only is the PF Affiliate for England, a recipient of the D. Scott Rogo Award for Parapsychological Literature in 1999, but was also the moderator for Parapsychology Foundation’s Utrecht II conference that was held in the Netherlands in 2008. Cal Cooper, another one of the group, won the 2009 Eileen J. Garrett Scholarship to help fund his undergraduate degree. Dr. Elizabeth Roxburgh was awarded the Judith A. and Charles T. Tart Incentive Award in 2006 while she was a second year post-graduate student at Northampton.
The forum itself is free and open to anyone. To register set up a free WizIQ account by clicking here and the returning to this blog and clicking here. As we are still building out the forum’s live presentations and additional materials, we are reproducing the schedule below with an abstract for each presentation and an extended biography of each of the presenters.
Parapsychology Forum: Recent Advances in UK Parapsychology
Noon to 1:15pm Eastern
Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation
Brief Introduction to the WizIQ Virtual Classroom, Introduction of Lisette Coly
Lisette Coly, President of the Parapsychology Foundation
Welcome and Introduction of Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado
Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado, Research Fellow, Parapsychology
Welcome and Introduction to Parapsychology in the UK and to the University of Northampton Presenters.
1:30pm to 2:20pm Eastern
Professor Chris Roe, Professor of Psychology and Research Leader for the Psychology Division and Director of the Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes. He edits the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. In 2014 he was became first person from the UK to receive the Parapsychological Association’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Parapsychology. His research interests include the phenomenology of paranormal experience, the psychology of paranormal belief and of deception, and experimental approaches to test claims for ESP and PK, particularly where they involve psychological factors.
Professor Roe’s presentation is called “Psi as unconscious: A review of some recent developments in parapsychology.” The talk will cover the notion that case collections of spontaneous paranormal experiences suggest that psi might be characterized as essentially an unconscious process; for example, Louisa Rhine describes numerous instances of psychic experiences without a cognitive component. Currently popular and relatively successful experimental protocols in parapsychology are designed to address the problem of how to detect psi if it is essentially unconscious, and these fall into two broad categories: monitoring physiological changes that don’t reach conscious awareness; looking for consequences for performance on a different explicit task. These studies will be briefly reviewed to give a flavor of the methods adopted and the results they have achieved. Some of the work tests Rex Stanford’s influential Psi Mediated Instrumental Response (PMIR) model, which suggests that psi is essentially goal oriented, responding to basic needs and environment threats or opportunities, and operating below the level of conscious awareness, so the person needn’t intend to use psi, nor be aware that they are. This presentation will include a more detailed description of tests of PMIR that have been conducted recently at the University of Northampton.
2:30pm Eastern to 3:20pm Eastern
David T. Saunders is a Ph.D. candidate working within the Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychology Processes (CSAPP) at the University of Northampton. His specific research interest focuses on altered states of consciousness, particularly dreams and lucid dreams in relation to the ESP and survival hypotheses.
Saunders will present “To sleep perchance to dream
of the dead: Do dreamed encounters with the dead provide any support for the survival hypothesis?” The talk acknowledges that dreaming’s relationship with anomalous experiences has been well documented within the annals of psychical research, from precognitive dreams depicting things to come, to awaking and seeing an apparition at the end of the bed. But what role does survival play in dream scenarios? In the presentation Saunders will describe the rationale behind an ongoing research study funded by the Society for Psychical Research, how it will discuss the nature of dreams, how common it is for people to dream about the dead, and what if any potential evidence these experiences can provide of survival.
3:30pm Eastern to 4:20pm Eastern
Cal Cooper is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Northampton focusing on such topics as parapsychology, thanatology, sexology and positive psychology. His a member of such organizations as the Society for Psychical Research (and their Survival Research Committee) and the Parapsychological Association. He is the author and editor of such titles as: Telephone Calls from the Dead,, Conversations with Ghosts and the upcoming Paracoustics: Sound and the Paranormal.
Cooper’s presentation is called “The Role of Anomalous Experiences in Bereavement” and will explore the history and research behind anomalous bereavement experiences. It will then be considered from this, ‘what’ exactly may be responsible for making such experiences ‘therapeutic’ for the bereaved. New research theories and findings will be discussed.
4:30pm Eastern to 5:20pm Eastern
Rachel Evenden is a certified Integrative Counselor and Research Assistant within for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes (CSAPP), at the University of Northampton. Her research and lecturing covers a broad range of subject areas surrounding Counseling and Positive Psychology domains. Her current research focuses on Clinical parapsychology in the UK to investigate the range and incidence of clients seeking advice for anomalous experiences (AE’s) in a secular counseling service, and the training needs of student counselors and clinical psychologists.
In her presentation, “A Counseling Approach to Mediumship: Adaptive outcomes of Grief following an Exceptional Experience,” Evenden will make the point that, in the last few decades, there has been much corroborative research suggesting that exceptional experiences (EEs) during bereavement lead to improved coping and a healthy recovery from a negative emotional state. Aside from ‘spontaneous’ exceptional experiences and their impact on the bereaved, ‘sort’ experiences such as mediumship can be an equally rewarding and positive experience for the bereaved. Few links have been explored regarding the counseling nature of mediumship with regards to bereaved individuals, and therefore this paper addresses such issues using a counseling approach and qualitative design. Results suggest that those who experience mediumistic counseling produced a high sense of agency, resulting in adaptive coping. Additionally, the findings suggest that areas of counseling, clinical studies and positive psychology would benefit from forming links with the findings of parapsychological research, with regards to the bereaved and their experiences.
5:30pm Eastern to 6:20pm Eastern
Dr. Elizabeth Roxburgh is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Northampton where she specializes in qualitative research methods, the psychology of anomalous experiences, mental health, and counseling. She was awarded her Ph.D. for research exploring the phenomenology and psychology of Spiritualist mediumship. Elizabeth previously worked for the National Health Service as an Assistant Clinical Psychologist in a variety of settings, including mental health, forensic, and learning disability services. She is now a BACP Registered counselor and volunteers for the Spiritual Crisis Network.
In her presentation, “What is ‘clinical parapsychology’? An overview of anomalous experiences and mental health,” Roxburgh will discuss the growing interest in the topic of anomalous experiences and mental health or ‘clinical parapsychology’ as it has come to be termed. In this talk she will give a brief overview of some of the research in this area, including findings from her own research on mediumship, synchronicity in therapy, and counseling for anomalous experiences.
6:30pm Eastern to 6:45pm Eastern
Closing Comments, Lisette Coly and Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado
Brief Orientation to Using Materials and Viewing Recordings from May 21st Forward,
Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone
Remember the forum itself is free. To register set up a free WizIQ account by clicking here and then returning to this blog and clicking here. It is best to registrant for the Forum as soon as possible, so as to begin to meet the other registrants, and to not have to wrestle with any problems you might encounter on the day. The forum will be open to registrant after the actual live sessions for at least a year, so you will be able to dip in and out of the archived recordings and extra materials at your leisure.
Hope to see you all there!
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