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Finding Meaning in Near-death Experiences.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSN › Chapter

Publication date1/10/2009
Host publicationPsychological Scientific Perspectives on Out-of-body and Near-death Experiences
EditorsCraig D. Murray
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science
ISBN (Print)978-1-60741-077-5
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Near-death experiences (NDEs) have become a topic of increasing interest to medical and psychological researchers over the last 35 years. During the course of this research agenda, several studies have focused on the phenomenology of the experience and its after-effects, mostly from a nomothetic stance. This chapter reports on the experience of having an NDE and the meanings attributed to that experience and its resultant after-effects by taking an idiographic, phenomenological approach. Here we detail how individuals may choose elements of an experience which are most personally meaningful for them and how this is incorporated into their later lives. Of particular interest here is how participants came to new understandings of their lives as a result of their NDE. A process of integration is helped or hindered by physical and psychological factors concomitant at the time of the NDE. Also evident are the challenges the NDE, or elements therein, have on the individual’s sense of self and how they maintain and develop that self in the years following the event.