Transforming the Fear of Death Through Near-Death Experiences and Experiential Psychedelics: A Transpersonal Hermeneutic Phenomenological Inquiry

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Nielsen, Janet
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
This study examined the phenomenological experience of the transformation of the fear of death in the context of the mystical and transcendent nature of a near death experience (NDE) or while using psychedelics, specifically LSD or psilocybin. The study recruited and interviewed seven participants who had experienced a life-altering mystical NDE or transcendent psychedelic journey. The analysis of emergent themes was conducted using transpersonal and hermeneutic phenomenology research methods. The identified themes unfolded in three parts: the experience itself, illumination of the experience, and the gifts and lessons learned. A prominent theme involving transformation, especially as it relates to the fear of death, emerged from the findings. Thus, the findings of this study have important implications for psychotherapy, in particular how we treat death and dying. Further research into these exceptional experiences could be an opportunity to transform our collective pathology and fears around death.
Death , Death, Apparent , Phenomenology , Phenomenology Research , Psilocybin , Psychotherapy