Counsellors have a duty of care to establish whether a link between reports of the paranormal and mental illness exists on a case-by-case basis. However, they should also keep their personal beliefs at bay when it comes to exploring client accounts of a paranormal nature. It is more important to explore a client’s personal experience with the paranormal, rather than attempting to judge the validity of their experience.
Attitudes in psychotherapy are slowly beginning to change with increased recognition of organisations such as the Association for Transpersonal Psychology. These organisations conduct much-needed research into humanistic approaches for working with mystical and paranormal experiences.
However, much work is still left to be done in this area as perspectives change and the stigma of the paranormal is lifted. In particular, therapists should be normalising, rather than critiquing, client accounts when it comes to paranormal experiences.
Regardless of the opinions one has about the potential existence of a paranormal reality, it is important to understand the subjective significance of altered states of consciousness.