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Dr Valerie Harkness on the impact of Mediumship on Wellbeing

Psi Saturday guest speaker, Dr Valerie Harkness, has been kind enough to contribute a guest blog post to us! Here she talks about her study of the impact of Mediumship on psychotherapy, in particular how it affects grief and mental health.

Click below to join Dr Harkness at Psi Saturday (1st July) and to her speak on her work. Please remember that places at this event are highly limited and book in advance to avoid disappoinment. 

After-life contacts and/or beliefs in life after death are often not taken into account in psychotherapy settings. Yet, recent studies have yielded interesting findings on the health benefits of contact with the dead, eg, increased sense of agency, resilience and a more positive outlook. 


In this talk, I will present the findings of a research project on mediumship events (in particular, contact with departed loved ones and any new sense of community/connectedness) and well-being.



On the strength of both past studies and my personal experience, I decided to explore the benefits of mediumship events on their participants’ sense of well-being. People attend these events possibly in the hope that they will receive a personal message from Spirit and share with others a very precious moment.


To measure the impact, I devised a simple questionnaire (mixed design) which was administered by the Arthur Conan Doyle Centre and sent out to those attending the Saturday mediumship demos.  A total of 59 people responded. The main research question was to know the extent to which those events were associated with their participants’ well-being and to identify the precise contributing factor(s).  More subsidiary questions included an overview of obstacles to the positive impact of mediumship events. 


In this talk I will explore those results, discussing the impact of mediumship in this field and the potential benefits of it in future psychotherapy work.



joan frew at the sir arthur conan doyle centre

About Dr Valerie Harkness

Valerie Harkness works in education, teaching and offering lectures and workshops in the UK and abroad.  Whilst she specialises in languages, theories of learning, intercultural understanding and creativity, she is particularly interested in connectedness and how people can learn from one another.


Valerie has a Ph.D in education. She was a teacher educator before opening and directing an Alliance Française and more recently, a community school in her area in collaboration with the local theatre.   She is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists and a Chartered Linguist.


As a poet and a writer, Valerie has had a number of poetry collections published in France and short stories in the UK. She has also contributed to poetry anthologies. She is the editor of an on-line poetry journal (Dailleurspoésie.com) dedicated to French speaking poets from around the world.


She is now engaged in a variety of writing, researching and teaching initiatives including intercultural perspectives, the role of beauty, and a research project on mediumship events in collaboration with the ACDC.   





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