James, S. (2022). The mediumistic experience as living myth: A search for meaning. Examining the impact of mediumship on the healing journey of the bereaved: An interpretive study through the lens of transliminal myth [Unpublished Master’s thesis]. Alef Trust & Liverpool John Moores University.

This study explores the experiences of the bereaved who searched for meaning in their loss through a mediumistic communication, and examines the influence of transliminal myth on the bereavement experience. This was a qualitative study utilizing Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The seven participants purposively selected had been bereaved for a minimum of ten years and had sought the services of a medium after losing a loved one. They were interviewed online using a semi-structured interview schedule and recordings were transcribed and analysed. Four primary themes emerged in the findings: the nature of the grief experience; beliefs regarding reunification and afterlife connections; transformative influences of the mediumistic communication; and the relevance of transliminal myth to the bereavement process. The results show that those who have lost loved ones suffer a depth of emotional upheaval that can result in long periods of despair, physical pain, and loss of identity. All expressed that the mediumistic communication was a significant step in their healing journey through grief. Some expressed relief at knowing their deceased loved ones were safe, and all found the experience transformational in some way. Participants’ choices of myth were based predominantly on their emotional affinity with the characters in the story and identification with the circumstances and setting of the narrative. More research is warranted to thoroughly investigate the therapeutic relevance of transliminal myth to the grief experience, and its application in transpersonal therapy and clinical practice.

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