Grief and After-death Communication

Always check with a healthcare provider when choosing treatment options.

Unresolved grief can cause significant mental and physical distress and traditional psychotherapy may not be effective for relieving grief (e.g., Beischel, Mosher, & Boccuzzi, 2014-2015). Grief is resolved when the bereaved are able to recognize their continuing bonds with the deceased (e.g., Klass & Steffen, 2017).

This can occur after spontaneous after-death communication experiences (ADCs; for example, sensing the presence of the deceased; dreams; meaningful scents; important music; seeing, hearing, or feeling the deceased; or other 'signs') which are universal, normal, and often healing. These as well as induced ADCs have been demonstrated to dramatically reduce grief (Beischel, 2019). The primary clinical issue around these experiences is how they can alleviate grief and not whether or not they reflect actual communication with the deceased (reviewed in Beischel, Mosher, & Boccuzzi, 2014-15).

Assisted ADCs during readings from mediums may also demonstrate continuing bonds between the living and deceased. Anecdotal reports and pilot data suggest this is the case. An exploratory study using an anonymous, on-line survey which asked participants (n = 83) to retrospectively rate their levels of grief before and after a reading with a medium indicated that they remembered experiencing meaningful reductions in grief. Participants shared comments such as, “[The medium] helped me manage the grief that has been with me for more than 20 years” (Beischel, Mosher, & Boccuzzi, 2014-15, p. 187).

The potentially therapeutic benefits of mediumship readings and other ADCs warrant serious study (See also: Current Projects: BAM Study). The results of current and future research must be reviewed before readings with mediums can be ethically recommended as a treatment option. The combination of traditional psychotherapy and mediumship readings may prove to be more beneficial than either intervention separately.

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Fact Sheet (PDF):
The Potential Therapeutic Benefit of Mediumship Readings in the Treatment of Grief 

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Why is this research important?


Beischel, J. (2019). Spontaneous, facilitated, assisted, and requested after-death communication experiences and their impact on grief. Threshold: Journal of Interdisciplinary Consciousness Studies, 3(1): 1–32.

Beischel, J., Mosher, C. & Boccuzzi, M. (2014-2015). The possible effects on bereavement of assisted after-death communication during readings with psychic mediums: A continuing bonds perspective. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 70(2), 169-194. doi: 10.2190/OM.70.2.b

Klass, D. E., & Steffen, E. (Eds). (2018). Continuing bonds in bereavement: New directions for research and practice. London, UK: Routledge.