are the people that acknowledge the abduction/contact experience as a
reality? They are people from all age groups, cultures and professions:
Students, housewives, secretaries, psychologists, policemen, social workers,
solicitors, politicians and some clergy.
The experience covers the more tangible physical symptoms, such as unexplained
rashes, scars, marks and shaved areas on limbs, to the emotional scars,
unexplained fears, panic attacks and the more extreme post traumatic stress
disorder. Often there is increased psychic ability with attendant paranormal
phenomenon such as unexplained lights, electrical mechanical disturbances-
the whole gamut of the unexplained to the bizarre and literally terrifying
experiences that have no parallel in accepted reality. Such experiences
touch on the spiritual and mystical and challenge the more generally acknowledged
scientific, spiritual archaeological and anthropological history of mankind.
For any counsellor/therapist who is prepared to support clients with this
reality, it can challenge many of the accepted beliefs they hold dear.
It can raise huge questions for them personally that will perhaps alter
their views of reality forever.
Our scientific and therapeutic communities have many problems with this
area of research, as the subjective aspect of this experience is so difficult
to evaluate, explain and measure in conventional terms. We have no language
for it. Conventional psychology has enough difficulty finding the language
for love, the most powerful of human emotions. How much more
difficult it is to quantify such things as out-of-body (only made
respectable by such people as DR Raymond Moody, on Near Death-experiences),
levitation, genetic manipulation, strange beings, spacecraft, other solar
systems and spiritual/ecological messages for humankind-all have no parameter
in accepted psychology.
It would be reasonable- and more comfortable- to hypothesise that such
people are mentally ill with perhaps some obscure psychosis, fantasy prone,
schizophrenic, or some other related psychiatric disorder. Yet most experiencers
who are subjected to standard psychological testing showed a marked absence
of psychiatric illness, and are in fact, found to be no more suspicious
or naive than the population norm. Indeed most abductees/experiencers
of Contact may persist in the hope that there is a psychological explanation
for their experiences for it is easier for some to accept mental illness
than the bizarre reality of the abduction phenomenon.
So where does this leave the therapeutic disciplines that wish to assist
these individuals and support them? The information available to therapists
on this phenomenon is unfortunately minimal. Conventional establishments
do not acknowledge this as a reality, and most psychological material
does not either. Many counsellors and therapists involved in this subject
do so privately, due to the understandable concern of lost credibility
with colleagues. This makes sharing of the information even more difficult.
One exception is Professor John Mack of Harvard University in the USA.
Who has written extensively on the Abduction Phenomenon. Professor Mack
instigated a new journal for therapists and believes that possibly 5%
of the American population may have experienced some aspects of this phenomenon.
He founded (PEER) Program for Extraordinary Experience Research 1993 under
the auspices of the Centre for Psychology and Social Change, and works
with the therapeutic community and experiencers to foster
an understanding of these experiences, and to develop a network of support
I began my professional life in the scientific and practical arena of
nursing, followed by midwifery. After moving into the field of emotional
and psychological health, and studying a diverse range of philosophical,
spiritual, and metaphysical disciplines, I was more prepared than most
to keep an open mind. But nothing prepared me for the world of the abductee/experiencer.
For me it was the individuals themselves that affected me most profoundly
the intensity of emotions as they relive their experiences leaves one
in no doubt that something very traumatic has indeed occurred.
I believe that Carl Rogers basic concepts of person-centred counselling
are the most useful tools for dealing with any therapeutic situation,
and are invaluable when dealing with this particular phenomenon. These
are congruence, empathy and unconditional regard. For the therapist to
be open, to listen and honour the individuals experiences in a non-judgemental
way and to give them the opportunity to discuss how this has affected
them, physically emotionally and psychologically, how it has impacted
on them, their family and their perspectives on reality is vital
if the therapist is to assist in integration and healing.Often the individual
cannot share their experience, even with close family, partner or friends
for fear of derision, avoidance, fear or confusion. The option of professional
therapy may seem threatening if there is a chance they maybe perceived
as mentally ill and possibly hospitalised and medicated. Conventional
religions may interpret their experiences as some kind of possession,
evil hallucination or even devil- inspired.
Thus, isolation and confusion are two of the main difficulties for clients.
Support groups can be extremely valuable for providing safe caring and
support, with a confidential environment to share with others their similar
experiences. The acceptance and validation from those who understand is
tremendously healing, and strategies for dealing with the fear and lack
of control can be useful for reducing stress or panic attacks.
In my experience, those clients who appear the most healthy and integrated
are those individuals who are trying to make sense of their experiences
by viewing it as a spiritual journey or challenge that can teach them
something valuable about themselves or their lives. It becomes one of
the ways they can feel empowered to continue to live in our recognisable
three-dimensional reality, but also in a reality that has no recognisable
boundary, that may at times appear to be multi-dimensional and obey no
known rules of conventional science.
A therapist may not be able to explain these experiences, but can offer
invaluable support through openness, acceptance and honouring of the experiencer.
In a world that is hostile to a phenomenon that challenges a persons
view of reality, to find something who is open and willing to listen without
judgement can lead to healing at its most profound level.
Rodwell RN Principal ACERN (Australian Close Encounter Resource Network)
Author, Counsellor, hypnotherapist, metaphysican and International speaker
on the Contact/abduction Phenomenon.
How Extraterrestrial Contact Can Transform Your Life. (Fortune Books Ltd)
Dr John Mack
(1995) Simon and Schuster