Who 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 and education.

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 perspective’s 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 person’s view of reality, to find something who is open and willing to listen without judgement can lead to healing at its most profound level.

Mary Rodwell RN Principal ACERN (Australian Close Encounter Resource Network) Author, Counsellor, hypnotherapist, metaphysican and International speaker on the Contact/abduction Phenomenon.


Mary Rodwell………………………. Awakening, How Extraterrestrial Contact Can Transform Your Life. (Fortune Books Ltd) 2002
Dr John Mack ………………………Abduction (1995) Simon and Schuster