Synchronistic Experience: Enlightenment or Psychosis?


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Tuesday 29th August @7:30-8:45 pm EDT (New York) | Wednesday, 30th August @9:30-10:45 am, AEST (Melbourne).

Presenter: Chris Mackey, MA, Clinical Psychologist

How should we interpret people having visions, or seeing ghosts, or hearing voices, or receiving personal messages from the radio, or confidently predicting a future event? In psychiatric settings, these experiences are described as “illusions,” “hallucinations,” “ideas of reference” or “delusions.” These are all generally viewed as signs of psychosis. However, in other circumstances, such phenomena might represent a valid transpersonal experience, a spiritual awakening or a meaningful coincidence.

In this session, Chris will highlight ways of differentiating positive, healthy and meaningful synchronistic experiences from signs of mental illness. He draws on more than forty years of clinical experience gained as a senior psychologist in psychiatric hospitals and in his private practice. Chris will also refer to examples from his psychotherapy clients as well as his own personal experience.

Chris is committed to promoting optimistic and effective approaches in mental health care. He has presented at numerous national and international scientific conferences over the past 25 years on such topics as psychological therapy for trauma reactions and drawing on synchronicity in psychotherapy. Chris was awarded the 2019 Australian Allied Health Impact Award for his clinical research, supervision of colleagues, media involvement and writing.

Suggested reading for this session: