Spontaneous, Facilitated, Assisted, and Requested After-Death Communication Experiences and their Impact on Grief

  • Julie Beischel, PhD Windbridge Research Center


Experiences of after-death communication are normal, common, and usually healthy. They often go unreported by experiencers for fear of being judged, ridiculed, and/or thought to be mentally ill especially by doctors, therapists, and clergy. Four main categories of after-death communication experiences (ADCs) exist: spontaneous, facilitated, assisted, and requested. Spontaneous ADCs occur unexpectedly and uninvited. Facilitated ADCs occur during a specific established protocol and with the direction of a trained facilitator. Assisted ADCs involve receiving messages from the deceased through a psychic medium who directly experiences the communication and shares the messages received with the living. The term requested ADCs is proposed here to refer to experiences that occur as the result of the experiencer engaging in specific practices (other than facilitated or assisted experiences), employing technological or other physical apparatuses, using psychoactive substances, inviting the deceased to communicate, or simply intending that the experience occur. Most published research has examined the positive effects of spontaneous or facilitated ADCs on grief. Research examining the effects on grief of assisted ADCs is limited but trends toward a positive response. Reports on the effects of requested ADCs on grief are for the most part lacking and several research directions are open for further exploration. Counselors, healthcare providers, caregivers, and others who regularly interact with the grieving may benefit from better understanding these experiences but little to no formal training exists and they must independently seek out relevant materials. Ideally, this article will serve as one of those sources.

Author Biography

Julie Beischel, PhD, Windbridge Research Center

ulie Beischel received her doctorate in Pharmacology and Toxicology with a minor in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Arizona in 2003. She previously served as Director of Research at the Windbridge Institute, LLC (2008-2017) and is currently Director of Research at the Windbridge Research Center, an Arizona non-profit corporation. She uses her interdisciplinary training to apply the scientific method to controversial topics. Dr. Beischel's research mainly focuses on people who report experiencing regular communication with the deceased (mediums) and those who receive mediumship readings (sitters); specifically, the accuracy and specificity of the information mediums report; their experiences, psychology, and physiology; and the potential social applications of mediumship readings. She is the author of the e-books Among Mediums, Meaningful Messages, and From the Mouths of Mediums and the author of the paperback book Investigating Mediums.

How to Cite
BEISCHEL, Julie. Spontaneous, Facilitated, Assisted, and Requested After-Death Communication Experiences and their Impact on Grief. Threshold: Journal of Interdisciplinary Consciousness Studies, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 1, p. 1-32, may 2019. ISSN 2575-2510. Available at: <http://tjics.org/index.php/TJICS/article/view/31>. Date accessed: 16 june 2024.