Exploring the effects of mediumship on hope, resilience, and post-traumatic growth in the bereaved

Carolyn J Cox, Callum E Cooper, Matthew D Smith

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


In previous decades there has been a lack of research into what people who sit with mediums gain from this process in terms of psychological benefits. Taking a positive psychology perspective, a qualitative approach was used to explore the effect that mediumship has on the bereaved. Seven participants gave retrospective accounts of a sitting which was felt to be meaningful to them, explaining reasons for this belief. This was explored using a thematic analysis. Findings suggested that mediumship appeared to furnish some resilience. Coping which appears linked to hope, linked to post-traumatic growth and also appears to be enhanced when someone experiencing a sitting with a medium believes they have had confirmation of survival of the deceased. Hope appeared to be increased, and resilience and coping were reported as strengthened after a subjectively meaningful sitting with a medium. The implication therefore is that mediumship appeared to offer positive psychological tools to enable better coping styles post-bereavement. This study has been condensed and updated from the original dissertation research conducted by the lead author (Bains, 2014 (now Cox)) and supervised by Smith.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-15
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Exceptional Experiences and Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2017


  • Mediumship
  • bereavement
  • positive psychology
  • post-traumatic growth
  • qualitative research
  • thematic analysis


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