Ep. 296 NDE’s and After Death Communication in Hospice Work with Scott Janssen

Learn why and how to support patients who have transpersonal experiences at the end of life.

My guest Scott Janssen has been a hospice clinical social worker for almost 30 years. During that time he has been gathering the stories and reports of hundreds of hospice patients who have had transpersonal experiences as death approached. He shares some of these stories, describes the various phenomena that can occur near death, and explores the benefits they offer to experiencers and their loved ones. We discuss how healthcare providers can do a better job supporting and listening to patients with these end-of-life transpersonal experiences. Learn more about Scott’s writing at his website:


Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • How Scott first became aware of transpersonal experiences at the end of life
  • Types of phenomena that occur as death approaches
  • Why we need to open our minds to these experiences
  • How these experiences differ from hallucinations caused by illness or medications
  • Positive benefits of transpersonal experiences at the end of life
    • Decreased fear of death
    • Healing of grief
    • Decreased depression and anxiety
    • Sense of peace
    • Increased focused on the present moment
    • Greater appreciation for relationships in their life
    • Greater spiritual awareness
  • How to be supportive of patients’ stories even if you don’t belief in transpersonal events
    • Learn about these phenomena and research that has been done
    • Be aware of your biases and don’t force your beliefs on patients
    • Avoid negative labels and judgements
  • How teaching stories can normalize patients’ experiences and encourage conversation
  • How patients can transform at the end of life and why transpersonal events are helpful

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Episode 261 on NDE’s with Lilia Samoilo and Heidi Walsh
  • Scott’s article in GeriPal on NDE’s and After Death Communication
  • International Association for Near Death Studies website
  • IANDS Spring Symposium: Providing Care for Those Touched by Near-Death and Related Experiences: Ethical Best Practices – April 30th
  • Book: Standing at Lemhi Pass: Archetypal Stories for the End of Life and Other Challenging Times by Scott Janssen
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