Mediums role in ‘ The Bereavement process ‘

by | May 26, 2021

Scientific research on mediums and the mediums’ role in the bereavement process

Mediumship is commonly seen as a phenomenon one has to ‘believe’ in and not as something that can be scientifically tested.

However, research on mediums is expanding, and their natural abilities are scientifically checked. I thought it would be helpful to look at what we know about mediums and the role they have to play in helping people to bereave. After all, this is mediumship’s primary objective: to help alleviate the burden of grief by showing that life never ceases to exist and that death of the physical body only represents the person’s transition into the spirit world.

What does the scientific community know about mediums?

As early as 1880, researchers used objective and scientific methods to examine the claims on the existence of mediumship. However, in the 1930s, the mounting frustration in not explaining mediums’ source of information led to the disinterest of the scientific community.

Nowadays, we are assisting to a renewed interest in the topic, and research centres on mediumship are expanding. Modern research on mediums examines the accuracy of the messages given, mediums’ psychological characteristics, and the potential clinical applications of mediumship readings in the treatment of grief.

As a medium myself, I am currently participating in an exciting research study examining how mediums control their perceptual experiences of hearing and seeing a spirit.

The precision of the ‘messages’ given

Readings performed by 20 mediums over the telephone under controlled, more than double-blind, laboratory conditions that address alternative explanations for the source of the mediums’ statements such as cueing, overly general information, and even precognition, demonstrate the phenomenon of Anomalous Information Reception (AIR), that is, the reporting of accurate and specific information about deceased people to the living people who survive them, named sitters without prior knowledge about the dead or sitters, in the absence of sensory feedback, and without using deceptive means (Beischel et al., 2015).

Brain activity

EEG findings from 6 pre-screened mediums suggest that the specific mental state occurring during communication with the deceased might differ from ordinary thinking or imagination (Delorme et al., 2013).


Research that examines the psychological characteristics of mediums has demonstrated that they do not show symptoms of mental illness. They have higher psychological well-being and experience less stress than non-mediums (reviewed in Beischel, 2018).


Research shows that spontaneous after-death communication experiences (ADCs), this is to say, when a person has intuitive and direct contact with a passed loved one, have a positive impact on grief. Pilot data suggest similar effects from assisted ADCs during readings with mediums (reviewed in Beischel, Mosher, & Boccuzzi, 2014-2015)

Continuing bonds

Grief is resolved when the bereaved can recognise the continuing bonds with their passed loved ones (Klass and Steffen, 2017). Sittings with mediums may demonstrate the continuing bonds between the sitter and the passed loved ones. Therefore, mediumship can contribute to a positive impact on the person’s grief.

Possible therapeutic benefits of mediumship

A study conducted in 2014(reviewed in Beischel, Mosher, & Boccuzzi, 2014-2015) asked the 89 participants to the survey to retrospectively rate their levels of grief before and after their sitting with a medium. The findings show that the levels of distress were reduced after sitting with the medium.

It is also to be noted that 29 participants were also working with mental health specialists as part of their approach to overcoming grief.

✓ This last study makes me hope that we will see psychotherapists, psychologists and other mental health specialists work hand in hand with mediums one day to help people overcome grief, and finally bridge the gap between the traditional ways of treating grief and the less conventional methods that mediumship represents.

Because it is only by joining forces that we can serve others best.

Thank you


Much of the information gathered here is visible on the Windbride centre website at

Klass, D., & Steffen, E. M. (Eds.). (2018). Continuing Bonds in Bereavement: New Directions for Research and Practice. OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying. 2019;79(3):340-342. doi:10.1177/0030222819839801

Delorme, A., Beischel. J., Michel, L., Boccuzzi, M., Radin, D., & Mills, P. J. (2013). Electrocortical activity is associated with personal communication with the deceased. Frontiers in Psychology, 4: 834. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00834

Beischel, J., Boccuzzi, M., Biuso, M., & Rock, A. J. (2015). Anomalous information reception by research mediums under blinded conditions II: Replication and extension. EXPLORE: The Journal of Science & Healing, 11(2), 136-142. DOI: 10.1016/j.explore.2015.01.001

Beischel, J., Mosher, C. & Boccuzzi, M. (2014-2015). The possible effects on bereavement of assisted after-death communication during readings with psychic mediums: A continuing bonds perspective. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 70(2), 169-194. DOI: 10.2190/OM.70.2.