24th March 2018 8.15pm
VENUE 3 BLOCK A, THE COURTYARD, KILCARBERRY PARK, NEW NANGOR ROAD, DUBLIN 22.
Talk by ALEJANDRO PARRA, PhD
HUMANISTIC GROUP THERAPY, MENTAL HEALTH AND ANOMALOUS / PARANORMAL EXPERIENCES
Alejandro Parra is an Argentine psychotherapist and parapsychologist. He was President of the Parapsychological Association from 2011 to 2013 and is the author of books and articles in Spanish and English. Details of the speaker’s career, qualifications and publications are given below.
He will give a talk about research carried out in Argentina and about the clinical approach to paranormal/spiritual experiences based on his experience as a psychotherapist. It will be an academic lecture and will look at psychic experiences in an objective way.
Members of the Scientific and Medical Network and members of the public are invited.
As regards members of the public it will be especially relevant to those who are training to be mediums or are working as counsellors.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
The psychologist Alejandro Parra received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from the Universidad Abierta Interamericana (www.vaneduc.edu.ar/uai), where he is now a teacher and associated researcher. He received his PhD in psychology from the Universidad de Ciencias Empresariales y Sociales (www.uces.edu.ar). His doctoral dissertation, which was conducted under the auspices of Dr. David Maldavsky (his major advisor) and three other committee members (Dr. H. Losinno, Dr. A. Cayssials, and Dr. B. Nante) was based on the theme, Percepciones Imposibles: Alucinaciones y otras experiencias anómalas [Impossible Perceptions: Hallucinations and other anomalous experiences]. He is licensed in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Mat. # 32.358), where he serves as a psychotherapist in general clinical psychological practice in the Clinical Area of the Institute of Paranormal Psychology. He conducts therapy groups and uses an historical approach in his continued research into parapsychology, dreamwork, and mediumship. In a counseling setting he also conducts workshops with psychics and mediums on their paranormal/spiritual experiences. His clinical research is based on cognitive-experiential and humanistic/Rogerian-oriented approaches with groups of people who have had paranormal experiences and dreams.
As an Associate Professor, Parra teaches three courses at the Faculty of Psychology of the Universidad Abierta Interamericana: Teorías y Sistemas Psicológicos [Psychological Theories and Systems], Estadística Aplicada a la Psicología [Applied Statistics in Psychology], and Psicoterapía [Psychotherapy]. He has also conducted an accredited free course: Psicología Paranormal: Cómo orientar a personas con experiencias paranormales [Paranormal Psychology: How to counsel people who have had paranormal experiences] during the first semester at the Universidad Abierta Interamericana in Buenos Aires. Parra is currently coordinator and teacher in the first Diplomatura in Transpersonal Psychology.
Parra is a full member and International Liaison of the Parapsychology Association and was its President from 2011 to 2013; an International Affiliate and International Liaison of the Parapsychology Foundation; and an associated member of the Society for Scientific Exploration for Argentina. He is also a member and adherent of a dozen other institutes of parapsychology in Europe and such Latin American countries as Brazil, Chile and Mexico.
He has attended conventions, symposia and conferences on psychology, psychotherapy and parapsychology in a dozen cities including Santiago (Chile), Halifax (Canada), Edinburgh (Scotland), Stockholm (Sweden), Freiburg (Germany), Curitiba, Recife, and São Paulo (Brazil), Durham, New York, and San Diego (US). Parra has also given invited talks on parapsychology and workshops on dreamwork in many institutes and centers such as Stichting Het Johan Borgmanfonds (Amsterdam), Fondazione Biblioteca Bozzano de Boni (Bologna), Koestler Parapsychology Unit (Edinburgh), Sociedad Española de Parapsicología (Madrid), Facultad Libre de Altos Estudios Paracientíficos (Barcelona), Institut Métapsychique International (Paris), BILYAY Foundation (Istanbul), and Österreichische Gesellschaft für Parapsychologie (Vienna), as well as at faculties of psychology at the universities of Barcelona and Granada (Spain), the Facultatea de Comunicare si Relatii Publice (SNSPA) in Bucarest (Romania), the Facultades Integradas “Espírita” of Curitiba (Brazil), and the universities of Lima, Alas Peruanas and Inca Garcilazo (Peru). L.L.Vassiliev Parapsychology Foundation (Russia), Cairo Opera House (Cairo, Egypt), Desarrollo Transpersonal at Puebla (México), and has been Guest of Honor of the First International Meeting of Healing, Consciousness and Spirituality (Bogotá, Colombia). As a lecturer, he has presented hundreds of talks on psychology, parapsychology and clinical psychology in Argentina.
Parra has authored a number of books, including Historia de la parapsicología en la Argentina [History of Parapsychology in Argentina] (Author, 1990; see review), Fenómenos paranormales [Paranormal Phenomena] (Kier, 2003; see review), Sueños: Como interpretar sus mensajes [Dreams: How to Understand their Messages] (Kier, 2005; see review), El mundo oculto de los sueños [The Hidden World of Dreams] (Kier, 2009; see review); Los poderes de la mente [Powers of the Mind] (Corona Borealis, 2010, ¿Qué es … la sensibilidad psíquica? [What is … Psychic Sensibility] (Deva´s, 2010), Las Alas de Psiqué [The Wings of Psyche, 2 Vols.] (Antigua, 2014), and Alucinaciones: ¿Experiencia o Trastorno? [Hallucinations: Experiences or Disorder?] (Teseo/UAI, 2014). Also he has editor of Psicología de las experiencias paranormales [Psychology of Paranormal Experiences] (Akadia, 2006) and Mente Sin Fronteras: Desafíos para la psicología del siglo XXI [Borderless Mind: Challenges for the Psychology of the 21st century. (Antigua 2014).
In previous years our meetings have featured speakers from outside the Network and we have also invited several our own members in turn to give a talk about his or her own work or research or specific interests. This has helped us to get to know one another better and we may return to this format.
However, our meetings during the 2015-6 season have featured authors who have new books published discussing their work. Our last meeting of that season was on 14th May. We continued this series in the 2016-7 season starting with Natalie Tobert’s talk and first launch of her latest work
Cultural Perspectives on Mental Wellbeing:
Spiritual Interpretations of Symptoms in Medical Practice
This took place in Dublin on 11th November and there will be a launch in London on 18th November.
The book launch was followed by a participatory workshop on themes from the book which took place the following day.
Jacqui Nielsen — Group Co-ordinator
Buy Natalie’s book at the link below:
Natalie’s posting about the trip and 2 Dublin events on Facebook:
I arrived back from Dublin in the Emerald Isle, where I met some beautiful people. However, response to the events was mixed. Discussion was lively: one psychiatrist had long opposed traditional practice and over-medication, claimed his profession was already aware of new thinking in the 1960’s (before pharmaceutical over-marketing). A general physician and some gentle psychologists were comfortable with our discussion on anomalous experiences. But others found it hard to get away from the ‘diseases of the brain’ and ‘chemical imbalance’ narratives of their early training.
During the book launch, I discussed many types of anomalous experiences, before stating they were part of normal human faculties. Only in later chapters did I radically challenge the current, but old fashioned ‘mental health’ labels. I suggested it was time our esteemed academics discussed the anomalous experiences they studied, and compared them to lived experiences of those who have been labelled. Now is the hour of change
Zelda Hall That psychiatrist sounds like Ivor Brown, who is a man worth meeting. I hope you were happy with the outcome Natalie.
Jutta Brassil Thank you for an inspiring talk, was so lovely meeting you. Have started reading your book, have recommended it to friends who work with patients.
Paul Sheridan Sounds like a successful excursion. Always rewarding to get such positive feedback.
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Our distinguished and much loved member Elinor Joyce Green of Ballyvolane House, Co. Cork died on August 14, 2014, (peacefully), at Fermoy Hospital and will be greatly missed. We remember especially her help at the launching of our own Irish Group of SMN.
Joyce Green 1910–2014
As a long standing member of the SMN, Joyce Green worked tirelessly for many years in bringing Eastern Philosophy to Western Science through her study and understanding of the Ancient Wisdom teachings.
Her work with the Arcane School, under the auspices of the Lucis Trust, brought her into contact with many of the leading minds of the 20th century. Her quiet discipline helped to introduce and illuminate many who were exploring the meaning and purpose of life.
Born in Co. Clare she spent an idyllic childhood on the shores of Lough Derg. Her early married life was spent in Malaya where her husband Cyril managed a rubber plantation. Escaping just ahead of the Japanese invasion of Singapore in WW2, they eventually settled in Ballyvolane House in Co. Cork, Ireland where they farmed and raised a family. Ballyvolane House is now a country house hotel run by the Green family.
Joyce stoically continued her studies and correspondence in the Arcane School for many decades, promoting education in the principles and values upon which right human relations are built. Her radiating light helped the formation of group work in her locality. This has now evolved into many such groups across Ireland working with the same energy in education, healing and conscious goodwill.
Her presence is greatly missed but her approach and teaching is recalled and used as the work continues.
A truly remarkable lady.