Vital Signs

Psychotherapy From A Near-Death Perspective

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Contemplating Suicide

I have found research on NDEs to be very helpful for clients contemplating suicide. These individuals have turned away from life, and are looking to suicide as a way to end their pain. In a compassionate way, I share with them the experience of persons who have tried suicide, yet came back. When my clients hear that others who attempted suicide continued to be conscious even though their body had been declared dead (Barbara Rommer, MD, Blessing in Disguise, pages 44-45, 56-58), they see that there really may be no such thing as killing yourself.

Secondly, persons whose NDE occurred during a suicide, often found themselves, at first, in a darkness and despair similar to what they’d been experiencing before the attempt, and discovered that suicide did not put an end to their emotional pain. Those who then turned to the light during their experience were told by beings of light that suicide would not be a solution. They were told they would have to come back, face the same situation and feelings again, and make other choices (Melvin Morse, MD, Closer to the Light, pages 184-188; Barbara Rommer, MD, Blessing in Disguise, pages 47-48; Phillip L. Berman, The Journey Home, pages 119- 120).

At the same time, those who attempted suicide also found hope, for they experienced—even if only for a moment— the greater reality of light, love, and the larger meaning of life. Reading accounts of experiencers posted on www.near-death.com and on this web site can let clients in distress know that there are others who have felt what they feel, and that these others found the hope and courage to face reality and to heal. I have found with almost every client that sharing this information helped them to mobilize the internal resources of their true self to make a decision to turn back towards life, to face the situations that had overwhelmed them, and to begin the process of healing and growing from those challenges.

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