Parapsychology uses psychological research methods to explain and further understand such phenomena as telepathy, mind reading and psychic healing, among others. While courses in this field aren't widely available at colleges and universities, a handful of schools offer them as part of degree programs in psychology at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Graduate-level training is typically more common. Students typically explore the history of parapsychological occurrences or explore their validity from a scientific perspective.
Typical concepts discussed in parapsychology classes may include the following:
- The science of parapsychology
- Ghost hunting
- Psychic healing
List of Common Courses
Scientific Approaches to Parapsychology Course
Psychology students will first learn the hard science research methodologies for conducting psychological experiments, and they will go over these practices in various psychological fields, such as physiology, abnormal psychology, and social psychology. They will then apply these standard techniques to study an array of concepts in the field of parapsychology. Students may use research strategies to review such topics as dousing, psychic powers, ghosts, hypnosis, UFO contacts, and reincarnation.
Mind/Body Medicine and Healing Course
From a scientific perspective, students explore religious claims that the body can be healed of disease through the use of the human consciousness. An investigation of the connection between the mind and body and its potential to stimulate healing with various techniques is generally part of the curriculum. A range of research findings on how spirituality may impact a person's health is often presented by investigating topics such as spirituality, prayer and meditation, and the counseling relationship in mind/body healing.
Mysticism in Western Cultures Course
This course is centered on mysticism from the Western hemisphere. It typically includes a study of Islamic, Jewish and Christian mysticism as well as non-religious based mystic groups or people from North America and Europe. Students are introduced to different theories and the origins of mysticism. The psychology and experience of meditative prayer may be covered as well. Some of the major themes of mysticism that are generally discussed include the mystics' beliefs in purification, death and resurrection, serving others, and inner transformation.