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Near-Death Experiences: Implications for Clinical Practice

by Cheryl L. Fracasso, PhD & Harris L. Friedman, PhD 4 CE Credits

Near-Death Experience (NDE) represents an altered state of consciousness that has been linked to several neurochemical/neuroanatomic models, including theories that suggest anoxia, hypoxia, ketamine, or increased endorphins are released in a dying brain. Although NDEs are increasingly being reported in critical care settings, most healthcare professionals lack a sufficient knowledge base and associated clinical skills regarding this phenomenon. This course synthesizes 33 years of evidence-based research on NDEs, including its frequency, prevalence, short-term and long-term effects, assessment strategies, DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria for normative spiritual/transpersonal experiences, and associated barriers to and implications for treatment in a clinical setting. Specifically, the key characteristics reported by those experiencing NDEs are reviewed, with sensitivity to cross-cultural comparisons of characteristics reported by Western and non-Western accounts. Current diagnostic criteria and various biopsychosocial assessments for NDEs are provided; each with a discussion of relevant religious, spiritual, and/or transpersonal issues. Lastly, clinical implications for treatment are addressed along with important barriers to treatment that can occur when co-morbid Axis I or Axis II DSM-IV-TR disorders exist.


This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours and ASWB Clinical CE clock hours.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Define a near death experience (NDE) including its prevalence and cross-cultural comparisons.
  • Identify 7 leading causal theories along with the strengths and weaknesses of each model.
  • Describe at least 6 common short- and long-term effects associated with NDEs.
  • Improve diagnostic accuracy by implementing the use of the DSM-IV V-Code 62.89 and 2 assessment measures to assist with differential diagnosis.
  • Identify at least 5 therapeutic strategies applicable to the NDE population.
SKU Price Quantity
NDE $95.00