Dear Friends of ACISTE:
It is a pleasure to announce the publication of our first newsletter for 2017. The monthly issue will feature valuable research and critical perspectives true to our mission to better understand, support, and skillfully respond to the needs of experiencers, clients, community members, and perhaps even yourself!
Each issue will feature an in-depth article relevant to working with STEs. Throughout the year, we hope to expand awareness, challenge assumptions, and offer practical suggestions and insights to enhance skills and expertise. As our community grows, the newsletter also serves to foster important dialogue between practitioners and experiencers, as we all strive to further the well-being of those who are integrating powerfully life-changing events like near-death and other spiritually transformative experiences.
This month ACISTE president, Yolaine Stout, reflects on the circumstances and research findings that led her to found the organization in this post. We’re also excited to let you know that ACISTE is a sponsor of the free, online town hall discussion about the new documentary, CrazyWise. We invite you to register for this March 22nd event as soon as possible. When you register, you will be provided with a link to stream the film at your leisure. Recently I had a delightful conversation with filmmaker Phil Borges, whose passion for fostering our understanding of the spiritual dimensions of challenging psychological states is expressed in this important documentary.
Your feedback and participation are welcome here. Let us know how we can improve our monthly offerings by sending us your thoughts. If you have a great idea for an article you’d like to write, an author or researcher whose work you’d like to learn more about, or a clinical vignette or reflection to share, let’s talk!
Yolaine Stout is the founding President of ACISTE, which incorporated in 2009. Since the passing of her husband in 2016, she continues to serve as a volunteer Executive Director, advisor, and life coach. Here she talks about her inspiration for ACISTE, its development, and her ongoing passion to support experiencers.
I was a near-death experiencer as a result of a suicide attempt in 1982. In the aftermath, I struggled with many of the same challenges that others who have had spiritually transformative experiences often face: divorce, a sense of alienation, keeping silent about my new reality. Even after I met my soulmate (an experiencer himself, he readily accepted my NDE), I still grappled with integrating the spiritual shift in my values while trying desperately to find my purpose.
Eventually I opened up to others besides my husband, and my world changed dramatically from that moment on. I discovered a worldwide and growing community of other experiencers! Interacting with them, sharing stories, and forming lifelong friendships blasted open my limited world and …
The birth of a newsletter provides a perfect opportunity to take our readers on a ride down memory lane, exploring how, why, and when ACISTE began. Over the next few issues, we will connect you with ACISTE’s past and also to ACISTE’s visions and future through the eyes of our board members.
Each member of the board was asked to provide their perspective and their reasoning for dedicating their time and talents to promoting and growing ACISTE. We hope that you as members of ACISTE will be inspired by what you read to participate in growing ACISTE along with us.