Main Session: Tony Benning, MBChB MSC PGDip MRCPsych (UK) FRCPC

Patients’ disclosures of near death and other anomalous death-related experiences: Perspectives from a general psychiatric clinic.


5 cases seen in a general psychiatric outpatient clinic over an 18 month period will be presented.In each case, the patient disclosed to the psychiatrist that he or she had had a near death -experience or other death-related anomalous experience. The aim in the presentation of this case series will be to explore the dynamics surrounding disclosure. Many patients revealed negative response from others including mental health professionals When they had previously tried to disclose and all patients in this series reported not only a deepening and strengthening of the therapeutic relationship with the psychiatrist following disclosure but also, in many cases, symptomatic improvement of the underlying mental illness for which they were being treated in the clinic. Implications for mental health clinicians will be discussed as will possible future research directions and theoretical issues.

Presenter Bio

Dr Tony Benning MBChB MSC PGDip MRCPsych (UK) FRCPC is a general adult psychiatrist living and working in the Greater Vancouver region of BC in Canada. He is also a clinical instructor in the faculty of medicine at the University of British Columbia. He graduated in medicine from the University of Manchester in 1995 before undertaking postgraduate psychiatric training in the UK and in Australia. He was awarded an MSc. with distinction in clinical neuropsychiatry by the University of Birmingham in 2009 following the submission of a thesis on the neuropsychiatry of religious experience. In the same year He also earned a postgraduate diploma in consciousness studies and transpersonal psychology from Liverpool John Moores University. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in transpersonal psychology at Sofia University and his professional interests include cultural psychiatry, Aboriginal mental health as well as the intersection between psychiatry and religion/spirituality.

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