Janice Miner Holden is a prominent figure in the field of transpersonal psychology. Her work has contributed greatly to our understanding of spirituality and the human experience, particularly in the areas of near-death experiences (NDEs) and end-of-life care. Holden has authored or co-authored numerous articles and book chapters on the topic of NDEs; namely, “The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty Years of Investigation.” She has also served as the President of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS), an organization that is dedicated to the study of testimonial evidence for NDEs and related phenomena. Through her work with IANDS, Holden has been instrumental in promoting public awareness and scientific research in this field.
Holden began her academic journey at the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She went on to earn a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Throughout her career, Holden has held various academic positions, including professorships at both the University of North Texas and the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
One of Holden’s main areas of focus has been the study of NDEs. These are profound experiences that people often report having after coming close to death. They are typically described as involving feelings of peace, love, and interconnectedness, as well as encounters with deceased loved ones or spiritual beings. In her research, Holden has sought to understand the psychological and spiritual implications of these experiences.
In addition to her work on testimonial evidence for NDEs, Holden has also been involved in the study of end-of-life care. She has worked with hospice organizations to improve the quality of care provided to patients who are nearing the end of their lives. Holden has emphasized the importance of treating patients as whole persons, rather than simply focusing on their physical symptoms. She has advocated for a holistic approach to end-of-life care that addresses patients’ spiritual, emotional, and social needs in addition to their physical needs.
One of Holden’s most significant contributions to the field of transpersonal psychology has been her development of the “Spiritual Assessment Inventory” (SAI). This is a tool that clinicians can use to assess their patients’ spiritual needs and resources. The SAI includes questions about patients’ beliefs, values, and practices, as well as their experiences of meaning and purpose. It is designed to help clinicians provide more holistic care by addressing patients’ spiritual needs in addition to their physical and psychological needs.
Holden has also been involved in the development of the “Spiritual Transformation Scale” (STS), which is a measure of spiritual growth and transformation. The STS assesses changes in individuals’ beliefs, values, and experiences of meaning and purpose over time. It has been used in research studies to explore the impact of various spiritual practices and experiences on individuals’ lives.
Throughout her career, Holden has received numerous awards and honors for her contributions to the field of psychology. She has been recognized for her work in promoting research and understanding of NDEs, as well as her efforts to improve end-of-life care. In 2020, she was awarded the Visionary Award by the Association for Transpersonal Psychology in recognition of her lifetime of work in this field.
Holden’s work has had a significant impact on our understanding of spirituality and the human experience. Through her research on testimonial evidence for NDEs and end-of-life care, she has helped to expand our understanding of the ways in which spirituality can impact our lives. Her tools and assessments, such as the SAI and the STS, have enabled clinicians to provide more holistic care that addresses patients’ spiritual needs in addition to their physical and psychological needs.
In conclusion, Janice Miner Holden is a highly respected figure in the field of transpersonal psychology. Her work on NDEs, end-of-life care, and spirituality has contributed greatly to our understanding of