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Posted:11/15/2013 12:48:50 AM
Well said Lincoln.

Posted:11/11/2013 9:59:26 AM
Hello Daymoon,

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I don't know if I have much to debate with you because I agree with your assessment that a Parapsychologist is much like a Psychologist in that they would provide counselling to clients albeit parapsychological counselling.

The job description of a Parapsychologist is not legally defined by a governing body so therefore ones interpretation of a Parapsychologist's duties is wide open. Parapsychologists generally conduct their investigations using empirical scientific research methodology along with the qualitative methods used by psychologists. Some believe a Parapsychologist refers to an individual who studies the evidence of psychological phenomenon that are incomprehensible through science like psycho-kinesis, telepathy and clairvoyance. Others believe a Parapsychologist is someone who researches and investigates the paranormal, offers counselling to individuals who are psychically gifted or are experiencing a haunting. Part of the meaning behind my article is to have the term parapsychologist legally defined by a governing body such as the Parapsychological Association.

Strictly being curious, do you research and investigate the paranormal independently? Do you lecture or contribute any of your work in the name of parapsychology?


Posted:11/11/2013 9:24:21 AM
Hello Lincoln,

Thanks for taking the time to read my article. Previously people would include ghosts and hauntings into the field of parapsychology which at the time would have been incorrect. Marriam Webster's dictionary still defines parapsychology as; a field of study concerned with the investigation of evidence for paranormal psychological phenomena (as telepathy, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis). This is the definition of parapsychology that my education was based on. I would however, still conduct research into hauntings and other unexplained phenomena.

The Rhine Research Center and the Parapsychology Association have since redefined parapsychology as the study of those anomalies that fall into one of the following categories;

1. Extra sensory perception (ESP) - the ability to know things (such as what another person is thinking or what will happen in the future) that cannot be known by normal use of the senses;

2. Telepathy – mind to mind communication through a means other than the normal senses;

3. Mind-matter interaction (previously known as PK or psychokinesis) - Mind interacting with matter at a distance. Mind interactions with living systems (including energetic healing) are sometimes included in this category;

4. Clairvoyance or Remote Viewing – knowledge of objects, people, or events that are hidden via space or time. For example, an object hidden in a box in a different room, a photograph sealed in an envelope, an event that is occurring to a loved one who is thousands of miles away, or the characteristics of a room that only existed in the past;

5. Precognition – knowledge of an event that has not yet occurred, or information that appears to be transferred from the future into the present and;

6. Survival Studies – The nature of human consciousness and an examination of whether consciousness survives after bodily death. This includes mediumship research, reincarnation, out of body and near death experiences, apparitions, and ghost activities.

The social sciences have a lot of bearing on the study of parapsychology. Each of the six categories has to do with the human brain and sensory perception. Psychology and the other social sciences play a big role in understanding parapsychology. I do agree with you whole heartedly that physics plays a big role in understanding parapsychology. After all, we know that parapsychology has to do with the human brain and sensory perception, but it is really the physics behind it that scientists are interested in. How does each category of parapsychology work, how can we measure it and how can we re create it and use it for the betterment of mankind? It would be up to the academia and the Parapsychological Association or whatever governing body to decide what educational background one should have to be a licensed Parapsychologist.

I also agree with you that if someone took a social sciences degree only to chase ghosts for a living, it is a waste of money. Making a decent (and honest) living off of strictly the field of parapsychology is few and far between. Most Parapsychologists are working at Universities teaching psychology and conducting parapsychological studies on the side. Stanton T. Friedman is probably the most successful person who comes to my mind as someone who makes a decent living off of the paranormal, or UFOlogy to be exact. Albeit he does have a pension as a nuclear physicist as well. He is paid to travel all of the world and lecture on UFOs and he sells a lot of research papers, articles, books and DVDs at his lectures. He is living the dream as the saying goes.


Posted:11/11/2013 8:34:50 AM
Hello Jax,

Thank you for taking the time to read my article and post a comment. I felt it was important to respond to your post and clear up any misunderstanding you may have with the meaning behind my article.

I am certainly not looking to create a job title to make money off of gullible people as you state. There are certainly enough frauds in the field of parapsychology who are already doing that. I clearly stated within the article that no one in the field of Parapsychology should charge you for an investigation, parapsychological counseling or advice. I have been researching and investigating the paranormal for sixteen years and have not received one cent for any of my services. I have also written research papers, conducted investigations, provided advice, lectured and participated in radio, newspaper, television and paperback media all free of charge. All of my work is one hundred percent self funded by myself.

I believe that the term Parapsychologist should be governed much the same way the Psychology Associations governs the term Psychologist. The Psychology Association doesn't want just anyone calling themselves a psychologist and providing counselling services to individuals. For example, the American Psychology Association has a code of ethics and Psychologists must follow this code. A person can make a complaint to the American Psychology Association and an investigation can commence into any wrong doing. If found negligent for any wrong doing, fines, suspensions and the eventual loss of your licence can be implemented. The same should apply for the term Parapsychologist.

I honestly believe that the term should be governed and reserved for those who complete formal training in the field. There are 1-800 psychics out there right now calling themselves a Parapsychologist and charging clients for their services with absolutely no policing of their ethics and practices. For example a psychic can provide long term "parapsychological counselling" for a client who has lost a loved one. They can string their client along so that they can continue coming back to them because the client is so desperate to communicate with their loved one and the psychic is profiting off of their "counselling". I don't know what your opinion on this is, but I believe this is extremely dangerous.

Posted:11/10/2013 5:21:29 PM
By: Dr. Alexander Semenov


Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines the term parapsychologist as "a field of study concerned with the investigation of evidence for paranormal psychological phenomena such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis." Princeton University defines the term as "someone who studies the evidence for such psychological phenomena as psychokinesis and telepathy and clairvoyance."

There is no dispute within the scientific community that parapsychology and the term parapsychologist are not bound by any legal conditions. Therefore, anyone can legally call themselves a parapsychologist. There is however, currently a movement within the paranormal community to have the field of study and the terms associated with it to be legally recognized by the scientific community. This would impose ethical standards, licenses and proper research methodologies that would provide the "policing" that this discipline very much so needs. Contemporary parapsychology is a subject that is plagued by many misconceptions, frauds and abusers who misrepresent the discipline.

For example, if you look in your local phone book's yellow pages under Parapsychologist, chances are you will see a note stating something to the effect of "See Astrologers, Psychic Consultants, Etc." Before one continues to understand just want a parapsychologist is one must come to a universal definition of the term.

What exactly is a Parapsychologist?

A parapsychologist is someone who studies the evidence of unusual or unexplained phenomena, usually extra sensory perception, psychokinesis and clairvoyance, from a scientific stand point. Anyone who has earned the title parapsychologist knows that it is not an easy one to live or work with. Very few people have respect for Parapsychologists and the type of work that they conduct. They often face exceeding ridicule from members of the scientific community. A Parapsychologist does not legally have to be licensed or hold a Ph.D.

However, someone who claims to be a Parapsychologist should have received formal University or College education in any of the sciences. Such disciplines a Parapsychologist may specialize in include; psychology, sociology, physics, anthropology, biology, marine biology, astronomy, history, oceanography, geology, chemistry, biochemistry, earth sciences, environmental science, microbiology, atmospheric science, neuroscience, etc. A Parapsychologist should also understand the basic knowledge some trades enthrall. These trades include that of an electrician, engineer, architect, photographer and audio and video specialist.

Ideally a Parapsychologist should be an expert in all of the disciplines and trades that are mentioned above. Each discipline contains useful knowledge that would help explain the type of phenomena that a parapsychologist investigates. On top of that request, the parapsychologist would also have to be well in-versed in the actual studies and literature review of all parapsychological topics.

Realistically this is an improbable request and should not be expected of a parapsychologist. A parapsychologist would become over whelmed with knowledge and would be an ineffective member of the scientific community even if he were able to earn that many Ph.D.'s and trade skills. There is nothing wrong with admitting to the fact that you are not able to answer a specific question because you do not know the answer. There is also nothing wrong with a Parapsychologist consulting other people who are experts in particular fields in which you are not, in order to acquire an answer.

Typically a parapsychologist should first have earned an accredited degree. This should ideally be a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science with psychology courses. Remember, if you are training in the field of Parapsychology it is a sub category of Psychology which is the "the study of mind and behaviour." Psychology has everything to do with what Parapsychologists study.

If you are looking for an accredited parapsychology degree, your best bet is to explore the University of Edinburgh. They allow their students who are enrolled in their honours psychology program to take two parapsychology courses in their fourth year. The courses are History of Unorthodox Psychology and Parapsychology. Students accepted into the University of Edinburgh's Masters of Science or Doctor of Philosophy program can study Parapsychology through taught or research based routes.

After the student has earned their undergraduate degree, they should move on to write an honors thesis. After the student has successfully completed an honors thesis, they should move on to a Masters degree. During the Masters degree, one is taught how to conduct proper research, research methodologies, ethical issues and how to write formal academic papers that will be submitted into the academe.

When the student has completed their Masters of Arts or Masters of Science, they must finally earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Parapsychology or they can continue their education in a specialized and accredited discipline. During the Ph.D. program one will learn even more about research, ethics, protocols and the history of a particular discipline. Once they have completed the course work they should be moving on to the last stage, a practicum. A practicum is "a course of study designed especially for the preparation of teachers and clinicians that involves the supervised practical application of previously studied theory." Most students work closely with parapsychologists conducting research with extra sensory perception. When the student finishes working on their practicum, they will begin a dissertation or thesis paper. This is an academic paper written on a topic related to a particular discipline that one should have spent many years working on that will be submitted to a panel at the University or College in order for one to obtain their sought after Ph.D.

Finally, the student has graduated University or College. Now the young Parapsychologist must become an expert in a particular area of Parapsychology. Ways in which you can achieve this include; reading relevant literature on parapsychology, taking courses relating to parapsychology, conducting research and investigations into the paranormal and by subscribing to credible journals and attending current symposiums that share new discoveries within your field. Now you may finally call yourself a Parapsychologist.

Frauds, Abusers and Misrepresentations

As mentioned previously if you look in your local phone book's yellow pages under Parapsychologist, chances are you will see a note stating something to the effect of "See Astrologers, Psychic Consultants, Etc." If you visit Yahoo or Google and type in the term Parapsychologist you will also see misrepresented websites pop up entitled "Parapsychologist & Intuitive Counselor, Parapsychologist & Psychic Counselor and Metaphysician."

To a member of the general public who may be looking for parapsychological counseling these headings sound professional. However, once you click on these websites any serious researcher involved in this field will determine in a matter of seconds that these websites are nothing but garbage.

Case Study 1

An example of this can be seen with Charlotte Smirnoff's (pseudonym) web site. She claims to be a Parapsychologist and Intuitive Counselor. She even lists her education. She obtained a Parapsychology Certificate in 1976, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1978, become an Ordained Minister in 1998, earned her Doctor of Metaphysics in 1998 and became a Reiki Master in 2003. She seems to have many titles associated with her name. She states in her biography that she is an intuitive counselor, teacher, spiritual healer, Psychologist and Parapsychologist. However, you have just been shown her qualifications. She does not hold a Masters Degree nor a Ph.D. in Parapsychology or Psychology. In fact most States and Provinces require by law that the term psychologist be reserved for people who hold Ph.D's in Psychology and whom are also licensed practitioners.

Taking one course in Parapsychology does not entitle a person to call them self a Parapsychologist. Finally the biggest indicator of someone misrepresenting them self in the field of Parapsychology has to do with the charging of monies for services. The purpose of her web site is to provide personal intuitive counseling services. This person charges you $30.00 just to talk to her through e-mail. No one in the field of Parapsychology should charge you for an investigation, parapsychological counseling or advice. Donations to the person or organization are acceptable though. After all most Parapsychologists and Paranormal Investigators for that matter are probably conducting all their research and investigations at their own expense! As Corporate Director for Paranormal Phenomena Research & Investigation I can attest to this. A single investigation can easily cost upwards of $100.00. These expenses quickly incur through travel, audio / video tapes, batteries, film, processing fees and post investigation analysis.

Case Study 2

A second example of this can be seen with Ricky Ulfmoore's (pseudonym) web site. Once again, she has a web site that sounds professional enough. She also claims to be a Parapsychologist. In her biography she lists her education for the general public to see. It includes; a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist diploma, an Interfaith Minister, a Traditional Reiki Master, and a Doctorate in Metaphysical Science. She also claims to be a psychic investigator and psychic consultant. There are a few problems though. She doesn't have a Bachelor or a Masters degree. Ricky does not even list any parapsychology courses or training. Under the readings section of her web site there is a message that states "Phone Readings Available". In other words, Ricky is nothing more than a 1-800 psychic who misrepresents her credentials and takes advantage of the general public by exploiting parapsychology.


One should never assume that a Psychic is a Parapsychologist. It is not just psychics who are misrepresenting themselves as parapsychologists either. There are also many "ghost hunters and paranormal investigators", who I like to call hobbyists, that are guilty of this behaviour as well. These are people who use sloppy methodologies and tramp around in graveyards capturing moisture and dirt in their photographs and then make radical statements claiming to have captured proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the paranormal. They even design make shift websites to share this misleading data with you. When looking for a Parapsychologist you should not be afraid to check into their background and ask questions. There are unfortunately too many people in this field who misrepresent, fraud and abuse not only the title parapsychologist but the entire field in general.

On a more positive note there are respectable parapsychologists and scientists in the field working to bring you the most accurate data there is in parapsychology. You just have to do your homework before seeking parapsychological counseling. Maybe one day we will eventually see a victory in the battle that parapsychologists are fighting in order to have the academe and scientific community recognize and give the ever so deserving credit to the title "Parapsychologist".

Dr. Alexander Semenov
[email protected]
Twitter: PPRI_Net
Facebook: Paranormal Phenomena Research & Investigation