Exceptional Experiences

BPS Consciousness & Experiential Psychology 20th Annual Conference

Friday 7 – Saturday 8 September 2018

Regents University, London

Exceptional & anomalous experience, Altered states, Therapeutic use psychedelics, Neuroscience



This conference will explore exceptional experiences such as mystical, spiritual, psychic, NDE and other anomalous experiences, including those engendered through the use of psychedelics. Exceptional experiences can involve a sense of interconnectedness, a wider sense of self, peace, joy, bliss, awe and may be intense. In some cases they appear to offer exceptional knowledge and in many instances they have a positive transformative effect on the experient. The conference will look at the nature of exceptional experiences, recent research on what is happening in the brain in altered states, for example meditation, and the benefits of exceptional experience, seen for example in work on the potential therapeutic benefit of various psychedelics.

Call for Papers

We welcome submissions on any aspect of exceptional and anomalous experience from both psychologists and those from other disciplines. Submissions may be papers, posters, symposia or workshops and entail 250-500 word abstract(s). Early bird submissions needed by 16 June 2018. Submissions close 31 July 2018.

Submissions Guidelines and the Submission link can be found on the conference website at  www.bps.org.uk/cep/exceptionalexperiences. The online submission system link is https://response.questback.com/britishpsychologicalsociety/Submissions-CEP2018 Most papers will be allocated 30 mins, symposia 90 mins & workshops 1-2 hours. Presenters need to register for the conference.


We are offering five bursaries for students and early career researchers (12 years). Deadline 31 July 2018 but earlier submission preferred. See www.bps.org.uk/cep/exceptionalexperiences

Keynote Speakers include:

Professor Etzel Cardeña (Lund University, Sweden) will discuss positive aspects of altered states and how anomalous experiences and alterations of consciousness relate to enhanced abilities. Etzel directs the Center for Research on Consciousness and Anomalous Psychology. His research addresses altered states, anomalous experience, dissociative processes and the neurophenomenology of meditation. His books include Varieties of Anomalous Experience 2014 APA & Altering Consciousness: Multi-disciplinary Perspectives 2011

Dr Milan Scheidegger, (University of Zurich) will discuss his research on biomechanisms underlying the application of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes & how drug-induced exceptional experiences can be explained from the perspective of neuroscience. Milan is a neuropsychiatrist who researches the neurobiology & pharmacology of altered states of consciousness & investigates the potential of psychedelics to facilitate therapeutic transformation. His ethnobotanical expeditions have also explored their traditional use.

Professor Chris Roe (Northampton University) Chris will discuss the variety, incidence and correlates of paranormal phenomena by drawing on analyses of large case collections, interviews and experimental work. His recent research concerns the relationship between altered states of consciousness and psychic experience. He directs the Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Phenomena at Northampton.

Registration and Further Details

Anyone interested is welcome to register to attend. Registration will open shortly.

Further information about the conference including submission, bursary application, registration, cost, keynote speakers, programme, venue and accessibility will appear on the CEP website under the Annual Conference tab at: www.bps.org.uk/cep/exceptionalexperiences. Conference queries to [email protected].

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