The Healing Intention: Conscious and Unconscious

by Steven Paul Warren

In 2008 on the 9th June The Royal Society of Medicine, here in London, hosted day event for doctors with the above title.

The focus of the day was to examine the use of intention as a unfiying concept in the study of mind/body healing where intentional healing involves the projection of awareness, with purpose and efficacy, towards the wellbeing of another.

Naturally, this encompases a wide spectrum of clinical activity and so the event beviewed basic science and clinical trials and explored clearly differenitating psychologica, psychosocial, and psychic influences. The aim of the event was to encourage and empower those attending to use these phenomena in their daily cllinical practice and promote a consideration of the person who has the illness, rather than of the illness that the person has.

Dr Shaul Livnay talked about the nature of the realtionship / connection between therapist and patient in the therapeutic setting. Dr Kin Jobst focused on the healing intention and Professor Harald Walach explored healing and non-locality.

THe event was organised by The Scientific and Medical Network which is an interdisciplinary forum exploring frontiers of science, consciousness and spirituality and consists of scientists, doctors, psychologists, enginers, philosophers, and other professionals. The network came into existence in 1973 and has members in more than 50 conuntires. Its aim is to question the assumptions of contemporary scientific and medical thinking by seeking to reach beyond the materialilst world-view. By remaining open to both intuitive and spiritual insights, the network fosters a climate in which science as a whole can adopt a more comprehensive and sensitive approach.

Dr. Shaul Livnay,
Ph.D. has been working
with hypnosis for 23 years,
integrating it into his therapeutic
work, and thereby making his approach
become much more “integrative”. He has been
applying hypnosis in his work with children, adolescents and adults as well as couples.
His teaching has been divided between basic & advanced training, and workshops on
varied topics: hypnoanalysis, children & adolescents, non-verbal techniques, anxieties &
performance anxieties. He is the Immediate Past President of The European Society of
Hypnosis, on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Hypnosis, and the
founder and President of the Jerusalem Chapter of the Israeli Society of Hypnosis.
Prof. Harald Walach, Ph.D., is a research professor in psychology at
the University of Northampton, where he has developed the
postgraduate training programme MSc Transpersonal Psychology/
Consciousness Studies. As the President of the International Society for
Complementary Medical Research (ISCMR), he is one of the most
prolific researchers in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, his
main interest focused on the importance of non-specific and placebo
effects. His more recent research interest is in the connection between
spirituality, mindfulness and health, and he has helped develop questionnaires to
measure mindfulness and exceptional human experiences. He is the head of the
European Office of the Samueli Institute™ (SIIB), vice-president of the German Society
for Transpersonal Psychology and Psychotherapy, and editor of the journals Forschende
Komplementärmedizin – Research in Complementary and Classical Natural Medicine
(Karger), and Spirituality and Health International (Wiley).
Prof. Dr. Kim A. Jobst M.A., D.M., M.R.C.P., M.F.Hom. is a Physician
dedicated to Healing and Holistic Healthcare. He qualified inMedicine &
Homoeopathy in Oxford and Glasgow with CCST’s in Internal Medicine
and Neurodegeneration and Dementia, also training in Homoeopathy,
Traditional Chinese acupuncture, and Jungian psychotherapy. Kim is
Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Alternative & ComplementaryMedicine,
Visiting Professor in Healthcare and Integrated Medicine at Oxford
Brookes University. He serves on a number of Scientific Advisory Boards for emerging
energy medicine technologies (e.g.: the NeuroResource Group in Dallas, TX. USA.,
(, Clarus Transphase Scientific in CA, USA (,
and the Soukya Holistic Health and Healing Centre in India ( Dr. Jobst
runs his own consultancy (Functional Shift Consulting Ltd) and Clinical practice in London
and Hereford. Kim was a founding member of The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated
Healthcare, and is a founding member and member of the Steering group of The
National Care Farm Initiative (UK).

Richard Cameron Wilson, in an article in New Statesman, wrote that "the bogus sceptic is, in reality, a disguised dogmatist, made all the more dangerous for his success in appropriating the mantle of the unbiased and open-minded inquirer". Some advocates of discredited intellectual positions (such as AIDS denial, Holocaust denial and Climate change denial) engage in pseudoskeptical behavior when they characterize themselves as "skeptics". This is despite their cherry picking of evidence that conforms to a pre-existing belief.[36] According to Wilson, who highlights the phenomenon in his book Don't Get Fooled Again (2008), the characteristic feature of false skepticism is that it "centres not on an impartial search for the truth, but on the defence of a preconceived ideological position".[37]

Scientific skepticism is itself sometimes criticized on this ground. The term pseudoskepticism has found occasional use in controversial fields where opposition from scientific skeptics is strong. For example, in 1994, Susan Blackmore, a parapsychologist who became more skeptical and eventually became a CSICOP fellow in 1991, described what she termed the "worst kind of pseudoskepticism":

"There are some members of the skeptics' groups who clearly believe they know the right answer prior to inquiry. They appear not to be interested in weighing alternatives, investigating strange claims, or trying out psychic experiences or altered states for themselves (heaven forbid!), but only in promoting their own particular belief structure and cohesion ..."[38]

Commenting on the labels "dogmatic" and "pathological" that the "Association for Skeptical Investigation"[39] puts on critics of paranormal investigations, Robert Todd Carroll of the Skeptic's Dictionary[40] argues that that association "is a group of pseudo-skeptical paranormal investigators and supporters who do not appreciate criticism of paranormal studies by truly genuine skeptics and critical thinkers. The only skepticism this group promotes is skepticism of critics and [their] criticisms of paranormal studies."[41]


37 - Wilson, Richard (2008-09-18), Against the Evidence, New Statesman (Progressive Media International), ISSN 1364-7431
38 - Wilson, Richard C. (2008). Don't get fooled again: the sceptic's guide to life. Icon. ISBN 978-1-84831-014-8.





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