I am a student of religion who has herself been down a highly multifaceted spiritual path. I have about ten years of experience listening to people from different religious communities as well as those who don't affiliate with any religious community, both in America and abroad, talk about their spiritual experiences, good and bad, typical and seemingly bizarre. I take these experiences very seriously and hold a validating space for those who have experienced them. My approach is fundamentally nonjudgmental.
At the same time, a major part of my study of religion has involved cultivating discernment around spiritual experiences by examining their claims and effects on the people who undergo them. I take scientific methodologies and social ethics equally seriously, meaning that I understand unexplained experiences through multiple frames.
It may be helpful for people to talk with someone who is sympathetic to them and familiar with a number of religious and intellectual traditions without "rooting" for one over another.
I want to make clear that on this blog I am in no way speaking in a professional capacity as a scholar. I am not a doctor or a therapist, and I am by no means empowered to
diagnose anyone with anything or to practice medicine anywhere. I am not here to offer explanations for spiritual or paranormal phenomena, and I will not proselytize on behalf of any community. No one is paying me to do this, and I do not charge anyone to email back and forth with me. My opinions are entirely my own and do not represent any community or organization. I am only a sympathetic interlocutor who may be able to provide suggestions based on my own experience.
Best wishes to you and yours.