Fostering a healing presence and investigating its mediators

Sharon I. McDonough-Means, Mary Jo Kreitzer, Iris R. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The purpose of this paper is the exploration and explication of the complex phenomena of "healing presence" and of appropriately supportive theoretical approaches to integrate emerging models for research design. Healing presence is described as an interpersonal, intrapersonal, and transpersonal to transcendent phenomenon that leads to a beneficial, therapeutic, and/or positive spiritual change within another individual (healee) and also within the healer. An integrated framework merging knowledge from diverse fields of research develops the multiple elements of healing presence, the healer, the healee's capacity for response and the healing effect as an entangled phenomenon. A conceptual systemic model is presented, and questions and dilemmas that emerge are delineated. An integrated qualitative-quantitative research design is proposed. A systemic relationship model, which includes the healer, the healee, and persons within the healee's environment is presented. The challenges are substantial, but the research questions are meaningful and worthwhile. The goal is to foster healing at bio-psycho-social-spiritual levels of the human being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S-25-S-41
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2004


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