Zeitschrift für Spiritualität und Transzendentale Psychologie 2012, 2 (1) /
Journal for Spirituality and Transcendental Psychology 2012, 2 (1)



Appendix:

 

Diagnostic Interview for the Assignment of
Pathologic and Spiritual Experiences

DIAPS

 

 

Client: ________________________________________  Date: _________________

 

The items are to be read out, not to be handed out to the client!

Text in italics and bold headings are not read!

 

 

Nr.

Item (Please note answers!)

Rating

Scale & weight

Score:
Weight x Rating

0

1

2

3

4

S

P

K

1.     

Disidentification 1: Do you sometimes ask yourself whether you have become crazy or if you are still all right? If you do so: How strong is that doubt in you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S2

 

 

 

2.    

Synchronicities: a) Positive: Did you ever have the feeling that all things fall into place, in a peculiar, meaningful, and positive manner? That you were guided by a higher power or that the external world reacted on your innermost feelings? Give an example!

a) Assessment of the examiner: The example can be understood as synchronicity intersubjectively.

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

b) The example seems very over-interpreted, fantastic or otherwise intersubjectively not understandable.

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

b) Negative: Or did you ever have the feeling that many things were composed wilfully in order to harm you, so that you have to protect yourself; that an evil power or organization is after you? (If yes: What kind of an evil power is this?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

3.    

Experience of archetypes: Do you often have meaningful (“big”) dreams? Do often think of symbols or images of a very general nature? Do you think a lot about birth and death or general ethical questions? [Examiner assessment: Deals with archetypical content].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

4.    

Narcissistic Inflation: Do you have abilities (a mission or experiences) that are so extraordinary that you are quiet different from other people? If yes: How do you differ from others?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P2

 

 

 

5.    

Jackson’s criterion: Could you imagine or do you experience that your difficulties contain something quiet positive for you, which helps you on in your personal development? Where necessary, use examiner assessment instead: transitory difficulties with positive progressive development or dead end?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S2

 

 

 

6.    

Psi 1: Do you sometimes sense the thoughts of other people? If yes: Give an example!

[Examiner assessment:]

a) The example seems like a typical telepathic occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

b) The example seems like pathologic experience (e.g., “overdesigned”) or is not clearly determinable (claim that is not provable).

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

7.    

Psi 2: Have you ever been able to predict the future from inner images, intuitions or other inner sources [here: not from dreams]? Did you know what happened at remote places? If yes: Please explicate! [Assessment:]

a) The experience seems convincing.

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

b) The experience seems weird, overdesigned or fantastic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

8.    

Psi 3: Did you have one of the following experiences [Explore always the exact circumstances: rate only if these are provable or at least plausible!]:

a) OBE: The sensation of being out of one’s own body [If yes: in which situation?]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

b) Spiritualism: Having received a message from a higher source or from a spiritual being by certain techniques like spiritualistic sessions, self-induced trance, meditation or the like[1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

c) Reincarnation: Remembering parts of a former life? If yes: Give an example!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

 

d) Prophetic or lucide dreams: Dreams that became true afterwards or that contained a special meaning beyond your own knowledge; or dreams, in which you knew you were dreaming? If yes: Give an example!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

9.    

Physical phenomena: Have you ever had one of the following extraordinary physical sensations? [2]

 

a) Stigmata: Bodily changes that occurred spontaneously and were visible like lesions, rashes, changes in weight or appearance? Did somebody watch these changes? How did this person react?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

b) Yogic phenomena: Changes of bodily functions as, for example, not eating without losing weight; floating in the air; being able to stop voluntarily the heartbeat or breathing for a prolonged time? Others? Has somebody else watched these? How did this person react?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

c) Loss of time: Have you been unconscious or did you simply not know what happened with you but realized that a lot of time has passed? If yes: Explore if trance or UFO abduction (do not name this directly: be careful about suggestions!): Do you remember or can you guess what happened with you?

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

Assessment: seems to be caused by cerebro-organic processes or dissociative fugue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

10.   

Kundalini 1: Did you ever sense strong heat, energy or something prickling, vibrating that appeared without obvious reason in your body and that

a) moved by itself in a certain direction [typically upwards and downwards the body] OR

 

 

 

 

 

S1

K1

 

 

 

b) was like crawling of insects under the skin, or moved chaotically? Is it produced wilfully by others against you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

11.    

Kundalini 2 / Possession: The sensation that you were forced to carry out certain movements and …

a) that you could not understand the meaning or source of this force OR

 

 

 

 

 

S1

K1

 

 

 

b) that you knew who or what was the source of them? If so: What caused them? [Assessment of pathology when attributed to technical devices or persons etc.!]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

12.   

Kundalini 3: Did you have strong headaches or the sensation of pressure underneath the skullcap, or the sensation of heat/burning of the hands

a) without identifiable reason

 

 

 

 

 

S1

K1

 

 

 

b) as a reaction on stress … [other psychosomatic reasons] or because somebody did something to you or… [Evaluate degree of pathology!]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

 

13.   

Kundalini 4: Did you note (a) strong sexual or ecstatic exaltations without identifiable reason or sudden changes of your appetite or dietary needs?

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

K1

 

 

 

(b) [Explore mania:] Did you in the same period act in an unusual way (like shopping a lot, getting into trouble with other people, feeling extremely self-confident)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

14.   

Ideas of reference: Did you ever have the impression that events, radio and television, written texts or conversations between strangers referred to you in a meaningful way? [If yes:] Were these

a) produced by human beings [or extraterrestrial beings etc.] and especially for you

 

 

 

 

 

P2

 

 

 

b) or constellations of situation made purposefully by divine providence, or just an unusual coincidence of inner and outer world (synchronicity)

                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

15.   

Constraint of thoughts: Did you have the sensation that thoughts have been brought into your head or extracted from it or that a person or power disturbs your thoughts and 

a) did this happen spontaneously or in a crisis

 

 

 

 

 

P2

 

 

 

b) or after esoteric, magical or other exercises? [Explore and rate degree of subculturally normal assumptions and form of report!] 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

16.   

Higher assistance 1: Do you from time to time feel something like the intuition and inspiration of a higher knowledge, which you cannot find within yourself, stemming from a higher dimension or force?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

17.   

Higher assistance 2: Did you ever have the impression of getting relief or consolation by God, an angel or a higher power; or that your prayers were answered?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

18.   

Presence: Did you ever feel the direct presence of a higher power or that something holy manifests, for example, in nature or a human being?

 

                                                                                                               

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

19.   

Transformation: Did you surprisingly feel an urge to tackle something or to take a certain step in your personal development? Did you develop new artistic or spiritual capabilities? Did you experience a sudden leap forward in your personal development, in your capacities or interpersonal relationships?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

20.  

Sense of unity: Did you ever have the impression of becoming one with your environment, the cos­mos, or God, or of being beyond time and space? That time did not exist anymore or moved in a different way? [Explore circumstances, e.g., drugs]

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

21.   

Near Death Experience (NDE): Have you ever been physically death and were reanimated? If yes: Did you experience unusual things while being “dead”? [OBE, tunnel, light, beings, sense of well-being, life as a movie, etc.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S2

 

 

 

 

22.  

Only if YES at No. 21: Transformation after NDE: Have you become more sensitive, for example, more susceptible to light and sounds, allergenic materials, electric fields? Are things that in the past troubled you not so important anymore? Did you lose all fear of death?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

 

23.  

Circumsession: Do you sense that someone or something is bothering you physically (touches, nips, sexually molests or influences your body) without anybody being there? Under which circumstances [e.g., at night in the bed]? What explanation do you have? [3]

 

                                              

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

24.  

Possession: Do you have the impression that a power sometimes takes possession of you, assuming control of your bodily and verbal expressions or even your thoughts and identity? Can you prohibit this? What explanation do you have?[4]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

25.  

Witchcraft: Have you ever been in contact with a magician, a witch, or something similar? Did you ever (if before YES: because of this contact or independent of that) feel bewitched, that is, that things have been directed against you by a supernatural force? [Is the subject’s statement coherent and the experience potentially provable or is it illogical and confuse?]

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

26.  

Acoustic perceptions: Did you ever hear voices (although nobody was visible) and[5]

a) were they so clear that you were sure they came from outside you; not only at one place or in one situation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P2

 

 

 

b) did they give you good advice, warned you not to commit a mistake or explained things you could not know otherwise

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

c) voices that were disagreeable, insulted you, mocked you, prompted you to do bad things, talked negatively about you or commented your acts in a bothering manner. [6]

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

d) Do you have control over the voices or can you ignore them if you want?                ® Yes:

                                                              ® No:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P2

 

 

 

27.  

Visual perceptions: Did you ever see exceptional things that others did not see, but that were outside of you, for example:

a) Beings of light, diffuse shapes or the aura of persons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

b) spirits, for example of the deceased

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

c) holy beings like Jesus, angels, Buddha, demons or strange persons / animals / others

Description seems subculturally typical and artless

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

Description is atypical, idiosyncratic, and bizarre

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

d) gnomes or other small, swift beings or animals[7]

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

e) whole scenes that seemed to be real? What were they about? [Archetypical, prophetic and other transpersonal contents: S; otherwise: P]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

P1

 

 

 

28.  

Perception of telekinesis: Did you ever observe how things moved by themselves, switched on or off, disappeared or appeared without physical reason?

a) Did this happen during or after altered states of consciousness (not because of a disease; for example: after meditation)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

 

 

 

b) or during an emotional crisis, taking drugs etc.? [or other problems; otherwise: Do not rate!]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

29.  

Akoasma: Did you ever hear suddenly arising sounds (like  waterfalls or humming)?[8] If yes: Did these sounds

a) come from outside without that there was any visible cause, and were they very unpleasant and bothering? Has this been independent of a certain situation or place?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

b) come from inside and were not very unpleasant OR just in a certain situation and connected with a certain place?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

K1

 

 

 

30.  

Photism: Did you ever see lights or a glow that appears suddenly and disappears again without having shape or contour? [+ there are no cerebro-organic or ophthalmologic problems!]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S1

K1

 

 

 

31.   

State of consciousness: When you experienced extraordinary things, have you been in an altered state of consciousness? [If NO ® do not rate! If YES is plausible and the following questions are once answered YES ® S; otherwise ® P] Can you produce this state voluntarily (e.g., by meditation)? Can you control it? Or does it happen only when falling asleep or waking up?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

32.  

Formal Thought disorder: Do other persons sometimes have difficulties understanding you? Is it difficult for you to come to the point? [Assessment of diagnostician is decisive]: incoherence, para-/neologism, flight of ideas, thought obstruction etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P3

 

 

 

33.  

Depression: Do you or did you for a longer period feel sad, depressed, or despaired?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

34.  

Mania: Do you sometimes feel much more energetic than at other times, needing less sleep, knowing that nothing can stop you? Are you irascible, angry, and nervous then? [Rate the degree of inadequacy!]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

35.  

Loss of emotions: Do you have the impression of having lost all emotions? Do you feel jaded and numb [P]? Or more serene and in an ascetic sense disinterested in this world [S]?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

S1

 

 

 

36.  

Paranoid cognitions: Do you have the impression that others think badly about you? Are there any individuals or institutions that want to harm you? Give an example!        

 

 

 

 

 

P2

 

 

 

37.  

Delusional mood: Do you sometimes feel that something in your environment has changed strangely or that something strange is going on, but you do not know what it is? Do you sometimes have an uncanny feeling that you cannot explain? [Additional assessment of the diagnostician: Does the client exude this uncanny mood?]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P2

 

 

 

38.  

Isolation / withdrawal: Do you have friends with whom you spend time outside your work? [Rate if NO!] Do you feel uncomfortable in the presence of others or do you often have interpersonal problems? 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

39.  

Impulse blockage: Do you have difficulties to do your daily work? Do you have difficulties to act at all? [9]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

40.  

Concentration difficulties: Do you have problems to concentrate or to remember things? Is it harder for you to stay with one thing than before? Do you easier get distracted by noises or other things?9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

 

The following assessment is rated only by the diagnosticians judgement alone!
If necessary, additional information has to be retrieved!

 

41.                

Restricted contact: E.g., schizoide interaction: sensation that the other is not really there; narcisstic interaction: construction of a grandiose self from the spiritual experience; paranoid contact: uncooperative, mistrustful.

                                

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

42.                

Emotional load: Narrative is loaded emotionally at certain critical points, which is important for ego stability; spirituality as a means for ego stabilisation (affective-cognitive complexes; pathological affect logic)

 

 

 

 

 

 

P1

 

 

 

43.                

Disidentification 2: Is the client disposed to discuss unusual contents of experience and their hypothetical causes? Can s/he test new perspectives or does s/he persist on his/her own interpretations; looks for explanations or arranges all in his/her own already existing system?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P2

44.               

Verification: Can some unusual claims of the client be proved by examiners own testing or do testimonies from heteroanamnestic interviews confirm them?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S2

 

 

 

45.                

Endangering self or others: The client is aggressive, impulsive, endangers others; or shows or utters suicidal tendencies, behaves self-injurious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P2

 

 

 

46.               

Level of functioning: Is the client (though some functions may be temporarily impaired) principally productive, socially integrated, and reflective? Can he make use of his emotional and cognitive capabilities? [Positive rating!]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S2

 

 

 

 

SUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S

P

K

Items>0

Score

Items>0

Score

Items>0

Score

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short instructions:

Please rate every item as follows:

 

0

1

2

3

4

not applicable

dubiously or very mildly positive

mildly positive

moderate positive

strong positive

 

Multiply this rating value by the denoted scale value (e.g., 2) of the appropriate scale of each item. Add up all item sums per scale, compare the scale sums of the two main scales, and relate them to the possible outcome sum of each scale.[10]

 

S

P

K

Items > 0

Score

Items > 0

Score

Items > 0

Score

Items with S =

43 Items

4 x 50 score points

Items with P = 39 Items

4 x 50 score points

Items with K = 6 Items

4 x 6 score points

max. 43

max. 200

max. 39

max. 200

max. 6

max. 24

 

S = Spiritual process; P = Pathological process; K = Kundalini process

 

 

References:

Brunnhuber, Stefan & Wagner, R. (2006): Zur Differentialdiagnostik spiritueller Krisen. Transpersonale Psychologie und Psychotherapie, 12 (1), 34-44.

Cardeña, Etzel; Lynn, Steven J. & Krippner, Stanley (Hg.) (2000): Varieties of anomalous experience: examining the scientific evidence. Washington: American Psychological Association.

Feyerabend, Paul (1976): Wider den Methodenzwang. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.

Grof, Stan & Grof, Christina (1991): Die stürmische Suche nach dem Selbst. Praktische Hilfen für spirituelle Krisen. München: Kösel.

Grof, Stanislav & Grof, Christina (1989): Spiritual emergencies. New York: Tarcher

Jackson, Mike & Fulford, K. W. M. (2003): Psychosis good and bad: Values-based practice and the distinction between pathological and nonpathological forms of psychotic experience. Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology 9, no. 4:387-394.

Kason, Yvonne & Degler, Teri (1994): A farher shore. How near-death and other extraordinary experiences can change ordinary lives. Toronto: Harper Collins.

McClenon, James (1994): Wondrous events. Foundations of religious belief. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

McGlashan, T.H.; Miller, T.J.; Woods, S.W.; Hoffman, R.E.; and Davidson, L. 2001. A scale for the assessment of prodromal symptoms and states. In: Miller, T.J.; Mednick, S.A.; McGlashan, T.H.; Liberger, J.; and Johannessen, J.O., eds. Early Intervention in Psychotic Disorders. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 135-149.

Popper, Karl (1966): Logik der Forschung. Tübingen: Mohr.

Resch, Andreas (Hg.) (1997): Paranormologie und Religion. Innsbruck: Resch.

Scharfetter, Christian (2004): Das Ich auf dem spirituellen Weg. Vom Egozentrismus zum Kosmozentrismus. Sternenfels: Verlag Wissenschaft & Praxis.

Schneider, Kurt (1956): Kraepelin und die gegenwärtige Psychiatrie. Fortschritte der Neurologie, Psychiatrie, 24:1-7

 



[1] If such phenomena occur in this context, this indicates that they are contextually normal phenomena. If they, however, occur spontaneously they do not provide clear cues for classification in one of the two dimensions!

[2] If the description seems authentic in the way it is presented, the item will be assessed as S even if its medical or psychosomatic status is still unclear. P has to be applied if the description appears as fantasised or not believable in the sense of formal psychological criteria of credibility, not according to the content’s plausibility. Please rate according to the assessment by either marking P or S!

[3] Circumsession / feeling bothered by spirits has been researched too little until now to render a certain judgement about the degree of pathology or spirituality in it. Are the description typical, however, S can be rated with care (in the case of otherwise strange reports P).

[4] States of possession can be judged very differently, but in many cultures possession by godheads is a sign of holiness. Here, the psychological state of the subject is decisive: Are there any indications that the experience is accompanied by a narcissistic, dissociative, psychotic, or totally normal psychological state?

[5] Several alternatives can be rated!

[6] Like other phenomena in this interview, the assignment has to be tentative. Negative voices of this kind occur mostly in a pathological context and so need to be rated as such, but no high loading is justified because they may also occur in other, e.g., spiritualistic contexts.

[7] Do rate only if there is any indication for cerebro-organic processes like delirium. Otherwise, do not rate since the assessment seems uncertain!

[8] Be careful of rating tinnitus with 0!

[9] These are typical symptoms for schizophrenia, depression and very exhausting personal developmental processes (spiritual ones, too), therefore not very exact in differentiation, but as a common tendency relevant for supporting a diagnosis!

[10] Remember: This is not a psychological test fulfilling psychometric properties and has not been empirically tested yet! Anyhow, due to many subjective influence factors, which are present in all similar clinical interviews, I predict this tentative and orienting quantitative interpretation is as valid as in any other instrument.