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  • Debra Lynne Katz

Creating Safe and Sacred Space via Webinar & Teleseminar Platforms


A pilot survey and case study of intuitive development courses taught via synchronous distant learning technologies.


By Debra Lynne Katz, MSW, Ph.D. Candidate

Edited by Jon Knowles


This study is a novel attempt to assess the efficacy of teaching mind/body, metaphysical, transpersonal, and intuitive development-oriented classes via tele-seminar and webinar using technology that allows for synchronous learning.


Synchronous learning can be defined as that which takes place when students and instructor(s) are present together in real time, and are able to communicate without delay.

Distant training is defined as classes where students and instructor’s bodies are not physically in the same room, but rather they share the same virtual space, with the use of telecommunication technologies, involving both hardware (computers, telephones, etc.) and online accessible software programs.


Intuitive development is defined as the process which a person goes through to discover and gain conscious awareness and control over their innate perceptual abilities related to non-local, anomalous perception and cognition.


The following paper includes a write-up of results mostly from multiple choice questions of a self-administered survey that was sent to approximately 300 graduates of one or more 12 week programs offered via the ISC, via email, using blinding procedures and randomization techniques. 64 former students responded. The survey was originally administered specifically for and in advance of a presentation given by the present author and therapist Lisa Watts, at the Conference for Meaningful Living in a digital world, held in Savannah, Georgia during the spring of 2018.


All student participants had completed at least one 12-week teleseminar or webinar program offered through the International School of Clairvoyance (ISC). Most of these classes were taught by the present researcher. These classes involve discussion, meditations, visualizations, and a number of direct practice opportunities within class and outside of class designed to help students develop and make use of their intuitive perceptual abilities.

One aim of the present study was to find out from students if the course goals were being met, especially in light of many people’s beliefs that “distant” training via technology (or technology itself) is oppositional to such endeavors (Heidegger, 1977). The purpose was not to assessa student’s performance, although some questions were asked about this. The focus instead was to learn about student experiences, beliefs, and perceptions as to whether the classes were personally and socially meaningful, productive, informative, and worth their time and money. The survey questions were designed to measure the frequency of shared experiences and perceptions of graduates of intuitive development programs.

Keywords: Teleseminars, Webinars, synchronous webinar platforms, distant learning, clairvoyant training, intuitive development programs; psychic development, remote viewing; online surveys, case study method.


BACKGROUND

In 1998, after studying at various clairvoyant and healing schools that offered only in-person courses and practicing on my own for a few years, I left my job as a United States Probation Officer; moved to the Philippines for a year to observe the faith and shamanic healers there, then moved to Sedona, Arizona and started practicing professionally as a clairvoyant and energy healer out of a local spiritual bookstore. Many clients wanted to know the origin of my intuitive “gifts”. When I would explain I had actually gone to school to learn how to access them consciously to an extent, they expressed an interest in doing the same. Given these aspiring students were not able to relocate to Northern California where I had studied, they asked if I would teach them myself. I began working with small groups of students, either out of my home or theirs. Eventually I was invited to teach workshops at larger venues, such as the Conscious Life Expo in Los Angeles.


After publishing my first book (Katz, 2004) You Are Psychic: The Art of Clairvoyant Reading & Healing, I started getting requests for individual tutoring via the telephone from readers around the country. This training involved teaching students to access information non-locally about other people and their relationships, and in the process learn about themselves, a process I refer to as clairvoyant reading and healing (Katz, 2008). A description of this process has most recently been described in a book on alternative therapeutic practices, edited by Fracasso, Krippner & Friedman (2020).


My tutoring also integrated my blossoming interests in remote viewing, in the form of running my students through a variety of experimental exercises requiring them to describe objects, photographs and paintings in my possession — an exercise that is more easily achieved methodologically when two bodies are at a distance rather than in the same room or even same building, as has been traditionally done within formal remote viewing and parapsychological experiments (Targ, 2012; Targ et al, 1995,Targ, Puthoff, May, 1977).

Initially for my clairvoyant reading & healing classes, I taught students how to read various people I personally knew.


This allowed me to give them plenty of feedback at the completion of the reading, so they could learn from their successes or misinterpretations. Still, in order to give them direct experience with communicating with people in their presence, as is often the way I and other intuitive practitioners frequently work, I found it necessary to bring in other volunteers for them to practice on. Therefore I began inviting other private students to each other’s sessions. Not only was this useful and effective in terms of the practice, but there was something powerful happening when these students came together. They were expressing a sense of relief to know they were not alone, in both their interests and experiences and desire to develop in this area. They also seemed to be learning through observing another person go through the same struggles, trials and tribulations that arise when one attempts to focus, describe, probe, and interpret subtle information coming from a variety of senses that is often of a highly personal nature. Therefore, moving from one-on-one instruction to group classes was a natural progression. Not only was it benefiting students, but as an instructor it was much more efficient then repeating the same lesson day after day. Still, what I didn’t want to lose was the personalized tailoring of lessons and discussions and Q & A format that made up the core of our one on one training.


Around this time another clairvoyant friend and instructor (Francine Marie) who had also been doing one on one telephone training was arriving at a similar conclusion. We initially taught a few classes together and then decided to go our own ways. This was when I founded the International School of Clairvoyance and Francine founded her own school, the Academy of Clairvoyance and Consciousness. As far as we knew, these were the first intuitive development programs offered via teleseminar. This was in approximately 2005.

I included the word “International” in my school name, not because I really had many international students at that time, but rather as an aspiration for what I hoped it to become. 15 years later, the school has in fact lived up to its names in ways that have far exceeded my expectations. Half my students are from around the globe, including but not limited to Canada, the UK, Australia, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Malaysia, Brazil, Japan and Africa. With the exception of occasional in person workshops and conference presentations, today I continue to teach almost exclusively via teleseminar and webinar courses.


Over the past few years, several other clairvoyant and healing schools and now remote viewing programs have followed our lead, some of them under my own guidance. Some of these are being run by students who initially trained with me. Some are being run by remote viewing instructors who I studied with during in-person weekend workshops, and were somewhat hesitant to move to a distant format, being uncertain as to how to proceed or how effective teaching via this format would be. One of these instructors, Lori Williams (2019, 2017) started offering online mentoring groups first, before moving to a more formalized process. Recently, she offered a free webinar course and had over 400 students show up.

Despite the blossoming of such programs, there has been little attempt to formally track or assess their progress, or their approaches. One way to measure success is of retention. A audit was carried out within the International School of Clairvoyance in 2018. It was found that over a period of five years, of the 305 students that graduated from a 12 week course, 150 went onto register for at least one other 12 week class.


A brief description of the class format and approach

– Best Practices for Synchronous learning

Both personal observations and formal studies have indicated that intuitive abilities are more likely to emerge within a safe, nurturing, supportive environment (Schmeidler & Maher, 1981). These qualities are always at the forefront of choices made in the design and delivery of classes offered through the International School of Clairvoyance. Other studies find that the expectancy of the experimenter and their openness to psi make the difference between successful and unsuccessful results (Schlitz et al, 2006; White, 1977). As a professional clairvoyant and long-time meditator, having logged thousands of hours of time engaged in intentional intuitive based and meditative practices, it’s safe to say if anyone is going to fall into the category of being psi conductive, it’s myself. Additionally, however, I’ve done all I can to ensure the environment in which I conduct my classes, and that which my students join into and from, is also conducive. This environment includes several different spaces, all of which requires what I’d call “space tending”.


SPACE TENDING — Identifying and defining the spatial domains within a distant training format.

There are many kinds of spaces or spatial domains to be addressed in a tele-seminar-webinar format, all of which need to be tended. I will define “tending” as paying attention to, taking care of, and creating a safe space with the aim of achieving maximum student participation, learning, achievement of goals, satisfaction and therefore retention.


These spaces can be divided into physical objects/virtual objects:


1. Overall space of the organizational set up, class registration, preparation.

2. In-class technological space — (the instructors space vs student’s space).

3. Student’s individual space in their home — merged with their home.

4. Shared space outside of class — group page, practice group.

Spaces that involve mental constructs, metaphor’s and visualizations.

5. Shared space of class and group and societal consciousness.

6. Space within student’s mind-body.


The course curriculum itself is designed to essentially help a student to become aware of and get greater control over these last two last spatial domains, which just like a physical space can be redecorated, reordered, restructured, colored, and cleaned. Discussion of these latter realms lies beyond the score of this paper. Therefore the remainder of this discussion will include considerations related to the first four spaces, which involve physical or virtual objects.


Overall Structure

My not-so-distant learning classes are designed to emulate an in-person class structure as much as possible. They are 12 weeks in length, and usually run between 3 and 3.5 hours at a time with a ten minute break half way through. Class size usually runs from 5 to 15 students, usually somewhere in the middle, depending on the number of courses I’m offering per semester. My intuitive reading and healing-oriented classes are taught Maestro Conference platform and the students attend by audio only. The reason for this is that students are learning how to meditate, visualize and develop intuitive abilities, specifically their clairvoyance (visual information to access information via colors, images, pictures via the vehicle of their imagination) and therefore I want them to be focused internally on the “screen” within their mind instead of on the computer screen. I don’t want students to have distracting visual cues when they practice on each other or engage in anything that could be perceived as cold reading practices.


Students can connect to the class using the telephone, or Google hangouts or Skype, so some will access class via a computer but again, there is nothing to look at externally. Meanwhile I as an instructor have a computer screen and operate an instructor interface where each student’s name comes up and next to it is a microphone with various settings that allow me to see when the student is talking, and to mute/unmute them and also separate students into “breakout” rooms, which essentially serve as smaller class rooms where students can practice with each other.


Maintaining engagement

One feature I use quite a bit for classes is now a common feature offered via many distant learning platforms. While Zoom.us allows students to raise and lower their hands, MaestroConference allows for students to indicate preferences using the number of their keypad on their own phone. This allows for students to respond to forced choice option I give them. So for example I can say, “How many of your meditated this week? — if you did not at all hit “1”, if you did an hour a day hit “2”, if you did more than that hit “3”, etc. Then I can let everyone know the results so they can see that they either are not alone or are the exception.


Teaching students where their own mute button is on their phone

Whenever possible I try to keep the lines of communication open by not muting students. This is sometimes essential such as when they are practicing doing a group reading, and part of the training requires them to boldly speak up about impressions entering their imaginations, which initially many new students are anxious to do. When I do this I remind them that they have their own mute buttons on their phones and ask them to use these until they want to talk at which time they can feel free to speak up.


Allowing students to raise their hand

Sometimes to have the best sound quality it is necessary to mute all the students. Being muted creates a sense of distance and lack of control. So to give this back, when using the MaestroConference teleseminar program, I frequently let the students know that I am now going to mute them, but remind them that they should raise their hand if they need anything. I tell them they can do this by hitting the number 5. So number 5 becomes the code.


Introductions

During the first day of class, no matter what the class size, students are invited to introduce themselves. During some semesters, students are invited to interview each other. Then each week, I start off classes saying hello to each person by calling them by name so everyone else knows they are present. Students need to speak up not just to keep them engaged in the class, but because this is practice for when they will be sharing intuitive information. Students throughout the semester are asked to always state their name before they speak so everyone knows who they are.


In Depth Class Discussions

I do frequent Q and A and discussion sessions. After many of the meditations or class exercises, I run through each student’s name and ask them to describe their experiences and insights about these, which they respond to in real time. Sometimes I ask what they learned or got out of the exercises. I try to leave time at the end of class for each student to share so that they can leave feeling as if their voices were literally heard and to help them both process what they just experienced. This also gives them further opportunity to ask questions, and serves as a barometer so I can tell whether students are feeling comfortable or are struggling with something that should be addressed before being released back into their own life for the week. Having them speak up is vital since I can’t see their faces.


In class practice sessions — large Group, small group, one on one,

At the start of the semester all students learn how to tune in intuitively to others through a group collaborative “reading” process. To ensure group cohesivity, I establish boundaries that help the class come to together as a whole, and see themselves as something separate during the class experience as from the outside. We work on creating a group bubble or space that has a shared color. We set our intentions which includes the values, ethics, and qualities we want to enjoy together as a group. These activities make up part of the methodology used for intuitive connectivity, and also are intended to create an atmosphere of creativity, cohesiveness and non-competition.


Quite often students get to a point where their impressions and words to describe them come more easily and quickly. At this point they are usually ready to break into smaller groups or have one-on-one interactions with each other. The teleseminar program allows forstudents to break into these groups so that others can’t hear them. However, I as the instructor am able to go in and out of the room, unnoticed, so I can monitor what they are doing and offer suggestions if needed. As a general practice, after students break into groups I try to bring them back together for discussion of what they learned during the experience, so everyone can compare notes and further learn from each other.


Many students who practice together in smaller groups go onto communicate and develop friendships with each other outside of class. There have been several who met up physically following completion of one or more classes. Sometimes these students traveled to other countries to meet up.


Home Work

Home work involves mostly practice of the in class meditations and visualization exercises. Students start off meditating for about 15 minutes a week and build up to an hour or more at a time, preferably a few times a week. Occasionally I might give assignments related to intentional dreaming of future feedback photos, or writing assignments, or pop quizzes. Students who voice being disciplined with out-of-class assignments overall seem to progress faster than students who don’t, although this correlation is anecdotal and hasn’t been formerly assessed.


Outside Class communications and opportunities.

Ongoing access to myself as an instructor via email and text.

It’s important that students feel they can communicate outside of class. They are practicing meditations and other internal and external practices, all of which are potentially emotionally triggering. At the same time they are working with a topic that may not be well understood or accepted by their family or others around them. Sometimes also they hit technical difficulties related to the call prior to or during class. Therefore it’s important to be able to answer their questions in a timely manner, while at the same time setting boundaries so I don’t become their personal therapist or intuitive counselor. If they need extra emotional support, I will often suggest invite them to come to drop into an advanced class to receive communication from other students during a supervised group experience, or receive a reading from the Wednesday practice groups, or perhaps a private session with a graduate of the school who is ready to be practicing on their own but not charging for their services yet. Student prior to starting are screened for mental health issues, and so In all the years I’ve been teaching, I’ve only had a couple students who exhibited severe psychological problems. For these I either referred, or made sure they were receiving help from a licensed therapist, made sure they were taken care of by family members, and refunded their tuition.


ISC Social Media Group and private class page — (www.seventhsight.org)

I have created a social media site that is open to the public and to my students. The overall site has approximately 2500 members, which includes many of my own students but also those from the public who are interested in intuitive development. One of the features of this site is that I or a student can create groups. Each semester I create a new group for each class. Within this group students can find their call-in information, schedule, homework assignments, additional links and materials and recordings for the class that are available within 72 hours of each class. There is also a private discussion section in each group.


Wednesday private practice groups

Students and graduates are encouraged, but not mandated, to join in real-time weekly practice group that are facilitated by trained graduate students. This gives them a chance to practice on volunteers from the public who are coming in to experience what intuitive training is like, and also to receive some communication on themselves and their own lives.


Additional events

Through the school, I regularly offer additional events to keep students engaged. Some of these take place in the www.seventhsight.org chat room, where students and anyone interested gets to practice remote viewing skills or mini intuitive readings and healings on each other. Others are special themed events where graduates who are interested in teaching can offer short, inspiriting meditations around a theme.


Remote Viewing Class designWebinar classes via zoom.us

Remote Viewing involves accessing information on a non-local level using a set of protocols that was developed within the specific historical context of essentially being created in a lab. Unlike clairvoyant reading and healing, which have more of a spiritual, spoken word, healing component, remote viewing adheres to principles involving sketching, scoring sessions, blinding, randomization, and feedback (Williams, 2019, Knowles, 2017, Smith, P. 2014, Smith, P. 2004).


The clairvoyant training courses are largely a verbally oriented method and focus on reading and healing people who are present and seeking information about their lives. Meanwhile the remote viewing 12-week program involves the describing of photographs, videos, objects, and locations for the purpose of ultimately solving real-world problems such as finding lost or precious objects, crime solving, etc. It can also be useful for describing people who are not aware they are being described (e.g. missing people, suspects, etc.). For these classes, I utilize a webinar platform (zoom.us) instead of the teleseminar program designed above.


Since most of the techniques heavily involve writing and sketching and comparing one’s impressions to physical feedbacks, it is very helpful to be able to demonstrate the techniques in real time. This can be achieved using a feature on the webinar program, zoom.us intended to simulate the look and feel of a “white-board”, and then sharing feedback photos and videos in real time via other screen share tools. For these classes, I and the students tend to be off camera so that our images don’t become distractors for the in-class practice exercises. However, occasionally it is helpful to turn them on to see a student’s paper without having to have them email it first.


THE SURVEY


PURPOSE

The overarching goal of the survey was to discover whether these statements were representative of the majority of students, or just a few. A secondary aim was to learn from the students what seemed to be working for them and what needed improvement. A third was to inform the public and other researchers about the activities carried out within the International School of Clairvoyance and their impact on human experience. While there have been several surveys that inquire into the beliefs and perceptions of spontaneous psi experiencers (Drinkwater et al, 2017; Rhine, L. 1962), few surveys have examined the beliefs and experiences of those engaged in intentional intuitive development practices taking place outside a laboratory setting, whether through in person, or distant learning environments.


METHODOLOGY

This survey was designed by the present researcher in 2018. It has not undergone previous testing. Both multiple choice questions and open ended questions were included in the survey. Questions were constructed by the present researcher by choosing main categories of exploration, and then narrowing down statements to reflect previous observations and anecdotal statements students had made about the classes in the past.

The survey was administered through an online survey program (Survey Monkey). All former students were emailed a link and short email explaining this would be used for research and so their responses needed to be honest. They were told their identities would not be kept in connection with their responses so they would feel free to answer truthfully. The survey questions were automatically randomized so the order and responses would be different for each participant.


While questions were automatically randomized, the order of responses within each question were not.


Survey Monkey allows for easy analysis of results and presentation of these via downloadable jpg files of graphs. These graphs are being presented below. For ease of reading, percentages will be rounded up to the next highest number when over .5, and left at the whole number when below.


Data can easily be tracked within the survey program. Independent researchers interested in this project may request access to the responses and data to confirm the authenticity of responses.


METHOD OF ANALYSIS


To determine the frequency of responses, basic mathematical analysis of multiple choice questions was performed through the auto-calculation feature in the Survey Monkey Program and checked for accuracy. (More complex statistical analysis is in the process of being carried out)

While there were a number of open response type questions, most of these have not yet been assessed. Therefore mostly quantitative results will be presented except where the only responses available were from comments. For these responses, comments or themes found within will be summarized.


RESULTS


The data was collected in 2018.


BIOGRAPHICAL DATA


64 students responded. One respondent did not answer all questions.

Their gender identification was 56 Women, 6 Males, and one Gender Neutral.


43 of the Participants (70%) were between the ages of 36 and 60 years old. 10 were between the ages of 60 and 70 years old. 6 were between the ages of 26 years old and 35 years old.


Two were between the ages of 18 and 20 years old.


Of 64 students, 22 students stated they had only taken one class with the ISC (35%)

(level one of the clairvoyant program). 2 had taken only the remote viewing class. All others (41 students) had taken more than one class: 18 had taken two classes (clairvoyant program level one). 10 had taken three classes. (clairvoyant program, levels one, two and three).

11 had taken remote viewing and clairvoyant level one program.


77 % of the students were from the U.S. 9% were from Canada. 5% were from Europe, with the rest indicating other countries.


Respondents indicated they learned of the classes through reading one of the instructor’s book, rom online searches; testimonials from other students; and videos.

In terms of prior experience with the subject matter, nine students indicated they were “brand new to the subject matter, 34 indicated they had “a little” experience with the subject matter, 21 indicated they had “moderate experience” with the subject matter, 5 indicated they were already at the professional level, l and 6 indicated they had experience in a related subject matter. Many who already had experience expressed they were interested in learning new techniques and especially honing their specific ability of clairvoyance.


Students indicated that the technology they used to actually place the call into the class or to get into the webinar included cellphones (56%), land line (10%). Zoom.us (8%) and Skype to phone call (3%).


When asked to respond to the open ended question, “I decided to take a tele-seminar/webinar class because…” Many of the respondents stated they desired to develop their intuitive abilities. Several mentioned they choose to take a distant learning class because it was accessible and eliminated the need for travel. They stated there were no programs such as this that they could attend in their area, whether within the U.S. or another country. Several mentioned they were interested in studying with the specific instructor due to having read her books, or heard about her from other students who had studied with her.


ASSESSING CLASS EFFECTIVENESS — SKILLS & LEARNING


Q: How much did you feel you learned in this class?

Out of 64 students, 38 people percent stated “a great deal” (59 %) 17 students (27%) responded “a lot”. Seven students (11 %) students stated “a moderate amount”. One stated “a little”, and one stated “none at all”.


Q: This class helped me to increase my intuitive abilities.

Out of 64 Students, 62 students agreed. Of these, 39 (61%) strongly agreed. Only one person didn’t agree or disagree, and one person strongly disagreed.


Q: I have learned skills from this class, taught via teleseminar or webinar

that will change my life.


Out of 64 students, 60 agreed (94 %), with 37 strongly agreeing (58%). Six neither agreed or disagreed.


Q: I have learned skills from this class, taught via teleseminar or webinar that will improve my life.


Out of 64 respondents, 60 agreed (96 %). 40 of these strongly agreed (62%).


Q: When in class I had strong personal insights.


54 agreed (84%) 10 students (16 %) didn’t agree or disagree. No one disagreed.


THERAPEUTIC /SPIRITUALITY/HEALING


Q: I think a class taught this way has therapeutic potential or benefits.

Of 64 students, 55 students (85 %) agreed. 9 students (14 %) neither agreed or disagreed. No one disagreed.

Q: When in class, or as a result, I experienced personal healing.

50 students agreed. (78 %). 10 students (16 %) neither agreed nor disagreed. Four disagreed.

Q: When is class I felt personally connected to myself.

Out of 64 people, 58 (91%) of students agreed that when in class they felt spiritually connected to themselves. Five neither agreed or disagreed and only one disagreed.

CONNECTION WITH OTHERS

Q: I felt connected to other students.

51 students agreed (80 % of the class) 4 disagreed. 9 neither agreed or disagreed.

Q: When in class I felt spiritually connected with others.

Of 64 respondents, 53 (83 %) agreed. Six (9 % disagreed). Five neither agreed or disagreed.

Q: How connected to the instructor did you feel?

36 (56 %) students responded “a great deal”. 17 (27 %) students responded “a lot”. Eight (12 %) students responded “a moderate amount”. One responded “a little”, and two responded “none at all”.

Q: I made friends and connections that I expect will continue once the class is over.

Of 64 students, 31 (48%) agreed. 19 (30%) students didn’t agree or disagree; and 14 (22%) students disagreed.

OVERALL SATISFACTION LEVEL

Q: The class exceeded my expectations

Of 64 students, 53 (82%) agreed. Five people (7%) disagreed. 4 neither agreed or disagreed.

Q: Attending class via teleseminar webinar was a better experience than anticipated.

Of 64 students, 52 (81%) agreed, with 29 (45%) strongly agreeing. 11 (17%) did not agree or disagreed. Only one respondent disagreed.

Q: The classes met my expectations

Out of 64 students, 44 agreed (69 %). 20 disagreed (23 %).

Q: The class was worth the tuition amount

Out of 64 respondents, 49 (76 %) students agreed. 38 (59%) of these strongly agreed (59%). Eight students (12 %) disagreed. Seven people (10 %) didn’t agree or disagree.

Q: I think I preferred attending class via teleseminar/webinar to attending in person.

37 agreed (58%). 19 (30%) neither agreed or disagreed. 8 disagreed ( 3%).

TECHNOLOGY

Q: Technical Level Of Students

Out of 63 students, 28 students indicated their technical-computer skills were “very strong”, and 28 answered “strong”. 13 responded affirmatively to “good enough to search the Internet, but not much else

Q: How problematic were technical issues?

Out of 64 students, 27 didn’t find technical issues such as sound quality and calling in a problem, while 30 students found this to be “a little problematic”. Five students found this to be moderately problematic. Two found it to “be very problematic”.

Q: Sometimes the technology such as sound quality and calling in is a hassle or is problematic. How much did this take away from your overall progress or enjoyment of the class?

Two students responded “a great deal” (3%). Five students responded “a moderate amount”. 30 (47%) responded “a little”. 27 (42%) responded “none at all”.

Q: This is a great way to take a class.

Out of 64 students, 57 Students (89 %) agreed. Of these 38 strongly agreed (59 percent). Only one disagreed. Six neither agreed or disagreed. (9 %).

Q: This is a terrible way to take a class

Out of 64 students, 62 disagreed (98%). No one agreed. Two neither agreed or disagreed.

Q: How likely are you to recommend this class, taught in this way, to a friend?

Out of 64 respondents, 34 students (53%) answered “a great deal”. 18 students (28%) responded “a lot”. 11 percent responded “a moderate amount”. Responded “none at all”.

Q: Taking this class was less stressful and anxiety provoking via teleseminar then it would have been in person.

Out of 64 participants, 33 of these agreed (52%); 24 (37%) neither agreed or disagreed. Six students disagreed.

MAKING USE OF OUT OF CLASS RESOURCES

Did having a group page enhance your experience?

81 % responded from a “moderate” amount to “a great deal”. 10 % had other comments.

How often did students take advantage of the option of attending the Wednesday

Practice group

12 students “attended the practice groups at least once a month”, with seven “attending weekly”. 14 responded that they “attended only a few times and 17 students “never attending these at all”. 18 people said they “used to attend but no longer do”.

Reasons for lack of attendance fluctuated between being unavailable, having a lack of time, being too nervous, feeling unworthy, or conversely, feeling like they didn’t need to practice within a group environment since they were practicing on their own. Some voice that found the groups distracting or uncomfortable to read as part of a group experience. Some did not enjoy working with certain facilitators.


How much did having a group page with information on www.seventhsight.org where you could obtain recordings and communicate with others enhance your experience for this course?


25 students (39 %) responded “a great deal”. 16 students (25%) responded “a lot”. 11 students (17%) responded “a moderate amount”. 6 students (9 %) responded “a little”. Six students gave “other” responses which included comments such as class pages should have remained up longer than one year so students could find other classmates; that there was not enough moderation or activity by the instructor within the group page; and that the format of the overall site was confusing and looked outdated.


The assignments and practice outside the class contributed to my learning

Out of 64 participants, 55 agreed, (86%). Eight neither agreed or disagreed. None disagreed.


TEACHING STYLE

How much did the teacher’s style and choices impact whether you liked taking a class this way?


28 students (44%) responded “a great deal”. 23 students (36 %) responded “a lot”. 11 students (17%) responded “a moderate amount”. Two responded “none at all”.


I would take another class as it was taught by the teacher and the format if given the chance.


Out of 64 respondents, 56 agreed (87%). Seven neither agreed or disagreed (11%). one disagreed.


What would you say to people who don’t believe can learn what you covered in your class?


“I would encourage them to give it a try especially since it is via tele seminar. To give them background on the instructor and her teaching style as well as how the class works. This is a life changing class taken in a beneficial way”.

“I didn’t either at first”

“I can say a lot! I wasn’t sure about it either until I actually took a chance and tried a class with Debra and I was really impressed with what could be accomplished in this way with distance training. I feel like I am part of a special family and still in touch with people I attended with in my first class in 2012. Most whom I’ve never met in person. The type of work we do as remote viewers and clairvoyant practitioners is mostly done on the non-local level so distance learning and working in this way is a natural fit. To think that it can’t be done this way is actually nonsense and counter-intuitive. It also works well for other more traditional things as well.”

“Don’t knock what you haven’t tried! Lol! The nature of this subject matter actually lends itself better, in a way, to this kind of learning because it helps you maintain neutrality for readings.”

“If you make a sincere effort with a class of people who also want to try hard, and you have a dedicated instructor, you may be surprised at what you learn.”


OPEN RESPONSE


Q: Can you please explain what you learned in class?


Themes that emerge from the open response questions pertaining to learning are those related to the enhancement of confidence level, trust in one self and the information coming in, growing awareness of how to separate out logic form intuitive information, learning about oneself, self-growth, empowerment, greater understanding of how ones intuitive perceptual abilities work “fleeting images”, setting boundary’s, being prepared for further work, and practical skill acquisition.


The following are a sampling of direct participants’ responses (taken from the first 20 responses).


“I learned how to use psychic abilities at will, how to set healthy boundaries energetically, how to ground myself and be more present; developing and trusting my intuition, learning more about who I really am, etc.”

“I learned to believe more in myself and that knowledge is key in covering your true gifts.”

“That I am sometimes able to tune in to things and get profound insights. But other times I’m not”.

“I took level 1–3 of Clairvoyant classes and Remote Viewing. I learned so much it’s impossible to write to write it out here. My skills advanced/I learned how to control them more/healing work/so much with Remote Viewing…. it opened doors for me especially with dreaming. These classes changed my life in so many ways and advanced my consciousness and skills in ways I never imagined. I’m now able to assist others in life with the tools I’ve learned from these classes”.

“In clairvoyant classes I learned to do psychic readings. I was highly skeptical when I began, but later when we began reading I was often surprised with how accurate I could be about people places and things. In the RV class I learned about different types of remote viewing as well as the six stages and beyond those. I wanted to learn the standard structure of a remote viewing sessions so that I could work with and understand the language of remote viewing work with other remote viewers out there, sort of on the same page. The RV class enhanced my psychic skills, especially those of being able to distinguish between what’s relevant and what may not be in an information stream coming in to me”.

“Learned to ground and run energy, how to set intentions and maintain boundaries, how to read an aura and relations, connect to spirit guides and deceased loved ones!”

“Lots about myself”

I learned: 1. How to trust myself 2. How to trust the information coming through 3. How to trust that the information will come, despite my questions.

“Although books and videos can provide information, I always felt that nothing beats real practice. To me it was such practice of using the techniques and templates for clairvoyant reading from which I benefitted the most. Starting from the first lesson, we were made to practice clairvoyant reading with classmates, and then were progressively guided towards different templates and approaches for clairvoyant readings. The fleeting images that initially emerged in my mind seemed like mere imagination, but Debra’s guidance made me gradually realize that they were quite often more than that. And when these images were accompanied by associated feelings, this gave me the confidence that my experiences could not but be authentic. The subsequent validations by classmates further confirmed their connection with the situations being read.”

“I was able to expand on what I had already learned from previous psychics and have my questions answered and I had lots of questions.”

“I learned how to do mental exercise….like going to the gym for my mind. This helped me be prepare myself better for sitting down and doing psychic work.”

“Look at things differently, tools to do so.”

“Being helpful to the world and personal transformation”

“In these classes I learned how to heal myself and others. I learned to rely on my intuition and also the self-confidence I needed to be a professional in this field of study. I learned that with awareness and oneness we can all change the world one person at a time and also the fact that everything and everyone is interrelated. The Metaphysical and Physical would not exist without each other, and we are all here to live synergistically together on the righteous path of love and light. I learned how to trust my intuition, in turn have healed the blockages I had carried with myself since childhood. It was not handed to me and it was hard work, but because I already had the basic knowledge of my gifts, the classes taught me how to really apply these tools I learned to receive more clarity and transparency in my readings. It was these classes that helped me dive into parapsychology and find my spirit guides along the way that help me do my job every single day”


DISCUSSION


Any assessment tool that is created by the one being assessed, or responsible for the program to be assessed, and who could benefit from such assessment, will naturally become suspect. While those at the forefront of qualitative research in the social sciences acknowledge all researchers are subjective to an extent (Camic, Rhodes, & Yardley, 2003), for a project such as this, I would acknowledge the potential subjectivity could be extreme. To mitigate this, I have tried to remain consciously aware of my own feelings and desires related to a “hope” that responses will be positive, and fears, that they will not. For this reason it would have been ideal to have an independent researcher carry out this assessment instead, this was not feasible. However, it is hoped that this pilot study will stimulate such interest in the future.


For the sake of transparency therefore, the full question bank and responses via “survey monkey” will be made accessible to credentialed researchers wishing to verify the information in this report upon request, providing they are presently affiliated with a credentialed university. The open response comments can also be made available to demonstrate they are in alignment with the multiple choice type responses.

A survey such as this, even one that involved blinding procedures, could further be compromised for the reason that students may be inclined to sugarcoat responses. It should be noted that students do not receive a grade, nor was there any benefit tied into taking the survey. Major universities around U.S. (such as the University of West Georgia) continue to require students to complete course evaluation survey’s while sitting in class, using a pen or pencil. The teacher will leave the room while they fill out the survey but can sometimes easily recognize their handwritten responses. Awareness of this can and does influence students responses. Delivery of the present survey was designed to mitigate this possibility. It allowed students to click on a link emailed to them and take the survey from the privacy of their home. Instructions within the invitational email and also in the survey itself insured the students their identity would not be trackable.


Furthermore, items included in the multiple response options provided for the statement “does not agree or disagree”. This response was intended to give a way out to students who not only didn’t have an opinion either way, but for those who perhaps did feel negatively, but didn’t wish to hurt anyone’s feelings. In this respect, if one wanted to be extra conservative, one could take the number of responses in this category and combine it with the negative oriented responses. Even if one was to take this approach, it does not appear that it would impact the overall findings of the study in any significant way.


CONCLUSION

Results of this pilot study demonstrate that a majority of students surveyed found that taking a teleseminar and webinar class, even without video, offered a variety of benefits. 94 % of students felt they learned things in the class that would improve their life. 82 % of students found that the class exceeded their expectations; 86 % felt the class was therapeutic, with 84 % finding they received personal inspirations. 82 % felt spiritually connected to themselves in class. 80 % felt connected to others. Students did write in some suggestions for improvement. The majority of the critical comments were related to lack of engagement by the instructor on the shared group page in terms of initiating discussions. Another common theme was that more written materials would have been appreciated.

At the time of this writing, millions of people around the world have been ordered to self-isolate due to Covid-19. It is estimated that as many as a billion people could be in this same boat in the weeks to come. This means that people are more than ever dependent on technology, not only for information, but for human to human interaction and learning of new skills. The study’s positive responses are contrary to the public opinion that technology is alienating and isolating. This is also despite the fact that students did at times find technical difficulties to be somewhat problematic or distracting.


While technology will never entirely, can never entirely, and one would argue, should never entirely replace the need for people to come together in the physical, this study’s results suggest that tele-seminar and webinar technologies have the potential to be used to facilitate and enhance transpersonal experiences and personal and intuitive growth.

While it is understood that the efficacy of any program can very much depend on the personality, teaching style, and experience level of the instructor, as well as the composition of the student body, it is felt that this single case study’s findings at the very least can serve as a model, or at least a basic road map, for other educators who have been hesitant to move in the direction of teaching their own transpersonal, mind/body, metaphysical oriented classes, via a Synchronous distant learning platform.


REFERENCES

Camic, P.M., Rhodes, J.E., & Yardley, L. (Eds.) (2003). Qualitative research in psychology: Expanding perspectives in methodology and design. Washington, D.C: American Psychological 1Association.

Drinkwater, K., Dagnall, Neil; Grogan, S.; Riley, V.A. (2017). Understanding the unknown: A thematic analysis of subjective paranormal experiences. Australian Journal of Parapsychology, 17(1), 23- 46.

Heidegger, M. (1977). The question concerning technology (W. Lovitt, Trans.) The question concerning technology: and other essays (pp. 3–35).

Katz, D. (2020). Book Chapter: Clairvoyant Reading and Healing as a Therapeutic Practice in A Mental Health Practitioners’ Guide to Holistic Treatments. Editors. Fracasso, C. Krippner, S. Friedman, H.

Katz, D. ; Watts, L.P. (2018). Creating Safe & Sacred Space via Teleseminar& Webinar Presentation. Conference for Meaningful Living in a digital world held in Savannah, Georgia.

Katz, D. (2009). Freeing the Genie within: Manifesting abundance, creativity, and success in your life. Llewellyn Worldwide publishing (1st ed). Santa Barbara, CA: Living Dreams Press (2nd).

Katz, D. (2008). Extraordinary Psychic: Proven Techniques to Master Your Natural Psychic Abilities. Llewellyn Worldwide publishing (1st ed). Santa Barbara, CA: Living Dreams Press (2nd).

Katz, D. (2004). You Are Psychic: (2004) The Art of Clairvoyant Reading & Healing. Llewellyn Worldwide publishing (1st ed). Santa Barbara, CA: Living Dreams Press (2nd).

Knowles, J. (2017). Remote Viewing from the ground up. Create Space. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Rhine, L. (1962a). Psychological processes in ESP experiences. Part I. Waking Experiences. Journal of Parapsychology, 26, 88–111.

Rhine, L. (1962b). Psychological processes in ESP experiences. Part II. Dreams. Journal of Parapsychology, 26, 172–199.

Smith, D. (2014). CRV — Controlled Remote Viewing: Manuals, collected papers & information to help you learn Controlled Remote Viewing. Amazon Digital Services, LLC.

Schlitz, M. J., Wiseman, R., Watt, C., & Radin, D. (2006). Of two minds: Sceptic- proponent collaboration within parapsychology. British Journal of Psychology, 97, 313- 322.

Schmeidler, G. R., & Maher, M. (1981). Judges’ responses to the nonverbal behavior of psi- conducive and psi-inhibitory experimenters. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 75, 241–254.

Smith, P. H. (2005). Reading the enemy’s mind: Inside Star Gate — America’s psychic espionage program. New York, NY: Tom Dougherty Associates LLC.

Targ, R. (2012). The Reality of ESP: A Physicist’s Proof of Psychic Abilities. Wheaton, IL. Quest Books.

Targ, R., Puthoff, H. E., & May, E. C. (1977). State of the art in remote viewing studies at SRI. 1977 Proceedings of the International Conference of Cybernetics.

Targ, R., Katra, J., Brown, D., & Wiegand, W. (1995). Viewing the future: A Pilot Study With an Error-Detecting Protocol. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 9, 367–380.

White, R. A. (1977). The Influence of Experimenter Motivation, Attitudes, and Methods of Handling Subjects on Psi Test Results. In B. B. Wolman (Ed.), Handbook of Parapsychology, 273–301. New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Williams, L. L. (2019). Boundless: Your How To Guide to Practical Remote Viewing — Phase One (A How To Series to Learn Controlled Remote Viewing Book 1). Amazon Digital Services.

Williams, L.L. (2017). Monitoring: A Guide for Remote Viewing & Professional Intuitive Teams. Amazon Digital Services

To view the online question bank and graphs please write to Debra Lynne Katz for access.

About the School: More information can be found about the International School of Clairvoyance at www.urpsychic.com.

Testimonials: Students and those receiving intuitive based sessions from graduates and students have offered testimonials from these classes and sessions: These can be read too.

https://showcase.vocalreferences.com/psychic-intuition-healing-readings-clairvoyance-international-school-of-clairvoyance-17196

[1] This paper is missing a literature review. This will be completed at a later date.


DEBRA LYNNE KATZ is author of You Are Psychic, Extraordinary Psychic, Freeing the Genie Within.


JON KNOWLES, Editor of this article is author of Remote Viewing From the Ground Up.

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