Extraordinary Research

Jan Holden (Photo by Ranjani Groth)

When Jan Holden decided it was time to pursue her master's and Ed.D. in counselor education, she chose to focus her research on the extraordinary.

In the more than three decades since she first joined UNT to explore the counseling implications of near-death experiences, after-death communication and other transpersonal experiences -- those that transcend the usual personal limits of space, time and/or identity -- Holden has built the kind of stellar reputation that led to her selection as the 2019 UNT Foundation Eminent Faculty Award winner.

"It's an unusual topic," says Holden, who served as president of the International Association for Near-Death Studies and has edited the peer-reviewed Journal of Near-Death Experiences for the past 10 years. "And UNT, where there is an emphasis on creativity and caring, is a perfect place to be able to pursue scholarly research in this area."

In recognition of her advocacy for people who have had transpersonal experiences, Holden -- who will retire from UNT in August -- was awarded the Association for Spiritual, Ethical and Religious Values in Counseling's 2013 Research Award and the American Counseling Association's 2015 Gilbert and Kathleen Wrenn Award for a Humanitarian and Caring Person.

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