In the 1990s, Elaine commenced informal research into exceptional or non-ordinary psychological experiences. Over time this research increasingly focused on the non-ordinary transformative experiences of those nearing the end of life, on near-death and transient-death experiences, on signs and messages received by the living from deceased loved ones, and on the apparent memories of a past life and death.
Experiences of this nature raise fundamental questions around the dominant materialistic view of consciousness, which motivated Elaine to enrol in a PhD programme to take this research, and the questions that is raises, further. This programme required the submission of a number of papers as well as a dissertation. Her Doctoral dissertation was entitled, The Continuity of Consciousness beyond Clinical Death, and was submitted in early 2012.
This work encompasses 450 pages of experiential evidence and discussion supporting the view that the current materialistic paradigm, one that assumes that the brain creates consciousness, is inadequate. In her dissertation she examines the impact of quantum physics or modern science as a potential catalyst for the expansion of scientific thinking, an expansion embracing consciousness as a phenomenon that is significantly more than a by-product of brain processes. Elaine’s dissertation supports the hypothesis that consciousness is primary, that human consciousness survives physical death in some form, and suggests a different approach to the understanding of consciousness and reality.
While Elaine was conducting the research for this dissertation the platform for the establishment of a research foundation was developing. Soon after successfully completing her PhD programme, Elaine founded the Transformative End-of-Life Experiences Research Foundation, or TELERF, as the vehicle for future research. Elaine now continues her research, and forms research collaborations, through the Foundation.