Barbara Harris Whitfield

Barbara Harris Whitfield

Barbara Harris Whitfield runs a private psychiatric practice in Atlanta with her husband, Charlie. They work with adults who have experienced childhood trauma, Adult-Child syndrome, addictions, codependency, and other problems with living. They are especially committed to treating people addicted to opiates and/or psych drugs that are extremely toxic and unhealthy.

In 1975, Barbara had a profound near-death experience that turned her life into a search for answers. As a result, she went back to school and qualified as an ICU respiratory therapist. This led her to write and lecture on “The Emotional Needs of Critical Care Patients.”

To date, Barbara has authored and co-authored 12 books on near-death experiences (NDE’S), the emotional needs of critically ill patients, the after-effects of spiritually transformative experiences, and medical marijuana.

Her most famous book, “The Secrets of Medicinal Marijuana,” is a guide for patients and those who care for them. She provides an exceptional resource that cuts through old myths and misinformation to offer the reader her well-informed thoughts and considerations for exploring the new world of medicinal marijuana use.

In the book, she explains that her husband Charlie is a physician and best-selling author (Healing the Child Within) and she is a consciousness researcher who attended the University of Connecticut Medical School for six years researching the after-effects of near-death (and other spiritual) experiences. Between her and Charlie, they have authored 24 books.

Barbara was one of the first in the Respiratory Care field to take the emotional needs of critically ill and dying patients seriously. This is ultimately what led her towards researching the healing properties of medical marijuana.


Barbara held her first position in health care in 1979, when she worked in a hospital as a respiratory therapist. She was 36 at the time and then went on to do home care for the dying. It was during this time that she was published in nursing and respiratory care journals on the subject she coined as “The Emotional Needs of Critical Care Patients.”

She was subsequently asked to lecture on the matter at nursing conferences and hospitals. She then went on to become a full-time psychiatric researcher in the medical school at the University of Connecticut. She held this position for six years and attributes her time here to the knowledge she gained about how the system works.

As part of her role as a researcher for the Department of Psychiatry, he looked at the emotional, psychological, energetic, and spiritual after-effects of people who experienced near-death cases. She had a specific focus on those whose prior religious beliefs conflicted with their present spiritual experiences.

She taught classes on these after-effects at the Rutgers University’s Institute on Alcohol and Drug Studies for 12 years. She called the classes, “When the 12th Step happens first.”

Barbara decided to write her book, “The Secrets of Medical Marijuana”, because of the increasing number of states who are legalizing marijuana for medical use. She realized that with this movement comes the urgent need for reliable information and guidance on the positive effects of marijuana as well as the dangers.

The book is written from her personal and professional experience, where she generously shares her great wisdom that has been instilled from a lifetime of experience.


Between 1978 and 1981 Barbara attended the Flager Institute to study towards her Respiratory Therapist qualification. She is also a licensed counselor and massage therapist.

Some of her top skills are described as being public speaking, personal development, psychotherapy, researching, publishing, and Group therapy sessions. She also has a strong interest in helping patients who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Specialties and Other Interests

Barbara is the past president and executive board member of Kundalini Research Network ( She also sat on the board of The International Association for Near-death Studies ( and is on the advisory board of The Center for the Study of EmpathicTherapy, Education & Living (

Barbara also serves on the board of The American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences ( and is on the faculty of The Center for Sacred Studies.

Her specialties include the following: Near-Death Experiences, Recovery from childhood trauma, abuse or neglect, aftereffects of spiritual awakenings in general, PTSD, personal growth, and Synchronicities.

Barbara’s husband Charles is a psychotherapist, physician, and internationally recognized expert on behavioral problems, mental illness, and recovery. He has served on the faculty of the Rutgers University Summer Institute of Alcohol and Drug Studies since 1978. He has been in the private practice of medicine and psychotherapy since 1976.

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