Case Studies in Spiritual Emergence

This course - a case study companion to “Recognising Spiritual Emergence” and “Healing Spiritual Emergencies” - provides real-life details to the theoretical framework we created in the first two courses.

About this course

In the course“Recognising Spiritual Emergence” we gave an overview of transpersonal psychotherapy: what its goals are, and why it is necessary in the context of modern medicine and psychology. We attempted to define characteristics of altered states of consciousness, which often herald a period of spiritual awakening (emergence), and discussed the chief forms of spiritual emergence. Some cases of spiritual emergence accelerate into crisis, or what has been termed “spiritual emergency”, so in its companion course, “Healing Spiritual Emergencies”, we identified the main challenges associated with periods of emergence, and how the (transpersonal) therapist can make good therapeutic decisions about what such a client needs. We looked at the personal attributes, methods, and diagnostic considerations that are central to successful work with emergent clients (especially those in crisis). We even offered some language tips to facilitate the process without scaring off the client! If you have gone through both courses (which we strongly advise you to do before embarking on this one), you may still lack the sense of being able to “get a feel” for what a spiritually emergent client - especially one in the throes of a spiritual emergency - is like. How do they talk? What are they feeling? What are the antecedent situations that they bring which triggered the whole process? What kinds of symptoms are they really experiencing, as opposed to some transpersonal writer's version of what their type of emergence should be like? How do they tend to make meaning of their whole experience, and what sort of help do they want from the therapist? It is the purpose of this course to sketch in some real-life details to the theoretical framework we created in the first two courses. Upon successful completion of this course, you will have strengthened your clinical capacity to distinguish between “mysticism” (spiritual emergence or emergency) and “madness”: mental illness. We describe three case studies. The first two are both cases about women who believe that they have been visited by an angel, so we consider them together. We first tell their stories and then pose questions to help you compare and reflect on the cases. In the subsection which follows the questions, we offer our analysis. The third case study concerns a man who experiences altered states of consciousness in the course of his spiritual questing. Again, we pose questions which we respond to in the final subsection. We strongly exhort you to think about the questions posed before turning to our exposition; you are likely to come away with a much more in-depth feel for the cases - and for the topic of spiritual emergence - if you bring your own reflection and context for understanding into our analysis.
Duration 3 hours
Format text
Type case-study
Price Included with Membership
Writer / Presenter

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