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Recognizing and Working with Spiritual Emergencies in Psychotherapy
Spiritual emergencies occur throughout the lifespan, triggered by sudden losses and spontaneous visionary experiences. Visionary spiritual experiences, such as psychedelic, mystical, near death, and alien encounter experiences challenge our understanding of the world and can be confusing and frightening.
The self can become disorganized and overwhelmed by an infusion of spiritual intense spiritual experience. While such challenges can produce a period of distress and imbalance, once recognized and approached as potentially transformative, many clients can integrate episodes of spiritual emergency in ways that promote their growth and development.
This course focuses on recognizing spiritual emergencies and best practices to allow individuals to express and ultimately work through their extreme states with a therapist who draws on heart-centered ways of “being with” an individual in an extreme state. Fostering integration of spiritual emergencies rather than trying to “reduce symptoms” can enable them to become Spiritually Transformative Experiences.
Spiritual Competency in Psychotherapy
Spirituality is a resource for wellness and recovery. Recent research has established Spiritual Competency as a core skill in therapeutic practice. Research published in mainstream peer reviewed journals, including by this instructor, has established spirituality as a resource for wellness and recovery or many people when facing challenges and losses.
Studies have also shown the value of spiritually oriented interventions such as mindfulness practices and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. in the past 15 years, the benefits of these approaches has been demonstrated in research published in recent mainstream peer reviewed journals.
In addition, distinguishing psychopathology from potentially spiritually transformative crises requires a broader context of cultural sensitivity which has expanded awareness in the field of psychology of the need to provide more spiritually inclusive care across the spectrum of clients in order to provide spiritually competent care. This course prepares therapists to provide spiritually competent care with more compassionate and skill.
- This course prepares therapists to provide spiritually competent care with more compassionate and skill.