Spiritual Emergency & Crisis
Helping people through a Spiritual crisis where an individual experiences drastic changes to their meaning system (i.e., their unique purposes, goals, values, attitude and beliefs, identity, and focus) because of a spontaneous spiritual experience
Spiritual Emergency is a form of identity crisis where a person experiences challenging changes to their unique purposes, goals, values, beliefs, identity, and focus. This is typically because of a sudden or spontaneous experience often `spiritual`.
It can cause raised anxiety levels and panic and significant disruption in psychological, social and occupational functioning.
It results in distress associated with spiritual practices and experiences and problems inherent in the spiritual growth process.
“Mhúscailt Spioradálta” (in Irish) – which is an expression of the renewed spiritual awakening that is rising like a new sun in the hearts of people of many diverse backgrounds.
What is Spiritual Emergency ?
Spiritual Crisis may also be termed Spiritual Emergency.
Spiritual Emergency may be brought on through a variety of means including stress, near-death experiences, spontaneous mystical or shamanic experiences, psychoses, alien abductions or other means.
It is not just experienced by those involved in spiritual practices which are particularly designed to activate spiritual energies such as yoga, tantra, meditation and prayer. It can be triggered by many kinds of marked and extreme emotional intensity. Further examples could be: stress, shock, illness, physical exertion, childbirth, divorce, intense sexual experience, psychedelic drugs, ethnogens and sometimes artistic or creative pursuits and practices.
Sometimes these experiences can be extreme and disorienting for the individual. Crisis experiences are often overwhelming during which the process of growth and change becomes chaotic and overpowering as individuals often suddenly and dramatically enter new realms of mystical and spiritual experience.
However, they may also become fearful and confused and have difficulty coping with their daily lives, jobs and relationships.
Individuals experiencing such episodes may feel that their sense of identity is breaking down and that the very ground beneath their personal realities is radically shifting…and may even fear for their own sanity.
Spiritual crises can be mistaken for psychiatric disorders, and this can lead to tragically unnecessary hospitalisations and stunting of the growth potential of such experiences.
Spiritual emergencies are included in the new diagnostic category of Religious or Spiritual Problems in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-Fourth Edition (APA, 1994).
The acceptance of this new category was based on a proposal documenting the extensive literature on the frequent occurrence of many types of religious and spiritual problems in clinical practice (e.g., loss of faith, changing denominational membership, near death experience) (Lukoff, Lu, and Turner, 1992).
Types of Spiritual Emergency
Despite the human desire for order, nature does not usually divide phenomena into neat categories, so I am giving a broad summary here:
- Loss, questioning or change of spiritual values.
- Ego Death “Dark Night of the Soul”
- Mystical or unitive experience.
- Psychic opening.
- Past Life Experiences.
- Possession States.
- Shamanistic crisis.
- UFO abduction.
- Near-death experience (NDE).
- Dying, grief, and life-threatening illness.
- Psychological Renewal Through The Central Archetype.
Please Note: The types above are ones that are not associated with mental disorders. At the psychotic level, psychiatric and / or pharmacological intervention is the appropriate treatment. Spiritual emergencies can also occur in conjunction with substance abuse.
Michael aims to integrate and support and move the process forward for those whose spiritual awakening and experience is also extremely distressing, i.e. those in a spiritual emergency.
He conveys and fosters respect for the healing and transformative nature of the crisis and assists the process.
Then its positive potential can be realised.
Your Check List: (What you need).
- Medical assessment, rule out psychiatric or organic problems, check health behaviours.
- Minimal use of psychiatric drugs. (often given solely for the purpose of securing the client’s sleep and the necessary rest and the energy to get back to everyday activities wherein the intensity of the experience starts to subside).
- Quiet and safe environment.
- Compassionate and knowledgeable companion/friend/partner.
- Education and reassurance about spiritual emergency.
- Professional Support and help with development, facilitation, information, grounding, centering and / or catharsis and consultation with family if necessary.
Michael’s Therapeutic Approaches:
- He helps the person to have a conceptual framework to support, understand, and accept the experience and gives them information and further understanding of what they are experiencing.
By employing many alternative and complimentary therapies and philosophies, he embraces spiritual theology as its foundation, taking, as its energy and point of balance, the soul, rather than simply the mind. He helps you to look beyond your experience and emotions, and instead resolves to explore with you and unearth the ‘big picture’ understanding and remembering of who you truly are and why you are experiencing spiritual emergence/emergency and creating your specific life.
- He supports the person to have a physical and emotional structure to integrate the experience; a healthy ego structure, tolerance for ambiguity, tolerance for strong emotions, flexibility, etc.
- He facilitates grounding: contact, present-centeredness, boundary-setting, letting go, affirming connections to others and the world, activities, rituals, meditation, metaphysical exploration, processes and interventions.
- He helps to restructure response patterns, cognitive restructure, emotional and body work and healing. Taking into account your belief system, your energy system, your unconscious and superconscious mind – in essence, your spirit.
- He moves the person to define the experience as positive, potentially healthy, healing, or initiatory and supports spiritual emergence / long-term growth by offering ongoing work based on internal growth, intention and action, rather than just problem solving.
Sessions can be conducted over the phone or via Skype as well as in-person In Grantham for an hour`s duration.
In-person sessions can also be for 2 hours if required.
Session Fees Here
Michael is a trained transpersonal and metaphysical therapist.
Body = Conscious
Mind = Unconscious
Spirit = Super-conscious
Spiritual Emergence and Spiritual Emergency are the psychic / psychological dynamics of the spiritual growth process (Spiritual Emergence) and when an individual experiences psychic overload and crisis (Spiritual Emergency).
Too often such individuals are pathologised and medicated by uninformed but sometimes well-meaning health care workers.
This not only terminates the process so that breakthrough cannot occur, it can also drive the patient into permanent decline with mental dysfunction.
Dr. Michael works with you and your spirit – your higher self – to build and firmly establish a flowing relationship between the two.
This connection, this full consciousness and knowledge – finally – of who you really are, gives you the awareness of how to get beyond spiritual emergency and build a life of passion and depth, of joy and one of gratitude.
If you would like to find out more about Michael’s work and how it may help you, he offers a free initial consultation by phone or Skype for up to 30 minutes. You can talk through your symptoms and he can explain how he might be able to help.
Michael prides himself on being approachable, inclusive and positive with an empathic approach at all times. He always validates how a client is feeling. Michael purposefully sets out to deliver high quality therapeutic care through friendly and down-to-earth communication.