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October 2021

Spiritual emergency: The understanding and treatment of transpersonal crises. Special Issue: The psychotic experience: Disease or evolutionary crisis?

Author(s): Grof, Stanislav

Journal/Book: ReVISION. 1986; 8: 7-20.

Abstract: Argues that traditional psychiatry does not recognize the difference between mystical and psychotic experiences and suggests that spiritual emergencies (transpersonal crises) can actually be therapeutic and transformative. The 6 forms of spiritual emergency are awakening of the serpent power, shamanic journey, psychological renewal through activation of the central archetype, psychic opening, emergence of a karmic pattern, and possession state. Therapeutic assistance in transpersonal crises must include respect and support for the healing and transforming nature of the client's experience. The general strategy is to create everyday situations (e.g., meditation) in which it is possible to confront the emerging material. The technique of "holotropic" breathing, which combines hyperventilation, music and sound technology, and body work, may be useful in helping clients in transpersonal crises.

Note: psychosis vs spiritual emergencies or transpersonal crisis & holotropic breathing therapy

Keyword(s): Psychosis ; mysticism ; consciousness states; psychotherapeutic techniques; respiration ; meditation ; crises


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