Highly Recommended Books

The following comments are by SEN members who recommend the book. For more information, Amazon has reviews, publishing details and "look inside" features - and sample chapters from some of the books can be read on Google Books.



Bragdon, Emma. "A Sourcebook for Helping People with Spiritual Problems" Lightening Up Press, 2006.

A clear concise statement of the nature of spiritual emergence and appropriate treatment modalities.



Carroll, Marlyse. "Am I Going Mad? The Unsettling Phenomena of Spiritual Evolution" Melbourne, Australia 2007, obtainable from www.innerpeacepublishing.com.au

Highly recommended – provides a comprehensive framework for understanding non-ordinary experiences - in an unusually accessible manner, interspersed with very readable and fascinating personal accounts. Ideal to have on hand for loan, and giving to professionals working in mental health.



Gersten, Dennis, M.D. "Are you Getting Enlightened or Losing Your Mind?" 1998.

Gersten describes his own Kundalini experience and details all the different categories of mental illness and how they relate to SE.


Greenwell, Bonnie. "When Spirit Leaps: Navigating The Process of Spiritual Awakening", 2018.

Greenwell, Bonnie. "Energies of Transformation: A Guide to the Kundalini Process", 1995.

Easy to read SE classic. Greenwell has consulted sacred texts as well as interviewing many people about their kundalin experiences. Comprehensive list of Kundalini symptoms.

Grof, Stanislav and Christina, ed. "Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis" 1989.

Probably the book that is the most well-known on the subject of Spiritual Emergency. Christina Grof was the founder of the international Spiritual Emergence movement in 1980.

Grof, Stanislav and Christina. "The Stormy Search for the Self: A Guide to Personal Growth through Transformational Crisis” 1992.

In depth descriptions of all the forms of SE. Christina Grof’s personal spiritual awakening followed a three year ‘dark night of the soul’.


Gundersen, Marie. "A Contemplative Mystic" 2019.

This book is an in-depth version of Marie's story which can be found on our Personal Accounts page.


Kornfield, Jack. "After the Ecstasy, the Laundry" 2000.


Krishna, Gopi. "Living with Kundalini" Shambhala, 1993.


Lucas, Catherine. "In Case of Spiritual Emergency: Moving Successfully Through Your Awakening",2011.

Catherine has been the head of the Spiritual Crisis Network in the UK. (The equivalent of SEN in Australia)


Mosher, Loren R., Hendrix, Voyce and D Fort. "Soteria: Through Madness to Deliverance" 2004.

Day-to-day life at Soteria-House, an alternative to psychiatric hospitalization in Northern California. Mosher founded Soteria and there are now Soteria Houses in Finland, Hungary and Switzerland.


Nightsky, Odette. "The Bridge between two worlds: A shaman's view of schizophrenia and acute sensitivity" 1999 NSW Australia.

Odette trained as a Shaman following her own experiences of Acute Sensitivity - a break-down for which she was given a diagnosis of Schizophrenia. She has a great deal of practical experience working with Sensitives using the approach and tools which she describes in this book. A small book in size but big for people who take the shamanic framework in part or in full.


Perry, John Weir. "Trials of the Visionary Mind: Spiritual Emergency and the Renewal Process”, 1999.

This is an excellent and comprehensive summary of Perry's ground-breaking work in the area of alternative approaches to psychosis. Stress may cause highly activated mythic images to erupt from the psyche's deepest levels in the form of turbulent visionary experience. Depending on whether the interactions between the individual and the immediate surroundings lean toward affirmation or invalidation these experiences can turn into a step in growth or into a disorder. Describes the set-up of Diabasis, a facility which took first episode 'schizophrenics' and allowed them to have their experience drug-free and with daily therapy. Very low relapse rate and improvement on pre-episodic functioning, but facility was closed when funding was withdrawn.


Roberts, Bernadette. "The Experience of No Self" 1993.

This book has been very helpful to SEN members who have had this rare type of SE.


Roger Walsh M.D. Ph.D. "The World of Shamanism - New Views of an Ancient Tradition", 2007.


Sandanda, Solomae. "Kundalini and the Evolution of Consciousness" 2005.


Williams, Paris. “Rethinking Madness” 2012


Young, Courtenay. “First Contacts with People in Crisis & Spiritual Emergencies” 2011.



Books endorsed by the Spiritual Emergence Service, Canada and the Spiritual Crisis Network, UK


Comments are by SES, SCN, and SEN members. The remainder of the books lists can be viewed on the SES and SCN websites.


Clarke, Isabel (ed). “Psychosis and Spirituality: Exploring the New Frontier”, Whurr Publishers, 2001.


De Waard, Fransje, with forward by Dr. David Lukoff. "Spiritual Crisis: Varieties and Perspectives of a Transpersonal Phenomenon" 2010.


Kason, Yvonne, MD. "Farther Shores: Exploring how Near-Death, Kundalini and Mystical Experiences can Transform Ordinary Lives", 2008.

Explains kundalini awakening, and other spiritually transformative experiences, gives case histories, tells what symptoms people have experienced and offers suggestions about how to cope.


Nightingale, Kaia, M.A. "Journey through Transformation: A Guide to Mystical Awakening, Kundalini, Emotional Clearing and Spiritual Emergence", 2007.

Journey through Transformation is a book of considerable practical help for those going through spiritual crisis as a result of Kundalini awakening or near-death experiences.


Taylor, Kylea, with forward by Jack Kornfield, Ph.D. “Honoring the Web of Life in Our Professional Healing Relationships” 1995. The Ethics of Caring.


Watkins, John. “Unshrinking Psychosis: Understanding and Healing the Wounded Soul”, Michelle Anderson Publishing, 2010.