The following is a list of some of the resources that SEN Australia members have found helpful. We have listed general SE resources rather than particular spiritual teachers or groups.
"Am I Going Mad?", Marlyse Carroll
www.amigoingmad.com.au Additional information and a blog to complement Marlyse Carroll’s book “Am I Going Mad?: The Unsettling Phenomena of Spiritual Evolution”. Highly Recommended.
Crazywise the Film
Crazy…or wise? Indigenous cultures address “mental illnesses” quite differently from western societies. Are symptoms a ‘calling’ to grow or just a ‘broken brain’? The documentary CRAZYWISE explores what can be learned from people around the world who have turned their psychological crisis into a positive transformative experience. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/crazywise/ (stream for a small fee)
Emerging Proud, Katie Mottram
Emerging Proud is the name of the website, film and blog by Katie Mottram, co-founder of the International Spiritual Emergence Network (ISEN).
The film ‘Emerging Proud’ is a documentary film made by taking snippets from many interviews of people sharing their experience of SE. Free streaming at: emergingproud.com/watch-the-film-2/
The blog at https://emergingproud.com/ has a great deal of useful and inspiring information on it. Subscribers receive email notifications with the subject title “Reframing Mental distress as a potential catalyst for positive change”.
Kundalini Guide, Bonnie Greenwell
Bio, blog and essays. http://www.kundaliniguide.com/
Bipolar Awakenings,Sean Blackwell
Sean has made over 45 YouTube clips on the subject of Spiritual Emergence and Spiritual Emergency where he presents his understanding as derived from his own experience and the work of others in this field. He had a profound Spiritual Emergency that was given a Bipolar label. Sean’s book, “Am I BIPOLAR or Waking Up”, can be downloaded for free from this site.
"Evolving Minds." Mel Gunasena
UK video activist and writer on her mystical experiences and forced psychiatric hospitalization. A documentary film about spiritual experiences and what gets labeled “psychosis” by the mental health system. ‘Evolving Minds’ is available on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h12_kRYITTA.
"Process Oriented Approaches to Altered and Extreme States of Consciousness", John Herold
August 2018, a YouTube presentation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoL55z3N-Es. “Process Work (also called Process Oriented Psychology) has an innovative and non-pathologizing view of altered and extreme states of consciousness. Rather than dismiss such states as mental illness — as something to be discarded — Process Work takes the position that such states contain something meaningful and important that is trying to emerge”.
Spiritual Emergence, Merlian News Podcast with Hazel Courteney
YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A42Q9JijsIc). On April 7th 1998, Sunday Times columnist Hazel Courteney, underwent a ‘near death experience’ that changed her life. She is the author of the book ‘Countdown to Coherence’.
Madness and Renewal, Michael Cornwall
What if people struggling with madness could explore their emotions in a supportive sanctuary? Do frightening ‘psychotic’ experiences have the power to transform and heal? For more than 30 years Michael Cornwall has worked in the tradition of Carl Jung and others to support people to go through psychotic states in medication-free community settings, including John Weir Perry’s Diabasis House in the 1970s and ‘Iward’ – an alternative treatment ward within a state psychiatric hospital.
Spiritual Emergence, David Lukoff
Clinical Psychologist David Lukoff talks about his madness experience and the spiritual transformation it triggered. David went on to become a leading figure in the field of Transpersonal Psychology and works to bring greater spiritual awareness into mainstream mental health practice.
Extreme States, Arnold Mindell
Why do people in extreme states feel connected to the universe, and experience uncanny and even supernatural events? Arnold Mindell, a physicist, became a Jungian therapist and founder of Process Oriented Psychology. He discusses his more than 40 years of work with individuals and groups, including people diagnosed with psychosis, and the ancient belief in a purposeful dreaming reality behind everyday events.
Talking About Suicidal Feelings, David Webb
Is a psychiatric illness behind suicidal despair — or a meaningful and even spiritual life crisis? Does forced hospitalization really provide help? David is from Melbourne and is the author of Thinking About Suicide: Contemplating and Comprehending the Urge to Die.
Spiritual Emergency, Kaia Nightingale
Canadian documentary (40 minutes) 2013. Includes accounts of six people’s extraordinary spiritual awakening experiences, three progressive medical doctors’ thoughtful insights, new research data, and graphics illustrating unusual perceptions. Buy DVD from Amazon, rent from Amazon video.or watch on Amazon Prime.
Beyond the Medical Model
Western Mass Recovery Learning Community. A film of 67 minutes, 2013 (Includes Spiritual Emergency).
Available from https://wildfloweralliance.org/film-productions/
GROUPS and ORGANISATIONS
Groups in Australia and New Zealand
These groups don’t specialise in Spiritual Emergence as a separate phenomenon but have an approach to working with SE experiences which may be helpful to some people.
Holotropic Breathwork in Australia website: http://holotropic.com.au
This is a breath-based therapy developed and taught by the Grofs who founded the Spiritual Emergence Network. The techniques can be stimulating and energising, and workshops are usually only open to people who are in grounded states of mind and not experiencing an Emergency Process.
Association of Transpersonal and Experiential Psychotherapists.
http://atep.com Psychotherapists are trained in SE concepts and use “practices that enhance consciousness and connectedness”. Modalities include breath-sessions, sandplay, voice dialogue, gestalt, dream work, mandala drawing, psycho-dynamic massage and others.
The Hearing Voices Network
A growing and thriving community of voice hearers, professionals and families running support groups for people who are troubled by hearing voices. People learn how to engage with their voices non-violently, to learn their purpose and gain benefit rather than suffer distress from their voice hearing. The international body is called ‘Intervoice’. Other support networks based on this successful model are ‘The Paranoia Network’ and the ‘Unusual Beliefs Network’. Most states in Australia have their own Hearing Voices website which lists local groups.
Process Oriented Psychology
Also known as ‘Process Work’. http://www.anzpop.org/
One of the few psychological approaches that works with skill and appreciation of people in Extreme States of mind, eg catatonia, coma, extreme drunkenness, intense emotions, unusual beliefs and non-ordinary realities. Some graduates (Process Workers) are particularly interested, skilled and available to work with people in ‘psychosis’ and/or Spiritual Emergency.
Spiritual Competency Academy, Dr. David Lukoff
Spiritual crises can be mistaken for psychiatric disorders, and this can lead to tragically unnecessary hospitalizations and stunting of the growth potential of such experiences. This site helps both clinicians working with spiritual issues and is a useful self-help resource for persons integrating a spiritual emergency.