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Transformative Turbulence

Flourishing Through Psycho Spiritual Crisis

The fundamental mistake was supposing that the healing process was the disease, rather than the process whereby the disease is healed. The disease, if any, was the state previous to the ‘psychosis’.  The so-called ‘psychosis’ was an attempt towards spontaneous healing, it was a movement towards health, not a movement towards disease . . .  it could be called mystical, a re-owning and discovery of parts of myself.

—Dick Price

We would like to invite your participation in a multi-author volume that will address how to survive, integrate and maximise the transformative potential of archetypal crisis / spiritual emergency.

We welcome contributions from authors who can offer their lived experience in navigating the crisis of psycho-spiritual transformation and who can offer their experience, insight and practical guidance for those who may follow in their footsteps.

We welcome a diversity of experience, terminology and explanatory framework – the focus is not so much on ontological questions (what’s the nature of this reality?) as practical questions of self-care (how do I best walk through this?).

We offer the term spiritual emergency (introduced by Stanislav Grof) as one model; suggesting both a serious crisis but also the inherent opportunity for emergence to a higher level of psychological organization with an enhanced sense of spirituality.  There are three crucial points that Grof emphasizes:

  • These visionary states have played a crucial part in our social and religious heritage.
  • Such states are perfectly natural. They have a natural tendency towards positive resolution and should be supported rather than suppressed with medication.
  • They should not be confused with conditions that have a biological cause and which require medical treatment, but modern psychiatry and psychology has little interest or understanding of these non-ordinary states.

We acknowledge that conventional psychiatric treatment is helpful to some but is woefully lacking for others.  Many people undergoing psychospiritual crisis feel unsupported by psychiatric services that focus on symptom control rather than meaning and risk management rather than integration.   We believe that support and integration are crucial to the endeavour. We also believe that there are important methods of self-care that people going through spiritual crises can use, to take care of themselves.

We aim to put together a collection of personal accounts that help people going through these experiences, offering them comfort and practical advice.

Please register your interest with us and contribute brief summaries of your suggested contribution (up to 400 words) by the end of September 2018. We will contact the selected authors by the end of October 2018 to submit a chapter of up to 5000 words.

The book will be published by Muswell Hill Press, which has published extensively in transpersonal psychology and expanded states of consciousness.  We aim to publish in 2019, the book will be distributed worldwide and will also be available in electronic form.

Tim Read: Tim is a medical doctor, psychiatrist and psychotherapist based in London. He was Consultant Psychiatrist at the Royal London Hospital for 20 years. He has trained in psychoanalytic therapy (IGA) and in transpersonal therapy (GTT) with Stanislav Grof. He is a certified facilitator of Holotropic Breathwork and has a special interest in integrative psychotherapy and the healing potential of expanded states of consciousness. Tim co-founded Muswell Hill Press and his book Walking Shadows: Archetype and Psyche in Crisis and Growth was published in 2014.

Jules Evans: Jules is a research fellow at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London. He’s the author of The Art of Losing Control (2017), and has written about and organised public events on spiritual emergencies and how to navigate them.