Christina Grof and her husband Dr. Stanislav Grof coined the term ‘Spiritual Emergency’ to describe many of the psychological crises that are typically given stigmatized labels. Christina studied under the mythologist Joseph Campbell and for almost 30 years has been active in the field of Transpersonal Psychology, leading workshops and lecturing worldwide.
Christina experienced alternate states of consciousness at a young age and says that her own spiritual transformation wasn’t always easy. She shares with us her own crisis and the shame, fear and guilt that grew out of sexual molestation as a child. After self-medicating for over seven years with alcohol and ‘hitting rock bottom’ she recalls how the experience made her finally surrender which opened the path to her healing and spiritual transformation.
Christina founded the Spiritual Emergence Network in 1980 that, unfortunately, is not operational today because of lack of funding. It is still her dream that other people who are going through a spiritual transformation would have a place to go where they are supported without stigmatizing labels and medication.
Recently, Thomas Insel, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) stated that 1 in 5 Americans will suffer a severe mental illness in their lifetime and 1 in 20 will be disabled by it. He went on to say the rate of mental illness was more than twice as high among those ages 18-25. Today many of these people are ending up in our prison system or joining the ranks of the homeless.
Do you feel that some individuals experiencing a psychological crisis were not given a stigmatizing label and their symptoms were not suppressed by pharmaceuticals, that that could result in a more positive outcome?
Next week we hear from Dr. Grof, a psychiatrist and co-founder of Transpersonal Psychology.