“Delusions” once understood can help people heal and grow

I’ve often thought of delusions as a sort of personal mythology that needs to be interpreted and understood, integrated and transcended.

Spiritual aspects of psychosis and recovery

Some people view their madness as a spiritual journey. But can religious or spiritual experiences be distinguished from psychotic ones? A number of studies have found it impossible to differentiate between mystical experiences and psychosis solely on the basis of phenomenological description.

Spiritual aspects of psychosis and recovery

How do we make sense of spirituality and the psychotic experience? Psychiatrists often struggle to make sense of, and to make progress with, people suffering from psychosis and to support their personal journeys towards recovery. Yet while psychosis is at the heart of psychiatry, psychiatrists have often dismissed or regarded with distrust the spirituality that is valued by many of their patients. In this paper I will explore these issues from three perspectives; the psychiatrist’s understanding of psychosis and spirituality; the role of spirituality in individual’s recovery and the implications for clinical practice – practical spirituality.

Story telling as means for transformative growth

A status update: Our bodies, in perfect reflection of our psyches, hold our personal mythologies. In this way we are all unique. This is what western medicine does not get. Clinical trials can never capture this. — Someone took issue with my calling the reflection of our psyches in our bodies “mythology.”

Story telling as means for transformative growth

I practice not attaching to belief…that includes the stories I make up to explain and interpret my life.
“Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless.” — Salman Rushdie

The exiled scapegoats, the black sheep, the nonconformists and creative maladjusted…

Exiled scapegoats can, thus, return to serve the collective as agents of its deepest and most difficult needs…. But they are also a community unto themselves.

They form a loose society of nonconformists. It is one devoted to transpersonal processes underlying the individuality and secular collectives.

Those in this society listen for the guidance that comes from the intersection of life and death, joy and pain, love and wounding. They are more or less willing to feel its paradoxical and raw nature. Since they struggle to continually accept that intersection in their own hearts, they can work with inevitable shadow projections, not as a prelude to scapegoating and splitting in order to attack, but as a means of life long personal growth and ethical actions. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

Depression and the Call to Adventure

By Jason E. Smith
The journey of the hero begins with a call. Something in the life of the individual feels in need of a change.

It may be a job, a relationship, or a system of belief — some aspect of life that once felt meaningful, but no longer seems to provide sustenance for living.

For example, you may find that one day you look up from your desk at work, see all the activity taking place around you, and ask yourself that most dangerous of questions: Why?

“Why am I doing this? What’s it all for? Is this all my life is about?”

When you hear yourself asking these questions, you are hearing the call. … [click on title to read and view more]

the psyche: land of many maps

I delight in considering the human psyche and the human experience in general from as many different perspectives as possible. I find that lack of attachment or belief to the different systems is rather essential. I enjoy developing this skill as it has allowed me to speak with far many more individuals about their personal experience than would be possible otherwise. I think it would be lovely if this was a skill that was taught to most, if not all, mental health workers. It’s really a required skill that allows for a deep respect that is all too often missing in the mental health care. It’s an assumption that people actually know what they’re talking about. And if we understand the context in which people understand themselves and their lives, it would become apparent. … [click on title for the rest of the post]

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