Presenters: Michael Mithoefer, MD and John Romig Johnson, PhD, NCPsyA
John Romig Johnson, PhD, NCPsyA and Michael Mithoefer, MD will discuss Spiritual Emergency and Spiritual Emergence in the thought of Stanislav Grof and C.G. Jung. Persons undergoing spiritual crisis are often labeled mentally ill, and treated with drugs, psychotherapy, and hospitalization. Some of these people suddenly encounter new dimensions and fear they are losing their minds. While such experiences can be very frightening they also can produce profound insights and genuine inner growth and transformation.
Michael will give some background about the Grof’s understanding of different types of Spiritual Emergency/Emergence and contrast their approach to the more limited thinking reflected in the diagnostic systems used in the prevailing models of of western psychology and psychiatry. He will also discuss some of his clinical experience working with people encountering Spiritual Emergence.
In the second half of the presentation John will add his insights as to how Jung would have understood these experiences. Jung showed how many symbols can help us to become conscious of the unconscious, and to be aware of the various unconscious processes going on in our psyche. I think all of us would agree that the path to enlightenment is always under construction.”
Michael Mithoefer, MD is a psychiatrist who practices in Mount Pleasant where he divides his time between clinical research and outpatient clinical practice specializing in treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder with an emphasis on experiential methods of psychotherapy. He has studied Holotropic Breathwork and Transpersonal psychology with Stan and Christina Grof and has many years of experience in the clinical use of these approaches and in evaluation and support of people undergoing Spiritual Emergence. Along with his wife, Annie, he conducts research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD using many of the principals developed by the Grofs’. He is board certified in Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine.