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Psychotherapists Reflect on Transformational Crisis


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Psychotherapists Reflect

Janet Elizabeth Colli: Visitations by otherworldly Beings, the spiritually-based use of entheogens, and even trauma can initiate transformational crisis.  Experiencers often develop special awareness or enhanced perceptual abilities. Spiritually transformative experiences (STEs) may also entail difficult challenges before the experience has fully integrated into the experiencer’s personality and life.  What challenges can occur for the budding shaman who is straddling two worlds? What support may be needed to usher in the New World?  This presentation guides us though the aftershock of a STE — to the gifts of the integration process — through the case files of a transpersonal psychotherapist.

Symptoms may signify a difficult stage of a radical personality transformation.  So too, must our collective radically transform. Such transformative processes as STEs are at odds with the medical model of Western psychiatry that emphasizes pathology.  As a mental health professional who provides psycho-spiritual support for a full gamut of processes, including spiritual emergency, I believe that psycho-spiritual transformation is a natural, evolutionary process.  A transformation within psychology is sparked when this evolutionary dynamic is embraced. This paradigm shift amounts to the psychology of the future.

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Susie Herrick: I recently published a memoir about an experience I had with my father that enabled me to emotionally transform internal misogyny into a vibrant feminine voice. This book opened the door for the co-authoring of a timely and similarly themed self-help book with Elle Luna, released by Workman Publishing on March 8th 2018 for Women’s Day. The event that catalyzed the dark-night preceding this heroine’s journey was the not so unusual experience of a heartbreaking divorce. Why the first book was so difficult to finally finish after writing it for nine years by 2011 was a mystery until my ex-husband died suddenly, offering an intriguing twist to the ending of my story. I was familiar with after-death-communications (ADCs) because I had experienced them throughout my life and professionally (as an educator and psychotherapist) had familiarized myself with NDEs. So when I received an ADC from my former husband I was surprised, but not unprepared. What I was unprepared for was how comprehensive this ADC was, for the profound emotional effect it had me, the similarities it had to an NDE experience, to the Bardo research I had done based on my time in Tibet, and on the events that followed.

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