The Spiritual Crisis Network continues work begun in 2004 by a development committee of volunteers. Some of these are experts through the experience of personal spiritual crises. Some are mental health professionals. Some have both personal and professional expertise.
Our vision is to act as a resource for:
- those going through or recovering from spiritual crisis
- carers and supporters of those going through or recovering from spiritual crisis
- professionals, therapists and researchers
We do this by:
- offering an email support service
- providing online groups and forums
- providing general information on spiritual crisis
- facilitating a national network of local groups of people with experience, interest or involvement in spiritual crisis – groups currently run in London, Sheffield and Brighton
- raising awareness and understanding of the issues
- developing and delivering innovative training and volunteering opportunities
- gathering and sharing information about local resources
Religious and spiritual experiences have been shown to be benign, beneficial, even blissful experiences that are a natural part of being human (Hardy, 1979; James, 1902; Maslow, 1964). Although not everyone will have such an experience they have been shown to be present in the lives of many people in different cultures and in different historical periods (Badham & Yao, 2007; Rankin, 2008; Robinson, 2009). Unfortunately, a minority of these experiences can be unpleasant and distressing (Blackwell, 2011; Forman, 2011; Jakobsen, 1999; Mottram, 2014).
Spiritual crisis is often also referred to as ‘spiritual emergency’, ‘spiritual emergence’, (Grof, 1989; Lucas, 2011) ‘Kundalini awakening’ (Sannella, 1987), or ‘spiritual awakening’ (Assagioli, 1965; Taylor, 2010). In the U.S. spiritual crisis is provided for by the inclusion of ‘spiritual or religious problem’ in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual 5 (DSM V) used by American psychiatrists (Lukoff, 1998; Bragdon, 1993). It is sometimes understood in a generic sense and applied to any major life or religious crisis, such as bereavement or loss of faith (Sperry, 2012). However, it is also used in a more specific sense to describe a range of unusual or anomalous experiences that cause concern, distress, or dysfunction in an individual’s life. This latter sense is that predominantly used by the SCN.