As more people speak openly about their spiritual experiences, and the challenges that come with waking up, the discussion about how society can appropriately acknowledge and support this shift is attracting the attention of professionals. One such group is the American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences, or ACISTE (pronounced like “assist”). ACISTE is an association of professional therapists dedicated to educating their field about spiritual emergence. As I discuss on the most recent episode of The Evolver with 3 people from ACISTE, often people will seek therapeutic help when they’re having an opening, and the therapists they speak with will interpret their spiritual epiphanies as signs of mental illness. Rather than getting validation and support, they get medication and condemnation.

I am joined by: Katrina Michelle, PhD, LCSW, an holistic psychotherapist, and adjunct professor currently based in NYC. Katrina serves as the executive director for The ACISTE. Edy Nathan, MA, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist with over 20 years of experience specializing in the integration of psychotherapy and the world of spirituality, and the author of It’s Grief: The Dance of Self-Discovery through Trauma and Loss. Michael Garbe is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, specializing in working with individuals who would like to have spirituality integrated into their therapeutic process. He is currently engaged in doctoral research on spiritual emergencies at Rutgers University.

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