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Reaching out in the dark for help ...

If you are having thoughts of suicide, or the dark feels overwhelming, know this:

You don't have to be alone.

Help is as close as the telephone.

Many countries have a Life Line service.

Lifeline was started in Australia in 1963. There is now an international network of services through LifeLine International which has centres in some twenty countries. All Lifeline Centres adopt the same standards but use different names in some countries. For example, in Canada the service is called Telecare; in Japan, Inochi no Denwa (meaning "life phone"); and in the United States of America, Contact.

Volunteer Emotional Support Helplines (VESH) is a partnership between Befrienders Worldwide, International Federation of Telephone Emergency Services (IFOTES) and LifeLine International. Members have pledged to work together to provide an effective telephone crisis counseling service throughout the world. The VESH network of volunteer counsellors provides services in 61 countries.

Books

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The Stormy Search for the Self: A Guide to Personal Growth through Transformational Crisis

"Increasing numbers of people are experiencing "spiritual emergency"-a crisis that occurs when the process of growth and change becomes chaotic and overwhelming. Here, the pioneers of the field of spiritual emergency validate that such episodes have profoundly healing potential."

Stanislav Grof and Christina Grof argue "that many episodes of transformational crisis have been misdiagnosed as mental illness, and explains how to use such a crisis for spiritual development."

"They instead distinguish between psychiatric disorders and spiritual emergency, offering alternative modes of therapy for the latter. As the Grofs aim to show, the cycle of inner death and rebirth that typifies spiritual emergency ultimately leads to personal transformation and healing through a connection to a transcendent Higher Power or Higher Self. The last section offers self-help strategies, plus guidelines for family, friends, and mental health professionals."

~ Christopher Theophilus

Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis 

"An excellent book for anyone involved with psychotherapy or magical / spiritual practices, whether as a guide / therapist / teacher, student, or simply on your own journey. This is a good introductory overview of the subject of Spiritual Emergence and Spiritual Emergency. I believe anyone undertaking serious magical work, training or psychotherapy, at some stage will undergo a crisis, which can then either lead to Spiritual Emergency or Spiritual Emergence. The research and ideas this book contains can assist in one's own development or guiding someone else through those dark days and nights."

The Dark Side of the Light Chasers

"In this enlightening guide, Debbie Ford explains that the dark side of our personality should not be hidden. By denying our dark side, we reject these aspects of our true natures rather than giving ourselves the freedom to live authentically. Here she shows that it is possible to acknowledge and accept our so-called weaknesses, proving that these qualities may be important, hidden strengths."

Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche

"Owning" the shadow -accepting it as part of one's self -is seen as the first step toward wholeness. Using examples from history, mythology, and religion, Johnson ... offers a tour of the shadow, showing its origin and features, and demonstrating how and why it bursts into consciousness when least expected."

~ Review by Lucille Boone

Spiritual Emergence Network

The SEN@CIIS Information and Referral Service offers support and resources for individuals experiencing difficulties with their spiritual growth.

Members of the network are respectful of spiritual experience, familiar with a number of spiritual traditions and indicate that they are qualified to work with at least one of the following areas of difficulty:

  • Loss or change of faith
  • Existential and/ or spiritual crisis
  • Experience of unitive consciousness or altered states
  • Psychic Openings
  • Possession
  • Near-Death Experience
  • Kundalini
  • Shamanic journey
  • Difficulties with a meditation practice
    • Drawing on transpersonal psychology and the knowledge from the spiritual traditions which have investigated the stages and characteristics of spiritual growth, the mental health profession in the United States is beginning to understand that some of the characteristic of spiritual development can be confused with symptoms of mental illness. When accurately understood these characteristics can be recognized as evidence of the normal, potentially life-enhancing aspect of human development.

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