Integrative Mental Health for You aims to use education to reveal the full spectrum of effective options for mental health care.
In May, 2017, IMHU will be 4 years old. IMHU now offers 23 courses to the public and healthcare providers via IMHU.org/courses. The majority are in the form of online webinars that can be viewed at the student’s convenience. Most popular: 5 online webinars and a Certification Course that leads to becoming a “Spiritual Emergence Coach”. A unique offering: a 7-day seminar in Brazil exploring Spiritist Psychiatry with Brazilian psychiatrists who collaborate with medical intuitives and healers. Licensed providers can obtain continuing education credit for IMHU courses.
Why we do what we do: The US health care system is in crisis and diagnoses for mental disturbances signal an epidemic. About 25% of our population is now taking one or more psychiatric medications. In 2008 the US Government Accountability Office reported that one in every fifteen young adults, 18-26 years old, is now “seriously mentally ill.”
The problem is that psychiatric medications are not fulfilling their promise. In fact, long-term use of these medications most often curtails lifespan by 20-25 years and compromises organ as well as intellectual functioning. We need effective alternatives to manage crises and optimize mental health.
IMHU fills that niche, providing information on effective alternatives so consumers and healthcare providers can stay informed and know where to find appropriate resources. We believe body, mind, and spirit need to be considered when sorting out mental health issues—and we show that spiritual practices, such as meditation, can boost mental health.
Of Particular Special Interest at IMHU is Spiritual Emergency Many of those considered mentally ill are having visionary experiences, hearing uplifting voices, or trying to integrate spiritual experiences (e.g. near death experience) that challenge their previous worldview. Some report opening of psychic abilities that can be scary.
Are these symptoms part of an evolutionary step up in consciousness? Psychiatrist Stanislav Grof named these periods of disorientation from spiritual awakening and need for re-orientation a “spiritual emergency” that can be part of an on-going spiritual awakening process, or “spiritual emergence”. Brazil’s Spiritists consider many in “spiritual emergency” are dealing with repressed sensitivities that need to be harnessed for the greater good. With appropriate training, sensitives can use their gifts as visionaries, inventors, or healers of various kinds, helping others to higher consciousness. Eckhart Tolle, author of “The Power of Now” is one example. Without appropriate support, most sensitives tend to isolate themselves or experience a descent into madness.
Emma Bragdon, PhD is the Founder/ Executive Director of the Foundation for Energy Therapies Inc., a 501(c)(3), as well as it’s division, IMHU. She has written and published 7 books and co-produced two documentary films. She was licensed as a Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist in 1988 and currently continues consulting individuals and families around the world via Skype and phone. She lives in Vermont.
How MI has supported Dr. Bragdon: From 2001-2012 Emma Bragdon was able to do in depth field research in Brazil’s Spiritist community centers and psychiatric hospitals. She reported on this study through several compelling books and documentary films that she was able to produce with the support of individuals in the Marion Institute community as well as Foundations and philanthropists. The Spiritist Centers she visited provide positive models of building community and improving mental health that have no parallel in this country. The Spiritist model is also less expensive and adds therapies that improve wellbeing and longevity via spiritually based treatments making it truly integrative (bio-psycho-social and spiritual). Studying this model was her bridge to the project she has currently undertaken.
“The Marion Institute has been of great practical and philosophical support to everything I am doing. Its commitment to exploring new understandings of reality and of healing continues to invigorate my work. Being a designated Serendipity Project [now called the Greenhouse Initiatives] helped me raise money at crucial times in the development of all of my projects, including the establishment of the Foundation for Energy Therapies, a not for profit 501c3.” — Emma Bragdon, PhD.
Recent Books and Film
“Spiritism and Mental Health” is a heartfelt paradigm-expanding glimpse into the future of mental health care. This book’s incredibly rich assortment of articles may seem off-puttingly esoteric at first glance, but the 26 chapters provide a comprehensive and down-to-earth overview of one of humanity’s most ancient healing practices—working with spirits—and how this spiritual perspective may help guide psychiatry out of its current psychopharmacological dead end.”
–Eric Leskowitz, MD, faculty member, Dept of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
As of March, 2013 now in softcover, hardcover and ebook formats.
“Bragdon offers compelling case histories of the effectiveness of “Spiritism.” The stories demonstrate the possibility that many mental disturbances lie in our spirit and in our spirit’s history over various lifetimes. I was enthralled with the beauty, compassion, power, and wisdom that shone through every page of the book. I especially appreciate Bragdon’s holistic approach. She explains not only Spiritism but also how multiple other therapies can – and must at times – play an important role in helping people with mental illness.”
–Dr. Bill Manahan, Past President, American Holistic Medical Association.
Available in softcover and as an ebook through Amazon.com.
This 30 minute documentary colorfully tells the story of Spiritist Centers and Hospitals in Brazil that have successfully combined spiritual healing and conventional bio-medical care. Subtitles in Portuguese, French and Spanish. To purchase online, click here.
“Dr. Bragdon is uniquely positioned to provide the authentic voice to this important and emerging tradition which offers the possibility of a revolution in the treatment of mental illness.” –Marc Micozzi, MD, PhD. former Director, Policy Institute for Integrative Medicine
Contact for Emma Bragdon, PhD
Director of the Foundation for Energy Therapies, Inc. a 501(c)(3) organization, and Integrative Mental Health for You, which is a division of the Foundation.