Resources for Extraordinary Healing:
Schizophrenia, Bipolar and Other Serious Mental Illnesses

“Resources for Extraordinary Healing provides a unique, ground-breaking contribution to the treatment of severe psychiatric disorders.

We are undoubtedly in urgent need of an alternative strategy, as the conventional approach sentences patients with serious mental illness to lives unbearably compromised by the treatment of their illnesses. The centerpiece of mainstream psychiatric treatment in 2011 is psychoactive medication that only palliates symptoms. It is often accompanied by such untoward and severe side-effects that patients feel chronically physically ill. With courage and clarity, Emma Bragdon introduces the reader to effective modalities of treatment that are very foreign to the conventional, western, rational "scientific" mind.  She sensitively anticipates how the Spiritist philosophy and methodology will strike the ear of a mainstream reader, as the modalities she introduces posit a complete paradigm shift in our thinking about the cause of psychiatric disorder. Dr. Bragdon makes this unfamiliar perspective accessible with simple, clear explanations and moving case histories."

--Judy Tsafrir, MD  Faculty at Harvard Medical School.  Adult and Child Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst,   Newton, MA. USA 

What Others Are Saying

" When we allow those suffering from mental distress to engage with spiritual realms, in whatever form that takes, then they are able to access their most potent source of healing.  Other cultures have figured this out.  It's time that we did as well.  This is an excellent overview of integrative--and successful--ways of discovering and recovering mental wellness without resorting to brain-altering drugs that may be harmful and numb the soul.

Western bio-psychiatry has tried to disprove the existence of Spirit, but yet it refuses to go away.  The reductionist focus on pure biochemistry and drugs has had devastating effects, producing some of the worst outcomes in the world for mental distress.  With this book, Emma Bragdon is pointing us in another direction.”

--Dr. Mark Foster, DO, family physician and author of the upcoming book “A Ghost in the Machine:  Essays from the Front Lines of a Mental Health Revolution”

"Resources for Extraordinary Healing" is a valuable compendium on integrative approaches for healing from serious mental illnesses, useful for both mental health practitioners as well as those suffering from mental illness. Instead of merely masking symptoms with potent and potentially harmful medications, practitioners and patients who read this book will be encouraged to explore the underlying spiritual imbalances that are often at the root of mental breakdown. The book offers the reader guidance as well as many resources for embarking on a spiritual approach to healing from mental illness. The author, Emma Bragdon, PhD., writes in a style that is concise, yet full of wisdom and compassion. Her depth of knowledge about her subject is apparent throughout the book.”


---Erica Elliott, MD. is in private practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She encourages her patients to incorporate some of the methods described in this book to further their healing.

Bragdon has done an admirable job of pulling together a diverse chorus of voices and resources, all pointing to the shortcomings of the bio-medical model and the need to re-integrate spirituality into treatment and recovery. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to learn more about the practical application of spirituality to healing from addictions and emotional distress.

--Leah Harris, MA, Communications and Development Coordinator,
The National Empowerment Center

“Through dramatic stories Emma Bragdon reveals the wisdom, grace and authentic power in deep spiritual healing and advocates that it needs to be an integral and vital component of recovery from mental illness.  The most impressive results come with a compassionate, inclusive and collaborative approach to healing mental illness that is closely integrated with medical and therapeutic practices.  This powerful book is a reference and guide for anyone wanting to fully heal from profound emotional disturbances, as well as their families and health providers.”

--Jill Leigh, Founder & Director, Energy Healing Institute, Boston, MA

“Having been involved over the past half century with young students in the USA and abroad I have seen the huge rise in the use of standardized testing and "therapeutic" drugs to combat so-called learning "disabilities," ADHD, poor social skills, uninspired teaching and basic boredom.  Far too often a child and family face various labels and prescribed medicines as the only acceptable option to combat continued failure, confusion, and frustration.  This book is the result of well over a decade of international research, scholarship and personal anecdotes regarding other kinds of evaluations and methods to facilitate emotional balance.  It lends deep insight into the effectiveness of approaches and treatments well known to most of the older cultures of the world and is a handy resource book for a vast array of available social service agencies.
“This book can save lives.  It has much to offer our modern world of education.”
---Kent Ferguson, Co-Founder, Headmaster: Santa Barbara Middle School; Co-Founder, Headmaster: The School Down Under (New Zealand);
Trustee, consultant, advisor to various public and independent alternative, progressive, Waldorf, Montessori, and therapeutic schools.


The Practical Application of Spirituality in Recovery

"Resources for Extraordinary Healing," is an extraordinary resource and
essential sourcebook for anyone seeking to understand the impressive breadth of
spiritual techniques for healing extreme states that get labeled as "schizophrenia," "bipolar" or other forms of "mental illness." Emma Bragdon, PhD, known for her prior books on “Spiritual Emergency” is the main author, with a few select other health providers who have also provided chapters.  

 The book starts with a succinct discussion of the problem: the domination of a bio-medical, one-size-fits-all approach to managing symptoms of "mental illness," and the lack of holistic perspectives in mainstream medicine. The rest of the book
provides a wealth of information on complementary and alternative approaches to healing, which includes an understanding of the supreme importance of the spiritual component of recovery.

The book includes a fascinating discussion of "Spiritist" healing in Brazil, complete with case studies of individuals who benefited enormously from the Spiritist approach to relieving grief, trauma, and emotional distress. Practitioners of Spiritist methodologies discuss their alternative approaches to treatment of addictions as well as mental health issues. Other case studies explore the use of alternative practices and approaches to healing in America. These include a thoughtful comparison of a Spiritist facility to a small healing enter in Vermont; explorations of Karma Healing and Bio-Energy Therapy; as well as Acupuncture, Medical Intuition, and Orthomolecular Medicine. In addition,
Bragdon includes a thorough discussion of crisis alternatives such as "safe homes" along the Soteria House model, and the importance of peer support. A
fascinating discussion compares peer support in America with the practice in Brazil. "Creating Sanctuaries for People in Transformation" provides
little-known information on safe places for people to heal, recover and re-discover their true selves.

While Bragdon includes a variety of resources on reducing or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs, she does not take a black and white view on
the use of psychotropics. Rather, she asserts that the judicious use of medication may be helpful in some situations, ideally combined with complementary practices with medical supervision as necessary.

Based on her extensive research on healing in Brazil and America, Bragdon asserts, "it may be that the role of Spirituality is even more important with
some of the 'mentally unbalanced' than with those with physical disorders seeking healing...this is a work of personal transformation. It is a path of
taking more responsibility for yourself, your physical health, and creating a positive role in your community."

Bragdon has done an admirable job of pulling together a diverse chorus of voices and resources, all pointing to the shortcomings of the bio-medical model and the need to re-integrate spirituality into treatment and recovery. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to learn more about the practical application of spirituality to healing from addictions and emotional distress.

Leah Harris, MA
Communications and Development Coordinator
The National Empowerment Center

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