Times: Friday evening 7-8:30pm, Saturday and Sunday 9-5pm

Group Size: Generally limited to 20 people.


Add $75. for CEs for this course in one payment or in a payment plan.

2024 Dates--Pick One 

  1. March 1-3 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  2. April 26-28, 2024 near Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. September 20-22, in London, UK

Locations:  Scroll down the page for details on each location.

Course Description 

Disturbances related to spiritual awakening are not in themselves indicators of illness or pathology and are often misdiagnosed by healthcare professionals.  Generally, most healthcare providers have not been trained to recognize or support someone in this process.  The current psychiatric taxonomy alludes to “spiritual problems” but clumps all spiritually-based, anomalous events under the umbrella of "cultural phenomena" which does not adequately describe Spiritual Emergence or the crises that can arise called “Spiritual Emergency”. Because of this inadequate nomenclature, intense emerging phenomena in an awakening process can become confused with symptoms of psychosis or mania, i.e. mental illness.

This course provides a safe space for practicing how to interact supportively with those in Spiritual Emergency or processes of awakening and Spiritual Emergence.  In the Friday night session you will participate in one model of a support group format, in which participants share experiences and resources. Over the weekend, students will learn to understand their personal strengths in working with those experiencing awakening as well as the need to enlist collaborative colleagues. We cover ethical guidelines, and the regulations for being a support person when one is or is not authorized as a healthcare provider.

This course is appropriate for both healthcare professionals and the general public. Healthcare professionals will be able to incorporate the tools and practices offered in this program in ways beneficial to clients and patients.  We welcome those with lived experience, their loved ones, as well as healers, peer counselors, spiritual directors, and pastoral counselors. 

To those who are not previously authorized to do one-to-one coaching or counseling: IMHU's training will cover how to lead support groups, and after completing the course you can be certified as a "Peer Coach" to lead support groups. However, IMHU cannot authorize you to do one-to-one coaching or counseling for those in spiritual crisis via this (or any brief!) workshop.  At the same time, we subscribe to the idea that people who are able to connect and "be with" those in extreme states are often the best support people – whether they have had previous academic or professional training or not.

You are welcome to take the course if you want certification or not. We learn from each other’s perspectives and thus enrich our experience of the domain of Spiritual Emergency—and what kind of help is most beneficial for those in this particular crisis.   

Pre-requisite: Students must take the course "How to Effectively Support Someone in Spiritual Emergency" - available ongoing at IMHU.org.  

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the course, you will be better able to:

    • Discuss the issues surrounding accurate diagnosis of disturbances related to Spiritual Emergence
    • Explain the problems that frequently arise when an individual undergoing Spiritual Emergence is treated in a conventional hospital setting
    • List five parameters for predicting which individuals are most likely to emerge quickly from a Spiritual Emergency with a positive outcome  
    • Apply appropriate guidelines for facilitating support groups for those in Spiritual Emergency and/or their loved ones
    • Demonstrate practical application of techniques for supporting individuals in Spiritual Emergencies
    • Demonstrate how to maintain authentic connection with a person who is experiencing phenomena associated with Spiritual Emergence
    • Explain appropriate boundaries to be maintained with an individual experiencing Spiritual Emergence phenomena
    • Describe why a team approach to supporting someone in Spiritual Emergency is ideal
    • Compile a list of colleagues to create a collaborative team within your community members to increase the effectiveness of care
    • Assess when it is appropriate to implement your training as a healthcare professional or your own gifts as a healer when supporting someone in a Spiritual Emergence process


For those who become certified as Spiritual Emergence Coaches®, your take home also includes-
  • Being listed in IMHU’s International Directory of Spiritual Emergence Coaches® to help connect you with to others who want to collaborate or find help for themselves or loved ones in crisis.
  • Certificate acknowledging you as a Spiritual Emergence Coach®
  • Use of the logo for Spiritual Emergence Coaches® on your website and promotional materials


Click HERE to see short videos that introduce you to Certified Spiritual Emergence Coaches® - hear about what they are doing!


Partial Scholarships Available:

If you are in financially difficulties, consider applying for a partial scholarship by clicking on Scholarship Application.


To Be Certified:

To qualify for certification you need to have some prior experience facilitating groups and/or authorization to coach, counsel, or give psychotherapy given by a reputable board in your state or country.   We will ask you to provide IMHU with a recommendation from someone who has observed you and overseen your work in the role facilitating support groups if you are not authorized to do 1-on-1 coaching/counseling/or psychotherapy.  See application below for details.  After the Practicum is over an IMHU representative will have a brief personal interview with each applicant to discuss their readiness for being certified as a Spiritual Emergence Coach®.

Application and Policies for Certification as a Spiritual Emergence Coach®:

Please fill out the application for becoming an IMHU Certified Spiritual Emergence Coach® and bring it with you to the Practicum or send to [email protected]. Click for our Policies, Procedures and Regulations.  Click HERE for application.

Course Facilitator:

Emma Bragdon, PhD, (Transpersonal Psychology) is an expert in the field of Spiritual Emergence and Emergency.  She’s been immersed in it as a researcher, psychotherapist, teacher, and published author since 1984.  She is the author of seven books and co-producer of two documentary films, and the Founder/Director of Integrative Mental Health University, IMHU.org.  Dr. Bragdon is most well known for the seminal books she originally published on Spiritual Emergency in 1988, and 1990, and more recently updated.  Her most recent books about Spiritism in Brazil have also gained rave reviews.  She was a volunteer for the Grof’s Spiritual Emergency Network from 1984-1991 and Editor of its newsletter and Journal. Since 2022 she has been an invited guest teacher in South America for  "Grof Legacy Training". She was licensed as a psychotherapist in 1988 and has expanded that practice by serving also as a spiritual guide.  She spent 6 months of every year from 2001-2012 in Brazil researching the positive potential of Spiritist Community Centers and Spiritist Psychiatric Hospitals.  Read more at EmmaBragdon.com, IMHU.org 

Pricing options

Add $75. for CEs for this course in one payment or in a payment plan.

A Pioneer in the Field

Previously: A Sourcebook for Helping People in Spiritual Emergency

In 1988 Dr. Bragdon received an order for 1,000 copies of a chapter of her dissertation: "A Sourcebook for Helping People in Spiritual Emergency". When the DSM-IV created a category of "Spiritual Problems"in early 1990s--the original text of Bragdon's book was edited and the title was changed to help healthcare providers better understand spiritual emergency.

Stories of People Resolving Spiritual Emergency Successfully

Harper SanFrancisco invited Dr. Bragdon to write this book to be published by them in 1990.

This tells a variety of true stories of individuals who came into spiritual emergency via various experiences: psychedelics, sexual experiences, meditation practices, spontaneous psychic experiences, etc. It is an easy, fascinating read.

14 CEs Available

for Psychologists, Psychotherapists, MSWs, Nurses, and Counselors

Everyone will receive a course completion certificate on finishing the course. For CEs: The fee is $75. You can pay for CEs at registration. Important: Please click button below to give us the information we need to send you the CEs. Thank you.

Information on Continuing Education Credit for Health Professionals

The Spiritual Competency Academy is providing CE units.

  • CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Academy (SCA) which is co-sponsoring this program. The Spiritual Competency Academy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Spiritual Competency Academy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

  • The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by sponsors of CE who are approved by the American Psychological Association.

  • LCSW, LPCC, LEP and LMFTs, and other professionals from outside of California need to check with their state licensing board as to whether or not they accept credits from programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.

  • SCA is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California. RNs must retain their certificate of attendance for 4 years after the course concludes. Nurses outside of California must confirm acceptance with their licensing boards.

  • For questions about your certificate or the content, logistics, or other support issues regarding this course, please contact [COSPONSOR] at [EMAIL}. For questions about whether APA CE is valid for you, contact your licensing board directly. For general questions about APA CE, contact SCA at [email protected].

  • Health and Wellness Coaches can apply for CE credits for this course directly through NBC-HWC. They wish to review on a case-by-case basis before allowing CE credits.

  • The APA does not allow partial credit to be earned for a course; we cannot provide a participant who missed a live session (or was more than 15 minutes late or left early from any live session) with fewer CE hours for our class. This applies to all participants seeking credit. Otherwise, the participant forfeits all of their CE hours.



"This should be mandatory for all mental/physical health care providers--Provides for a great societal need on a practical and applicable level.  Highly Recommend." -Jordan Blacktop, PhD.

"...Will help one become more present and skillful in being with someone who is in spiritual emergency." -
Christine Karczewski, ARNP

"Digging deep into Spiritual Emergence and Emergency and how to bring this into our work to serve our clients in a more integrated way."  -T
essa Cooke, Licensed Professional Counselor

"It's been a wonderful experience...having a safe space to share thoughts and ideas on how to further support one another."  -Genny Moss, RN

“I was elated after the Practicum! I felt “If I die today, it’s all good, because I just had one of the most healing and educational experiences of my life”… Now I’m part of a vast community of new friends and like-minded people… The tools I learned in the workshop were applicable the first few hours back at the job helping people with addiction and mental health issues.” —William Smith, Addictions Counselor

“Great experiential learning opportunity that helped me develop more tools to help others in crisis!” —Licensed Psychologist

“Excellent course for anyone at all interested in this field.” —Massage Therapist

“Focused on very practical skills for care and support. Excellent hand-outs with resources and guidelines.” —Peer Support Worker

“It was awesome!” —Licensed Social Worker

“…essential for anyone who wants to work with people experiencing spiritual emergency or psycho-spiritual transformation. Emma teaches material, skills and methods with wisdom and compassion and shares her knowledge and expertise with clear purpose. The fact that this course is unique in the world at this time also makes it a highly valuable opportunity.” —Jen MacDonald, Peer Counselor; Toronto,Canada

Our Guarantee

If you are not satisfied with the course within the first day of the workshop we will return your full fee.


Salt Lake City, Utah: March, 2024

We will be meeting in a large residential home on a tree lined street, close to the center of the city.  Airbnb's and restaurants are close by.  Public transport easy from airport to center of city.  Consider coming early or staying on for some fabulous skiing--just an hour out of the city.  Plentiful, world-class conditions for downhill and cross-country.

Windsor, Vermont, USA

Windsor, VT is in central VT on the Connecticut River, close to I-91 & I-89.  It is a historic village with an Amtrak station, a few nice restaurants, a brewery, and fantastic sculpture garden (see photo aove showing maze in the sculpture garden).  Windsor has a lake for swimming, a river for kayaking,  a mountain for skiing plus Paradise Park for year-round hiking.  Participants can stay at the Snapdragon Inn or Windsor Mansion Inn in Windsor, or the Fairfield Inn in White River Jct, VT  where the course will be taught.  This Inn is within walking distance of an Amtrak station, a bus station, and on the intersection of I-89 and I-91.

Near Seattle, Washington, USA:  

The Dumas Bay Centre is 20 miles from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.  Room and Board are available there at a modest price.  

Set on 12 acres, the setting  embraces nature and beauty —  on a bluff overlooking Puget Sound with an unimpeded view of the majestic Olympic Mountains.  Walking trails thread through the property.  Flowers abound.

London, UK:  Sept. 2024


at North London Buddhist Centre, 72 Holloway Rd, Highbury East, London N7 8JG

Close to the Tube, restaurants and two city parks.  Airbnbs easy to find.  We provide water, tea, coffee and lite snacks during the day.

Near Asheville, NC:  

This Practicum will be at a retreat setting located 15 minutes from Asheville, NC airport in Flatrock at Highland Lake Cove.  It is about 20-30 minutes outside of Asheville, on a lake.  We have arranged for rooms for Friday and Saturday nights in cabins on the lake (above)--an exquisite setting--but not expensive.  We arrang  catering from Friday dinner-Sunday lunch.  Please contact [email protected] for details and to make your reservation for overnight and catered meals.

We will have coffee, tea and lite snacks on hand.

If you are coming for the day: you can arrange for the catered meals ([email protected])  with prior arrangement. 

The glamping bedrooms for rent are next to the meeting space where the course will be given (see photo above).

Highland Lake Cove (HLC) also has cabins for rent if you care to spend one night or more in a more private atmosphere or with family (hlinn.com/western-nc-cabins) Ph: 800-635-5101. Your family will find plenty to do while you are taking the Practicum!   HLC also has an excellent restaurant onsite where you can purchase 3 meals a day (hlinn.com/seasons). A  coop for snacks and good meals is 7 min. drive by car. 

This is another favorite area for getting away from it all. The beloved poet, Carl Sandburg, had his home close by and wrote Pulitzer prize winning poetry there.

Boston, MA:  April, 2024

The April, 2024 Practicum will be given in a home  in a residential neighborhood, a lakeview oasis with a view of Lower Mystic Lake.   Bluebikes are available for rent closeby to bike a 10 mile paved path--or walk around the lake.  We can also
Rent Paddle Board & Kayak Rentals 10 min away or bring your own and just go down the street and launch within 200 feet!

In Fall, 2024  we will use a classroom of Lesley University, 29 Everett St, Cambridge, MA 02138..Dates TBA

If you are flying in: There is public transportation from the airport.  Uber is a 15 minute ride.

Our locations do not have beds so you will need to find a place to stay. Where we will meet is within an easy walk to bus stops, hotels and Airbnbs.

The places where we meet have many choices of restaurants nearby.  In the past, participants have enjoyed eating lunch out together, sometimes dinner as well.  Alternatively, you are also welcome to bring your lunch.  

Like to explore? --we are not far from Harvard Square and the Charles River.  

Please Note: This Practicum is educational in intent.  It is not a replacement for psychotherapy or crisis care.  If you are in a crisis or seeking immediate help for yourself or a loved one please consult a healthcare provider you trust. 

Pricing options


  • Can I attend the course online? Do you do live-streaming?

    • No, this course has many experiential exercises and is only offered live. Live discussion with other participants and the facilitator is an important part of the course, as is beginning to build a community around each of you! We also want to meet each person who is applying to be certified.

  • Can I arrive late?

    • We make every effort to stick to a schedule. We begin on time, schedule our breaks, and stick to our end time each day. Each activity builds on the previous activity. For this reason, arriving late upsets your learning experience as well as the experience of the group. Out of respect for all participants, we ask that you stick to the schedule we give you. Unless in case of emergencies, participants arriving after the first 15 minutes will not be admitted to the course and will forfeit their payment in full. If they have registered for CE units, they will also forfeit all of the units they registered for.

  • Are there scholarships available for this Training?

    • Yes, we always make a certain percentage of spaces available for partial scholarships, giving preference to those in developing countries or doing important but underpaid work to which they can apply the training material immediately. If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please fill out our online application form: https://imhu.org/partial-scholarship-application/

  • What is your refund policy?

    • If you pay in full for this course and must cancel your reserved spot, we offer the following refunds: If you cancel up to 6 weeks before the course begins, we will give you a full refund minus $50 as admin. fee. If you cancel from 6 weeks to 3 weeks before the course begins, we will offer you a 50% refund. If you cancel within 3 weeks of the course beginning, we will not refund any of your payment. The trainings occur in areas where our facilitators must travel, rent space for the course, and pay for hotel accommodations and meals. We ask that you be respectful of how much time and energy we expend to organize these courses. (There are no refunds with scholarship awards.) If you are in an unexpected crisis, please let us know asap.