Psychosis, Psychiatry and Psychospiritual Considerations

Engaging and Better Understanding the Madness and Spiritual Emergence Nexus

By (author) Brian Spittles

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Book Details

  • Publisher : Aeon Books
  • Published : November 2022
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 482
  • Size : 174mm(w) x 246mm(h)
  • Catalogue No : 95168
  • ISBN 13 : 9781801520157
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A phenomenological and spiritual investigation of anomalous mental experiences.

From a psychiatric perspective, psychosis is generally viewed as a psychopathological and often incomprehensible mental disorder of biological cause. In his book, Brian Spittles argues that this represents a rather limited view, and that a psychospiritual investigation of psychosis may enable a better understanding of its nature and determinants. His aim is not to negate the discipline of psychiatry, but to demonstrate the viability and efficacy of incorporating psychospiritual considerations into psychosis research.

Within these pages, Spittles challenges several core psychiatric beliefs, and calls for the discipline to extend its investigative parameters beyond the limited epistemological bounds of materialism. The book uses an open-ended heuristic approach that enables the systematic examination and critical appraisal of views on psychosis across the materialist-to-metaphysical spectrum. This is structured in four 'Focal Settings' that sequentially examine the construal of psychosis within different paradigms of psychospiritual understanding, which provide a historical overview of evolving understandings of psychosis within the tradition of psychiatry, in which psychospiritual matters are generally not considered.

About the author

By (author) Brian Spittles

Dr Brian Spittles is a member of the Emergent Phenomenology Research Consortium which aims to integrate clinical, scientific, and spiritual paradigms to improve therapeutic outcomes. He is also a co-Director of the recently incorporated Australian Centre for Consciousness Studies. His research interests are eclectic and multidisciplinary. These include consciousness studies, transpersonal psychology, psychosis, mental health recovery, quantum physics, meditation, Buddhism, shamanism, mysticism, nature studies, and indigenous knowledge/healing systems. Brian is also involved in the climate emergency, environmental protection, and social justice arenas.

Reviews & Endorsements

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Carlos Fabian Ramirez on 13/02/2023

As someone who experienced psychosis twice and both times felt that the psychosis was not just madness (though there was plenty of that) but also a spiritual experience, this book came as a boon. It is aimed at the psychiatry research community, so there is no particular advice for people like me (even though it does point out many more avenues to explore psychosis as not just madness).

I would like for psychiatry to learn from this book and research different ways of working with psychosis, other than medication. I would like to go off my medication, but this would likely result in a psychosis, and there isn't any place where I could safely enter that state again. Such a place could exist, if psychiatry adopts a different frame on this issue.