The information on this page is aimed at carers. This includes anyone who is caring for someone who has experienced unusual experiences that has caused concern or distress. However, health care professionals and experiencers may also find this information useful.
Support for Others: Spiritual First Aid
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England suggest a five point response to people affected by a a mental health crisis. This five point response may also benefit people affected by a spiritual crisis, both the experiencer and the helper. It should be noted that this is just an aide to first-contact response, not a form of treatment or therapy.
Try or persuade or compel the experiencer into a course of action or a different point-of-view.
Panic or become anxious or fearful.
Insist that they have a mental health issue, if they believe otherwise.
Encourage Professional Help
Some unusual experiences may be due to a physical cause, such as accident ot illness. So, it is important to rule out these out by consulting a GP. However, be aware that many GPs may interpret these experiences as symptoms of a mental health issue.
Another source of professional help are qualified psychotherapists or counsellors. There are many different types of therapy but some, especially transpersonal therapists, are open to, and accepting of, spiritual experiences.
Support for Self
Perhaps the greatest risk for someone who is caring for an experiencer is that of burnout. Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion, or stress. Here are some tips for carers:
Share the burden of care with a supportive friend, family member, or health care professional.
Ensure that you get a chance to take a break, re-gain your energy, and rest.
Learn more about spiritual crisis - there are numerous resources on this website including books by experiencers, therapists, and researchers, tips and advice for grounding, videos, and links to other websites.
Some peer-support groups are happy for carers to attend their meetings, and the Spiritual Crisis Network (SCN) runs a support group just for carers, as well as peer-support groups for experiencers.