The video above with founder/director Beatrice Birch reveals the philosophy behind Inner Fire. It’s an alternative to hospitalization. Inner Fire is not a religious or spiritual institution but has drawn inspiration from Rudolf Steiner’s thinking. It welcomes people in spiritual emergency.
Hospitalization for mental disturbances most frequently involves being cooped up in a hospital with not much to do except take psychiatric medications, watch TV, and attend some group therapy. Not right for you? Incomplete?
Inner Fire is a residential retreat in southern Vermont that takes a very different approach. This facility is in a rural environment. Residents have lots of opportunities to interact with nature via gardening, hiking, tending chickens, and exploring the forest with guides. Their schedules are quite full with activities including yoga, art and movement therapies. There are no TVs and residents are not allowed to use computers or e-gadgets. There are games like ping-pong, books, and people to talk to. There is food to be gathered from the garden, prepared, and served. There are projects that bring people into cooperative work with satisfying ends.
The idea is to help a person engage as a member of a living community. The personal work with guides is to help a person be embodied and attain health through exercise in nature and wholesome food. Open dialogue in circle each day draws residents and staff into honest, authentic communication.
It is said that Inner Fire assists a person to live from their soul. The program is designed to acquaint individuals to that deep level of themselves…and to pursue their next steps in life from the soul level.
Inner Fire takes a cautious approach to psychiatric medication. When people want to take them that is OK. When residents, called “Seekers,” don’t want to take meds, that is also supported. Qualified medical supervision is available especially when someone is in the process of withdrawing from psychiatric medications.
——-Author, Emma Bragdon, PhD, is the Founder/Director of IMHU.org. It offers online and live presentations on effective alternatives to psychiatric medication for those seeking healing and optimal wellness. Emma is especially interested in offering support for those in spiritual emergency. More than 26 presentations at IMHU are available here.