PhD, Transpersonal Psychology

Central Vermont/ White River Jct. Area

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Emma Bragdon, PhD.

Trainer of Spiritual Emergence Coaches


From the age of 3 years old I have had experiences of phenomena related to spiritual awakening, aka emergence. I had two Near-Death Experiences by the time I was 8 years old. These left me with a profound knowingness of a non-ordinary reality that existed that was full of love, compassion, joy and peace. I longed to connect with that often. It was so different than my day-to-day life with my family of origin, my school, etc. Dreams provided access to non-ordinary states, as did side-effects of anesthesia after surgery, and discovering past lifetime experiences. But, when young and a “sensitive”, I had no one to guide me or help me make sense of the expansive territory I had discovered. There was severe mental disturbance in my family which was not a place to find support. (However, this background sensitized me to the traumas that my clients are working through.)

By the time I was 18 years old I had discovered meditation and knew it would be the cornerstone of this life. I was fortunate to find Self-realized teachers to guide me: Suzuki Roshi, from 1967-1971, and, more recently, Paramahansa Yogananda of the Self-realization Fellowship. SRF has been especially helpful in helping me work personally with the subtleties of Kundalini Awakening.  I have also had profoundly helpful training from indigenous shamans in the USA during a 20 year span.  Experiences with healers, mediums and medical intuitives in Brazil have enhanced by understanding of subtle energies and the power of spiritual healing.  From 1991-2002 I taught a 9-day personal development course called “The Avatar Course®”–110 times.  This involved facilitating experiential exercises and meditations leading to pure awareness.

I’ve seen meditators grow through training—and I’ve also been called on to assist people who are deeply obstructed by psychological blocks that meditation, plant medicines, psychedelics and traditional psychotherapy have not resolved. People who are sensitives and want to learn how to harness their sensitivities (creatives, psychic mediums, channelers, empaths, etc.) have also found my counsel to be very helpful as I have successfully integrated my sensitivities and can help others learn how to do the same.

I’ve discovered that most spiritual teachers, yoga instructors, ceremonialists, priests and ministers as well as healthcare providers have not had training in helping people in spiritual emergency—when there’s a crisis in awakening. Also, just because someone is a meditator, successful spiritual healer, ceremonialist, or yoga practitioner doesn’t mean they have done their shadow work (integrating darker aspects of themselves). There is a vast need for ethical, trained coaches who attend to their “shadow work” and can compassionately “be with” and actively support people in the challenges of spiritual awakening. Creating a sustainable way of life on planet earth depends on more of us waking up to our full potential for love, peace, compassion and joy, don’t you think?

As a result of significant training (personal, professional and academic) I am respectful of non-ordinary and/or extreme states, and effective at supporting individuals working to integrate these states of consciousness. I have been a pioneer in the area of Spiritual Emergency since 1983—convening invited conferences at Esalen Institute, publishing two books on the subject, and specializing in teaching, as well as working with individuals. Stan Grof, MD, who originated the term “Spiritual Emergency”, has honored me by inviting me to be a trainer in Grof Legacy Training® for South America in 2022 & 2023. I also train and certify “Spiritual Emergence Coaches®” through Integrative Mental Health University.

Language Spoken:


Academic Qualifications

  • PhD in Transpersonal Psychology in 1987 from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now named Sophia University)
  • Licensed as a Marriage, Family, Child Therapist in 1988

Other Relevant Training


  • Extensive training in breathwork from Drs. Gay and Katie Hendricks
  • Extensive training in Neo-Reichian Therapy from Stanley Keleman, Phil Cucuruto, Ed Jackson, MD, and Ann Dreyfuss, PhD.
  • Training in Process-Oriented Acupressure with Aminah Raheem, PhD.
  • Training in Process-Oriented Psychotherapy with Arnold Mindell, PhD.
  • Training in Cutting the Ties That Bind from Phyllis Krystal
  • Certificate in Intentional Peer Support
  • Certified Teacher of the Avatar Course® for 11 years leading 110 courses of 9 days each.
  • When MDMA was legal (until 1985)—I was trained to be a sitter in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Since 2021 I have used that training when partnering with Benjamin Asher, MD to offer Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy.

Offering 1-1 support

Licensed in California in 1988—retired my license when I moved to Vermont. Now consulting 1:1.

Offering support groups

I teach the course “How to Effectively Support Someone in Spiritual Emergency”.  As part of that course I offer LIVE group meetups online for 1.5 hours, twice a month.  Link HERE.


Sliding scale

“Please contact me via my email if you'd like to connect for a complimentary 15-20-minute phone consultation, to see if we're the right fit!”

Other Offerings at IMHU

Info on Spiritual Emergence Coach® Training

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