This graphic illustrates our story…Conventional Mental Health recognizes the red thru the green zones. We also work with the purple zone of optimal wellness.
The Story of What Inspired Us
It’s no secret that conventional mental health care is in sore need of an overhaul. The system and the mechanics both need a new vision of health, more effective methods of coping with disturbance and supporting recovery.
Emma Bragdon, PhD, IMHU’s Founder and Executive Director, gained her doctorate in Transpersonal Psychology. It’s the psychology of how to go beyond identification with the ego. It explores the paths to higher wisdom and compassion for all beings, in short, a more spiritual perspective. This perspective can bring a peace of mind, clarity, resilience, and equilibrium that the ego alone cannot create! After graduate school and becoming licensed as a psychotherapist, Emma traveled through 5 continents to study mental health organizations that incorporate Transpersonal Psychology and have a history of success.
Emma was profoundly inspired in Brazil. She witnessed, recorded and participated in treatments there at Spiritist Psychiatric Hospitals and Community Centers. Spiritists walk a path of “practical Christianity” and their 50 Psychiatric hospitals in Brazil began to spring up in the 1930s. They embrace “Integrative Mental Health“. They encourage spiritual awakening as an active part of mental healthcare and recovery while respecting all traditions. Their work is ecumenical and open to people of all religions, social and economic levels and ages. Spiritist psychiatrists and psychologists have published research, and their model of care has an excellent reputation for success.
Although IMHU does not seek to convert anyone to anything, Emma wanted to create an easy way for people to learn about other effective models of care and practical applications of spirituality that can enhance mental health. This is not just theory–but very practical information that expands mental healthcare into empowerment for transformation. Thus, IMHU was created!
IMHU contributes to improving mental healthcare through online and live educational presentations and certifications for wellness seekers and healthcare providers.
We are advocates of Integrative Mental Healthcare
Mental health problems can originate in biological issues, psychological and social problems, as well as the profound desire for psycho-spiritual growth. Integrative Mental Healthcare looks diligently at all four areas–and each individual as a unique system . This is vital when we assess a person’s wellbeing and make a treatment plan. IMHU advocates a cautious approach to psychiatric medications. We encourage the use of alternative methods that have proven effective. We also encourage spiritual growth through study, fellowship, volunteer work, and practices such as prayer and meditation. We welcome people of all spiritual and religious traditions (or none at all). We recognize that at times some individuals will need special assistance for “spiritual emergency” (a psycho-spiritual crisis)–not to be confused with “illness”.
How we accomplish our mission:
- We research and report on best practices, practitioners, and organizations– so you don’t have to.
- We maintain our not-for-profit services independent of special interests and lobbies.
- We believe that most mental disturbances originate in trauma and recovery is possible.
- We encourage the use of spiritual practices to cultivate well-being.
- We offer programs online and in locations around the world.
- We inform you about the full range of effective options for mental healthcare and wellness.
- We teach safe and effective techniques for spiritual “emergence”, aka psycho-spiritual growth.
- We maximize the healing that comes from supportive fellowship.
Location & Format of Programs:
Our online programs are user-friendly and accessible internationally for anyone with internet access. Our presentations combine exciting unique videos, structured supplementary content (reading/worksheets for self-reflection and resources) AND online interaction with instructors and discussion groups among faculty and students. We are creating an active learning community in which there is lots of international networking and potent exchange of ideas.
Detailed information on all our presentations is available at IMHU.org/courses.