Online Meeting Focuses on “Responding to Extreme States with Loving Receptivity”

Northern California has played an important role in the development of “alternative” approaches for psychosis, especially with the establishment of madness sanctuaries like Soteria where people could undergo psychosis with very little use of drugs.

Our next ISPS online meeting will provide a chance to meet with modern day pioneers from Northern California, who along with others in the Bay Area Mandala Project, plan a number of alternatives, including a Soteria-like residence.

Cardum Harmon, Dina Tyler, Michael Cornwall, PhD are key members of the Mandala Project, and they will be the presenters for this meeting, which will address “Responding to Extreme States with Loving Receptivity: Honoring the Spirit’s Transformative Journey”  All three have lived experience of “psychosis” or “extreme states” as well as extensive experience helping others with those states.  (Michael also has had experience working in I Ward, one of those alternative facilities that helped people with psychotic experiences without using antipsychotics.)

In this meeting, they will share effective ways to be with people in intense spiritual experience by focusing on loving receptivity and the importance of honoring one’s spiritual journey. They will explore the strategy of “being with” instead of “doing to”, as an accessible tool for averting prolonged crisis and supporting healing.

Why not join us, and find out about a diversity of research on this topic, hear about the effects and impact of undergoing altered states with a spiritual component, and learn how to support individuals as a strategy to counteract the stigma and the negative impacts such experiences can cause in the lives of individuals and their families?

This will happen on Friday, January 30, 2015 from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (EST)

This event will be the second of what is planned to be a series of ISPS online meetings, where ISPS members and other interested persons will be able to listen to and engage with leaders in our field around topics of interest.

These meetings are free to ISPS members, with a donation of $5-$20 requested from others, though no one turned away for lack of funds.  Please do register if you want to attend!  The website for registering is

(And note the start time is 2 PM Eastern time, so that’s 11 AM Pacific time etc. – mind those time zones!)

Ron Unger
Chair, Education Committee

PS Just 2 weeks later, we will have another online meeting, this time with Ann-Louise Silver MD as presenter, speaking about “Frieda Fromm-Reichmann and Her Current Relevance.”  That will be Friday February 13, at 3 PM EST.  You can also register now for that one at

About Ron Unger

I am a licensed clinical social worker and therapist who works with people diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, using a respectful and skill building approach called cognitive therapy for psychosis. I also talk and teach seminars related to this approach. You can read more about me and about how I became interested in this field by going to my blog,, and clicking on the tab "about Ron Unger."
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