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Spiritism and Mental Health


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Table of Contents

Foreword. James Lake, MD, Chair, International Network of Integrative Mental Health, Inc., USA. Acknowledgements. Introduction. Emma Bragdon, PhD, Director of the Foundation for Energy Therapies, Vermont, USA. Part I: The Spiritist Understanding of Mental Health. 1. A Brief History of Spiritism. Emma Bragdon, PhD. 2. A Brief Overview of the Philosophy and Development of Spiritism's Methodologies. Alexander Moreira-Almeida, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Medical School of Juiz de Fora, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. 3. The Spiritist View of Mental Disorders. Alexander Moreira-Almeida, MD, PhD. 4. The Relationship of Mediumship to Mental Disorder. Marlene Nobre, MD, President, International Medical Spiritist Association; President, Brazilian Medical Spiritist Association; President, Cairbar Schutel Spiritist School, and President of "Lar do Alvorecer" Day Care Centre, Sao Paulo, Brazil. 5. Case Studies of Those with Serious Diagnoses. Emma Bragdon, PhD. Part II: Spiritist Treatments: Practice. 6. Three Spiritist Psychiatric Hospitals. A. The Spiritist Hospital Andre Luiz. Roberto Lucio Viera de Souza, MD, Director, Spiritist Hospital Andre Luiz, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and Jaider Rodrigues e Paulo, MD, Psychiatrist, Spiritist Hospital Andre Luiz, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. B. The Spiritist Psychiatric Hospital of Porto Alegre. Emma Bragdon, PhD. C. Joao Evangelista Hospital. Candido Pinto Vallada, MD, Vice President, Council of Directors and General Coorindator, Spirituality and Mental Health Integration Program, Hospital Joao Evangelista, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Camilla Casaletti Braghetta, MA, Occupational Therapist, HOJE, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Giancarlo Lucchetti, MD, Research Executive Coordinator, Spirituality and Mental Health Integration Program, Hospital Joao Evangelista, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Frederico Camelo Leao, MD, CEO, Hospital Joao Evangelista, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Homero Vallada, MD, President, Council of Directors at the Hospital Joao Evangelista, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Associate Professor, the University of Sao Paulo Medical School. 7. Magnetic Healing, Prayer, and Energy Passes. Gilson Roberto, MD, Medical Director, Spiritist Psychiatric Hospital of Porto Alegre, Brazil. 8. Psychotherapy and Reincarnation: A Necessary and Fruitful Encounter. Julio Peres, PsyD, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and Researcher at the Program for Health, Spirituality and Religiosity, Psychiatry Institute, University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, Sao Paulo, Brazil. 9. The Group Field. Emma Bragdon, PhD. 10. Spiritual Counseling and Fellowship in Spiritist Centers. Carlos Appel, MD, General Practitioner, Porto Alegre, Brazil, and Tania Appel, MA, medium and leader, Casa de Dom Inacio, Abadiania, Brazil. 11. Jung, Spirits, and Madness: Lessons for Cultural Psychiatry. Joan Koss-Chioino, PhD, Professor Emerita, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, USA. 12. The Practice of Integrating Spirituality into Psychotherapy. Mario Sergio Silveira, PhD, Administrator, Hospital Bom Retiro, Curitibia, Brazil. 13. When Medical Doctors Are Mediums. Gilson Roberto, MD. Part III: Current Science, Psychotherapy, and Spiritism. 14. A Science of Understanding the Mind: The Next Great Scientific Revolution. Alan Wallace, PhD, President, Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies, California, USA. 15. Spirit Attachment and Health. Alan Sanderson, MD, President of the Spirit Release Foundation, London, UK. 16. Soul-Centered Psychotherapy. Andrew Powell, MD, Founding Chair, Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group, Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK. 17. Current Research on Survival of Consciousness and Mediumship. Linda Russek, PhD, Director, Heart Science Foundation, Arizona, USA. 18. The Power of "Magnetized" Water. Beverly Rubik, PhD, Director, Institute for Frontier Science, California, USA. 19. The Positive Potential of Dissociative States of Consciousness. Melvin Morse, MD, pediatrician, researcher, and author. 20. Compassionate Intention as a Therapeutic Intervention by Partners of Cancer Patients: Effects of Distant Intention on the Patients' Autonomic Nervous System. Dean Radin, PhD, Senior Scientist, Institute of Noetic Sciences, Sonoma State University, California, USA, Jerome Stone, MA, RN, Ellen Levine, PhD, Shahram Eskandarnejad, MD, Marilyn Schlitz, PhD, Leila Kozak, PhD, Dorothy Mandel, PhD, and Gail Hayssen. 21. The Pineal Gland and Its Influence on Body-Mind-Soul Integration. Decio Iandoli, Jr., MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, UNIDERP, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Part IV: The International Impact of Spiritism. 22. What Spiritist Centers Offer Outside of Brazil. Janet Duncan, founding member, the International Spiritist Council, and former President of the British Union of Spiritist Societies (BUSS). 23. Contributions of Brazilian Spiritist Treatments to the Global Improvement of Mental Health Care. Stanley Krippner, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Saybrook University, San Francisco, USA, and Emma Bragdon, PhD. Part V: Education and Research. 24. Training Mediums Who Treat Psychiatric Patients. Gerald Magnan, past supervisor of the Department of Spiritual Assistance, the Spiritist Psychiatric Hospital of Porto Alegre, Brazil. 25. Teaching Health Professionals How to Support Personal Transformation in Patients. Gelson Roberto, Psychologist, and advisor to the Spiritist Psychiatric Hospital of Porto Alegre, Brazil. 26. Researching the Invisible: Entangled Minds, Psychiatry, and Psychology. William Braud, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, California, USA. The Contributors. Appendix I: Further Reading and Viewing. Appendix II: Organizations Supporting the Integration of Spirituality and Psychiatry. Appendix III: Research. Glossary. References. Index.

Promotional Information

The philosophy and practical applications of Spiritist therapies based on case studies from community centers and psychiatric hospitals

About the Author

Emma Bragdon, PhD is Director of the Foundation for Energy Therapies ( Since 2001 she has been traveling through Brazil researching Spiritism and Spiritist Psychiatric Hospitals. She is the author of "Kardec's Spiritism: A Home for Healing and Spiritual Evolution" and the co-producer of the documentary film "Spiritism: Bridging Spirituality and Health". She lives in Vermont, USA, and Brazil.


My time with Emma Bragdon in Brazil has changed my spiritual world completely and this book will have the same effect. It is not whether or not you believe in the possibility of spirits and their effect on health, it is being open to the possibility of non-;local healing and the power of the mind and spirit to influence the body. This book is an exciting entry into spiritual healing and should be on the bookshelf of any integrative or mind-body practitioner. -- Cadecus Magazine
The definitive guide to Spiritism and its applications in mental health. Dr. Emma Bragdon's comprehensive and well-researched book demonstrates the power and increasing application of Spiritism in this crucial field. This book has closed a huge gap in the understanding of the relationship between the spiritual world, our world and mental health. A must read for all Spiritists and health professionals. -- Etel Harris, Psychologist and Spiritist - London, England
Clinicians who are open to exploring transpersonal aspects of mental health and illness will find this book absolutely fascinating. This book will also be of interest to anyone who is exploring the deeper processes and meanings of life and the human condition. -- IJHC (The International Journal of Healing and Caring), Daniel Benor, MD, Editor-in-Chief, IJHC
Most Americans believe healing consists of manipulating the molecules in our body through the use of medications or surgery. It comes as a surprise, therefore, to discover that sophisticated, effective healing traditions exist in other cultures that are based on a different approach. Spiritism and Mental Health is a marvelous introduction to the Brazilian Spiritist tradition. It is also a look at how consciousness-based research is transforming scientific medicine in our own culture. -- Larry Dossey, MD, author of The Power of Premonitions, Healing Words, and Reinventing Medicine

Spiritism and Mental Health is a heartfelt paradigm-expanding glimpse into the future of mental health care. This book's incredibly rich assortment of articles may seem off-puttingly esoteric at first glance, but the 26 chapters provide a comprehensive and down-to-earth overview of one of humanity's most ancient healing practices - working with spirits - and how this spiritual perspective may help guide psychiatry out of its current psychopharmacological dead end.Dr. Emma Bragdon provides a great service by building a bridge that brings these timeless ideas and their modern adaptations (ie, a description of the Department of Spiritual Assistance at a Spiritist Psychiatric Hospital in Brazil) to an American audience, with the help of an All Star line-up that has enough medical credibility to pass muster among the staunchest sceptics (Beverly Rubik, Melvin Morse, Linda Russek, Dean Radin and Stan Krippner, among others). The book contains invaluable resources - extensive references, a listing of professional associations, and a glossary of terms. Dr. Bragdon is to be commended - two thumbs up!

-- Eric Leskowitz, MD, is on the faculty at the Dept. of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and is the Director of the Integrative Medicine Project at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston, USA.
In Spiritism and Mental Health, psychotherapist Dr. Emma Bragdon, a renowned author and expert on Kardec's Spiritism, assesses the importance of including the spiritual aspects of human existence in mental health care. Drawing on decades of her own experience, and together with an impressive international team of professionals in the field, this scholarly book discusses numerous revealing case studies and stunning results. A must read for health care professionals; a leading-edge contribution toward the new paradigm required in our American mental health care system! -- Klaus Heinemann, Ph.D., Physicist and author
Evidence that intuition and inner knowing has a central role in mental health care is keenly substantiated in this ground-breaking book on Spiritism. Brazilian Spiritist medical doctors contribute chapters revealing the rich 150-year old history of spiritual treatments used in Brazilian community centers and psychiatric hospitals. Modern consciousness researchers and psychiatrists expose the importance of accepting a new paradigm of the mind in order to implement healing. Together in one book they offer a model sure to bring a renewal to the practice of psychiatry and psychology. -- Judith Orloff, MD, Psychiatrist and author of Second Sight
This book is brilliant for all those interested in mental health and the role of spirit. It brings together the current scientific evidence supporting the role of the spirit in mental health and the amazing and ground-breaking experience from integrating psychiatry and Spiritism in Brazil. What an inspiration. Now we need to find a way to bring this into practice. -- Dr Haraldur Erlendsson, CMC DCN MSc MRCPsych, Psychiatrist, The Dene Hospital, West Sussex, UK
A brilliant explanation of Spiritist practice in Brazil - a tour de force in introducing consciousness and spirituality to psychiatric treatment. I highly recommend this book for those wishing to practice truly holistic medicine. -- John L. Turner, M.D., Neurosurgeon and author of Medicine, Miracles and Manifestations: A Doctor's Journey Through the Wolds of Divine Intervention, Near-Death Experiences, and Universal Energy
I recommend reading this book wholeheartedly. I think it is an important contribution to broadening our perspectives and it presents a wealth of information from other cultures. It confronts our fundamental beliefs and asks us to address the spiritual dimensions of mental health treatment. I believe it is our ethical obligation to investigate this to evaluate and revise our own mental health treatment programs. -- Brian Sackett, Ph.D., Psychologist
Emma Bragdon, PhD, has been studying Brazilian's Spiritist treatments for enhancing health for the past decade. She has brought together a very interesting collection of essays that explore these fascinating alternative views on treating mental health issues... This book is well organized. An introductory section introduces readers to concepts of Spiritist healing. The settings and procedures of Spiritist healings are described in the second section. A third section shares views and experiences of a variety of clinicians and researchers exploring how Spiritist healings are in line with current clinical practices and research in consciousness and biophysics... This includes a review of the research validating the existence of survival of consciousness after death and of spirit communications. The fourth section discusses extensions and implications of Spiritist healings in many countries around the world. The last section considers issues of research in this fascinating frontier field of treatments and explorations of these aspects of the human condition. -- IJHC (The International Journal of Healing and Caring)

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