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DSM-IV Religious and Spiritual Problems

Course Description

The inclusion in the DSM-IV of a new diagnostic category called "Religious or Spiritual Problem" marks a significant breakthrough. For the first time, there is acknowledgment of distressing religious and spiritual experiences, including spiritual emergencies, as nonpathological problems. Spiritual emergencies are crises during which the process of growth and change becomes chaotic and overwhelming. The proposal for this new diagnostic category came from transpersonal clinicians concerned with the misdiagnosis and mistreatment of persons in the midst of spiritual emergencies.

This course covers the history of pathologizing theory in the mental health field, the work of Stan and Christina Grof, John Perry, John Mack, R.D. Laing, and many other clinical approaches for working with religious and spiritual problems, including:


Loss or questioning of faith
Changes in membership, practices and beliefs
New Religious Movements and cults
Terminal and life-threatening illness


Mystical experiences
Psychic experiences
Visionary experience
Meditation and spiritual practices
Kundalini awakening
Near-death experience
Possession experience
UFO encounters
Shamanic crisis

20 examples in the Case Library

200 web sites in the WWW Library of Religion and Spirituality

Free guest access is available to all courses.

Available at home or office by computer. Self-paced so you can take it anytime. Cost is $89 for 8 hours of CE. Types of CE. Courses are designed by David Lukoff, PhD.

Course Objectives

After completing this course,

Participants will be informed about the background, history, and rationale for the new DSM-IV diagnostic category, Religious or Spiritual Problem.
Participants will be able to describe the main types of spiritual emergencies
Participants will be able to make differential diagnoses between spiritual emergencies and psychopathology.
Participants will be more culturally competent in treating spiritual problems than they were prior to taking the course.

Also learn how to take online courses and other Internet skills while meeting your continuing education requirements. They are designed for home study so you save travel expense and time. Full refund is available at any time for any reason until credit is awarded. This course can be previewed for free--read all lessons and visit all links. There is an $89 tuition fee for 8 hours of CE credits.

Reviews of SCRC courses

David Lukoff,PhD (the instructor)

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